Soccer in America was dead on the operating table…

June 24, 2010

It was all over. Soccer in America was dead on the table ::BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP::. Setting back the cause a decade or more, and there was nothing anyone watching could do about it.

The American eulogy was written,

“Soccer was an ok sport. Our kids liked to play it until they were old enough to play baseball or basketball or football. It was a hard sport to try to love. Hardly any scoring, all the flopping around on the ground trying to get a foul called, and those loud vuvu-whatevers. In the end soccer died the way it lived, long, drawn out, and ultimitly a relief that it is over. It was a good frien….oh crap, the NBA draft is on, I gotta go.”

The American soccer experiment of the last 15 years was over and done and you wouldn’t be able to even mention soccer to American sports fans for a long time without getting a face full of, “oh yea, that thing? ehhh not for me”, if they were polite and you were lucky.

But Landon Donovan, with his receding hairline and “old man” label, scored the most important goal in US soccer history a minute into stopage time. And all the negative momentum that was swelling, ready to burst in a sport destroying explosion, instead channeled through this one man and released a burst of sports ecstasy 10x more potent.

And that is why soccer is a great sport, the emotional investment is higher than any other. Your highs and your lows are that much more defined and moments like this can pull people in who never wanted to be a part of it, but they have no choice.

Landon Donovan is an American sports hero. He has been the face of American soccer for so long, but maybe now more people will actually recognize that face if they see it.


2 Responses to “Soccer in America was dead on the operating table…”

  1. Meghan Says:

    It’s so true. Soccer is one of those sports that you have to love completely to fully get into it. It’s definitely not a passing fancy. What I personally love about it is that at any moment anywhere, if you have a ball, you can play. Pick up games of soccer are so easy to have occur. It’s like song and dance numbers in the lives of characters in musicals–at any moment it could happen. And in the real scheme of things, soccer is a quick game. At only 90 minutes (1.5 hours) it’s one of the shortest games to watch. I love that in a really heated game, it’s almost like watching hockey.

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