It's Not Too Late to Jump on U.S. Soccer Bandwagon

Categories: Sports
World Cup trophy.jpg
When the U.S. last played Ghana -- the matchup in tomorrow's World Cup showdown -- things did not go well. There was, however, one brief, transcendent moment. After midfielder DaMarcus Beasley picked a Ghanan's pocket and careened down the left side of the field, he centered the ball to the foot of a sprinting Clint Dempsey for an equalizing score. That's about all I recall, because at that point a man whose size grows with each retelling of this story enveloped your humble narrator in a bear hug, effortlessly lifting me off the ground, repeatedly, in a manic embrace. I have no idea who this man was.

Tomorrow's rematch vs. Ghana offers the chance for more of the same. Far more, really . Instead of being played at the crack of dawn on a weekday, it will be held at 11:30 on Saturday. You don't even have to make excuses to enjoy a beer with the game. If this isn't the most-watched U.S. soccer game in history, I'll be surprised. And disappointed.

There's a bit of pride in packing a bar at 7 a.m. or rising at the marvelously silly hour of 3 in the morning to watch a game (which we did back in '02 when the U.S. beat Mexico in the second round). A truly great soda commercial on Spanish-language TV at the time tapped right into this feeling by depicting bleary eyed soccer fans biking to a pal's apartment at the crack of dawn to watch ballgames (and drink soda, of course).

But it's time to give up that exclusive pride. It's time for U.S. soccer to cease being the passion of an elite cadre of fanatics holed up in front of TV screens at ungodly hours and instead become something much bigger.

I am willing to share my seat. There is plenty of room on this bandwagon. Won't you join us? 

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