As America's perception, our 'brand,' our flag, our leaders, our military and our people undergo a massive decline in respect, something had to give brief relief to the horrible, bungling of America's reputation.
Enter America's Pride, our World Cup team. 23 (mostly) young men, most from the heart of America, who carry our flag and our hopes for a new day for America abroad. Some are older (Goalies Tim Howard and Nick Rimando are both 35) and some are young (Midfielder Julian Green is 19) but all are focused on one thing: winning the World Cup.
Prior to our great triumph over the much-dreaded American eliminators Ghana and draw (tie) with Portugal, we Americans were mostly a laughingstock for the Euro-experts in their "futbol" and we drew particularly harsh ridicule from the Latin world which includes what are acknowledged as the best players in the world: Brasil, Spain, Italy and the other Central/South American teams. The children in these parts of the world are born with soccer balls attached to their feet; and they stay there.
Portugal certainly is in this class, however, we Yanks showed them a thing or two about our "soccer" on Sunday, June 22nd in the sweat-house of Manaus, Brasil, when Portugal came within seconds of defeat and an almost certain trip home, but just when things looked bleakest, they suspiciously scored a goal with just seconds left in extra time. Why wasn't the game called over a few seconds earlier and who 'controls' when the final whistle is blown? No matter, simply tying Portugal was a major accomplishment
Having beaten Ghana on June 16th, America was on a dangerous winning streak and could've easily let themselves down with brimming over confidence. Ghana had eliminated the USA in the prior two World Cups, under some rather poor and less than ideal sportsmanship circumstances, so beating them took America and our players through the roof emotionally and in the standings. Other futbol snobs from the EU, Asia and the other Americas started to finally take notice. And become afraid.
They should show fear because America is about to do what we always do ... defy all odds and come out victors against stronger forces.
After our crazy 1-0 loss to Germany last Thursday, Americans and our boys in shorts have 'nada' to be ashamed of--quite the contrary, it is Germany and America that carry on to the elite group of 16 finalists. Portugal and Ghana are gone. Have a safe trip home you two. Ciao. Sai wani lookachi.
So the USA is still competing strong and giving 'em hell in the World Cup and we should all be proud and sing the Star Spangled Banner with piety. Even if we get quickly eliminated now, we have still proved we're better at our soccer than England, Australia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ghana, Croatia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Japan, Ecuador, Honduras, Bosnia/Herzegovina, likely Russia and South Korea and America-haters, Iran.
Why is our World Cup progress so important, necessary and timely right now? Well, we're about to get political here.
America is and has been in trouble for sometime now. Our President's leadership, effectiveness and abilities are being broadly questioned, not only by Conservatives in America, but increasingly by Democrats, Independents, our enemies and even our once stalwart allies abroad.
Putin, Assad, the ayatollahs, Kim Jong-un, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and virtually any evil force on Earth thinks we're weak and a country to be pushed hard and ultimately, taken advantage of like pushovers.
Our economy is in tatters; though still the strongest, it won't be for long unless some extreme economic changes are made fast. We are approaching $18 trillion in debt; have been operating at a deficit that seems unending and unchallenged by Democrats; the US Treasury is printing more than $75 billion a day and sliding backwards fast on our US bonds; and American debt has been downgraded for the first time ever and is in continued danger of being downgraded again.
Our government insists on giving more money, benefits, food-stamps and all manner of giveaways "to people who need it," while piling on the taxes, regulations, lawsuits, IRS, EPA and other terrible encroachments on precisely those businesses, large and small that might someday employ those people who need government entitlements, preventing them from pulling themselves up and becoming tax paying members of society. Talk about a slippery slope.
The extraordinary, problematic 'Obamacare' travesty continues to harm the employment, economic, medical and societal situations in America. When our government is filing lawsuits against Catholic/Christian' organizations such Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby to force them to provide birth control, we can all be certain that the worst is yet to come.
Our energy situation is a bloody mess with no new resources, no new Keystone pipeline, a failed and expensive 'green energy' policy and a continued utter dependence on oil from the region where there's so much trouble.
Our military is righteously up in arms because of the way this government has treated them. Beginning with the threatened but never delivered closure of Guantanamo, the military members who have risked their lives and their families who have sacrificed so much, have received a repeated and increasingly violent series of face-slaps by our government. The Benghazi atrocity; Bergdahl' "Traitor Trade;" Veteran's Administration debacle; and final insult of our President's confusing and confused speech at West Point, all have our great military angry.
Add to the military related scandals above a long, dirty laundry list including: NSA/Snowden ... IRS ... "Cash for Clunkers" (anybody remember that one ... anybody?); failed TARP and Stimulus; ATF/Holder' "Fast & Furious" gun scandal, GSA, Solyndra, New Black Panthers, "I've got a pen and a phone threat" and others too lugubrious to mention here, and you've got an America on the run both at home and overseas.
All signs now are, that Obama has himself inexorably placed, like a slot-car, on the road to impeachment.
So it it under these dire circumstances that we Americans need a break today. We need to forget about our government run amok and be distracted--not for long, mind you--but for just long enough to watch and be involved with a game we didn't invent or weren't even very good at until recently, and watch perhaps, our brave men show the great American superiority and exceptionalism that makes us what we are. (I won't say 'it' here for fear of offending somebody, somewhere. But you know what I mean.)
Almost nobody thinks the USA can win the World Cup. And if they were eliminated tomorrow, our American team has already exceeded everybodies' expectations. But what if they did?
Yes, these 23 men, playing games in Brasil, are doing us proud in difficult times. They are doing it with true American pride ... true American valor ... true American grit. God Bless them and God Bless America!