Norman Chad: When it comes to the World Cup, it's time to get behind Slovenia

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love the World Cup. And I love America -- it's my home town! But I would not love to see America win the World Cup.

Frankly, we don't need another feather in our already overstuffed cap. And considering soccer is the world's game -- and most of the world is at odds with America at any given moment -- I think it might be a nice idea for Uncle Sam, in an effort to promote world harmony, to lay down in South Africa.

Now, in all likelihood, the United States is not going to be in a position to win the World Cup. But on the off chance that Landon Donovan and friends have thoughts of reprising that Miracle-on-Ice thing -- actually, "Miracle on the Pitch" doesn't have the same ring to it -- I must implore my fellow Americans to tank. Seriously.

The smart play, diplomatically, would be to lose with grace.

Americans are a pretty xenophobic lot when, in truth, we're the ones who provoke an intense dislike. Most of the world does not threaten us; rather, most of the world is terrified by us. We're a little too big, a little too rich and a little too powerful and, every once in a while, we muscle up and flex our military might in foreign lands.

There is much fear and loathing of America elsewhere. We seldom imagine what it would be like if the Army boot were on the other foot.

Imagine if, say, Sweden decided to invade North Dakota. Might you not think, "Whoa, what is their problem?" With tanks rolling into Bismarck, wouldn't you -- at a minimum -- boycott Swedish meatballs and Swedish massage?

Outside of American borders, others are tired of us dictating our way of life, tired of us exporting Adam Sandler everywhere, tired of us winning. I empathize, and this time around, I'm willing to root for the others.

(Column Intermission: At the World Series of Poker, I again tried my hand at the $10,000 stud hi-low championship. At this event, you're either a "who's who" or a "who's not" -- I trust you can figure where I stood. My Day One table included Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and Men "The Master" Nguyen. Those chaps have a combined 25 World Series bracelets; I've got a pocket watch. I finished 106th in a field of 178, busting out on Day Two at precisely 3:36 p.m., just in time to catch the tail end of "Oprah.")

So yes, I'm rooting for the other guy in South Africa as long as the other guy is not England.

What, like I don't have bad memories over the Stamp Act of 1765?

Of course I still hold a grudge against the English. We were forever under the thumb of their colonial rule. They virtually invented taxation without representation. And those blokes insist on preserving constitutional monarchy -- a system that makes the BCS look sensible -- plus the food stinks.

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