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NYC soccer fans had big reason to skip work

Fans gather at the Bohemian Hall & Beer

Fans gather at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria to watch the United States soccer team play Germany during the 2014 World Cup. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Though Americans have a bad rap for apathy toward soccer, they flooded into city bars Thursday afternoon to cheer on the United States as it battled Germany.

More than a few of the fans skipped work to catch the noon match, with many sitting down for "extended lunches" -- both sanctioned and unsanctioned.

"I can't give you my name," said one man parked at American Whiskey near 30th Street and 8th Avenue. "I'm supposed to be at work!"

His drinking buddy chimed in: "We're playing hooky. We're at 'meetings scheduled outside the office.'"

Standing nearby at the bar, two attorneys chuckled over having done the same thing.

"I have my work phone, I'm monitoring emails," one man said, checking his iPhone. "I made sure to fill my Outlook Calendar so it looks like I'm at a two-hour meeting."

Jake Aronson, 22, a recent graduate of Emory University now living in Park Slope, was happy his job hadn't started yet. "If I were working, I'd be taking the day off," he laughed.

The U.S. team fell to Gemany 1-0; they'll take on Belgium on Tuesday.

Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo caught the soccer fever. In an open letter to the American coach, Jürgen Klinsmann, Cuomo extended the lunch hour of state employees so they could tune in.

Some fairweather fans -- the luckiest of them, at least -- got free passes from bosses who joined them to root for the American side.

"Most of our meetings were cancelled because our clients are watching the game," said Barry Bordelon, 34, of Brooklyn, who took his sales team out for an extended lunch at Jack Doyle's on 35th Street and 8th Avenue.

Ryan Medmick, a 26-year-old from Stamford, Conn., said skipping work to watch the U.S. team play is "cool, it's sweet, it's American."

"I'm with my boss," Medmick said, laughing. "He's buying the rounds."


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