Sunday, June 3, 2012

On Tap: USA v Canada

Embrace doubt.

I will now say several truths about you, intrepid USMNT supporter. You are sure of nothing. You expect all things, those being pendulum sweeps from the unfathomably incredible to the unthinkably awful. You believe Jermaine Jones can and most likely will make both a brilliant and a numbskull decision in the span of 60 seconds. You're not really sure what shaky-legged ghost has inhabited Gooch. You are pretty sure Michael Bradley has somehow become the best player on this team. You are cautiously optimistic that Landon Donovan isn't really as falsely motivated as most people seem to think. You feel, no matter what happens, that Brian McBride could head butt his way through a brick wall. You are pretty sure Brian McBride could still play. You love Clint Dempsey but mostly because you've seen him sulk before he scorched earth and you feel you know his game as well as anybody. You know what Jurgen Klinsmann means mainly because you know who Paul Caligiuri is.

In a word, you are moderation. And that is good. Doubt feeds truth, and skepticism feeds intellectualism. Likewise, over-optimism breeds homerism. And nobody likes those dudes. You represent neither the over-reaching expectation of the English nor the crushing disapprobation of the French. In a sense, for once, you are allowed to occupy the middle ground as Americans. This is not an opportunity I would waste.

The USA won 5-1 and lost 4-1 in a span of four days. Those are two wild swings, regardless of the competition. Years ago (and not many years), beating Scotland, the progenitors of the game, was grossly unthinkable. And fending off Brazil, even for 45 minutes, was a strangely unthinkable task. Anybody who watched the Brazil game was sure that 4-1 was an unflattering score line. The last 45 was a fairly solid effort, but when checked with the first 45 there remains some doubt as to whether we knew what it was that we actually watched. But — and I know you guys because I am among you — matters of analysis will inevitably settle between these two results because moderation is what we know. Otherwise we would be interred in institutions versed in the arts of mental instability. Always.

So, with this last meaningless (heh) test to go before WC qualis begin, this is it. We are on a cornice that goes no further. Canada will tell us things that we would like to know on the precipice of a stage that will come to further define a golden generation of footballers that have helped pave the way for soccer in the country. More importantly, who do these folks groom as replacements? We'll see.

- A article where neighbor is spelled incorrectly
- Canadia speaks via a TFC fan
- Yeah, I called one-time World Cup participant Canada 'Canadia'... what of it?
- Grant Wahl says things of importance
- Donovan and Dempsey, ultimate bros together again at last

This is way too good to not repeat.

As a Baylor dude, you know I found Waldo this time.

- Will Parchman


-D said...

Some of the best writing I've seen in a while, good sir! Thanks for it!

C. Goldkamp said...

Brilliant Will! Impressive stuff.