Winning the Confed Cup over Brazil would’ve been an even bigger deal for American soccer than David Beckham playing for the Galaxy. Sadly, after going up 2-0 in Sunday’s final match, USA remembered that it’s USA, and Brazil remembered that it’s Brazil. And all the American folks with soccer hysteria returned to being normal Americans who don’t give a rip about soccer.
Imagine for a second, however, that America had won the cup. Besides pissing off Brazil even worse than that Simpsons episode where Homer got kidnapped, what effect would this really have had? Would it have made a meaningful change in the American sporting landscape? Would soccer have actually caught on among sports fans who under normal circumstances care more about bass fishing, bowling and the Lingerie Bowl than the rest of the world’s favorite game?
Picture a parallel America where, in the wake of Team USA’s thrilling Confed Cup win over Brazil, Tim Howard becomes a bigger star than Dwight Howard. Where Drew Rosenhaus dumps all his football clients and announces he is only going to be crooked and slimy on behalf of soccer stars from now on. Where Alyssa Milano swears off baseball players, and goes on to write a book about all her wild sexcapades with MLSers.
Conjure in your mind’s eye an America where a broken down old has-been like David Beckham not only isn’t a star in the alleged biggest professional league, but can’t even make a team, and is forced to become a full-time underwear model. Where Jerry Jones sells the Cowboys and buys a soccer club instead, and immediately starts meddling with the coach even though he doesn’t know a corner kick from a kick in the groin.
In this new soccer-crazed America, Jets fans all give up their football season tickets, buy soccer season tickets, and become even bigger hooligans than they were before. Instead of becoming drunk and rowdy for no good reason, American soccer fans embrace the European idea of getting drunk and rowdy for the express purpose of making us remember why it was a good thing to defeat the Nazis.
Soccer America is a bizarre place indeed: A place where Tom Brady can’t land a supermodel and has to settle for one of America’s Next Top Models. A place where Kaka is no longer something you step in while running through the park. A place where female armpit hair is not only tolerated but embraced.
But don’t worry American sports fans: you won’t have to trade in your Donovan McNabb jersey for a Landon Donovan any time soon. Soccer America exists only in fantasies and dopey blog posts. In reality, America still remains the good old soccer-indifferent USA. A place where only pretentious a-holes drive little tiny electric cars you can park in a closet, where all the movies have explosions and only rich people are entitled to health care. A place where beef isn’t beef unless it’s loaded with enough hormones to make 8-year-old girls start sprouting breasts.
A place where pale, skinny, smelly-looking people are only seen in drug rehab, jeans ads and shows on The CW.
(subscribe to Pacman Jonesin’ via RSS, email, Google Reader)Tags: alyssa milano, confed cup, dallas cowboys, david beckham, donovan mcnabb, drew rosenhaus, dwight howard, homer simpson, jerry jones, l.a. galaxy, landon donovan, lingerie bowl, the cw, tim howard