I've got a Golden Ticket
Thirty-eight days after leaving Atlanta, the day of reckoning had come for us here at CNN World Sport. No one knew on May 24 who among us -- if any -- would be able to see the World Cup final live. In the end, all but one of our eight-man crew would see at least a bit of the action.
Witnessing the history that was Brazil vs. Germany, and the unthinkable return of Ronaldo, gives reason to reflect on covering the event as a whole.
With my perspective coming mainly from South Korea (we only spent the last four days in Japan), I can say that my life is forever changed.
My colleagues poke fun, but I will miss the distinct taste and healthy feeling of daily kimchi, a spicy (usually cabbage-based) delight. I will not miss the inability in Korean traffic to ever make a left turn, opting for a roadway scheme in which you must go past your chosen destination and make a U-turn, a ritual experienced at least four times daily.
I will miss the polite order in which fans showed their passion, but not their violence. I will not miss the inexplicable Korean tradition of entering and exiting an elevator with no regard to anyone else entering and exiting said elevator.
I will miss my Korean friends, including our driver Mr. Lee, who wanted nothing more in his heart than for us to be able to do our jobs, and gave us a timely laugh when our job became too serious. I will not miss the color red.
I will miss the feeling that everything in the world will be okay after seeing 32 nations come together with nothing more than a little verbal jibing. I will not miss putting the hotel shower on massage every once in awhile, just to mix it up, to help you forget you're not at home.
Did someone say "home"? That's where I'm going.
'Til Portugal 2004 (I hope),
World Sport supervising producer Joe McCurdy is providing a behind-the-scenes look at covering the World Cup.