Sunday, June 23, 2002
For the longest time, America was pretty hapless at soccer. This worked well enough for all parties, since the Rest of the World could pretend every four years (not counting the Olympics) to be equal, with Uruguay and Germany being on a level playing field (I crack myself up). The US wasn't very good, and that was okay since we didn't really care, either. This offended the Rest of the World, but the fact that we would never come close to winning the World Cup helped console them. It was kind of like the UN, since the US didn't really care about it and everyone else pretended to be equal.
The apple cart has been upset. The US did better than Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, Sweden, and France (so did Senegal (snicker)). We did as well as Spain and England, falling out only when facing the mighty Germans (who all look as though they're ready to sit down and design a car or climb into the cockpit of a Messerschmitt and kick some tail). That wasn't supposed to happen. Looks like Happy learned how to putt. Uh-oh...
Illusions have been shattered. For the longest time, America was a power in baseball, basketball, hockey, and just about every other sport which we cared anything about (as well as things like speed-skating, which we don't). Now, we're kicking donkey and taking names at something that most Americans couldn't care less about. You can almost anticipate the UN resolution condemning this American simplisme. The Rest of the World has riots and wars when games don't go the way they want; Americans go to the bathroom in overtime.