Jacinto in Cairo

13 June 2006

Volunteering for ridicule

I don't believe the US deserves to have a good soccer team. Not enough national heart goes toward the sport, so I think it would be plain unfair for the country to excel. Thankfully, Bruce Arenas and his team seem to agree. Nonetheless, I do feel enough loyalty (?!) and curiosity to at least watch their World Cup games.

Now, as you might expect, US soccer is about as popular as US (link 1) policy (link 2). Well, even with my beard it's no secret I'm American, and I did cheer for the US, albeit subtly and half-heartedly. In fact, I felt like I was a good visitor, allowing myself to be the object of the other viewers' ridicule as Team USA failed to create chances (Eddie Johnson's second half performance being the only bright spot) and the Czech team periodically produced moments of brilliance.

My status as vicarious whipping boy for the sins of my country vanished as soon as the Italy-Ghana game began. Oddly, support for Ghana was not universal, there were some Italy fans too. Good looks go a long way.


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