I’m caught. Hook, line, and sinker.
I’ve got a fever and the only remedy is more World Cup.
That’s right. Me, the former hater of all soccer, is in love with it. It’s amazing. I want crosses and headers and corner kicks and yellow cards and strikes and flops and ties and vuvuzelas and bald Bradley’s and flags and everything. I want it all.
If you re-read that list you will indeed see I’ve embraced the flopping. Get over it. It’s part of the game just like steroids, USC recruiting, and John Calipari. It happens, now deal. Flops and dives create set plays and 33% of all goals in the 2006 World Cup were scored on set plays. It works and winners play to win.
I used to think soccer was 90-minutes of run and kick; a glorified kindergarten recess if you will. No. It’s incredible. It’s a grueling, heart and gut check 90-minutes of strength and endurance. Goals are created not stumbled upon. I truly see it as “The Beautiful Game.”
Oh yeah, and the US advanced to the elimination stage by winning Group C. NBD. Didya see it? Ya know, the one where keeper-extraordinaire, Tim Howard, outlet the ball to Landon-the-Conqueror who forwarded it to Jozy Altidore who missed but Landon-the-Fearless found the back of the net in the ninty-first minute? That one.
And Landon-the-Magnificent came through. He’s played well throughout the Cup and should continue to do so. An iconic, American athlete, on the biggest stage, in the biggest moment delivered. Hyperbole time sports writers?
I’m not about to follow the English Premiere League and certainly not MLS. I’m not going to collect soccer cards or remember stats. And I’ll undoubtedly never call it futbol. But I no longer hate or fear The Beautiful Game I didn’t know. It just took some patience and understanding (take note far-righters).
So, onward and forward it is for the kickin’ Yanks. This Saturday, go find an American bar with an American crowd get an American pre-noon drink, definitely high-five, and cheer for the red-white-and-blue.
Take heed World, for it’s Dempsey, Bradley, and Howard then go hit the shower.