Before moving to the Bay Area, I looked forward very much for this year World Cup. Back in Chicago, I had only a couple of friends who watched soccer once a while. I did manage to put together a couple of gathering and pulled some friends together during WC '06. However they were more of social gathering than soccer party.
However, when after arriving here, I thought I would find more friends who are into soccer. And I ended up watching all but one game by myself, or with my wife, just barely. So when the final game came, I decided I would join a crowd and found out a local TV station were showing the game on the street in downtown San Jose.
Early in the morning, we got ready and drove to downtown Mountain View. Since we didn't know what to expect in San Jose, we'd decided not to drive down there. Instead, we took the VTA Light Rail off Castro. We were probably the only two person wearing any kind of jersey on the street. There were no soccer atmosphere on Castro, although I knew at least an Irish pub showing the match.
This was the first time we took the Light Rail. The Mountain View station is the last station at the North end of the line. Each one way ticket is only $2 flat. We bought the $4 ticket which allows unlimited rides within an eight hour period. However, when we arrive in San Jose 45 minutes later, no one ever came to check for our tickets.
The trip to San Jose, as I said, was a long one. The line goes through a few cities; Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Santa Clara and San Jose. It passed by many well known companies such as Nasa, Lockheed Martin, Cisco, etc. Nevertheless, we will probably not take the light right to go to San Jose anymore in the future because it simple takes too long.
We we arrived in San Jose near San Carlos and 1st street where the screen was set up, a few dozens people has arrived. Many of them have brought their own lawn chairs and found good space in front. We had thought of bringing lawn chairs but again had no idea if there would be too many people. San Jose Earthquake has also setup some booth and games for kids to get involved in. They have players and cheer leaders going around talking to people, trying to promote the team. I could no recognize any of the players.
By the time the game was starting, the crowd has grown bigger. There must have been a least 500 people. It may not been any where close to Madrid or Amsterdam, or even San Francisco Union Square that day, but it sure beat watching the game by ourselves at home. It must have been one of the best soccer watching experience I ever had. And the more important thing was our team won the tournament, and crowned the World Champion.
It was not our first time in the area. Once we had to pick up a package from Fairmont Hotel close by. And it was good we had been there because that's our little secret rest room place. They even have an entrance on 1st street, near their Spa, right where the rest rooms are.
It was a good day, once I would remember for a long time.