God Bless America

As I take a moment from proofreading to cook and eat dinner, I thought I would share something with all of you. I am an unapologetic football/soccer fan. This is not a secret. The thing is not everyone one out there understands how it is to be a fan of the beautiful game. Of all the sports I have watched over all the years, this one has resonated with me the most. On an emotional level this game rocks me. Every match feels like an important match and important matches feel like the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA Finals all wrapped up in one for me. I don’t think I can throw the Stanley Cup into that mix though. I think of all the sports fans out there, Hockey fans might be able to relate to this.

Yesterday the United States Mens Soccer team played their last match of the World Cup group stage. Of all the teams, I believe we played the best and most consistent soccer for the whole group. Going into yesterday’s game, we should have had a win and a draw, but due to officiating that was nothing short of criminal, we only had two draws.

During yesterday’s match there was another questionable call. This one no where near as terrible as the match before, but a bad call all the same. The call cost us a goal. During our match, England took the lead in their match. This meant that if England won and we tied, our World Cup was over. And not just over, but taken from us by terrible officials.

So the match rolls on till we reach the 90th minute and we’re still tied. The ref adds a few minutes for general stoppage and injury time during the match. It looked like it was all over. I vowed to not watch the rest of this World Cup out of anger if we didn’t advance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a sore loser. If we lose, we lose. We weren’t the better team that day. I just can’t stand the thought of us having our chance taken from us. I was angry and depressed. Then it happened…

Landon Donovan, US Soccer’s poster boy, scores. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I hugged my mother who was watching the match with me. I accidentally punched my ceiling because it’s too low and I was too excited. Then, to top it all off… I cried. Not a lot, but enough. Don’t think I was alone either. This was the view at Columbus Crew Stadium at their viewing party;

So this is what you’re missing out on America. This is an emotional sport. If you let soccer into your heart, you will become so passionate about something that you would actually punch a little girl for wearing a Beckham jersey. This is soccer and it’s in U.S.

Say something... I dare you.