I am sure a million other people are writing their tribute blog posts right this minute about the World Cup run of the United States so I will be brief and try to keep the sappiness to a minimum.
I didn’t get too caught up in the Team USA hysteria. Sure I watched the matches when I could. I enjoyed a few of them from the comfort of my own couch and I got to enjoy the better half of the Germany game with co-workers. Today’s game I returned home from work just as extra time started. But I didn’t set my schedule around the action. I never wore red, white, and blue on match days. I never even tweeted out “Believe.”
So while I never got swept away by the magic of it all I did enjoy the way it united our country for a couple weeks. I mean holy cow, did the World Cup blow up in the U.S. like never before or what? The hysteria of the 2014 World Cup went unmatched from previous years. The way this nation got behind the American team was pretty incredible. Soccer literally led off all the national sports talk radio programs for several days. Although still not accustomed to hearing Mike Golic try to talk like he knew soccer it goes without saying that the tournament in Brazil was the primary focus of the American sports media.
Definitely a bummer that the U.S. failed to advance to the quarterfinal round. If they did survive Belgium today and earned the right to play into this weekend it would have made it one very patriotic Fourth of July holiday. If you can even imagine it, all the insanity that has played out for the past couple weeks would have skyrocketed to even greater levels. This country would have been rocking.
Even though the World Cup will still go on it is different that our team is now out. The foreign announcers won’t sound as elegant/funny, the National Anthems won’t carry with it as much luster, and the constant updates from Bob Ley and his panel on Sportscenter will grow tiresome. We won’t be counting down the days until the next game, bars won’t be offering viewing party specials, and I won’t be able to generate excitement on our Coastal Carolina social media channels with World Cup inspired promotions and images.
In closing, I want to say good for the game of soccer in this country. The popularity spike and exposure tilt it enjoyed this World Cup is beyond quantifying. I grew up in an area that counted soccer out as an inferior sport played by wimps. Although I never subscribed to that thinking because I played the sport for several years myself I like to think that besides the flopping the game converted a lot of people this go-around. Although Team USA got bounced in the round of 16 I think we can all say that we will always remember the 2014 World Cup. Don’t Blink.