They were not particularly well behaved.

The British fans were taunted mercilessly. Mark, a middle-aged bloke from London living in St. Louis and working for Reuters, sat front and center on the sidewalk with his family, a large Union Jack draped across the back of their lawn chairs. The rowdier U.S. fans gave them endless grief, even gently slapping one of the younger offspring on the face just before kickoff.

All that ended four minutes in, when England's Steven Gerrard knocked a ball past U.S. goalie Tim Howard. Then the emboldened Englishman taunted, "At this pace we'll be up 30-0 at the half!"

Phil and Bob at Fritanga.
Phil and Bob at Fritanga.
The Tip-Top's Djordje Korac.
The Tip-Top's Djordje Korac.

So it was that when British goalkeeper Robert Green botched a weak, dribbling shot from Clint Dempsey, permitting the U.S. to tie the game in the 40th minute, revelers touched off sulfuric green smoke bombs, beat snare drums and tambourines, sounded air horns and otherwise went apeshit. It was impossible to hear what was said over the din, but words were exchanged between the local Brits and the Americans, and odds are they weren't "God save the Queen."

The Sauget Cup for the Best Meal That Sounds Like Something a Stripper Wears

And the cup goes to... the Scottish Arms

The clock struck 7 a.m. and beer and pasties were all over the place.

No, it's not the end of a debauched night on the east side. It's early-Monday-morning World Cup soccer at the Scottish Arms.

The "pasty," in this case, is a fluffy, flaky croissant-like creation stuffed with bacon, eggs and cheddar cheese. It resembles a calzone in size and shape and makes a perfect pairing for a frosty Harp lager on draft.

The 2-0 slog of a victory by the Netherlands over Denmark didn't go down nearly as smoothly. The game featured an "own goal," prolific flopping by players on both sides and hardly any football-fueled fervor from the sleepy, orange-clad Dutch fans in attendance. When their forward Dirk Kuyt tapped in a rebound off the woodwork in the 85th minute to seal the victory, the Dutchmen applauded politely and gave each other gentle high-fives.

To be fair, though, it was 90 degrees with about 94 percent humidity at a time of day when most people are still hitting their snooze buttons — not exactly a recipe for enthusiasm.

The "Oh Stewardess, I Speak Jive" Cup for The Perfect Explanation of Vuvuzelas

And the cup goes to... Phil and Robert at Fritanga

It was well past lunch hour on a Tuesday, and Fritanga, the Nicaraguan restaurant on south Jefferson, was nearly empty. The Italy-Paraguay game played on Univision in the restaurant's recently renovated bar area.

The only person there sipped Estrella Galicia beer, munched on tostones (green plantains, mashed and fried) and chatted in Spanglish with Cris and Orlando, the establishment's Nicaraguan bartender and owner, respectively.

Eventually two middle-aged American men walked into the restaurant a few minutes apart from each other. One introduced himself as Robert and ordered his food to go with a Nicaraguan rum called Flor de Caña on the rocks to drink in the bar. The other, Phil, planned to eat in the restaurant.

Robert knew next to nothing about the rules of the game or the culture. Phil knew a little bit and was happy to explain. The result was this awesome exchange about vuvuzelas:

Robert: "What's that buzzing noise?"

Phil: "They keep blowin' on them horns they got. You'd think they'd get tired. But this only happens once every four years, so I guess they got to let it all hang out."

The Soccer Mom Cup for Overprotective Parenting That Might Set America Back in Future World Cups

And the cup goes to... the woman at Yemanja Brasil holding her hands over her toddler's ears after a Brazil goal against North Korea

The waitstaff at Yemanja Brasil in Benton Park was decked out in electric-yellow-and-green soccer gear and chatted in Portuguese with familiar guests and their children. The packed house slurped down caipirinhas — the blend of lime, sugar and cachaça (fermented sugar cane) that's the national cocktail of Brazil — as quickly as the bartender could muddle them.

North Korea put up a decent fight against the South American titans until the 55th minute, when Brazil's Maicon charged up the right side of the field. He approached the end line at a dead sprint, struck the ball with a leaping kick and sent it past the Korean keeper at a seemingly impossible angle into the opposite side of the net.

Whereupon the crowd in the restaurant blared forth all manner of horns, drums and shakers. Each table came equipped with a homemade rattle fashioned from an empty Bud Light can filled with rice and duct-taped at the top. Everyone put them to good use — except for one American woman who was too busy wrapping her hands around her baby's ears to subdue the din.

As for the Brazilian kids in the house, they were busy tooting horns and letting loose high-pitched squeals of joy.

The Marlboro Man Cup for Exceptional Use of Over-the-Counter Stress Relief

« Previous Page
Next Page »