In previous posts I have admitted to not being a big soccer guy; I just never got into it. I can honestly say that is in the process of changing now.
The drama of an event that takes place only once every four years like the FIFA World Cup and is no picnic to even qualify for is better than any of the crap that is being presented as entertainment on television. We got guys blaming poor performances on their incredibly hot girlfriends (losers), teams going on strike, underdogs over-performing, officials making questionable calls (so basically being officials), and some outstanding finishes.
You got to just love the journey that the U.S. team has had so far. It starts off with an improbable tie against the group favorite, England. The poor goalie has to still be kicking himself for letting that one get by.
Then you have the match against Slovenia. I almost feel sorry for these guys; now they would have never been in the position to possibly get to the next round had they lost the game against the U.S. as they should have. Regardless, the second half comeback by the U.S. to get the tie (2-2) was impressive to say the least.
Advertisers had to love how this was playing out. Thanks to England playing to a draw against Algeria, the final game in the Group stage would be the deciding factor. It was not just as simple as win and you are in for the U.S.; they had to be concerned with the goal differential with England as well.
I was intrigued. As a sports guy, I love the thrill of the chase, the agony of defeat, and the urgency that comes with playing for the chance to move on. It almost made me glad to be out of work and able to watch the game on television.
Man, can it get any better?!? I think not! It was torture to watch England go up; a win would put them into the next round, but a loss would not necessarily knock Slovenia out. A scoreless tie by the U.S. in their final match against Algeria and Slovenia would win the tiebreaker (the goal differential).
With time ticking down for the U.S., I found myself wishing it was much later in the day- I wanted a beer yeah, I know- It’s five o’ cock somewhere). I could not believe that it was coming down to something like this; failing to move on without ever actually losing.
And then there was Landon Donovan. Time expired, playing on injury time, the next time play stops and the game is over, and this guy makes the lone goal of the game to send the U.S. to the next round. USA wins 1-0.
Congratulations U.S. team! Not only are you representing the never say die attitude of your country extremely well, but you are converting people like me into soccer fans. Come Saturday I will be watching the USA/ Ghana match with a cold beer in hand.
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