America the Beautiful

This World Cup has already proven a lot to the United States.  For one, it proved that we as a country might actually like the sport.

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It’s not that we don’t like soccer, we just haven’t embraced it.  If we fully embraced it, we would call it by its original name: FUTBOL.

Sadly, we already have FOOTBALL in this country.  The two just sound too similar, so I don’t think that will change.  We just love FOOTBALL too damn much.  Hell, I don’t even have a category for soccer on this blog.  I really should get on that…..

tumblr_n6y4myJiQB1ro7kx2o1_400 But this is the first World Cup that America actually cared because it may have been the best for our country.  Without question, we witnessed some historic moments, we made it out of the “Group of Death” alive (and kicking, haha!) topped by some amazing late game dramatics in each of the knock-out rounds.

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If we want to break it down, this World Cup had ESPN and Univision breaking U.S. ratings for matches played not only by the U.S. but also other countries.  Twitter had a good time too.  Here is a heat map courtesy of Bleacher Report, illustrating the Twitter activity taking place during the final game, Germany vs. Argentina.

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(On a side note: I think one of the reasons why this World Cup was the most watched in the U.S. is because of its location: Brazil.  Brazil as known as a diverse country filled with rich culture, food, music, ultimately exuding a passionate fan base.  One of the greatest soccer players to ever play the game, Pele, is Brazilian.  You think politically heated Russia and a controversial Middle Eastern country, Qatar, will get similar ratings?  I can’t predict the future, but I can see the ratings take a little dive in these upcoming World Cups.)

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So where does this leave American soccer?

I think America is on a healthy track towards embracing soccer.  It will just take time.  Maybe a little longer than American soccer fans would like, but this isn’t something that needs to be rushed.  Like anyone showing up late to the party, you’re not going to take 5 tequila shots to make up for lost time.  Well, maybe….but that’s just asking for trouble…..and is completely dumb.

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Just like any sport we love in this country, we want it to be able represent a unique personal trait that we can be proud of, something that will ultimately define our character.  Usually those terms include strength, perseverance, bold, determination and just straight up awesomeness.  Our goalie, Timmy Howard, definitely proved to be worthy of that category, setting a World Cup record with 16 saves in a single game. Despite the loss, he persevered through the rest of the world’s disbelief in team U.S.A.  Take that other countries who always do better than us in the World Cup!

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America prides itself on heroes, especially when it comes to world events.  Why do you think we have a daily medal count during the Olympics?  We have to feel like we are the best.  And when it comes to soccer, we aren’t the best.  It’s that simple.

If American history has taught us anything, we know we don’t like to lose. And when we do lose, we seem to overlook EVERYTHING that made us losers.  Probably because we were drunk……

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Maybe we will be the best someday but for now soccer is merely just a sport we are OK at, something we don’t want to fully embrace in our culture until we know we can unequivocally WIN.  I KNOW WE WILL WIN.  The chant isn’t as catchy but at least exudes some type of American confidence.  Besides, we started off as the underdogs and haven’t done so bad for ourselves thus far.  Soccer could merely be just another stepping stone for our nation to prove to everybody else that we are the best.

Besides….we can’t always let the Germans win.

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Hispanics go BOOM.

OMG, Mexico did the unthinkable. They tied with Brasil….in a futbol game…..at the World Cup.  Damn, and the hits just keep on coming.

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And Chile just defeated Espana today.

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The World Cup can be one crazy place where dreams come true.  The top two teams have been knocked down to the minors, leaving the underrated and overlooked teams a chance to shine on the ultimate world stage.   Although Brasil has yet to be eliminated (adios Espana), it is still a pretty awesome sight to see these dominant teams be defeated by smaller countries (who also speak Spanish, bah! Granted I know Brasil doesn’t speak Spanish….but Portuguese is Spanish+French…..close enough).

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Who knows who will win.  My money is on Germany.  Because who wants to piss off the Germans?

