I was in Italy in late spring this year for some meetings. I was taking a cab to one of the meetings and the driver didn’t even acknowledge me. He had the radio on and was listening to a soccer match.
He just took me for an American businessman who didn’t know anything about soccer. But then I started talking to him about his team, A.C. Milan. His whole demeanor changed and he started telling me about all the best places to go in the city. His recommendations were a lot better than anything I found online.
(Source: NYTimes.com, Fluent in Soccer, an International Business Language)
I've had this experience. Different teams and different country, but the same thing happened in the end - I was given some great local advice about seeing Dublin in only a few short hours.
I imagine this happens with different topics. Get in a room with some strangers in Silicon Valley and talk technology and I'm sure there will be some lively discussions.
But soccer seems to be a bit different. The only requirement is some sort of international flair. Whether it's being from a different country or having just visited another country, soccer seems to be a common bond.
When I moved to San Francisco, my boss took me to watch the Euro 2000 final. On a Sunday. At 8:00 in the morning. We stood in line for an hour just to get in. The game didn't start for another few hours.
It was the best game I've ever seen.
Oh, that boss? He's now in CT and is a close friend, confidant, and mentor who took the train down to NY on Sunday to watch the 2012 Euro Final.
Time to get caught up on all things Liverpool.