In Argentine Spanish, the Italian modifier “issimo” is often added to ordinary Spanish adjectives for exaggeration or emphasis. Add it to “feo,” which means “ugly,” and you have a perfect description of the pathetic attempt at sports just exhibited between the Home of the Brave and the Czech Republic: “feissimo.”
Seriously, it hurt watching our boys get absolutely manhandled like that. I’m by no means an authority on the game – but drawing from my invaluable experience as player-manager in the University of Michigan’s prestigous Intramural Soccer Indoor B-league, I can decisively say we did everything wrong. Good thing there was no one else in the bar to see it; a bunch of Argentines rolled through for lunch, had a laugh and a beer, and left before the worst match of the World Cup (thus far) finished. Really though, after our great showing in 2002, where we just barely lost to Germany – the eventual runner-up to the Championship – everyone was expecting much, much more. According to ESPN,
Eager to prove they are among soccer’s elite after their surprising quarterfinal finish in South Korea four years ago, the Americans brought their most-talented team ever to this year’s tournament.
Ha. Good thing we only have to beat Italy now. And even if we somehow scrape by to the next round, we’ll have to face Brazil, assuming the dismembering of Australia (in its 1st World Cup Ever) and Japan goes on as planned.
Like I said – I ain’t no expert. Aside from the aforementioned brief but heralded career, most of my soccer experience is limited to FIFA 2002 on Playstation 2 and my friend’s basement, where his dog Maggie is usually counted as a defender (it works surprisingly well – 2 extra legs offers a big advantage in a game where hands are illegal). So, in patriotic spirit and grave concern for my fellow countrymen, I’ve compiled a short list of what must change for out national squad to have a fair chance:
- No Flowing Hair – Look at the Italians. Look at the Argentines. Even look at the Czech Republic. Notice the long, flowing, sexy hair. Observe how good they are at the game. Surely this is more than coincidence; the best we have is some dude with a raggedy ponytail. Let it flow baby, just let it flowwwwwww.
- Taking Valium Before the Match: A serious no-no - Did you catch those shots of US coach Bruce Arena during the game? I’ve never in my life seen a more unemotional look on a team member’s face during any sporting event. Earth to Bruce – your team needs some sort of energy jolt to get them back on track, and look that says “far out man…faaar out” in the mold of Jeffrey Lebowski isn’t helping the situation.
- We need an Ogre – That absolute beast of a man on the Czech side, Jan Koller (pictured above), is more than essential as a forward. I swear he’d be the second coming of the BFG if he wasn’t so angry – as eating the soccer ball is against the rules he just heads it with a fury known only to men of his kind. He towers over everyone else and when there’s no action around he probably just growls and rubs his stomach, easily negating any potential defense.
Once we get our priorities straight and follow these tried and true strategies set down by the rest of the world, I think we’ll have a serious shot at this crazy game. Until then, we can only remain as outsiders playing a game called “soccer.”