But we have two thrilling connections, none-the-less.
The first is Hector Vergara who is one of the refs. Hector actually went to the same high school as me - albeit a decade later. At a soccer awards banquet I once heard him deliver a soul-inspiring talk about how hard work can make dreams come true. He's an awesome example of this. Born in Chile, he's now officiating at his third world cup - which is quite an achievement. Being a ref at a soccer game is a very tough job. And it's the kind of job that only gets noticed when you mess up. So congrats to Hector, you make Winnipeg proud. He worked the Portugal/Brazil game last Friday and more games will depend on the evaluation of that game. It's a tough, tough field.
(Photo from the Associated Press Archives)
Then there's another quiet, mostly unnoticed, but extremely important Winnipeg connection to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. I'll give you a clue: it's green. No, not the Portugal jerseys. It's the grass. The grass seed was supplied by a local Winnipeg company called Pickseed Canada. Read more about it here.
So, go teams, go. No matter who you're cheering for (I was thrilled with Germany's Sunday win over England) remember that my town of Winnipeg is right in there, supporting them all!