On the eve of the one of the biggest games of my life, I felt it, urged, and somewhat expected to feed a little non-literal, statistic lacking thoughts towards the USA/Brazil match from Sunday.
I could take the stand that I did at the moment of the red card, the penalty kick, the next penalty kick, or even the injury time.
We wouldn’t be here talking about women’s soccer without it though, would we?
“Absolute insanity” tends to be the terminology I’ve been using to describe the wacky events to my co-workers who don’t even know what a soccer ball looks like.
I must admit though, a few days afterwards, while still reflecting on the game, basking in the media glory, and noticing a USWNT article on each major newspaper in the US, I’ve started to compile a deeper thought towards what this game meant:
Patriotism is alive and well.
It is no lie that American’s can be a very arrogant people group [speaking as an American], it is no lie that in many instances many American’s revert back to the phrase, “we’re better than you, and we know it”, and it is definitely no lie that we do have the tendency to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the world.
There is a reason behind it.
While for some, they believe this level of arrogance/pride/patriotism is a God-given right, for others [including this writer], it is more on the progress of the American soul.
We couldn’t break away from England [no offense].
We couldn’t form a constitution.
We couldn’t survive a civil war.
We couldn’t help in World War I and World War II.
We couldn’t develop technology to furthering humanity.
We couldn’t land on the moon.
We couldn’t build a personal computer.
We couldn’t win the ’99 World Cup.
We couldn’t create an environment where women’s soccer is the fastest growing college sport.
We couldn’t recover from the ’07 World Cup.
We couldn’t win the ’08 Olympic’s against Brazil.
We couldn’t stand strong after losing to Mexico.
We couldn’t make any noise after losing to Sweden.
We couldn’t recover with 10 people on the field.
We couldn’t make up a 2-1 deficit with a 122′ goal.
We couldn’t have made that save on the third penalty kick.
We couldn’t have made that last kick worth so much.
We couldn’t move on to the semi-finals.
We couldn’t grab the hearth of a nation.
We couldn’t make some noise through the world.
Throughout the history of the United States a common theme has been overcoming what many deem to be impossible. It’s our nature, it’s the cards we’ve been dealt, and decisions must be made, and some days we don’t do, but for some reason, when the stakes are high, we tend to come through.
That’s why I’m proud to be an American.
In a month of which the US celebrates its own identity [with the irony of blowing up fireworks from elsewhere in the world], this World Cup could not have come at a better time. With the NFL and NBA both going on lock-outs, and MLB being…well…MLB, the public in many ways were forced to cram down several minutes worth of women’s world cup glory.
Not much in the world, that I could imagine, would ever be able to match the media frenzy of Derek Jeter having his 3000 hit as a Yankee.
I haven’t heard of Jeter since Sunday.
In a time and place where women’s professional sports seem to struggle, this could be the silver lining. The same silver lining at 122 minutes into a match.
Obviously more to come over the next few days. More nasty tweets, Facebook bullying, and FIFA questioning will come one way or another, but I tell you this…whether you love them, or hate to love them, there is a good chance that there will be an American flag waving somewhere in Germany come Thursday.
Pull out your apple pie.
Break out your glass of iced sweet tea.
Yell at the driver in the next lane.
And tomorrow, just for 90 minutes, dare yourself to dive into the frightening, yet fruitful world of being an AmeriCAN.