Tom and Ray don’t want to go to Italy. They’d rather stay here with their friends. We try to romance them with promises of gelato every day. But they keep a running list of all the bad things about moving 5500 miles away. (I tell them it’s not 5500 miles but 9000 kilometeres . . . ha ha, but they don’t laugh.) The list goes like this: “I don’t want to leave my friends.” “I don’t want to go to a school where no one speaks English.” “I don’t want to have a dress code.” “Celsius is confusing.” “I don’t like foreign food.” “It’s going to be too hot.” “I don’t want to miss UW Husky football season.” I get it. I moved to a different state in seventh grade, and it sucked.
But this week, fate has tossed these sports fans a bone; Italy is in the Eurocup ’12 finals. And the playoffs were sweet. Last Thursday, we watched the semifinals on ESPN and caught some soccer fever. Thank you, Mario Balotelli, Italy’s hero of the moment, for the two beautiful goals. You scored new fans. And now Tom and Ray feel some connection with the national pride and a little solidarity with a winning team. That’s all I can ask for right now.
(Please win against Spain on Sunday.)