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From Qatar to Quinby, the World Cup enthusiasm takes campus by storm

December 2, 2022

Due to the World Cup’s non-traditional winter match schedule, Bowdoin’s soccer enthusiasts now have the opportunity to watch matches together. Some huddle around iPads in Smith, others stream on TVs in college houses and many not-so-subtly watch the group stage unfold in the backs of their classes.

While the matches are often scheduled during the busy Bowdoin day, some students are making a conscious effort to stay up to date with the games.

“I wouldn’t say it’s tough [to find time to watch it],” Arjuna Sivapala ’25 said. “I just kind of put it on while I’m in class. Whenever I’m not in class, I’m watching it with people. If I’m doing something or waiting for a meeting, I’ll watch it by myself.”

Others, like Ereny Morcos ’24, have had a more open experience with watching during class.

“It’s actually been interesting to see the way students have come up to me as well as professors when they’ve seen me watching the games in class,” Morcos said. “It has sparked a lot of dialogue and conversation with students and faculty that I normally would not talk to, or would not talk specifically about football.”

Some professors have banned World Cup talk from class out of their own personal excitement for the competition.

“One of my professors today—she is originally from Mexico—didn’t want any talk or [to hear] anything that had to do with the World Cup because she was recording the game at her house,” Sebastian Carranza ’23 said.

This devout game observance extends outside of a desire to reduce in-class boredom.

“Every time I go to the dining hall, I feel like I see at least two or three people watching it over lunch,” Daniel Chi ’24 said.

For many students, this buzz around the block has been a surprise.

“A lot of people that I didn’t think were into soccer are really into soccer,” Sivapala said.

Whereas the Star Spangled Banner was blasted over the quad following the United States’ win-or-go-home victory over Iran on Tuesday, a number of Bowdoin students have found a soft spot for Argentina in the tournament.

“I was living in Beijing, China in 2014, and at that time, Brazil and Argentina came to Beijing to play that match,” Vincent Han ’24 said. “I saw Messi and many of the other Argentine players in person. Since then, I have become a huge fan of Argentina.”

Sivapala reiterated Han’s fandom.

“If I had to pick one team, it would be Argentina,” Sivapala said.


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