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Damn, Ghana!

June 26, 2010

Is this what heartbreak feels like?

I think so.

I’m not going to pretend like being a fan is more difficult than being a member of a team — but that doesn’t mean that we, too, can’t feel pain. Real pain.

Today, the USA lost to Ghana in the second round of the World Cup — and I don’t think my heart would have hurt so badly if the hope that was holding it up wasn’t so damned high. But it was.

And the hope was lifted higher every time we came from behind. It was raised higher every time we overcame the injustice of our stolen goals. And every time the US had a shot on goal, the hope got higher and higher and higher until it was so high, that even Ghana scoring in overtime didn’t lower it. And my heart was nestled comfortably and securely right in the middle of that joyous, innocent bundle of hope.

And then the referee blew the final whistle, and I felt nothing at first. And I still just kind of stared at the TV with a distant thought in the back of my head: “Come on, guys! Let’s get the ball in their end!”

And then the camera panned to Edson Buddle — a member of the US team who had just fallen into a pile of dejection in the middle of the field.

And that’s when it hit me.

That’s when a sniper rifle shot down my hope, and it came crashing down into reality — smattering all of it’s cargo with it.

Now, my heart is shattered. The pieces are all so little and so many that I don’t even have the energy to find ’em and piece ’em back together at this point. It actually hurts more when I think about the pain my team must be feeling.

I saw my hero, Clint Dempsey, almost in tears at the end of the game — and that sent me reeling. I saw my boys — boys that I look up to; boys I idolize; boys who have shown impossible strength in impossible situations — riddled with defeat; overpowered with loss; emptied of hope.

I want to forget, but I know I won’t. I want to feel excitement about the World Cup again, but I don’t think I will. I want the US to get another shot — but I’m going to have to be patient. I’ll have to be patient for another four damned years.

I guess 2010 just wasn’t our year. And neither was 2006. But 2014? Maybe. Maybe four years is all it’ll take for me to build up that hope again and piece my heart back together.

Maybe.

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