It’s been gone four years since the last World Cup … did you miss it? The United States sure did.
The FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial Holy Grail of soccer, kicks off today, Thursday, at 8 a.m. Expect to see a parade of national team jerseys in San Francisco’s Mission District — and, with the U.S. out of the tournament for the first time in 32 years, locals’ allegiances are flowing freely to the eight Latin American teams making the trip to Russia, most of which are well-represented in the neighborhood.
With the broadcast beaming in from 10 to 12 time zones away, the event is also an invitation for breakfast gatherings and early-morning drinking on weekdays. For those so inclined, Mission Local has created a map of bars and eateries, to be updated during the next month. Some of them will even open before their normal hours to show important games scheduled earlier than 7 a.m. (matches will be played at very early hours, local time).
Click on the map below to check the hours and details for most every watering hole in the Mission. It’s illegal to sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., but it’s not illegal to open up early and show World Cup games.
Usually a beacon of cultural identity, soccer also offers expat populations an occasion for remembrance, and a mingling of different generations. During the coming 31 days, Mission Local will chronicle the games as they are lived and breathed in the Mission, in text, photos and video. How much can we let sport alter our priorities and our sleep? How about our manners and vocabulary? What is the language of soccer in San Francisco?
Through the eyes of the Mission, we will follow Peru’s first World Cup adventure in decades, Mexico’s attempt to get over the Round-of-16 curse, and Brazil’s bid for its sixth title. Along with locals and visitors, we will circle the neighborhood, in search of each group’s World Cup experience. Expect our next post over the weekend, as we follow the 10-game opening rush that gives us a hint of what is to come.
Whether you are watching the games with family and friends, or in the company of a loyal bartender, let us know how you live the World Cup, and send your drink and big-screen tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.