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We keep going and going and going …

June 23, 2010

We were wronged. We were fouled. We were doubted. We were left to lose.

But now, we’re first place, baby.

Against Slovenia, we didn’t stop after our game-winning goal was savagely torn from us.

And against Algeria, we didn’t stop after our first goal was again kidnapped.

And then, in the first minute of stoppage time — we overcame.

We kept coming and coming and coming, and no matter how many times the ruthless hand of injustice tried to hold us down, we refused to be held.

Since the first game of the World Cup, the US soccer team has been in a fight-to-the-death battle with injustice. But we fought with honor and determination to finish not just at the top of our game, but at the top of our bracket.

Watching the US vs Algeria game — I was beginning to question my faith in everything. Here were my reasons:

1. Our fate shouldn’t rest in the outcome of this game. We BEAT Slovenia for god sakes! (I was still reeling from that call — I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over it).

2. We should be beating Algeria, for the love of God! (I was, obviously, still reeling from that second call. And, it appears, I don’t think I’ll ever really get over that one, either).

3. Despite numbers upon numbers of quality opportunities on goal, the US just couldn’t seem to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net. WE DESERVED A GOAL! If we didn’t get one — then I would have had to seriously question whether or not there was, in fact, a big man up there watching out for us.

And then, it happened. Dempsey took the ball to the goal; the goalie deflected it. And there was the ready Landon Donovan, who powered the ball into the back of the net and kept running, like the whole world was right before him and all he had to do was stretch his hand out and grasp the meaning of life.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt that elated after a sporting event. I can only imagine how Donovan — and even Bob Bradley, the team’s coach — felt.

And this serves as a  lesson — and maybe even a symbol. This display of perseverance and determination by the valiant US soccer team shows us all that reality is what you choose to make it. Had the US soccer team been as weak as, well, me, they wouldn’t have been able to mentally move past the injustice of their two stricken goals, and would have languished in their own self-pity and anger.

Instead, they raised their heads up to the thousands of screaming fans and bleating vuvuzelas and said, “Hey, luck, FUCK YOU. We don’t need you. We’re going to make our own luck.”

And that is just what they did. They didn’t look back. They didn’t let their guard down. They never lost hope — and that, in itself,  is a miracle. They had every excuse to become disheartened — to say, “Hey man, this is unfair. I’m done.” But they didn’t. And why? The answer is the symbolic part of all of this: Because they’re better than that. Because they aren’t just true athletes — they’re true champions. They’re true fighters. They’re made of something more than just talent or ambition — they’re made of honor; of sacrifice; of perseverance.

They’re a team that has shown their true colors. And it’s more than just red, white and blue. It’s the whole goddamned rainbow! They can’t just be assigned one color, or even three for that matter. They’re too iridescent. They’re too original. They’re too, well, beautiful.

I’ve never really been terribly proud of being an American. But today, I can honestly say, I am proud to share the same flag as those men.

And for those of you that missed it — here’s the goal that restored my faith in justice:

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2010 4:47 pm

    Goooaaaaalllll!

    Never say die. Just keep attacking. During qualifying games, the US team scored 9 goals after the 80th minute. No other team scored more than half that many.

    It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

    Bring on the second round!

  2. victoria permalink
    June 25, 2010 3:37 pm

    tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow….

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