Why It’s Not So Bad for the US

If this is anything like '98, the term 'disaster' will be bandied about with bandied abandon.  It will be followed with complaints about officiating, some futher excuses and some stone sober faces.  Dissapointed, aggrieved, embarassed, frustrated.  Not fun to be a USA fan.  To this I say, "Welcome."

Welcome to real football.  Welcome to real fandom.  Welcome to the emotions that most global supporters experience. 

Sadly, this is the point.  The World Cup isn't about winning, it is about grudges, failures and excuses.  The US now has all of the above.  I have all of the above revolving around the Scottish National Team dating back to World Cups before I was born.  I inherited them by virtue of being a fan.  The children of the current crop of ardent USA fans will now inherit these emotions too, and that's a good thing.

This may have been a disaster for the US team in the immediate, but in it is actually a positive in the long term.  This is one more piece of an ever developing World Cup legacy for the USA, one whose development was stunted in the 50's.  There is a lot of time and history to catch up on, and the US is doing so at a breakneck pace.

In the past 16 years since the US reappeared on the world stage, they have seen an improbable and plucky World Cup appearance in Italia 90, a moderate though marked improvement with frightening uniforms in USA 94, a failure in France 98 which saw a loss to a fierce political rival, and an exceptionaly improbable Quarter Final appearance in 2002 which ended, in part, thanks to a well placed handball on the German goal line (something commentators and fans still moan about…which is good).

Germany 2006 sees the US knocked out of the first round embarassed at the team effort in one game, aggrieved at the officiating in a hard fought draw, and humbled on the World Stage by a Third World nation.  Team USA could practically be Scotland.

The point to the USA fans being, welcome to the legacy.  You can not forgoe history and expect unbridled success without enduring even more failure.  Sometimes, you just can't expect unbridled success at all.  And that's kind of the point of World Cup, unless you are Brazil, Argentina or Germany, and there's a reason most of us in this world don't actually support them until we have to.  I have no time for winners.  They pretend like they know what suffering is.  Do they have any idea what I would give to have Scotland fail miserably in a Quarterfinal? No, because they don't get it.

Essentially, the USA is relatively new to Division 1A football and had visions of BCS bowls without the years of really paying dues.  Team USA is Boise State, except without the cool turf or Dan Hawkins.  Though Boise State is now without Dan Hawkins too.  This analogy is totally falling apart.  Damn it. 


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