Saturday, June 17, 2006

Italy 1 - USA 1

Forgetting the trauma of being an England supporter for an evening, I pulled out my USA passport, poured a glass of Zinfandel and rooted for team USA against Italy. You might suppose this would be a lost cause but in fact I was real proud of the USA effort. It will be said that the Ref kinda ruined the game, but if he did it certainly wasn't to the advantage of the USA.

Now my many compatriates will complain that 1-1 is hardly a result, but in the world of football (a.k.a. soccer, a.k.a. assocation football, a.k.a. English football established in the late 1880s) a draw against a potentially superior team is considered "good".

Not that Italy looked the superior team. They looked Old World, but not superior. Shear energy and a lot of skill from US players who have been exposed to European football leveled the playing field.

I remember 4 years ago standing in a Houston office conference room (big screen TV) with the USA playing (not very well) in the last World Cup. Idiots who knew nothing about the game but thought they knew everything comlained when a goal was disallowed for being offside. I spent fifteen minutes explaining the offside rule but it never got through. Americans want lots of goals/runs/points and statistics in their sport.

I am not sure the USA deserves what it got tonight. The players deserve a medal but the nation that "supports" them probably still thinks the ball should be oblate.