Legally though I am a political scientist...
It was my choice, when facing my advisor as a small, minute, pathetic little freshmen (6'5, 185 pounds...wet) I had no choice. I had to make a choice as she was barking at me, so I took a deep gulp, remembered those years of public speaking and unknowing, uncontrollably blurted out "POLI SCI!". To my disgust I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. However, I didn't back away. The next 3 1/2 years were in the thick of the world's history, the US government, curing cancer, balancing budgets, and talking of how we'd do a better job as the President of the USA then the...well...President. That was class. A constant 3 1/2 year debate on how to manipulate, call out, and tweak the necessary individuals of the world so that our agenda was better then others, we made more money then others, and the American dream was once again kept alive while Ronald Reagan praised us from the heavens.
Paints a lovely picture of the American dream, yes?
I say this because of what I witnessed a few days ago (Thursday) on the television, on the computer, and on twitter...alll...at...the...same...time (my laptop is begging me for an upgrade).
Three things come to mind, allow us to break them down, analyze them, and for myself...make some remark about them that lacks backing of any support (my professors would blush).
1. Thursday Night Football on ESPN- Let's start with the immediate issue, yes ESPN, I am going after you...again. After what wonders you did during the Men's World Cup, it's time that we remind you that once again, you should not touch soccer...we dare not risk you doing to soccer what you did to NASCAR. With that in mind. For some strange reason ESPN feels it needed to throw more college football into our schedules then what they air on Saturday's (as if the players don't have enough to bet on already). Listen, if it was Boise State, if it was Oklahoma, or heaven forbid even Alabama. I get it, that's an important team to you knuckle cracking red meat eaters. NORTH CAROLINA STATE AND FLORIDA STATE DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR BEANS!!!! I have seen powder puff football look more interesting then that. But because it was college football night on a Thursday ESPN was taken up. Meaning that in the event that a US NATIONAL TEAM OF ANY SPORT WAS PLAYING NO ONE WOULD EVEN KNOW THROUGH ESPN. However, that is why we have ESPN2.
2. MLS on ESPN2- I can't believe that I'm going to actually rip on the MLS. I feel rather ashamed to do so, but I feel that it is needed. Thursday night began playoff play between Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew, one of the better teams in the MLS. That's great, I'm excited, slightly ticked that the KC Wizards/Sporting KC/Whatever is going on over there wasn't in the playoffs, but none the less MLS is getting its recognition, even if it happens to be on the lower caste of ESPN2. With that said though, I also say this, it may not be entitled to being a true American, but I firmly believe that in my classes that I involved myself in, and the pain that I constantly went through getting assignments in one time, it goes like this: America comes before Corperate America. In other words: US WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM COMES BEFORE ANY AND ALL PRIVATE CORPERATE MLS GAMES!!!
3. Naturally, that brings up to USWNT. Also on Thursday the US Women's National Team started their CONCACAF qualifying play at Cancun, Mexico against Haiti. As many of you are or aren't aware, it was brutal...for Haiti. 5-0 US win, and it wasn't even our nicest game. We looked sluggish come the second half, it's like what I coach my players, you play to the level of your competition, be careful. If you knew of this score, then you also knew that the only place to view this game was via a match track at www.ussoccer.com OR www.concacaf.com through CONCACAF TV. I appreciate CONCACAF working things out to view these games, even if there isn't any commentators (could be a good thing considering the awful excuse of commentators I heard during the Portland/Santa Clara game last weekend...I've heard of golf announcers being more excited). I do appreciate that. What I don't appreciate is what ESPN, CNN, FOX News, and the rest of the US media completely chose to ignore:
To those who have been living under a rock for the past year allow me to share with you that Haita experienced one of its deadliest, costliest, and catostrophic disasters in it's existence. January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the small country and destroyed everything...once again destroyed...EVERYTHING. 230k lost their lives, probably more, and in a 3rd world country prior to, you can imagine the destruction to this day. Including a horrific outbreak of chlorea outbreak and a approaching hurricane. With all of this heartache and stress, the Haitian National Women's Soccer team still strapped up to play in CONCACAF. Unfortunately that meant the juggernaut American's were first up. As stated above, it was brutal. At the same time, uplifting that these dedicated women chose to show that Haiti is still there, no matter what. That's an excellent story line, but it gets better (Political Scientist coming out), what no major media outlet reported was this:
"GIFTS FROM HOME: The island nation of Haiti is still recovering from the devastating earthquake of last January 12 that reduced much of the country to rubble and took an estimated 230,000 lives, injured more than 300,000 and left one million homeless. To do their small part to help the Haitians, each U.S. player brought extra soccer gear, cleats, clothes, toiletries and other comfort items to Mexico and the players will pass on the items to the Haitian players at some point during the tournament. Said U.S. defender Stephanie Cox: “Once you cross that line, you show respect to them by playing at your best and playing your hardest, but it doesn’t take away from knowing that off the field, you can recognize the grief that they’ve been going through and the struggle their country has been going through and give some of our compassion to them." -US Soccer-
No one even knows. While we've been worried about Brett Favre, Lebron James, and the rest of athletic circus that makes up the United States, we completely missed the fact that these women, who work for a winning national program that gets little respect, that play for a professional league that gets little publicity, pulled up their socks and chose to make a difference...even if the rest of the world never knew.
Today we know. This write-up was not about the 5-0 win, it was not about Columbus getting it done in the MLS, and it sure as ever had nothing to do with Florida State. This wasn't about the NCAA, the MLS, WPS, or even the USWNT. This was about sportsmenship, this was about going the extra mile, getting dirty, and doing the right thing without the publicity. This wasn't about being American, Haitian, or any other background. Thursday night in Cancun, Mexico...it was about being human.
*This is the reason why I told my professors I could never go into politics...*
USAWNT picks up CONCACAF play tonight against Guatemala. You can view it at www.concacaf.com
Leslie Osborn has added me as a friend on Facebook
Alex Morgan has been found on twitter, stoked about tonights game, as expected
Anyone else not care about the World Series?
I am sporting a Göteborg IFK shirt today. Anyone know the inside joke about 'GLENN'?
Put in a new teaching application today. Hoping to take my roots with me to Wichita, Kansas. They need a Social Studies teacher, a soccer coach, and they enjoy new teachers...this could be my break.
Curious on my random thoughts throughout the week? Catch up with me on twitter: www.twitter.com/CoachDaugherty
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