Yesterday, I asked Tommy why Americans should watch soccer. He was kind enough to write an eloquent and informative response. It got me pretty excited about the World Cup. Admittedly, I started to feel that familiar rumbling of sports hope bubble up in the pit of my stomach. Hell, maybe the Stars and Stripes really do have a shot at getting out of their group…
But then U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann opened his mouth again and reminded everyone that his team will not win the World Cup. He’s already said this crap before. Here’s a quote from an ESPN report:
“You have to be realistic. Every year we are getting stronger,” Klinsmann said. “We don’t look at ourselves as underdogs. We are not. We are going to take the game to Ghana and they will take it to us and it will be an exciting game and then we go from there.
“For us now talking about winning a World Cup, it is just not realistic. If it is American or not, you can correct me,” he said, reiterating comments he made this past December to The New York Times Magazine.
I’ll correct you, Klins. No. It’s not American to only say you’re going to “take it to” a team. We like winning in America. We can tolerate losing if you give it your all and get beat by a better team. But we cannot and will not tolerate a coach saying crap like, “Well we’re just not that good, and we’re not going to win, so just enjoy watching us run around for 90 minutes.”
You know how hard it is to get Americans invested in soccer in the first place, Klins? The last thing any of us who are on the fence want to hear from our innovative and seasoned German coach is that we aren’t going to win this year. I believe in being realistic, but that’s for the pundits and fans to do. It’s total bullshit if the head coach of a national soccer team waves the white flag before the battle is fought.
I fully admit I don’t know enough about soccer to break down or group – or any other World Cup group for that matter – but I know winning sports attitudes. I grew up watching Michael Jordan. Continually stating that you cannot win this year’s tournament is not a good way to foster a winning attitude. You say you’re building for the future? Start acting like a winner in the present, you idiot.
I won’t challenge your knowledge of X’s and O’s on the pitch, but I think your comments off of it are pretty dumb. You ever heard of coach Herb Brooks, Klins? He coached a pretty famous U.S. national team. Brooks’ team was pretty outmatched, similar to your team. But he never used that as an excuse to not strive for excellence. Furthermore, he gave awesome speeches like this:
Okay, so that was Kurt Russell, but you get my point. We Americans love being the underdog. Our love of the underdog role is ingrained in us when we learn about the American Revolution in grammar school. We don’t care if we’re a world power now. When it comes to sports, we’re happy to be the underdog with a nasty bite. If you’re going to coach our guys, you better get with the program.
I hope you keep saying this stuff just to fuck with the rest of the world, Klins. I hope that when this is all said and done, we have a big beer together – it can be a German one – and we chuckle about how you had everyone right where you wanted them.
If you’re really not into believing in your team, just play them the Herb Brooks speech. It’s fifty times better than the crap you’ve been spewing.
Go U-S-A. I believe in you guys.