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Does the U.S. have a chance?  Who the hell knows.  If Chile and Mexico can do it, why can’t the U.S.?

The U.S. have defeated Ghana and will be taking on the illusive Portugal Sunday.  They might not have anything to worry about if Cristiano Rinaldo decides not the play.  Not sure if the best player in the game right now will want to opt out and sit on the bench nursing his wounds.  Just look at those abs……

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We shall see if another smaller hispanic country will flourish this weekend, because if they do…..a little more respect should be given to the lil guys.  The World Cup is all about respect.  Come on, just look at how all the futbol players respect each other on the field.  Never lying, never acting out, never harming one another.  I think you can always count on a futbol player for being the most honest athlete out there.

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America, F*ck Yeah….?

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The 2014 Olympics have come and gone, leaving America feeling restless and defeated.  Although the country’s ill-fated Russian relations may have come into play, America still came up short, winning 0 medals in events they usually dominate.  Dominate you say?

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When I think of the word “dominate,” I ultimately think of power, individualism and (in America’s case) imperialism.  Throughout our nation’s history, we have experienced more victories than defeat when playing on the world stage: The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, The Civil War (depending upon which side you were on), WWI, WWII, The Gulf War.  The Olympics are no different. Why do you think we have a medal count?

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The Olympics are any country’s chance to shine through athletic prowess.  Hmm, Russia figured that out real quick.  But the United States had other accidental plans, plans of unintentionally showcasing vulnerability and submission.  Two character traits the country would rather not show to the rest of the world.  Come on, aren’t we supposed to be THE world super power?

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Is this a possible foreshadowing of our future world standing?  Is this our time to step our of the spotlight and let other nations take the wheel?  Who the hell knows, I’m just talking about sports here.

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However, our less than stellar performance at this year’s Winter Olympics did bring our country of bit of shame, embarrassment and disappointment.  Especially in events we usually (and were expected to) win. But hell, must we always feel the need to win, to gloat and to feel accomplished?  Maybe that’s why ESPN, the supposed WORLD wide leader in sports, Olympic coverage was so limited.  Isn’t it safe to assume that there would be at least one Olympic athlete making the coveted Top 10 during ESPN’s SportsCenter every night during the Olympic 2 week run?? Maybe that is too much to ask of ESPN, a channel which seemed to be fixated on only AMERICAN sports rather than Olympic athletes who are competing against, I dunno, the WORLD!  Sure, fine.  The way ice is made more exciting than Lebron’s broken nose.

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The reason we are feeling such disappointment right now IS because of the media.  Good GOD, the coverage was just so skewed to the point where it almost seemed like we weren’t winning any medals. I wouldn’t say the ridiculous media hype placed on the US Olympic athletes in Sochi was the reason why they lost, but it definitely didn’t help.

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Rather than brush off our national disappointment, as Americans we should embrace it.  Brushing it off would be the coward’s way out. The United States is a country that prides itself on itself, a nation that has defied all odds by winning independence, practicing foreign diplomacy and building the most fortified military in the world.  The United States has the financial ability to send as many athletes as they want to compete on foreign soil among the best in the world.  That is an achievement of itself and should bring no disappointment to any country.  Well, except for that Olympic ring fiasco…..sorry Russia…..and that guy from Norway eating it during the Opening Ceremony.

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The whining and sniffling is a mere spoiled child that is used to getting everything it wants.  Let us embrace the change.  This disappointment, this change, is something that will make this country stronger, a strength that will make us become more poised in the way we conduct ourselves abroad, the expectations we hold and the outcomes we don’t necessarily desire, but need.

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This experienced disappointment would have been ideal if it was the Summer Olympics.  Or perhaps this disappointment came at the right time.  Slap in the face America.  Wake up! Let us share the crown with other countries and rejoice in diversity.  What’s the fun in winning all the time anyways?  Just ask Michael.

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Wahh Wahh America.

