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    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Forza Italia!!!

    How about those Italians in the World Cup today? Did anybody catch the game? I have a special place in my heart for Italy. I spent two and a half years of my life there, and witnessed the 2002 World Cup dreams come to a bitter and disappointing end for my new friends. It was my second introduction to soccer, but my first experience really. I had played when I was young, but eventually quit in order to pursue basketball and baseball. No one liked soccer at the time, and my parents had to drive me three hours away to play as our town didn't have enough people to form a team much less a league. So my love for soccer would be birthed twenty years later in a town called Pisa where I honed my own skills amongst the locals, and acquired a taste for this foreign obsession. I knew Italians took their Calcio serious when during one of the games, my neighbors at the time, Francesco and Giada, took their TV and threw it out of the window into the Piazza from three stories up when they lost. I had never witnessed fans like this before. The whole city was closed, hell, the whole country, when Italy had a match. I have been a soccer fan ever since. Today was a highly emotional match, I found myself running around my friend's house like an "escaped mental patient" rambling and cursing in Italiano while my friends looked on in bewilderment. When the Azzurri pulled it off, I felt the joy of the Italian people from across the Atlantic. I wondered what Franc and Giada did this time around, or what my local butcher would be roasting in celebration in the Piazza, or what I would have done had I been there. I speculate I would have probably been so overcome with emotion that I would have planted a juicy kiss on one of those beautiful Ragazze and eloped to Capri. Yeah, that's what I would have done. I am sure the Italians will be celebrating for the entire upcoming week at the least. So this shoutout goes out to the Azzurri, any Italians reading this post... and of course Mother Mary.

    I'll be headed into the woods for a few weeks for some survival training until the 30th-ish. Pray for big earthworms.

    Shamrock is coming with me, and after his last rant where he sums our Arabic experience thus far, and calls the North Korean dictator a "portly lil spring roll" I think he could use some time away in the woods. Shamrock certainly has a special sense of humor.

    A presto!


    At 7/10/2006 2:59 AM, Blogger Jenna Howard said...

    First to wish you two trouble makers good luck.

    I myself swore/cried/gasped/moaned when my boyfriend Zidane headbutted what's his Italian name. For the love of God! What was he thinking? Ooooh Zidane, my sweet sexy soccer player, what were you thinking? Then I went shopping because if he wasn't playing what was I going to look at? Sigh. Oh my heart.

    At 7/10/2006 7:52 AM, Blogger Jon said...

    Boston had all of our City Hall plaza filled with Italia fans which was around 50,000 people. I was toying with the idea of going but instead I went to a family BBQ that I would have felt bad skipping.
    Have fun at SERE, I'm sure it'll be almost as much fun as I'll be having at OSUT...woohoo

    At 7/10/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger ~ good girl ~ said...

    Hi Jake,

    Came by from Central Snark.

    The whole match, the commentators kept harping on about how the Italians have a shitty penalties record. Ok, ok. We get it already. It was all freakin doomsday on my couch at 5am Singapore time. And then...F-I-V-E perfectly taken shots!! The drama of a penalty shoot-out has killed me this world cup - England & Argentina. You can imagine my absurd joy when the Pasta Boys did my noodles proud.

    I was just out on Saturday night all decked in red & yellow, painted flag on my face and all, willing Germany to beat England-tripping Portugal. And then Italy capped off a great weekend with that emotional win.

    Mauresmo won, Federer won, Germany won, Italy won. Ahhh, this little TV sports fan is very pleased right now.

    Al the best with training!


    PS Jenna, isn't Zidane so sexy?? WTH was he thinking??

    At 7/10/2006 11:42 AM, Blogger BarnGoddess said...

    good luck n the upcoming training. Earthworms? as in a meal? no way! gross, but if it means survival, Ill have mine WELL-DONE.

    At 7/10/2006 11:54 AM, Blogger Cowgirl said...

    I promise to eat some divine food whilst you are away eating earthworms and bugs.

    They are high in protein.

    At 7/10/2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous neva said...

    in my "youth" i hung out with a bunch of guys who went through similar training... knowing what i do, i shall pray for you! that said, i have no doubt you'll sail through this training exercise, and be all the better/stronger for it. (and so will we)

    just know your friends and fans are here for ya, Jake... and don't let your intellect get messed up by your emotions. "mind over matter" is your catchphrase for now. you CAN do this. you know it, i know it, the American people know it!

    all the best... can't wait for your return to the park!! we'll take good care of your tree, until you get back! xoxo

    At 7/10/2006 3:46 PM, Blogger emm said...

    Neva – I DO recommend that Teddy Roosevelt book to you. It is called The Letters and Lessons of Teddy Roosevelt for His Sons. Even during his presidency and busy life, he was very intentional about writing his sons and instilling great things in them. The letters are great.

    Jake – Hopefully you will find some squirrel or opossum. That should be normal fare for a Mississippian like you. ;)

    At 7/10/2006 7:26 PM, Blogger Blue2Green said...

    Jake, good luck, you're almost to the finish line!

    At 7/10/2006 9:39 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

    Beautiful post, Jake...but I must say it Vive Les Bleus! However, congratulations to you and your team.

    Yes, Jenna, Zizou let us all down. :(

    At 7/11/2006 7:12 AM, Anonymous Pamela said...

