We are in the midst of an exciting World Cup. France and Italy have already been eliminated, and the United States national team is performing much better than expected.
With the odds (and the refs) seemingly against the US team, our players have fought hard and have made it to the Round of 16. We cannot help getting caught up in the overwhelming sense of patriotism resulting from Landon Donovan’s last-minute goal against Algeria, but we must admit that most of us paid little attention to soccer before this summer’s World Cup.
Many die-hard soccer fans reside here in the U-S-of-A, but let’s face it: Our national sport includes more padding than just shin-guards, and our football players use their hands.
Defending our new-found passion for soccer to the people who have always loved the sport is difficult because, up until the beginning of the Cup, most of us named David Beckham as our favorite soccer player. In Columbus, the Buckeyes are king, and many think that the Crew is a rowing team.
Even though the majority of us know very little about soccer, we still rally behind our national team as they continue to impress us in South Africa. We have the best of intentions, but the truth is we are a nation of “bandwagon” fans.
But it’s ok!
There will be plenty of time to feel guilty about our lack of soccer knowledge if we find ourselves neglecting the sport when the World Cup is over.
As of right now, the sense of pride and unity we feel is just what the doctor ordered, given the current state of our nation. While we may be struggling with the economy, immigration, and the current crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, the look of sheer euphoria on the faces of our boys in white made us remember why we love this country.
So, bandwagon fans: There is no need to feel ashamed. Wear your Red, White, and Blue with pride. Our team may be half a world away, but the American people are closer than ever.