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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Erich in Spain

Words cannot express the feeling of witnessing a nation in the moment of ecstasy that follows a World Cup victory. Seeing an entire plaza erupt with spontaneous cheering, chanting, and celebrating is something that I will never forget. I know I will not be able to properly convey the feeling of this moment, so instead I will try to describe the scenes that led up to this once in a lifetime moment. The preparation for the World Cup game started hours before the actual game was to be played. With a scheduled kickoff at 8:30, my friends and I made sure to be at the Plaza Mayor no later than 4:30 to ensure our seats. Even still we were later than many people and ended up only being able to sit on the side without shade. Luckily all the spots to sit at in the Plaza Mayor are restaurants and cafes with patios and therefore we were able to hold our seat as well as have a nice afternoon snack while we waited for the game. Having secured our seats, we began to explore the main square that was to thousands of spectators for the upcoming game. There were flags hung from the multitude of balconies surrounding the plaza, a huge flag unfurled down the center of the plaza, and people everywhere dressed in the colors of La Furia Roja. As more and more people began to flow into the plaza, waiters began to set up large TV’s in front of patios. As the hour of the game approached, the mode quickly turned from a festive mood to a very tense, anxious mood that would last for the duration of the game. The game was a blur. From kickoff to the final whistle, I remember cheering whenever something went Spain’s way and joining the collective groan when it didn’t. All of that paled, however, to the reaction brought on by Spain’s late goal. The crowd exploded into a mass of spontaneous cheering, the likes of which I have never seen and most likely never will again. The fans would never return to their seats again as they either watched the rest of the game standing up, or commenced to start celebrating the victory, a celebration that would be kept track of by days, not hours and a celebration that will play on in my head forever.

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