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Open Flavor Friday: Bonding over soccer

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Yeah, it’s Saturday, I get it.

Dave Clark

One of the interesting things about travel is that it becomes easy to separate yourself from time — I meant to write this story on Friday. Some part of me might think it is still Friday. This weekend’s OFF isn’t about my vacation, but a fun soccer moment that took place during it.

As we waited for a ferry, fresh off the airplane, we killed time at a small brewery of ales in Papeete, lo’ and behold it was also showing the Champions League match between PSG and Real Madrid.

It was packed, except for the angles that could not see TVs. The crowd was somewhat evenly split. This is land and sea once conquered by France. But, no matter how good Neymar and crew is, the popularity of Cristiano Ronaldo can never be doubted. He is a force. With his every touch there is a murmur, a swell.

I do not understand the tongue here, but that is unnecessary. My view is partially obstructed, again unnecessary for following the match. For this packed crowd of Tahitians and ex pat Euros breathes with the same rise and fall we all do. Breath and pulse unify under two colors.

As stragglers come in via bicycle, scooter or foot they are absorbed into one of these two families. Everyone becomes family, if just for these 90 minutes. It’s the power of soccer, of sport.

Our time is less than a week out. We too will unify under our colors, breathing as one with moments of greatness causing us to collectively gasp, exhale and cheer.

Flavor Thoughts

  • The Amber at that brewery was pretty good. The blonde was mediocre, I say as someone who has started to enjoy the simple freshness of a good blonde ale. I don’t expect to see an IPA until the flight home.
  • It’s fun to be in a place that believes in the power of vanilla. Last night I experienced a savory vanilla sauce. It was terrific, and made me wonder why America treats this flavoring as something to forget.
  • Why is the beef sweet?

Soccer Thoughts

  • YachtCon Prime is a week away.
  • Having the team take three road trips during preseason reduces the ability for local media and fans to judge the offseason. I don’t like it.
  • I still want another CB signing.
  • Wingo, Adekoya, Bwana may have convinced me that there is less urgency for an attacking signing.
  • S2 is nearly a full roster, and that’s awesome. They are finally approaching the roster construction promises from year one.
  • To those of you in El Salvador I have one request — be my voice.

This is your weekly off-topic thread. Discuss all things of interest to SaH readers that aren’t soccer related.