My World Cup Fling

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Over at Grantland, Bill Simmons argues that our reaction to Sunday’s match against Portugal (which ended in a draw after America surrendered a last-minute goal) says something about our lack of passion for the game:

People are making a big deal about soccer breaking through in America, thanks to the 2014 World Cup. It’s horseshit, because if this were true, our entire country would be traumatized right now.


… We outplayed them and we choked. We could be spending our Monday making Ronaldo jokes, watching YouTube clips of American sports bars reacting to our go-ahead goal, and wondering who would win a fight between Clint Dempsey and Liam Neeson. This sucks.

I get what Simmons is saying, but, in my humble opinion, this is a feature, not a bug.

When the Yankees and Red Sox are battling in the postseason — or the Redskins (there I said it!) are playing the Cowboys — watching is both obligatory and tense. Who needs that kind of pressure?

Conversely, these World Cup matches have felt more like a carefree vacation fling. We both know what this is; soccer doesn’t expect any sort of commitment from me, and I don’t expect anything from it — except for a few hours of summer fun.

And that’s just what I got on Sunday. It’s been glorious. So why should I feel guilty?

Look, I get it. After years of pushing the sport (it’s big internationally!), pundits are anxious for America to finally, fully commit to following soccer.

But maybe we could just date first?

Tags : world cup
Matt K. Lewis