If you don’t know why this is funny, you really are missing out.
Category Archives: Just Cool
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I’ve needed to settle down for awhile after that riveting soccer game that saw Landon Donovan score the game winner in stoppage time before writing this post. I’ve done that, now let me tell why this game (and win) were so important to the popularity of soccer in the U.S.A.
There’s basically three camps in the United States when it comes to soccer.
1. There’s the “soccer sucks and the only way I’m watching is if I’m being tortured” camp.
2. The “I’m not a soccer fan, but I watch the World Cup and I’ll go to an MLS game if I get a ticket” group.
3. The “I have three fantasy league soccer teams with players from the leagues in Brazil, Greece, and Russia” camp.
In the past, the second and third groups have watched the U.S. soccer team with high hopes. The team has been alleged to be good but in reality have flamed out far below expectations. Moreover, there have been plenty of opportunities for the U.S. team to get that signature win which makes Americans take notice. A 1-0 loss to Germany in 2002, A tie to Italy in 2006, and the 2009 Confederation loss to Brazil after leading 2-0. In each case, the fans were told, the team played well but just was unlucky to win. We’ll get ’em next time.
It’s been obvious for years that the only way soccer gets any credibility is to get results and do some damage on Soccer’s biggest stage. This World Cup gave the U.S. the perfect chance. No overinflated expectations as in 2006, when the U.S. was ranked 5th in the world, nor any “just happy to be here” sentiments. Win or failure. An ideal most Americans, even the non-soccer fans, understand.
Then there’s been the way they played so far. See, the only way Americans are gonna watch a sport they normally wouldn’t is if there is drama and excitement. They need riveting theater. This World Cup has given it to them.
First, they come back against England, yes with the help of an atrocious goal, but they came back nonetheless.
Theater. They showed some true “American” grit.
Then they suck against Slovenia, but come back late to score two goals and the winner, only to be screwed by “the call.”
Theater. There was action, drama, and outrage.
Everything led up to the game with Algeria, and the stakes were right where any red blooded American wants them. Back against the wall. Win or die.
For 90 minutes they let the drama simmer. Lost chances? Check. More villainy? Check. The specter of those “unlucky soccer kids who played well but can’t win” hanging in the air? Definitely check. Add to that England’s goal that cemented the “win or die” storyline and you have the perfect set up.
And as the seconds kept ticking away, the tension built and built. We’re talking “will they find the bomb in the schoolyard in time’ tension.
Then….as “official time” ended and all hope was lost, Tim Howard, goalkeeper, saves the day, keeping the ball out of the net and throwing (throwing?) the ball some 60 yards to a streaking Donovan…..
Donovan pass the ball to Altidore…….
Altidore gets the ball in to Dempsey who HAS THE SHOT SAVED!
BUT THE GOALIE CAN’T HOLD IT AND…..
long pause to hold breath.
DONOVAN SCORES!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!
Bars, offices, schools, my couch, erupted in cheers. The only people not happy were the Hollywood writers who wished they’d thought of this moment for a script.
Even more important was that millions of Americans saw a soccer game, a 1-0 soccer game, that was the total opposite of the “boring, unwatchable tripe” memo that sports talk hosts had been feeding them for years.
Now they understand what the world has known for years. Soccer can be pretty darn exciting.
So do all the Americans who cheered Donovan’s late heroics start following the MLS? Of course not, but some will. And do all those fans leave, if and when the U.S. loses against Ghana, or Uruguay, or South Korea? Some, but that really doesn’t matter very much because now U.S. Soccer has produced a split second where all Americans, soccer fans and detractors experienced what the game of soccer could give them. Drama, excitement, exhilaration.
U.S. soccer now has its moment, and nothing or no one can take that away.
I’m a firm believer in conservation. However, I’m also a capitalist. I have always had disdain for the folks who carry on about “globalwarmingcoolingclimatechange” and then brag about driving their ’68 Volkswagon Bus cross-country, or those that fly privately to far off countries to complain about various climate issues.
You know the ones. The “Enviro-scolds.”
You want me to buy a cleaner car? Make one that takes me up the mountains at 75 like my car now. Make recycling easier and profitable. Incentives work way better than punishments.
This said, you can see why Kevin Costner is my newest idol.
Costner’s $24 million centrifuge machine has a Los Angeles-perfect name, “Ocean Therapy.”
Placed on a barge, it sucks in oily water, separates out the oil and spits back clean water.
Awesome idea! What makes it better is Costner’s quote about his new device.
“It’s prepared to go out and solve problems, not talk about them.”
I need to say this upfront. I’m generally pro-bike on the roads. I give them as much space as I can when passing. Heck, I even have a bike I ride around town now and then. Bicycles are a great mode of transportation.
What I don’t like, however, are the bicyclists who don’t obey the traffic laws, are belligerant, and basically have no respect for drivers, like me, who go out of their way to be courteous.
The worst is the Critical Mass folks. Having been caught in one of their protests, I can tell you first hand that they had no respect for me or other drivers.
So this in today’s Daily Camera gave me a smile. It talks about a “Critical Mass” with cars protest to stop bicycles from hogging the roads. Part of the flier reads:
“On July 25, in celebration of driver’s rights, many cars will use the Left Hand Canyon Road, drive slowly and many may break down unexpectedly, blocking areas to the cyclists on the return leg of the ‘Sunrise Century,’” the anonymous, one-page note reads. “Many cars and safe drivers all working together can send a message to the Statehouse to restrict cycling on our roads which are our only alternatives during family emergencies, commuting and required duties.”
I love it! It’s about time that drivers employed the same tactics to bicyclists that they have had to endure for years. Of course the reaction from bicyclists is hysterical, and predictable:
David Flores, 46, an avid cyclist who lives near Lee Hill and Left Hand Canyon drives, said he and his neighbors found the fliers stuffed in their mailboxes Thursday.
“There is nothing to be gained in trying to line the roads with cars to try and disrupt people on bicycles,” Flores said. “I don’t hope cyclists unite and decide to block U.S. 36 to make a point.”
Flores said the tone of the letter is obviously meant to incite a confrontation during the ride, despite its suggestion that pulling over to “inspect” vehicles for “engine trouble, sounds or other safety issues” is a form of civil disobedience.
“If that happens, there will be either an accident or some kind of confrontation,” Flores said. “There are people who will go out of their way to light the powder keg on both sides.”
Flores is right. It’s obviously a form of civil disobedience to incite a confrontation. It’s what Critical Mass bicyclists have been doing for years. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, however, bicyclists don’t like it.
Well turnabout is fair play and it heartens me to know that there is still a bit of rebellious spirit left in Boulder.
As a soccer coach, wins are fun and losses are tough, but it’s off the field accomplishments that make me the proudest. Over the weekend, one of my captains did me proud.
Tomas Garcia accomplished something no one in his family has ever done. On Saturday, he graduated from the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) with the hope of becoming an architect.
Excellent news, but they didn’t report that Tomas was one of only a few graduates to not only win a state ACE scholarship but receive a national ACE scholarship as well.
Great job Tomas!!