To All the Underdogs I Loved Before

There were those before and there will be more to follow.  There are even a few others right now, but dear Trinidad and Tobago, I never felt and will never again feel for them what I have felt for you.  You were special, and I mean that.

You were my underdog. 

The foolish and easily swayed by glitter jumped on bandwagon for the Ivory Coast thinking that Drogba would lead to the promised land of “I-Told-You-So’s.”  Not so.

The lovers of the obscure went for Togo paying tribute to the Otto “Der P ist Silent” Pfister (and his impossibly perfect porno name) for managing Burkina Faso when they were lowly Upper Volta. These folks were repaid only with a bunny hop goal celebration.

There are plenty of underdogs associated with this World Cup, and most of them worthy of support – plucky Costa Rica, Tunisia, and Ghana among them – but none of them mean as much to me as you do.

From your having five starters currently playing in Scotland, to a player NAMED Jason Scotland, to the inclusion of your only (own) goal scorer, Brent Sancho, who played for my local A-League team – the same league features the Rochester Roaring Rhinos with fellow Trinidad and Tobago national, Tony Rougier, a player I saw play for Hibernian in 1998, to you being the smallest nation to ever compete in the World Cup, to being drawn in the same group as England…we were made for each other. Kismet.

Unfortunately, it was not to be, and I think we both knew it. We were lying to ourselves in thinking that we could make it work. Call it the blind faith of love, call it what you will, but I won’t call it mere infatuation. It was more and I want you to know that.

So as we part ways, I feel you deserve honesty. I have another underdog – Ghana. I’m sorry. Ghana may be younger, fitter and play more attractively, but they won’t be the same. When I watch them make clearances with a totally unnecessary amount of bicycle kicks, I will be thinking of you.

To misquote Bon Scott, “TNT, you’re Dynamite.”

I’ll call you.


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