Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Lament

Well, if you checked the blog today for some great, important topic, you will soon be disappointed. Today, I am only lamenting the overrating and underperformance of the US Soccer team in the World Cup. I did my best to stay positive when we lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic. "It's just the first-round jitters," I told myself. They'll settle down for the next one. The game with Italy came, and though it would be a tough match, there was still hope for recovery. Red cards ruled the day, and McBride was offsides on the go-ahead goal. In fact, the only goal we got was off an Italian defender's mistake.

So, coming into today, no US player had actually scored a goal during this World Cup. There was great hype, and because it was "just Ghana," all the US really needed to worry about was whether Italy would beat the Czech Republic, making an advance to the second round possible. As it turned out, that wasn't all we had to worry about. After Reyna lost the ball just outside the goal box and we fell behind, my stomach turned. Then, in the 45th minute, Beasley crosses to Dempsey, who scored our first real goal of the Cup, and hope returned. Oh, but what happened next? A call goes against us in extra time and a penalty kick puts Ghana up 2-1.

The second half came and went, and by the 70th minute of the 90-minute match, my hope was all "Ghana". When it was finally over (well, it was over long before the clock ran out, but you know what I mean), I realized I just wasted 2 hours of my life. I could have done so much with my time. I lament watching, but the unfortunate reality is this...I would probably watch again.

Why? I'm conditioned for it. You see, I graduated from the University of Memphis, and being a University of Memphis alumnus and fan, I am set up for disappointment every time football season rolls around. I'm starting to feel like this is how I should approach the World Cup...even if the media promises a better team and we have a #4 world ranking.

So, what will I be doing in 2010, if the Lord hasn't returned? I will probably waste 6 more hours of my life, watching the overrated and underperforming US Soccer team play 3 preliminary games. I will hope for wins, I will cheer for wins, I will be frustrated when we lose, but I will not be surprised when the round of 16 goes on without us...even though, I'm sure, we'll have "the most promising team in World Cup history."