The Winter Olympics are almost coming to a close and it ain’t looking so hot for Americans.  Despite the fact that the good ol’ US of A is leading the pack with a total of 25 medals, 8 being GOLD, America is still whining. Wahh Wahh Wahh, call the Whambulance.

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America during the Sochi Winter Olympics :

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Except in this case, everybody is noticing….it’s the freaking Olympics.  The world is watching America lose it.

First it’s the fall of glory golden snowboarder Shaun White, then it’s the Under Armor debacle with the US Speed Skating Team (an Olympic sport usually dominated by the US) and then Bob Costas’s eye infection.

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What the hell is going on?!

I think it’s a Russian conspiracy to make the US look like a bunch of whining babies.  That’ll teach Obama.  Well you can rest easy Putin, it’s working.

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Since when are we the only World Champions?

Did you ever notice after the end of a World Series or a Super Bowl, the winning team is always called “Champions of the World” ?

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Doesn’t that just sound wrong, ignorant and a bit narcissistic?  I just cringe ever time I hear that, which sucks because it’s the end of the game meaning I’m usually in my happy place.  Thank you Coors Light.

I believe this said title is a combination of a couple of things: Americans sports + Winners = National Arrogance

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But why only Football and Baseball?  Why no NBA or Hockey or Handball?

american-football-wallpapersFootball and Baseball would be the only sports to crown their winners, ‘World Champions,’ because those two sports are American.  Baseball is as American as apple pie and Football was invented in America.  Who are we kidding, who the hell else loves and plays football like we do?  Not a whole lot of other countries play football to say the least.  The whole conception of football is constantly referred to as a war, where the quarterback is the general and his troops (teammates) go into the battlefield.  The comparison alone should be any indication that the USA loves war, a feeling that exerts this country into dominance while creating this deluded sense of super power.  Which is why when football was conceived, some said Football was a new American pastime.   Hmmmmm let me think about that…that would be a big fat NO.

 

Baseball is America’s pastime.  No Duh.  Baseball isn’t compared to war or American dominance…the whole point is to stay safe and run home….which is perhaps why the sport is embraced and played by many countries…..countries that…..do i dare say….love it more than America?

Obviously I’m talking about Japan.  I don’t know if they necessarily love it more because it isn’t their historical ‘pastime’ but they sure do worship the sport.  Which is awesome for America right?  I love how Baseball is considered a more international sport as well as a catalyst for friendly foreign relations.

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So World Champions?  How the hell do we get away with that?

Both Football and Baseball were first played in America, when no other countries at the time were aware or even knew about the sports.  Baseball was first played in the 1800’s while Football was first played over 75 years ago.  So I guess by default if no other countries were played the sport, this meant that that their champion is the ‘World Champion.’  By the time other countries starting playing the sport and competing on a professional level, Super Bowl and World Series winners being considered ‘World Champions’ was common practice and stuck.  I mean ‘WORLD’ Series….come on. th

But is it at all possible to evolve from that and consider the rest of the world?  No, this is America, the best, the proud and true.  But even in the Olympics when a team or an individual wins, I can’t recall them being dubbed ‘World Champions,’ when in actuality they are because they are competing on a world level, competing with other countries.  Olympic athletes are the best of the best while we like to think that the football players in the NFL and baseball players in the MLB are the best of the best.  But they are only the best in the USA.  America doesn’t want to consider other countries because they don’t have to.

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Nothing but love for one of the greatest countries in the world, but when it comes to this word choice for our sport’s champions, is a bit nauseating.  The problem is there is no accountability.  America isn’t going to catch itself saying it let alone other countries going to correct it.  Other countries just don’t care because there is no point for debate.  America isn’t going to budge over for something that places them on a national pedestal and no other country wants to piss of America particularly over a very beloved and sacred topic.

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If anyone was to challenge this American narcissism would be a notable and well-respected broadcaster, like Bob Costas.  He hasn’t covered the Super Bowl nor World Series in about 10 years but if was to come back, I could see him calling out the ‘World Championship’ title as archaic and rude.  And then he would be fired.

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