The beautiful game, online

The World Cup opened last week and many football fans are losing sleep keeping up with the games. I know I am. Live matches aren’t available on my cable TV provider but another company is offering live World Cup matches for a one-time fee. What I watch at home are replays of the games broadcast the next day.

Online, the tools of dissent are helping football fans access the BBC’s streaming video coverage of the games, erstwhile limited to UK residents. Public and anonymous proxies used to help dissidents in repressive countries access censored content allow you to view the coverage of the British broadcaster, which is also blogging the event. Here’s a great tip from In another post, GHacks suggests using TUVPlayer and connecting to ESPN2. I might try it out later tonight.

The Google search engine also has a new nifty feature: when you type in the names of the two teams playing a game, the search results page displays the latest score if the match is still being played or the final score if the match is over. (Via Google Blogoscoped).

But if you’re in Cebu and you want to view live World Cup matches, you’d be better off viewing it in one of the hotels and restaurants broadcasting the game. My brother watches games at the Marriot Hotel. Last Friday, Sun.Star Cebu reporters and editors were invited to watch the opening of the games at the recently-opened Marco Polo hotel but I begged off. I was beat up that day and needed to sleep after waking up early to prepare food for my son’s birthday party in school.

Managing editor Sol Amante, former FC Korsaaven teammate Noel Villaflor and news editor Ma. Carmel Socorro Geverola watched the games and got World Cup souvenir pens from the hotel.

On a personal note: Dylan, Lennon and I kicked a volleyball around while waiting for their mother last Saturday. Lennon kicks the ball rather well. When he was still less than a year old, I used to rock him to sleep while watching La Liga matches and when Real Madrid would score I’d be jumping up and down and he’d wake up again and then the cycle repeats until Real Madrid scores again.

One of these days, I might watch a World Cup game at Marriot. Football is meant to be watched among groups of friends. The atmosphere adds to the enjoyment of the game. A strip bar in uptown Cebu broadcast previous World Cup matches. A friend told me that one of the strippers threw a tantrum when no one minded her while she danced. She got so frustrated that she went in front of the TV, much to the anger of the bar customers. It was a good thing no one scored when she tried to block the view or she would have been lynched. I don’t know if the bar is still broadcasting World Cup matches but I might pass by it tonight to find out.

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