With the US eliminated from World Cup competition, it’s now time for Americans to repeat what most of us did after 5th grade- abandon our interest in soccer.
It was fun while it lasted, but feigning love for a sport in the name of patriotism is exhausting and unfulfilling. I love America as much as the next guy (unless the next guy’s John Mellencamp), but buzzing Vuvuzelas, inexcusable blown calls, and tie games made my colors run faster than Landon Donovan.
Sure, the World Cup gave us all a great excuse to get drunk, paint our faces, and find a television substitute for American Idol, but there’s a profound difference between supporting your country and following the team that represents it. In fairness, though, it’s easy for this truth to be lost on an overcrowded bandwagon.
For those who really do love soccer, I’m sorry. The World Cup is an amazing spectacle and I’m sure you got a real “kick” out of seeing your homeland valiantly compete against the world’s elite. At the same time, however, the phony soccer love generated by the masses must leave real fans feeling uneasy. While the sting of America’s loss to Ghana affected the masses for about four minutes, this outcome will last with you for the next four years.
As part of a consumer nation, it’s fitting that we Americans are so quick to buy into things and/or people (think President Obama) that are hot in the moment. Our inherent fear of missing out is equaled only by our quickness to jump ship when our collective dreams don’t live up to our often impossible-to-meet hype. Many times, this makes us appear attention-span challenged and ungenuine. No one ever said life in the Land of the Free has no costs.
With the Gulf Coast drowning in oil, controversial immigration reform nearing, and our growing involvement in two wars, I wish the public would give World Cup-like attention to issues that are more American! Even pretending to care can help our nation progress towards a brighter future. I guess phony patriotism is still patriotism, after all.