When: Sun., July 1, 2 p.m. 2012
Ye olde corner pub—Yes, it's the world's most popular team sport having yet another championship. If you're a certain breed of 30-ish dude in the creative class or, better yet, an actual European, you'll need little introduction to the quadrennial European soccer championship called the Euros. It's held between the World Cups and many people—Europeans especially—consider it the superior competition. First of all, it's 16 teams, not 32, and there's no imperative to make room for those soccer weaklings from Asia, Africa or, er, North America. It's pure, unadulterated European-ness, from the dark beer to the universal health care to the unfortunate penchant for the kind of racism that went out of fashion here 75 years ago.
Last time, in 2008 when Spain defeated Germany in the final, an estimated worldwide audience of 237 million was watching. All reports suggest that interest will only be greater today as the final is played in Kiev, Ukraine, kicking off at 2:45 p.m. North Carolina time. At this writing, the odds favor a rematch between Die Mannschaft and La Furia Roja. If so, it promises to be a far livelier contest than the 2010 World Cup final, a 1-0, 120-minute yawner that did so much to sully the appeal of the competition.
In Durham, we suggest going to Bull McCabes. In Chapel Hill, try Italian Pizzeria III. In Raleigh, perhaps Tir Na Nog at Moore Square or Hibernian on Glenwood. Or just go anywhere and ask the bartender to change the TV from golf or NASCAR to the soccer game on ESPN. —David Fellerath