FIFA World Cup kickoff

Jens Lehmann

Tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. home team Germany will take the field against Costa Rica to kick off The World Cup, the biggest sporting event in the world. I am a total soccer nut and I’ll be distracted for the next month as I watch from afar as the U.S. lives up to its #5 ranking and Ronaldinho weaves through the defense with his golden boot and a smile. The world’s attention will be on Germany for the next month watching blades of grass fly and a thermal-bonded ball hit the back of a specially woven net.

This is my first World Cup watching from the technology industry instead of from the world of soccer. In 1994 I was at Santa Clara University watching Brazil train. In 1998 I was working for the San Jose Clash and the coaching staff got together to watch the big games on satellite TV. In 2002 I ran an online sporting goods business scrambling to get high end Adidas soccer balls out of Pakistan while the country tested its latest missiles and the longshoreman’s union was on strike here in the U.S.

I’ve added the major games to my work calendar with various levels of importance. Netherlands versus Argentina? Definitely watching that one live. United States vs. Czech Republic? I’ll be on the edge of my seat. I’ve warned my coworkers to not be alarmed by the screams of joy and agony coming from my office over the next month.

Let the games begin! Ole!