>As we are in the middle of “the world’s greatest athletic event” I had a discussion among my co-workers today, during a fabulous potluck BBQ, about why we watch the World Cup. I have to admit, it was a super lively discussion because we have a VERY diverse group at my work-place. Maybe you think you can say that, but seriously…I do. Having a Spanish language radio station in the house gives you a whole new look into Latino culture and what the World Cup means to fans around the world. For them, soccer (I mean, Futbol) is a way of life, an aspect of their culture that is as natural as breathing. It is exactly how we feel about Football and Baseball. When the Super Bowl is on, regardless of what teams are playing, we watch.
However, as Americans, why do WE watch The World Cup, even if it is JUST when the US team is playing? MOST of us are not soccer fans 3 out of every 4 years. Do you watch English Premiere League? I didn’t think so…Do you even know what I am talking about? Anyway, I determined yesterday, as I was watch this great video that was pieced together from around America of people’s reaction to Donovan’s last minute, game winning goal, that Americans watch the World Cup for the same reason that we watch the Olympics; because the US of A is competing against other countries, and we LOVE our country.
As I watched people scream and jump for joy that we had scored the winning goal, high-five their nearest bar mate (some while removing their shirt) and start chanting “USA USA USA” I had CHILLS running up and down my spine! Seriously! There is something sweet about Americans banding together for ANY reason, and this June and July it is the World Cup. It doesn’t matter that we aren’t “soccer fans” and that we can’t name the players on the team. What matters is that we support our country when we have people out there representing us on a world stage.
If someone thinks it is stupid that you are watching the US play in the first game of the second pool tomorrow because you aren’t a “soccer fan” ask them,
“Is it stupid for me to support my country? “
I, for one, am willing to rally behind my country for ANY reason, when facing the rest of the world. The World Cup isn’t JUST about soccer, it is about countries representing the people who are standing behind them. So stand…stand behind our team and be counted among those who support our country. In soccer, sure…or whatever else…
USA USA USA!