Good news: season 2 of Instant Hotel is on Netflix, and it’s still extremely fun.
Ramble of the Day
My favorite thing about the World Cup, and football at large, is that I have many people to enjoy the sport with. From football-loving friends, my sisters and parents who are just as passionate, and my best friends who are casual but enthusiastic watchers, I’m pretty lucky that I can share the experience of a match with many people, in person or otherwise. The fun thing is that everyone has their own personality watching the game, paying attention to some aspects more than others.
My dad, for the most part, is pretty chill when it comes to matches. To his benefit, he’s only so attached to teams and players — bad results are easy to get over outside of major competitions (World Cups, mainly) for him, while he easily remembers the matches and players that entertained him. As a result, he holds very few grudges, too; in all my years enjoying sports with him, I can’t recall a single team or a player he actively disliked outside of being told to because x team is y team’s rival. During this women’s World Cup, though, that changed.
I’ll take you back to that infamous penalty retake that benefitted France in the group stage, and went against Nigeria. My dad had enjoyed Nigeria’s performance throughout the match, and probably would’ve gotten over them losing outside of such a decision by the referee. That said, he was extremely angry with this call, and wondered if it was match fixing. (For reference: my dad also made a comment that Tim Howard was participating in match fixing based on the look of the goals he conceded against Trinidad & Tobago in the match the U.S. men lost, resulting in a failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.)
I believe he eventually settled on the home-field advantage argument, and though he agreed the referee was out of line, he continued to hold France responsible for it and actively rooted for them to lose. He wouldn’t stop talking about it for several days. He would frequently when France was playing, more often than he would ask when the U.S. was playing, and was interested in rooting watching France and rooting against them against Brazil.
I joked that France had become his favorite team; he laughed every time. Thankfully, he wasn’t mad at all when I told him I bought a France jersey as a souvenir from Paris. (In fact, he was actually supportive of buying nice things.) I worried how he, perhaps the most relaxed sports watcher I’ve known, might react if the U.S. lost to France.
Of course, the U.S. didn’t lose, and my dad was normal about it. I suppose several weeks removed from the Nigeria incident, he had calmed down; on the day the U.S. beat France, he noted that France didn’t try to cheat (which they didn’t against Nigeria either!) and just enjoyed his team winning.
Animosity ended, and so did a very brief but notable period (for me) of the women’s World Cup.
tl;dr: My dad was weirdly mad about that penalty that France got to retake against Nigeria during the women’s World Cup.
Links of the Day
Arjen Robben has retired after a 19 year career.
Premier League clubs have agreed to do a feasibility study regarding a potential takeover of the Women’s Super League from the FA.
The Romanian Football Federation has ordered all top-flight men’s clubs to have a women’s team by 2021.
Transfer updates: Leicester has signed Ayoze Pérez from Newcastle; Sheffield United has signed Phil Jagielka on a free; Paris Saint-Germain has signed Ander Herrera on a free; Juventus has signed Gianluigi Buffon on a free; Napoli has signed David Ospina following a loan from Arsenal
Today’s longer read: Afghanistan coach Kelly Lindsey on the #FearlessFootball campaign and fixing a broken system of women’s football for The Guardian