5:15am. My alarm goes off. You gotta be joking, right?
5:40am. I’m clean, dressed, and on my way to the BART. The traffic lights aren’t even on yet.
5:45am. I reaaaaaally want some food and coffee.
6:00am. I arrive in the Mission and meet up with Coworker Mike. We chat while we wait for the rest of our crew to show. I ponder a quick run to the Chinese doughnut shop.
6:10am. Everyone’s here! We start the long drive down the peninsula.
6:45am. We have arrived at the pub and the line waiting to get in stretches all the way down the block. But wait! Coworkers Adam and Omeed got up SUPER early and staked out a position at the front of the line. Big ups to you, gentlemen.
6:56am. We score a couple excellent tables. Great view of the USA match on the big screen, plus we’re close to England on the little one.
7:10am. Coffee! A giant mug of crappy pub coffee, that is. It makes me incredibly happy.
7:30am. And my egg-and-sausage bagel has arrived! The service is noticeably improved from the Slovenia match, when our food didn’t arrive until late in the second half.
7:34am. “If we keep playing like that,” I say, “we’re gonna get a goal eventually.” This is the first of about six million times I will say that exact sentence.
7:49am. Halftime. Race to pee– no line.
8:47am. Heartbreaking. Massively disappointing. And yet, for once, I can’t imagine even the most vicious blogs finding much to criticize. The boys gave us 270 minutes of top-notch American soccer: lots of heart, lots of guts, a few mistakes, a few moments of sublime skill, and of course epic goalkeeping. They should be proud. But I’m just not ready for the ride to end.
8:50am. Madness! Everyone’s jumping and clapping and screaming. I give high-fives to everyone I can reach. I’m hugging strangers. I’m shouting “Unbelievable!” I shout it over and over and over.
8:54am. The “U-S-A” chants last all the way through stoppage time.
9:02am. Some guy dropped an empty beer glass on my chair. Bits of broken glass are clinging threateningly to my hoody. It couldn’t possibly bother me less.
9:05am. Upstairs at the office, trying to pretend like it’s any other work day. My andrenaline is still pumping. I’m unbelievably high.
12:27pm. Out for a bowl of pho. Emily Post would be appalled but I’m following Unprofessional Foul’s liveblog on my phone. I keep cracking up. I try unsuccessfully to explain the Tim Cahill jokes to Coworker Vikram.
5:54pm. On the train back to the city. I get a text from Coworker Mo about plans for Saturday.
I never want to forget what that felt like.