The World Cup is the time I simultaneously become the most unpatriotic and most patriotic American ever.
The problem is, my worldwide sporting event loyalties lie in a number of places. USA because, well, duh. England because of my family and also because most Brits just prefer to be doom-and-gloom about their team’s chances and darn it everyone deserves a cheerleader, even the English. México because México is the love of my life and watching them brings back memories of sitting in a room in the heart of Mexico City in 2007 during a Mexico vs. USA match and being one of two Americans there. And finally, Spain because Spain is about to become the other love of my life (210 days!) and Spain also
has had a really good chance of making it to the final (better than the aforementioned teams that is).
But, as the strikethrough should forewarn you, my dear Spain imploded big time. They “laid an egg” so to speak. If Spain was a dragon attacking the town of World Cup, it just poofed out white smoke, not fire (and barely at that).
I was almost in tears (this also might have been due to my allergies). Spain, the defending world champion, is out of the tournament. Netherlands, then Chile, boom. Done. I’ll be done mourning oh, maybe in January when I go to the beach in Spain.
England lost to Italy but otherwise is holding steady. Mexico pulled off the most exciting 0-0 draw in World Cup history against host Brazil (Let’s talk about sports-induced heart attacks). And USA.
Oh USA. How proud I am to be an American etc. etc. etc.
Ghana is the bane of this team’s existence. Little, tiny, freaking Ghana. Of all places to be the kryptonite/Achilles heel/chink in the armor of this team….Ghana.
But no more. After a glorious 2-1 opening match win, the USA has shook off that demon and (KNOCK ON WOOD KNOCK ON WOOD KNOCK ON WOOD) is poised to possibly take down Portugal and advance past the group rounds. Seriously John Brooks (aka Somebody Not Named Landon Donovan*) got the winning goal. A benchwarmer. Check out some epic Wikipedia page edits for Brooks. My personal favorite is “The greatest American since Abraham Lincoln.” It’s a nice touch.
And this is why I love the World Cup, friends.
Teams come out of nowhere. Athletes come out of nowhere. Soccer powerhouses are no “sure thing” (*sob*). And in this golden age of American football and a 43-8 Super Bowl, a 0-0 “fútbol” game can still enthrall me.
So viva la World Cup!
Let’s watch some proper football!**
*Too soon? I’m still not sure if I’m upset by that decision or not but I’m trusting Klinsmann for now. Also a note: I literally was just scrolling through TV channels and came across a show called, “Landon Donovan: la Leyenda” (LD: The Legend). Spanish-language channels know what’s up.
**Joke. Still hardcore American Football fan no worries please don’t bring out the pitchforks