Some things I would say were I sitting next to Alexis Lalas, McManamanamanaman, etc.:
- Enough with the US-underdog bullshit. Sure, soccer may not be the biggest game in the US, but the men’s national team has plenty of money, plenty of time, and plenty of people to work with. With all these resources, it’s frankly ridiculous that the US just barely scrape through the group stage, only to get beaten by the 32nd-ranked team (the US was ranked 14th, by the way). So, to Mr. Donovon, who says that the US “goal should be to get through the group stage,” I say: raise the bar. The expectation should be that the US get through the group stage; the goal should be, you know, to win.
- Thank the lord that we won’t have to hear too much more of the “Will the US finally become a soccer nation?” I remember back in 1994 when Sports Illustrated ran a special issue trying to convince its readers that the US was “ready” for soccer. I also remember reading a book for kids, written sometime in the late 1970s, that asserted that soccer was going to get huge in the US because of all the youth leagues. News flash: soccer is already big in the US. Lots of people play it, lots of people watch it, lots of money gets spent on it. Stop moaning about how it’s not as “big” as the other football, and go kick a ball.
- In an odd way, I’m glad the US is out. Now I can enjoy the rest of the games, instead of worrying about how the US is going to do. Because it was getting pretty bad, folks–restless sleep, bad dreams, the works. And with the US out, I can get back to proper work. I haven’t written a sentence in the last two weeks. Bad grad student, bad.