Sports : Americans go RUN...

5 years ago

The most socially significant aspect of the U.S. women`s run to the World Cup final was the lack of social significance. Soccer folks didn`t shove their game down the rest of the country`s throat, and the rest of the country didn`t shout down the soccer folks.

We`ve reached a d├ętente.

About time. Because that whole soccer argument was beyond boring, and I`ve been on both sides of it.

We hosted the men`s World Cup in 1994, won the women`s World Cup in 1999 with Brandi Chastain and her sports bra, and reached the men`s quarterfinals in 2002. The sport was creeping toward a mainstream breakthrough in this country, and you could feel it.

Well, I could feel it. But only because I wanted to feel it. Soccer fans like me, we were thinking with our hearts, not our heads. Our hearts told us that legions of adults -- many of whom had played soccer as little kids, running spastically when the ball was nearby, looking for grasshoppers when it wasn`t -- would reconnect to those roots and begin supporting the sport again.


Soccer agnostics were laughing at us, because those cold bastards were thinking with their heads, not their hearts. They knew soccer wouldn`t catch fire here, and they were right. Over time, I joined their side -- not as an agnostic, but as someone who realized the world`s game was never going to be our game. And over time, that became fine by me. Soccer is an acquired taste, and if the majority of sports fans in this country only acquired it during the World Cup, so be

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