En route to Germany | Optimistic beginnings for all but the Ghanaians

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White noise | The mother of all mundane videos, as we record foot traffic in the Delta terminal.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Jun 27, 10:00 a.m. | Why Atlanta civic leaders wish to revive downtown with outlets for consumer and cultural consumption continues to mystify. This is the heart of Atlanta—its airport.

As we begin an 18-hour haul to Berlin, we ask ourselves, Could it be any noisier here? CNN Headline News blares from the ceiling, blissfully interrupted at times by “poor quality signal.” But it is difficult to identify the source of all the other noises. Piped-in voices, a high-decibel meld of gabbing and crying from the passenger thoroughfare, folks wheeling bags up and downstream.


Free TV | Ghana finds some backers during their elimination match with Brazil.

I wonder what would happen if I released a mesh bag of footballs into the passenger stream. It would be pleasant to watch passes being traded, flicks, back-heels, the rogue juggler. This would be the type of “pick-me-up morning story” we’d prefer on CNN Headline News.

12:15 p.m. | Boarding of a LaGuardia-bound flight occurs after Adriano has slid in Brazil’s second against Ghana, who appear to need schooling on the offside trap. A diminutive Ghanaian stands beside me repeating her credo: “We are doing well. We are not afraid.” She says she is from Accra, “the city,” shortly before a woman and her partner wander past.

“I can’t get into this world soccer thing.”

“Neither can I.”

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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