    I was in France for World Cup 1998 and watched Italy fall to them, so for me this was payback. They shut down traffic in the South End (the Italian section of Hartford) and the whole place went nuts. I still don’t have my voice. As far as sporting events go, my dad’s life is now complete, and he can die a happy man. Yes, it’s that important.

    Good Girl: I agree with you on the announcers' constant mention of Italy's PK record, not to mention their constant mention of the referee scandal. Thought they talked too much in general (useless trivia, commentary unrelated to the game, etc), but perhaps that's just me. That said, I still have visions of Baggio's miss in '94, so it was tough to contemplate going to penalty kicks this time around. Of course, it was that much sweeter when they won!

    At 7/11/2006 11:14 PM, Anonymous shayna said...

    Good Luck... have fun... if possible! :)

    At 7/16/2006 2:51 AM, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

    Frogive me but we wanted France to win because we like Zidane... well Loverboy did, me, ah! I never want France to win and Italy being a soccer enemy of Spain well, who on earth do I root for then I ask? Glad your team won though since at least it gave you much excitement but were this a game holding a team I cared for then my god the RANT! ;-P

    Yes, my friend, stay safe and strong and we know that you can do it! *sigh* Had I known about the whole bug thing I would have sent you this bug recipe cookbook Loverboy got himself (I kid you not! The man is weird!) but will never, EVER use or else there will be no kisses or anything beyond that to be had by the likes of the vegetarian me so... he stares at it longingly and sighs away. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

    Just a little nuttiness for when you get back and in the meanwhile, my bohemian thoughts, well-wishes and all my love to you dear amigo!

    At 7/16/2006 1:23 PM, Anonymous neva said...

    yo, Miz B! i just dropped in to say "hi", too! ... and make sure our boy knows that he may be gone(ish) but has not been forgotten!

    and Emm? i will definitely check out the book... i adore TR, his energy, his resolve, his larger than life (but with good reason) persona! thank you (and Jake) for the recommendation!

    Jake, while i'm writing this, i imagine you're knee deep in something i don't want to imagine. so i'll just say that in my HEAD you're doing well... surviving nicely, and will come out of this with ego intact and all the better for the experience. i'm praying for you... and send all good thoughts your way...

    take care & hurry back to the park! xoxoxo

    At 7/23/2006 6:50 PM, Blogger usmasully said...

    I'll be at SERE from 24JUL to 13AUG Jake. Maybe we'll cross paths while we're both there. See ya when we get back.


    At 7/30/2006 1:25 PM, Anonymous Marina said...

    Jake I am back!!!

    GRAZIE INFINITE PER IL POST SULLA VITTORIA DEGLI AZZURRI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have just come back from my long vacation and I am catching up with the blogs, so I have only read it now........... It is so good to read you, you know us italians so well, you got so much into the italian spirit and you really understand how much such things mean to us!!!

    I was at the seashore with my son when we won, wow we all went CRAZYYYYYYYYY, fireworks in the sky, flags everywhere and everybody losing their voice by shouting too loud!!!

    Incidentally, I don't know if the rest of the world can be aware of the fact the only thing that makes italians feel united is the national soccer team, yes, it is the only occasion when we all sing the national anthem, too, so incredibly, for many days, we were all the same people under the same flags, viva l'Italia :)))))

    Baci baci e a presto

    At 8/02/2006 5:23 PM, Anonymous neva said...

    Jake, are you back??? i saw you over at WA this morning, then nothing! zip! zero! nada!! are you okay? (i'm guessing you are)

    i just wanted you to know it was good to see your comment, and i hope we'll get to see more of you, soon! xo

    At 8/03/2006 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jake, nice to see your back...read that your a couple 2 or 3 pounds lighter.

    Bodacious Flirt

    At 8/08/2006 10:00 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    jenna- gracias for your undying support.

    jon- you're at OSUT right now wondering what the hell you were thinking going into the Army with a college degree.

    gg- welcome and i hope my lack of respons hasn't caused you to never visit again.

    bg- they're better raw.

    cowgirl- you can stop eating for me now.

    neva- i'm growing fond of you. thank you.

    emm- i almost got a possum, and thought about procuring a wild dog, but i couldn't do it. mississipians are survivors indeed- you should have seen what it was like after the Storm.

    b2g- thanks man. where are you these days training wise?

    jennifer- Italians do it better

    pamela- see above comment

    mizB- you always make me laugh hysterically. i'm gonna go urinate now.

    neva- i faired very well out there, and your prayers were much appreciated. how did you like Teddy's letters?

    sully- we must have just missed one another. email sometime if you wanna grab some chow when you get back.

    marina- i witnessed the unification of Italy in 2002 for the World Cup. this was a great day- congratulations! the post was my pleasure.

    neva- i'm back and will be in the park soon

    bodacious- i lost 22lbs to be exact. i look like an Aboriginee

    At 6/10/2007 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Francesco: Jake, this is one of your Italian Friends. We hade a match every week for two years and half you spent in Italy. We won finally! And we want to share our joy with you!

    At 6/22/2007 4:37 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    Francesco!! Ma dove sei??? Che il tuo indirizzo di email?? Fammi un messagio a jakecommando@gmail.com presto!! Ciao e a presto!


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