These are weird, happy times for soccer fans. For decades, our sport was considered a vile invading force from foreign shores. Sort of like the metric system.
And now, all of a sudden, soccer is popular, cool, a beloved conquering force. Reminds me of my childhood in the suburbs of
Not everyone is thrilled by soccer's rise.
I also realize she was wildly inaccurate and needlessly insulting in the final passage of her column. True Americans, Coulter argued, decline to watch soccer. You could spend years searching for humor in her words. You would fail in your quest.
"I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time," Coulter wrote.
On Tuesday at 2, I'll be watching the U.S.-Belgium World Cup game with several dozen women, men, girls and boys whose great-grandfathers were born in The Land of the Free.
I'll also be watching in a big room joined by those whose great-grandfathers were born in Belgium and
Soccer fetish? Oh, Ann, you're stuck in the 20th century.
A few thoughts and tips, including a prediction, for today's game:
One -- Watch out for Fellaini
Belgium midfielder Maroune Fellaini boasts the frame required to play middle linebacker in the
Fellaini is 6-foot-4 -- 6-11 if you include his high-rise hair -- and plays with distinctive fury. He once drew a three-game suspension for head-butting an opponent, and his elbows tend to wander into the faces of opposing stars.
He's extremely entertaining, deceptively graceful and skilled. But, remember, he's dangerous. American attackers should consider wearing helmets.
Two -- Admire Dempsey's courage
He's an inspiring figure, even if he resembles a zombie.
I predict he will score against Belgium.
Three -- Don't talk about Donovan
When the World Cup began,
That was then.
Now, if you keep wondering why Klinsmann banished Donovan from his team, attacks will follow. Trust me on this one. I believe Donovan would have served as a valuable sub for this American team, which lacks scoring punch.
This point of view has led to accusations that I labor against the American cause. Give comfort to the enemy. That kind of thing. "Get on the ship!" I've been commanded by outraged U.S. supporters.
What a difference a win, tie and loss makes. Klinsmann, born in
Four -- Prediction
The Americans seized our hearts by playing with unabashed passion. Yes, they've been blessed with a big dose of luck, but the Americans deserve to remain alive in the world's ultimate sports tournament. They survived because of their unquenchable desire.
But the good times end Tuesday in
Belgium 2, United States 1.
(c)2014 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services