Your First World Cup Memory

Things didn't go well for Mexico in 1978

A friend of mine asked me recently what my first World Cup memory was. It’s a pretty good one, while it lasted.

Argentina 78. I was in the first grade and on the bus on the way home from school. We were listening to Mexico vs. Tunisia, and the ref signaled a penalty because of a Tunisian hand ball. The bus went completely quiet, and after Mexico scored, not only did the entire bus erupt in elation, all the traffic on the periférico did as well. All the cars were blaring their horns, in sync with a Me-xi-co chant for a good 5 minutes. I was only 6 years old, but the memory is still pretty vivid.

Unfortunately, the euphoria was short lived: the Africans didn’t take too long to equalize and then went on to become the first African side to win a world cup game, 3-1. The rest of the World Cup was quite forgettable for Mexico fans, but I was hooked on the Cup. I played hooky to watch games so many times that instead of mom asking “what’s wrong?” she asked “who’s playing?”

What is your first world cup memory?