Ryan Walton '17 was on the front row showing off a Texas A&M flag during U.S. vs. Portugal in Manaus, Brazil.
And yes everyone... That was me with the a&m flag pic.twitter.com/sqCDhMT5t0— Ryan Walton '17 (@ryanwwalton) June 23, 2014
UPDATE: Ryan was also at U.S. vs. Germany
Telco: It's a hell of a trip to Brazil, what made you want to head out to a World Cup?
Ryan: Well, I fell in love with the game pretty much during the 2010 World Cup, and I told myself I was going to go to Brazil for 2014. Then last year, I was paying close attention to FIFA's Twitter and monitoring when to apply for tickets. I applied for category 1 for the entire US group stage and got sideline tickets for Portugal and endline for Germany. I was absolutely stunned when I got the tickets in the mail and the ticket said row A.
But yea, soccer runs my life. I'm trying out for club in the fall and really hope to make it.
Telco: Some people have quit jobs to go to a World Cup. Did your dad do anything crazy to get there with you, or just take some vacation time from work?
Ryan: No, nothing like that. He took 10 days off from work and I'm out of summer school and took off work. But the traveling to get here has been ridiculous. It was 22 hours of flights and layovers to get here, 7 hours of travel to Recife. Next, it'll be 22 more back to Dallas. It's worth it though.
Telco: Are you out there with any other Ags, or have you seen any on the trip?
Ryan: I'm here with my father. I have been wearing my flag around my back in Manaus and have gotten lots of Howdys and Gig 'Ems. [There's also] a lot of people doing Johnny's cash out sign in my direction.
Telco: What made you decide to represent with an Ag Flag as opposed to USA?
Ryan: Well, I already have plenty of USA stuff that I'm wearing and I thought it'd be cool to represent A&M on the world stage. I never expected the attention that I'm getting. It's pretty crazy.
Telco: How's the mood out there right now among Americans following Portugal's match-tying goal in stoppage time?
Ryan: Feelings are mixed. If you had asked me pre-match if I'd take a tie, I would've said absolutely. But the way it happened was a kick in the gut. Everyone's optimistic we'll make it through though!
Telco: Being class of '17, you didn't bear witness to the Franchione and Sherman eras. Have you experienced anything that emotionally draining in sports before?
Ryan: Never in my life. The atmosphere at Kyle Field is incredible no doubt, but the vibe in the air here was like nothing I've ever experienced. I can tell you without a doubt, there is nothing more intense than a World Cup match. I can only imagine what the final is like.
Telco: Where are you sitting Thursday so we can watch for you?
Ryan: I'm on the eighth row on the endline. So you probably won't see me there but I'll try to get on!
Telco: Bonus question: Have you witnessed or been a part of a Surra de Bunda [NSFW] yet?
Ryan: No, I have not! I may have to add it to my bucket list though.