America had everything handed to us on a silver plater. Ghana beat the Czechs to keep up in. Italy beat the Czechs to keep us in. All we had to do was win one game. But the same was true for Ghana, and they have whatever we didn’t. Granted that penalty kick was more horrible officiating, but that penalty kick alone wasn’t cause for the overall lackluster US performance. I have my theories on what went wrong, but won’t bore you with them here as they won’t change anything. And even if we had one, we would have next been pitted against Brazil and with the US playing like they were, there was no chance for us. Sadly, that honor will now go to Ghana, who deserve better than an early knock-out by Brazil…but maybe Ghana’s march will continue on.
Instead, let us look to the future. Here’s how it plays out:
Who to root for now? There are lots ways to find a new team to back when yours is out.
The good sportsman would have you root for the team that beat you under the “if you can’t beat them…” principle. As such, go Ghana.
The Cinderella story would also have you rooting for Ghana. They are the one team no one picked to move on from group E.
Perhaps you lay your allegiance by means of imperialism or colonialism. America may root for our former masters in England. Angola may root against their former masters in Portugal as they only severed ties 30 years ago and there may still be some resentment. (I couldn’t tell you. I’ve never been to Portugal or Angola.)
Perhaps you are first generation immigrant and you root for your parents homeland. Any sort of family ties can play into your rooting scheme. (This means you base your rooting on your heritage and not for Tina Yothers and Michael Gross. Those are not World Cup teams.)
If all those fail, root for the hotties. I hear-tell that Italy is quite handsome.
So who am I rooting for? I am rooting for Germany for the surname passed on to me; I am rooting for England in support of Monty Python, The Beatles and my sister-in-law; I am rooting for Ghana because America loves and underdog and because they clearly want victory more than America; I am rooting for the Swiss for their timeliness, cleanliness, dairy products and eight franc tarts; and I am rooting for Australia because they take care of business and don’t back off of any opponent (maybe they should play Brazil). Ultimately, I would love to see an England v. Germany final.