Friday, June 11, 2010

An Open Letter to the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 3:56 AM

(Note: I understand that the English National Soccer team and BP are two separate entities and that even if the United States beats England in their World Cup match this Saturday, it will do nothing to help stop the oil spewing in the Gulf of Mexico or save our vital wetlands or clean the water or pay back all the fisherman for the business lost or bring back the 11 men that died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. Nevertheless, sports can act as a catharsis in special cases. This is one of them.)

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click to enlarge Gizmodo BP Contest

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Photo lifted from Gizmodo.com's excellent Photoshop contest

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Dear United States Men's National Team (USMNT),

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During a regular pre-World Cup binge of news and analysis, I stumbled upon Bob Bradley's open letter to U.S. soccer fans imploring us to support the country's World Cup bid for 2018 or 2022. He calls it the "next giant step" in developing soccer domestically. He said fans "can help us represent our sport off the pitch" in the eyes of FIFA and the world.

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Coach Bradley, as a fan of soccer, the World Cup, sport in general and the city I live in - New Orleans - I'd like to ask you and your team for something in exchange for supporting you: WIN.

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Start by doing us a favor and beating the ever-loving piss out of England this Saturday. Not only will that be a giant step towards gaining legitimacy in World Soccer (not unlike just a few years ago) but it would be nice to see the country where BP was founded take another one to the chops (surely you see the Gulf South has been taking more than its fare share of  licks),

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Don't just beat the English, embarrass them. The opportunity is there: England are notorious slow starters; despite your injuries they have a few key ones of their own; you're an underdog which is where great American stories are born; and all you may have to do is pull an inspiring speech out of your ass.

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Any speech will do. Give your players a "win one for the Gipper" or channel some Al Pacino from "Any Given Sunday". Shit, why don't you just spend a few hours staring at these pictures until you go mad, storming into the locker room just before kickoff, shouting "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" before leading your players storming out of the locker room and onto the field of victory.

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And don't stop there. Might as well win your group if you're going to beat England on the first night, don't you think? That may put the quarterfinals within reach and, just eight years ago, the U.S. was a handball away from the semis. Nobody thought much of that team then, and they surprised everyone with their result. It seems like a good time to repeat that performance.

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Not only will you win over more fans in the States (especially after how terribly y'all crapped the bed the last go-round) you might get your World Cup.And that would be fantastic, because after hosting the Final Four and the Super Bowl, New Orleans will be primed to have the eyes of the entire world, not just the U.S. on it as we once again humiliate the British by giving every world media outlet a view of how those slimy fuckheads may have ruined the entire coast. Keep the cash flow coming into a city that will still be rebuilding -- always rebuilding -- so we can keep living. After all, if the U.S. was hosting the world's biggest party, it'd be a shame if you left out New Orleans.

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Then maybe, just maybe, you'll see soccer become a great American game.

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