Turns out that the World Cup, besides being one of the best international sporting events, well, ever, can also teach you a thing or two. About life, our world, teamwork, and facial hair.
As I was sitting drinking Austrian beer in a sweaty, small, but lively German bar in Lincoln Square, with a bald guy wearing a German t-shirt to my right and a guy in a Argentinian rugby shirt with a bootleg Mexican Cubs hat to my left, I had some not-so-deep epiphanies about this year's tournament. Blame it on the heat, blame it on the alcohol, blame it on Sergio Aguero's babyface.
Here are nine lessons from World Cup 2014. Hope you enjoyed watching the beautiful game as much as I did.
1. Luis Suarez is still THE WORST. This guy has been up to no good wherever he goes. Spouting racial slurs, committing egregious fouls, and taking chunks out of people's bodies. Ugh.
2. Robin Van Persie is still a silver fox. I know, it might be lame and cliche, but yes, I notice when athletes are attractive. And there are a lot of attractive soccer players. RVP spent most of his professional club season sitting out, so it was great to see him and his salt and pepper doing what he does best- scoring goals.
3. Clint Dempsey is the heart and soul of US soccer right now. Four years ago, the only US soccer player anyone could talk about was Landon Donovan. And all Landon Donovan could talk about was...Landon Donovan. It was nice to have stand out players that still valued the fact they were on a team. And Dempsey always seemed to be playing to win and leaving it out on the field.
4. Tim Howard's beard is the 12th man. That thing has at least 8 twitter accounts. One of them followed by the president.
5. Being good on paper does not equal winning tournaments. I had such high hopes for the Belgium National Team. So. much. talent. But alas, if you can't get it together as a team, you lose to Argentina.
6. Being arguably the current best player in the world does not equal winning. Speaking of Argentina, Lionel Messi proved you can't single-handedly win a tournament, despite your unbelievable talent. Team work makes the dream work, folks.
7. The western media gets nervous when things take place outside of the western world. Like with the Winter Olympics this year, the media was going nuts that everyone would be kidnapped, crushed in a construction accident, or die of dysentery in Brazil this summer, Oregon Trail style. Turns out, things seemed to go just fine.
8. Americans like things in proportion to how good we think we are at them. The US National squad is actually competitive on the international scene. Heck, we've even done better than England the last two tournaments. And as the team has gotten better, the fan base has grown to where people might know what you're talking about when you mention "the goalie with the scary beard."
9. The World Cup is a great excuse for Americans to claim their heritage. Did you ancestors immigrate from the Netherlands in the 1880s? Best get your orange out and start yelling Hup! Ever curious where your co-workers are "from" (besides the western suburbs)? While there may have been many of questionable German decent around town yesterday, I think it's great to see people embracing one of the largest world events.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Random