Following the USA’s loss to Ghana in the World Cup’s round of 16 on Saturday, now seems like as good of time as any to inform everyone of what I’ve learned about the global game.
- Criticize a coach, and all is lost: Take France and England as examples. The French players basically had a mutiny, and they didn’t even advance out of pool play. John Terry of England criticized his coach recently, and they got embarrassed today by Germany in an elimination game. It’s just not like that in the States. Heck, the 1985 Chicago Bears had coaches that hated each other, and they just kept winning. Sports teams over here just don’t need to get along. In soccer, they must.
- When a player falls victim to a hard foul in a blowout, there’s much less pain. You know what I’m talking about. In a one-goal game, if a player collapses after being tapped on the shoulder, that player will roll around on the ground for a minute or so. In a blowout game like some of the ones we’ve seen earlier in the tournament, those players get back up right away. Amazing, isn’t it?
- Unless I missed it, there wasn’t any rioting after the Americans’ loss on Saturday. No torched cars. No looting. No National Guard. Where’s your soccer spirit? If you need any proof at all that soccer will never be as big here as it is overseas, that proof can be found in the lack of rioting. And it’s safe to say that’s a good thing.
- Apparently, as some sort of sign of sportsmanship, players from opposing teams exchange jerseys after games. Nothing promotes camaraderie like slipping into another man’s sweaty uniform. Yuck! If it was me playing, I’d say, "Thanks, but not thanks."