As a expat from the northeastern part of the United States,I always wanted to experience the World Cup in a futbol (soccer) crazed Latin American country. Now that my favorite month every 4 years is over,I must say that watching the World Cup in Mexico was like watching my local high school team play. Everywhere you went,and everyone you talked with was focused on the team: Mexico's National Team.
My friends,family,strangers,and people of all ages know EVERY single player by name,number,and position. Streets were deserted,businesses closed,and commerce stopped during Mexico's games. However,the most profound thing was that the people of Mexico,including the millions of expats all actively watched the team play. People do not leave work to take advantage of the games,everyone watched them with passion and emotion.
When ADIDAS announced that 200 million Mexican futbol jerseys were sold,making them the most popular world cup jersey sold worldwide,I was not even a little surprised. From June to mid July,I saw first hand how remarkably passionate,considerate,and interested Mexico is in their country and the team that represents them. The World Cup that I witnessed in Mexico was a microcosm of how happy,friendly,and passionate Mexicans are about their vibrant country.
The next time you read the headlines or some blog about all the negativity in Mexico,remember what sells papers and TV time. Most of us,including the 200 million jersey purchasers,know what is most common in Mexico: Family,friends,and love of Mexico (a country that more and more expats are falling in love with daily).