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Soccer is not my sport. It never has been and it never will be. It is probably the only sport outside of polo that I have not played a full competitive game of and I have zero intention of doing so. I’m not going to go on another repetitive and hateful tirade consisting of buzzwords including (but not limited to) “boring”, “tie games”, and “flops”, but I wanted you know my stance on the game. That being said, America is my country. If the United States fielded a cricket team and either ESPN or NBC decided to broadcast the world championships, I would wake up at 8:00 A.M. on my day off, don the red, white, and blue, drink 15 Budweiser Ameri-cans, and cheer us on to victory over whichever insolvent country we might be facing.
And that is exactly what is happening with this World Cup. The majority of Americans are not getting hyped because our soccer team is doing well; they’re getting hyped because AMERICA is doing well. We are the big swinging dick of the world and even though this is not our game, we still want to dominate it. I mean, let’s get real for a second. If any of our top-tier athletes actually decided to pursue soccer as a career, there would be little competition on the world stage. Go ahead and picture Calvin Johnson standing between those posts and let me know if you think he would let a ball get past him. Yeah, that’s what I thought. But, I digress.
Hearing Alexi Lalas out there talking about how soccer is going to become America’s next top sport or Jay Bilas, an American commentator, dropping a hard “fútbol” is utterly laughable. Living in Chicago, I am bombarded with talk about how this World Cup is going to lead to a spike in popularity of our local soccer team, the Chicago Fire. If you think I — or anyone else in my fine city, for that matter — am going to take my happy ass up to Toyota Park in Bridgeview to catch a game in the ninth-best soccer league in the world, then you are a god-damned glue sniffer. I assume that sentiment is shared among every major city outside of Seattle. Those bastards love that team.
For the first time in a very long time, loving this country has become trendy. While a lot of us, myself included, have been boasting American exceptionalism since we crawled out of the womb, the Johnny-Come-Lately’s are finally beginning to comprehend the utter magnificence of the land of the free and the home of the brave. As I stream the United States/Belgium game in my cubicle today, trying to avoid detection from upper management, I’ll be as geared up as any soccer hooligan in existence. Though my B.A.C. will not be at its ideal level, I’ll be high as a kite off of Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty and our Founding Fathers. I’ll be living and dying with every set piece and shot on goal, not because we are playing soccer, but because there is a team of my countrymen out there proving our superiority in front of the entire world in our planet’s greatest sporting event.