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I've done one of the Soccer Fan Things: watching a game really, really early.

The bar/diner Beulahland opened for basic service — coffee, bagels, and pie — at 5 a.m. in the freakin' morning instead of its usual 9 a.m. opening, due to the 2018 World Cup. Yes, people had shown up. I was one of them. I woke up especially for this. Hello, pre-dawn skies from a different part of Portland than I'm usually in at dawn...

Portugal vs. Morocco was at 5 a.m. Pacific Time; Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia was at 8; Iran vs. Spain was at 11. I stayed for the entirety of the first two games then most (not all) of the third. All three games had decent-sized audiences, especially Iran vs. Spain, and people were engaged and thoughtful. I still have plenty to learn about soccer, even having played it (badly) as a kid and following the Portland Timbers since 2010, right before it moved up to Major League Soccer, and I hope to pick up on more of the game. Good place to do it. I'm listening when there. And also, I hope, well-behaved, because I want to be able to keep going to Beulahland.

(My stay at Beulah today: more than 7 hours. Whoa.)

There. I know I can do an early game; I can say I have; and maybe I'll do another 5 a.m. game sometime, but probably not during this World Cup...