I watched today’s match in bed. A large part of this was because it is a faux-pas in the Jerome house to wake up before my fiancee’s carefully timed alarm goes off. The compromise was that I’d not get up at gametime and start singing fight songs and blowing vuvuzelas in the bedroom. That said, let’s be honest. I don’t care that much. I mean, I love sport for the sake of sport. I do appreciate soccer, but usually it has to be at the World Cup level, or at least the Champions League level. For me, it is otherwise too disjointed. There are too many tournaments going on at once. There are too many leagues. Unless it is the World Cup or Champions League, I feel like, what is the point? Nothing gets settled. I like the NBA Finals. The World Series. The Super Bowl. World War II. They ended.
Regardless, this is the World Cup so I am more than enticed. Aside from the insanity of soccer flopping, it is amazing. Actually, the flopping is amazing too. I love to see a guy get a little kick to the padded shin and watch him lay on the ground like his balls exploded. Then, someone gives him water and he just goes back to flying around. It is a part of the game. Baseball is my true love, but I don’t like the part where they sing God Bless America in the 7th inning. Nothing personal, but I got it all in during the National Anthem. Don’t kill my buzz from 8 dollar beer.
Anyway, after seeing the U.S. robbed in their inspired comeback second half against Slovenia (quick, point to it on a map), I saw it almost happen again. A referee took back a sure goal off Clint Dempsey’s foot due to a phantom offsides. The equivalent of doing this in basketball would be to award a team losing by 5 points with 1 second left on the clock 9 free throws that each count for eleven points. A goal in the World Cup is so hard to come by. That’s why I have been so shocked to see TWO goals taken back from the US side, especially when both were so close (or not close in the US’s favor) that you can’t imagine a ref taking the game into his own hands so much. I mean, I am convinced there is a contingency of sorority girls from San Diego State that are going around South Africa just sexually teasing the shit out the referees and creating serious anti-American resentment.
So basically, when Donovan buried that final shot, I jumped around in my room partying like I watch soccer all the time. I made vuvuzela noises and threw shit off my balcony. I was just glad we got some justice. We fixed the problem ourselves. We made the top sixteen and that is something to be proud of.
That said, I was so glad we had a lot at stake, because I really got no idea how to root against Algeria. I found it confusing. Like, they all live in France and have super tight jerseys and their emblem had Arabic writing on it. I was just like, I got no idea where to start. I know Algeria is not an obscure nation, but give me a classic enemy. Give me like Russia from the 1980s. Hook me up with that.
Next round it looks like Ghana, who again I do not hate. In fact, they are kind of cool. So hopefully we can beat them and get back to the Germans or British, who we can hate on for entirely different reasons (the Germans for fighting us in WWI and WWII and England for making us fight the Germans in WWI and WWII). I think we need that deep motivation to push this team over the edge.
I am filled with national pride. That said, I think my favorite thing about winning the World Cup would be how quickly we’d forget about the win once NFL preseason football began. Not saying it’s right. Not saying it’s me. Just saying that’s what’d happen and the rest of the world would be super annoyed, which would make be very happy. I love annoying the world.