Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is such a World Cup fanatic that he tried to speed through his end-of-day wrap-up on the chamber floor Wednesday in time to watch the shootout at the conclusion of the Netherlands vs. Argentina semifinal match.
But like the Netherlands, the Nevada Democrat came up short.
“I thought I could get … done in time,” he told reporters Thursday while waiting for a news conference to begin. “I love those shootouts. And they're great, unless it doesn't work out well.”
It wasn't the first time soccer has rattled Reid's nerves, as he recalled a time when his son, Key, an attorney who was a star midfielder for three national championship soccer teams at the University of Virginia in the 1990s, took a penalty kick in an NCAA tournament game.
“Here comes a penalty kick. And the coach calls my little boy … and he missed it,” said Reid, before correcting himself by saying: “He didn't miss it, the guy blocked it. I worried about that. I had trouble sleeping…. I can't imagine how he must have felt.
“It’s crushing to not be able to do one of those, but it's so exciting to watch them. And I've still never forgotten my son and that penalty kick.”
Reid, a former amateur boxer, acknowledged that while Germany will be favored in Sunday's final, he expects Argentina's diminutive superstar forward, Lionel Messi, to shine.
“Messi is probably as good as Pele,” he said. “He's amazing when there's a lot of traffic. He's a very — he's built close to the ground and he's just extremely good.”