How many Andrés Cantores does the World Cup need?

Oh, Dios mío, I thought, I had better call 911. A neighbor across the main road was hollering in distress. I couldn’t quite make out what he was hollering, until he

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yelled a prolonged “GOOOOOOOOOOL! GOOOOOOOOOOL! GOOOOOOOOOOL!”

Oh, my God, I thought, I’m glad I didn’t call 911. Obviously, the only emergency was that the United States was ahead in its World Cup match, and I happened to live only the length of five fútbol fields away from an Andrés Cantor impersonator.

Even if you don’t know the name Andrés Cantor, you know the sound. He’s the Argentina-born, California-raised soccer announcer on Telemundo (formerly on Univision) who goes basically batshit crazy over goals. English-language TV stations run video of his famous “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” for comic relief; in fact, he appeared on “The Simpsons.” He’s not really an old yeller; he’s a much-beloved fixture of televised soccer games – much so that GEICO and Volkswagen used him and his “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” in commercials.

If you’re watching soccer and you’re caught up in the game, Cantor’s “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” reminds you of the whistle on a pent-up steam valve. It’s exciting. It’s part of the game. It makes you wonder whether a team of paramedics stands by just in case Andrés Cantor calls a really, really big goal.

Coming out of the blue, however, in the middle of the forest on a sunny day with birds chirping and butterflies fluttering by, an unexpected “GOOOOOOOOOOL!” sounds like a crisis. It takes some getting used to – but we will, the way we become inured to sirens on the mountain highway. By the time the World Cup wraps up next month, we had better hope that nobody who needs help hollers for it like Andrés Cantor.

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