Friday, June 18, 2010

Won't happen . . .

. . . but could you imagine how insufferable the United States would be if they won the World Cup?

First, they'd demand the World Cup be played every 6 months, rather than every 4 years, and hosted only by America cities.

First half goals from midfielder Valter Birsa and striker Zlatan Ljubijankic looked to be enough to guarantee Slovenia would reach the last 16, but it proved only the signal for a courageous fight back by the U.S.

LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan pulled the first goal back in the 48th minute as he smashed his shot into the roof of the net with ferocious power.

The equalizer came with nine minutes remaining as Jozy Altidore headed down for Michael Bradley -- son of coach Bob Bradley -- to convert with an equally emphatic strike
Normally, I'd note "emphasis added" but all I did was bold the CNN writer's verbal ejaculation.

It's just that during the Olympics or the latest American invasion of a sovereign nation, the US portrays itself simultaneously as the overlord and the underdog.

"The greatest nation that ever was with the greatest military and athletes!"

And yet ". . . all the chips are stacked against our ragtag group of lovable losers and misfits."

Dream Team. Miracle on Ice.

When Irish swimmer, Michelle Smith, was breaking records and winning medals in the 1996 Summer Games, it was a sore loser on the American swim team who accused her of steroid use, tainting all of her accomplishments.

Michael Phelps won 200 gold medals at the 2008 Summer Games, everyone believed he was able to do it because he ate Subway.

What best encapsulates the dyspepsia I experience over America's dual role as underdog and overlord in international sports is the Michael Johson/Donovan Bailey rivalry and contest.

It all began when Gnome in Chief of NBC Sports, Bob Costas -- who has eyes that look like they're filled with aquarium water -- made the ridiculous statement that Michael Johnson was the fastest man on earth because when he split Johnson's 19.32 200 meter run in half, it gave him a theoretical -- in the empty arena of the Costas mind -- a 100 meter time of 9.66. Which bested Donovan Bailey's 9.84.

As Sports Illustrated panned this crooked athletic mathematics: "If you think of Johnson's time in the 200 as the product of two equal 100s—which, of course, you can't—you must consider that one of them includes a flying start; off a flying start in the Olympic 4 x 100 relay, Bailey ran an 8.95."

Which led to . . .
The long-awaited match race between Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey turned into a travesty, further wounding an ailing sport: Bailey, the 100-meter Olympic champion and world-record holder from Canada, had for several weeks undercut the only reason to run the race at all, protesting repeatedly that it wouldn't determine the World's Fastest Human, because he had won that title in Atlanta. This was scarcely 24 hours after Bailey had threatened to pull out of the race in a dispute over the track design and then had issued a pathetic press release, stating that he was running "under duress" caused by the organizers' ineptitude.
See what happened here:

Right -- Michael Johnson crapped-out when he saw that he wasn't going to win.

So, sure, let's see how far the ragtag, misfit gang of American soccer players do in the World Cup. No matter what happens, there will be complaints and excuses and requests for "do overs."

This is not anti-Americanism. It's anti-braggart, anti-loud-mouth, anti-blowhard. Everyone wants to see the guy who shoots his mouth off take a fall. It's like a natural fucking law.

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