There's No Whining in US Soccer

Thursday, 24 Jun 2010 09:55 AM

By Jon Friedman

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The saga of the U.S. team in the World Cup is getting exciting, now that we’re into the win-or-go-home stage.

I've watched all kinds of sports for most of my life — and I know a team of destiny when I see one. This soccer bunch, too, has the makings of a team of destiny. Refuse to lose. Never say die. You know, all those unique cliches that somehow seem to personify The American Spirit and give us hope that we are pre-ordained to win. Or something.

But a secondary story also runs through America's involvement in the World Cup. Because of stupid or vindictive referees, America has been cheated on two controversial calls, both of which took goals away from The Good Guys and made our team's task much tougher, as goals in soccer are so difficult to come by.

So, naturally, instead of saying “Suck It Up, America,” we're reverting to a new slogan: “We're Getting Screwed.”

This is unfortunate, ridiculous, even. It's not as if God wants America to lose in the World Cup. It's not a conspiracy against President Obama or our way of life. For better or worse, soccer doesn't have instant replay, so calls tend not to be overturned — even bad or incorrect ones.

God, we can only hope, has more important things to worry about.

America should toughen up. Take your cues from the soccer players representing our country so skillfully. Keep your head down and play the game. They're playing with a dash of reckless abandon. They're not hedging their bets in their style of play. They seem to do their best work at the most stressful, crucial moments, too. That kind of heroism should mark the American Way — not acting like a bunch of crybabies because a few judges made bad calls on a soccer field in South Africa. It’s not a bad code for life, when you think of it.

Suck it up, America. Let's be The Country of Destiny.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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