I went to a school with an excellent soccer history. We were the team to beat among all the schools in Hong Kong. As there are many high schools in Hong Kong, most sports are divided into different divisions. Division 1 is the highest level and the schools compete among themselves in their respective divisions. Every year after the academic year and all results are tallied up, the bottom few schools in each division would drop down the rankings to a lower division and the top few schools from the lower division would be promoted to the higher division.
St Louis High School produced many successful ball players and many of them became professionals – professionals in soccer and/or professionals in fields such as medicine, law, etc. At least in my year, a few of the soccer boys became accountants and doctors of some sort.
I remember it was an inspiring experience to see our seniors playing soccer in the rain. As a grade 3 boy, I thought it was very cool, and I wanted to do the same thing too. However, my first few years of experience in the soccer pitch were different from my own expectations. Instead of being good at kicking the ball and scoring, I found that I was more successful at running after other players (and the ball). I amassed a good collection of ‘football-in-the-face’ encounters… Eventually I came to the conclusion that I ran better without a ball (e.g. soccer ball or basketball), and I also discovered that having two left feet was bad for any foot work (i.e. dancing or soccer).
It was during my grade 10 (Form 4) year-end examinations in June 1982 that I realized that many of my classmates were not staying up to hit the books, but rather, they were watching the World Cup live on TV!! That was the year the Italian team won the World Cup and their star player, Paolo Rossi, performed a few hat-tricks.
Since then I have been a follower of the World Cup, except in 1990, when my World Cup fever was disrupted by my move to Chicago to exit my old life of a Prosthodontist wannabe and to immerse myself in the area of Prosthodontics at Northwestern University.
This World Cup fever did not really go away and I remember in 2006, I got my cable subscription in Singapore for the first time, so that I could watch the game. That only came after I begged my wife for quite a few days (alright, Moon was good, I only begged once, but over a few days). To keep my promise, I promptly terminated the cable subscription after the World Cup 2006.
Surprise, surprise, I did not watch the 2014 World Cup. I have not even seen one rolling football in this tournament!! Not even once! I managed to stay away from it. Why? I realized that my girls, Allie and Hana, are growing up very fast. I would rather see them play ball or run around during the day time instead. Not to mention that I enjoy seeing Moon running around with them too. Moon is a natural – she inherited the genes from my mother-in-law.
I think seeing my girls put mileage on their legs is way more attractive than seeing some male foreigners running after a ball on the TV screen. Anyway, the best team won.