Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Football, Not Futbol

I had a stunning discovery this weekend. We get the NFL Playoffs in my house here in Cuenca. About a month or so ago my host mom told me that they'd installed cable in the TV downstairs, but I didn't pay much attention to it. I rarely go down there because it's the hostel part of the house and I don't watch much TV anyway. But on Saturday afternoon I went downstairs to watch a DVD and thought I'd scan through the channels quickly to see what was on.

First I found "A Beautiful Mind" with Russell Crowe, but once that was over I moved on. On the next channel I was amazed to see the Tennessee Titans playing the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN+. The game was clearly being presented by CBS, but was shown internationally on ESPN. The commentators were speaking Spanish, occasionally breaking to perfectly pronounce the players names in English. For some reason the quality of the coverage didn't seem as good as it would be back home, but it had to be the same broadcast from the United States.

I'd only missed a few minutes in the first quarter, but that also included two touchdowns. I was so excited I didn't even care. This was only the second time for the entire season that I was able to watch a game. The first time was in Chile a couple of weeks ago. It was so nice just to sit there and watch the game, though I was a little bored because I couldn't talk to anyone about it. Watching a game with friends is part of the fun, and I found myself yelling at plays and having no one to respond.

Unfortunately, the game was taking so long that by the 4th quarter I had to go upstairs to eat dinner, so I didn't find out the final score until the next day. However, I was also able to watch most of the game on Sunday between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Diego Chargers. Again, I had nothing invested in either team, but it was just nice to be able to watch. Just like on Saturday, I missed the first few minutes of the first quarter, I screamed at the TV with no one else to talk to, and I had to leave in the 4th quarter to go up for dinner. And again I had to wait to find out who won the game.

The good news is that I now know that football is going to be on TV, both for the AFC Championship and NFC Championship games. And in the event that the Superbowl isn't shown at a gringo bar, I can always watch it at home on February 1st. So at least I have that to look forward to. The games were essentially the highlight of the weekend, and it will keep my mind busy this week.

Today is Monday and my boss, Peter, is coming in from Quito to observe my class and let me know how I'm doing as well as give me pointers on how to be a better teacher. I feel that after almost 5 months of teaching that it's a little overdue, but with so many teachers, it's unavoidable to have someone at the end of the line. Hopefully I'm not a terrible teacher afterall and can get some positive feedback too. But either way, it will be nice to hang out with Peter again. Now I need to get to work.

Above: A young Dan

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