Monday November 30th, 2015 10:55PM

Thousands in US turn out to watch World Cup match

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
It's a time-honored American tradition for employees to scramble for excuses whenever work gets in the way of the big game.<br /> <br /> These days, more and more companies want workers to watch it in the office rather than call in sick.<br /> <br /> Thousands of eager Americans set work aside on Thursday - with or without their bosses' OK - to watch the U.S. men's soccer team play Germany in a key World Cup match.<br /> <br /> Fans flocked to official watch parties in places like Chicago's Grant Park, Washington's Dupont Circle and Boston's City Hall Plaza. Many more took part in supervisor-approved, morale-boosting breaks at the office.<br /> <br /> The National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted a party for its staff of about 100 with a TV and food. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved an extra hour of lunch for all state employees so they could watch the second half.<br /> <br /> Matt Rogers of the Washington-based Urban Institute, which held a party for its 400 employees, said the World Cup is a great way to build office relationships.<br /> <br /> "We don't have many moments where you can find a common interest among a big chunk of that population. Sports, and in particular a World Cup-type event with a national team - and tense and dramatic sporting moments - really bring people together," Rogers said.<br /> <br /> U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann even posted an online note for people to give to their bosses. It asked managers to excuse staff to watch the game for the good of the nation.<br /> <br /> "By the way, you should act like a good leader and take the day off as well. Go USA!" he wrote.<br /> <br /> At the Department of Transportation in Washington, officials were concerned that so many employees would watch the match online from their desks that it would slow down the agency's computer network.<br /> <br /> "We are going to monitor bandwidth utilization throughout the day and we'll plan to block the streaming sites should we encounter any network issues," Todd Simpson, the department's associate chief information officer, warned in an email to workers.<br /> <br /> John Challenger, the CEO of executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., estimated Thursday's match could cost U.S. companies $390 million in lost wages.<br /> <br /> But Challenger added that in an era of increasingly scattered workplaces, an investment in something that brings staffers together might not be such a bad idea.<br /> <br /> "It's what I would call a good buy for companies," Challenger said. "It's just like if you invite your team out to have drinks after work. You're spending it on enhanced morale...and trust among your people."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 11 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 11 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 11 months ago )
Professional Sports
Opinion: Firing brings more than just Richt into the spotlight
May you live in interesting times. Certainly Georgia football fans find themselves wrestling with that ancient Chinese proverb...
9:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Piedmont's Feldman announces retirement after 40-plus years on sidelines
After more than 40 years of coaching at several different levels, Piedmont volleyball coach Sid Feldman is calling it a career announcing his retirement earlier this week.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Georgia's Mark Richt not done coaching, will listen to anyone interested in giving him a job
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Mark Richt remains interested in another coaching job and said Monday he will listen "to anybody who has interest in me" as he prepares for his final game as Georgia's coach.Georgia...
1:10PM ( 9 hours ago )
UNG women's soccer lands five on D2CCA All-Region team
The University of North Georgia women's soccer team had five student-athletes selected to the 2015 D2CCA All-Southeast Region Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Monday.
By UNG Sports Communications
10:32AM ( 12 hours ago )
Georgia's Richt stepping down following 'mutual' decision
Mark Richt stepped down as Georgia's coach Sunday, leaving stunned players with one final bowl game with the man who ranks second in wins in school history.
By The Associated Press
7:35AM ( 15 hours ago )