Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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World Cup and American character

Some have commented on this that I wrote before we played the Czechs: "I make no prediction other than to say that given our talent as a team, combined with the American character, we should advance." Of course, we lost 3-0, so I am ordered to explain myself. Very simply it is this: We don’t have any great individual players on our team, but we have many excellent players. They are (we have been told, and led to believe by their pre-Czech play) also very fit. They also play well together, that is, as a team. This latter point is not insignificant in soccer...The Czechs showed both characteristics. Our boys did not exhibit that aspect of the American character which is especially appealing to me: doggedness, a determination to win, a never give up attitude, always showing great courage. And so on. When I played soccer in London, while at the LSE, there were just four Americans on the team (inlcuding me). Three of us had never played soccer before. I put us on the back line. Nothing got past us. Nothing. These American boys would have rather died than allow that and--given that they did not know the game out of habit--they had to play much harder than anyone else. And they did. A Pakistani player said in awe, "Look at those Americans. They never give up." That’s the character I am looking for, and when we show it, we "should" advance.

Discussions - 18 Comments

"You or the ball, no more than one gets by us. You pick." Hard nosed defense is a sight to see in soccer. Of course all my kids grew up playing in the back too. Maybe they had no choice.

Last year I attended a soccer game of my little nephew Connor, who is six years old. No one on his team seemed to be paying attention to the score. So when half time came around, I pulled him aside, and told him, "you guys are losing." You should have seen the look of pure horror on his face. "Losing??!!??"

So the second half began and my little nephew took the game over; he scored 4 goals to make sure his team won. Afterwards, I used the occasion to make a point to him, "when you’re in a serious game, and you’re playing to win, you have to keep track of the score, and don’t let yourself or your team fall far behind."

But as for the Italy game, perhaps the time is ripe for our team to score a significant upset in World Cup play. Like the rest of you, I was disappointed how our team played in the Czech game, but I expect a far different team to take the pitch this Saturday.

Golf. Everyone, golf is on this weekend! And the U.S. Open after all. Let’s discuss character. Tiger Woods a mere 15 weeks after the death of his best friend, his father, is back on the course to compete with many a memory and many a potential demon. It is fathers day weekend to boot. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see him win it all?

But also consider Tad Fujikawa, the 15 year old 5-1 amateur playing on one of the most difficult courses in Open history -- or yet Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia, self taught in a country of warlords and no golf courses!
Character abounds!!
Stay awake and watch golf this weekend.

The big reason why Americans have character is because we suck at soccer! Who cares what is happening in Europe in stadiums that will eventually host "real" football.

Rumors of the demise of nationalism in Europe are greatly exaggerated.

I was thinking the same thing, Uncle Guido, or is it just that sports are going to be filling in the void manliness used to fill in countries that have become unstuck in History (a la Hegel)?

Could it be that the sense of competitiveness in these sports is being diminished by the socially-correct attempts to make everyone believe that there are no winners or losers and that everyone is equal???

Good job with your newphew, Dan. Whip that little fella into shape! No room for losers in this family, Connor- now get out there and MURDER YOUR OPPONENTS!

And yes, Deb, I’m sure that’s it. We liberals are trying convince the world that everyone is equal, and the American soccer team has bought into that philosophy so much that they are under-performing, because now they’re just having fun and are not interested in the final score.

What a hilariously stupid, jingoistic thread this is! Hey Schramm, maybe someone oughta tell everyone else that America is the bestest country in the world and therefore entitled to win the World Cup.

Good grief, if you can’t enjoy a little national pride and ribbing of others during the World Cup, you need to take a step back.

Phil needs to have a beer and share his sentiments with English soccer fans.

Phil. Calm down. It wasn’t like that at all. HE takes the game seriously, it wasn’t me. We adults may see the game as nothing but some kids running around, BUT FOR HIM, it means a great deal. I’ve seen the little kid break down after losing a tight game. Losing doesn’t seem to bother some kids on his team, but there are few like Connor, who want to win.

So what’s your problem with that?

And who said anything about going out there and "murdering" opponents. If I recall, Connor’s team barely won the game, ever after all efforts. It was Connor’s opponents who were looking for a blow out, and some of their kids were clearly over the age limit.

Next time Phil, you might want to ask for some more facts before going off on some post-modern tirade.

There’s nothing wrong with little kids wanting to win their games.

If Phil said half as much to a room full of English fans even 20 minutes into a contest ( after a pint or more ) he would be fortunate to leave with his "bits" still attached. They would roundly thrash him and should he lie on the floor moaning, implore him to STFU while the match is on. Which is exactly what Phil should do now.

Pretty tough talk for an anonymous blog, Gmax.

Sorry Dan, I guess the part about "no one on his team seemed to be paying attention to the score" was what threw me off- it sorta made it seem like the kids DIDN’T care that much, at least till Uncle Dan set Connor straight.

After every game, Connor asks "who won?" Regardless of what he’s playing, he wants to know whether he’s won or not. Sometimes when he finds out that his team has lost, he takes it real hard. We haven’t brainwashed him in any way, nor have we tried to heighten his competitive inclinations. He seems to lose track of the score during a game, which was why I tried to impress upon him the importance of maintaining awareness of the score DURING a game.

Sure he enjoys playing the game, just for its own sake, but he appears to enjoy the competitive aspect as well. A few kids on the team don’t care one way or another, but for Connor, he takes it seriously. Days before any game is played, he’s already getting wound up about it. His little brother Ryan is that way too. That’s just part of their personality.

But I knew that when I related the story, it could easily be misinterpreted.

Everyone knows Phil hates America. If Al-Qaeda had a team that’s who he’d be cheering for.

H’mm let’s see now. I have been presented a choice. Watch the World Cup or go on my patio and watch some grass grow.

Oh well pass the day away until 8:00pm tonight when the puck drops in Edmonton.

Go Canes!!!!!!!! Redneck Hockey prevailsWoooooooo!!!

If Al-Qaeda had a team that’s who he’d be cheering for.

Reminds me of a joke:

If GWB and UBL had a 2 man foot race, al Jazeera would report that UBL beat everyone but one guy and GWB lost to everyone but one guy.

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