What a World Cup Victory Looks Like

How do you describe what a World Cup victory looks like? I can only describe what I lived today, and it included an abundance of blue, white and red.

A friend invited me and other friends to her house to watch the game. I am a fair weather soccer fan; I watch for social purposes, but even I know the French team, Les Bleus (The Blues) played an average game, but several players outdid themselves, and in the end, they won the match, they won the World Cup. And Harry Carey, the crowd went wild, and by that I mean, France went wild.

We stayed at home because we wanted to watch the game; we would never have had at a table or watched the game at any café in Paris. They were all filled hours before the game, standing room only and spilling over into the streets.

Every time France scored, we heard the neighbors cheering with us, and us with them, in unison. When they blew the final horn, we hurried into the streets – with everyone else in Paris – to celebrate.

Frankly, I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen so many people out in the streets, all the streets. Big streets, little streets, they all bustled with fans, and those who stayed in waved flags from balconies. Everybody seemed to participate. Younger, elder, kids, grandparents, all the colors and all the demographics. They were wearing blue, white, and red, and they were all thrilled and friendly, and just a teensy bit silly. My hands are sore from all the high fiving; I shouted and sang so much that I’m hoarse, and I did not stay long, I hurried home to write.

As I sit here and write this little note, I watch the festivities on the television. I see the festivities on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, at the Place Bellecour in Lyon, at the Vieux-Port in Marseille, French soldiers in Nigeria, and even the elation at Times Square in NYC.

To return to my question above, how to describe a World Cup Victory? It’s big and messy and blue, white, and red all over. It sounds like shouting and honking and laughing and chanting. It’s warm and friendly.

Yesterday, France celebrated Bastille Day and the ideals of the national motto: Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality, and fraternity). What I witnessed this evening was, quite simply, the largest demonstration of fraternité I have ever seen - and frankly, it is impressive.

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