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World Cup gives U.S. a new holiday; Germany wins 1-0, both teams advance

(CNN) -- It was still breakfast time Thursday when the unnamed World Cup fan from suburban New York gulped down a cold beer at Jack Demsey's Pub in midtown Manhattan, New York.

 

\"I actually got out of work with a concussion,\" he said.

 

For many early risers on the day the United States soccer squad faced mighty Germany in the globe's biggest sporting spectacle, the breakfast of champions included pints of stout, ale and cider, fireball shot specials and spicy chicken wings.

 

For 90-some minutes starting at noon Thursday, most of America seemed to stop. Germany won 1-0, but both teams still advanced to the next round.

 

A year of method acting helped the superfan with his concussion charade, as did a \"real doctor's note from a real doctor,\" he said.

 

\"I had to be off for two weeks, and I couldn't think or do anything,\" he told CNN on Thursday. \"I put that (method acting) to use as a diehard soccer fan.\"

 

Throughout the country -- from outdoor viewing events in the nation's capital, New York and Chicago, to office lunch parties and crowded sports bars -- Thursday, June 26, 2014, became a national holiday of sorts. Meetings were canceled. Students played hooky. Doctors' letters were forged. Some bosses just gave up and put on the game.

 

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the man who transformed Germany into a powerhouse team, on social media gave America's workforce permission to take a day off. His note said, in part, that the absence is for a \"good cause\" and that Team USA needs the \"full support of the nation\" in order to advance to the next round.

 

On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted back: \"NYS stands strongly behind you. I'm approving an extra hour for lunch today.\"

 

On Sunday, 20,000 people showed up for the World Cup watch party at Chicago's Grant Park for the USA-Portugal match, CNN affiliate WBBM reported. But Thursday's crowd, which was expected to be bigger than Sunday's, turned out to be about 5,000.

 

At Grant Park, Wyatt Lind said he told his boss he wasn't coming in, according to WBBM.

 

\"I said I'll pay you ... and he said that's fine. He understood,\" Lind said. \"There's no way I was going to miss this game.\"

 

The final score didn't seem to matter. As the superfan from Long Island, New York, put it, his real affliction was not a concussion.

 

\"The only thing I had was soccer fever, and the only prescription is more soccer,\" he said. \"When we win, it is the greatest feeling in the world. It's one of the rare sports that really shows the patriotism that is America.\"

 

It also didn't matter that the two teams had met nine times and that Germany won six of those times. Or that Germany had won its third game in the last seven World Cups.

 

One woman tweeted a picture of work site with a sign saying, \"Closed for the World Cup Game.\" She wrote, \"My boss actually can be kind of cool sometimes. #GoUSA.\"

 

Another tweet had images of more than a dozen boxes of pizza stacked in front of a big-screen TV in a conference room. \"Moments before the office #WorldCup party,\" it read.

 

And a New York Times photographer tweeted an image of President Barack Obama watching the game aboard Air Force One while flying to Minneapolis.

 

At an outdoor viewing event in Brooklyn, under the Manhattan Bridge, Ricoh sales manager Dave Bogart joined his team of workers -- in USA gear -- across the street from their office to watch the match.

 

\"Great team unity,\" one of the workers, Fred Jackson, said about the co-workers getting together to watch.

 

\"Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your sales manager drunk,\" said co-worker Alex Kuznetsov, who was rooting for the U.S. even though he thought the team had no chance against Germany.

 

CNN's Richard Roth, Chris Welch, Brian Vitagliano, Elizabeth Landers and Marisa Marcellino contributed to this report. 

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