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Maybe You're Part Of The Problem

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Since I never met a journalist who didn’t want to get their two cents in on a popular storyline I guess I can’t fault the journalistic masses for expounding their views of the World Cup.  It goes with the territory.  Soccer in America has been jump started so many times, rebranded, shaken and stirred, and analyzed to the nth degree it's not hard to wonder why we see articles written claiming its stupidity. Recently I've seen articles such as "You’re excited about a loss, count me out," "It’s Socialism," or "Who plays for a tie?."

Look we’ve been down this road before.  I saw it four years ago.  We get it okay, but if the game is so out of touch with good old American values then why do people care?  Perhaps because it is something bigger than just us.  At last count there were 196 countries including our own and in every one of them soccer (or football or futbal) is played.  Why?  Because all it takes is a ball.  No bats, no shoulder pads, and no helmets.  It can be played on a regulation pitch, it can be played in a patch of dirt.  In its essence, its just about a ball, talent, and finding the back of the net.  It is truly the world’s game.

For one month every 4 years, the world gathers to watch.  I know you Olympic lovers out there claim something similar but truly are the Olympics an even playing field?  Million dollar speed skating suits, training facilities, and what not, are hardly balance.  And you haters will claim that even today’s soccer is clouded by professional leagues and training academies.  If that matters why then is the US so historically bad in Soccer?  If money mattered in the beautiful game then the US (hey where was China this year?) ought to have had at least 3-4 World Cup trophies sitting in the case by now.

What I’m getting at is - soccer appeals to the individualistic nature of the masses.  A desire to be part of something more.  When we send out 11 countrymen to do battle we stand behind them and we stand with them against the world in friendly competition.  We stand next to our fellow Americans because we root for a common cause.  Too often that very same person we stand next to we would bicker with about their views on any number of other things.  So you journalistic nay-sayers, what is wrong with coming together and setting aside differences?  And yet some of you write that it is just phooey, nonsense the way we root for some silly game.  Maybe Soccer can tell us something about us and teach us something - like a tie might matter and sometimes there aren’t always winners and losers.  It is ok to find common ground.  Perhaps that is why American’s come together to cheer because for once we are united in our desires.  It might be something we’re missing.

So you can continue to whine and moan about the game.  You will be left behind in the wake wondering why no one listened or cared.  That is ok.  For one moment it’s not about being from a red or blue state, it's about rooting for the red, white and blue because it matters and maybe you can’t understand that because in your mind, winning is the only thing that matters.