This post has been updated.
After his record-setting 16 saves in Tuesday’s otherwise dream-crushing USA World Cup match, Americans rallied around goalkeeper Tim Howard as a hometown hero. There were “Howard for President” calls on social media (16 saves, 2016?). Others said he should be the next Secretary of Defense (get it?). Some bypassed politics and named him Captain America. There were hilarious memes created in his honor. Some even went so far as to call him a living legend.
And now Americans – more than 7,000 as of late afternoon – think the airport located just outside the nation’s capital and named for President Ronald Reagan should be rededicated as “Tim Howard National Airport.” A petition to the Obama administration reads:
“Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match; Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.”
To get a response from the White House, the petition must reach 100,000 signatures by July 31. (Other petitions have included one to build a Death Star as an economic stimulus project and one to deport Justin Bieber.) Given Howard’s soaring popularity right now, that might not be too hard to achieve.
There is at least one fan in the Obama administration who shouldn’t be too hard to convince (He calls Howard “Timmy”): UPDATE: There is also now a White House petition to officially replace Chuck Hagel with Howard as Secretary of Defense “for acts of valor and general bada—– during the 2014 World Cup.”
UPDATE II: Hagel called Howard to thank him for “defending” the US. “He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense,” according to a readout of the call. No word on whether Hagel expressed any hurt that nearly 400 Americans want Howard to replace him.
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) July 2, 2014