Learn the language
France and Germany are just underway in the first of four FIFA World Cup quarterfinals. Brazil and Colombia play at 3 p.m., and then tomorrow it’s Argentina-Belgium and Netherlands-Costa Rica.
The vast majority of Americans–78 percent, if the ESPN.com front page poll is to be believed–thought the USA would be playing Argentina in the first match tomorrow morning. Goalkeeper Tim Howard played the match of his life and one of the best matches a keeper has played in the World Cup in the past 50 years, or the Americans would have been beaten 3-0 or 4-0, and it wouldn’t have required extra time.
There are two reasons why the Americans can’t be considered an association football powerhouse, and that’s simply because most don’t know the right words.
First, it’s football everywhere else. Only the US and Canada still call it soccer. Canada has proven its ineptitude on the international stage time and again, qualifying for the World Cup final tournament only once (1986) and scoring the grand total of zero goals in three matches. Then again, Canada has an excuse, because you can’t do anything outside from mid-October through mid-April. On the other hand, Sporting Kansas City won last year’s MLS Cup in a match played when it was 4 degrees below zero Celsius (25 Fahrenheit).
Second, the leader of the football club is a manager, not a head coach as what ESPN and other outlets have been referring to Jurgen Klinsmann. Heck, the US invented a sport (baseball) where the team is led by a manager, so why is this one difficult? I’ve never understood why high school and college baseball refers to the leader of the team as the head coach. Strange.
Okay, this time, I REALLY am going to turn off the computer. I’ve got only 44 minutes to get out. Next post will be from the basement at 1224 North Brooks Street, Russell, KS.