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    Talking Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt
    June 15, 2006
    Onion Sports

    NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, and WASHINGTON, DC—With the Dow Jones average down over 600 points, factory productivity in a downward spiral, and workplace attendance down by nearly a third, experts say the U.S. World Cup team's heartbreaking 3-0 defeat at the hands of Czech Republic on Monday has brought life across the soccer-crazed nation to a virtual standstill.
    Enlarge ImageDevastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    "What happened in Gelsenkirchen has indeed dealt a grievous blow to the morale of the American people," said President Bush, who had promised his constituency a swift and speedy victory in the World Cup this year and whose popularity has taken a 9 percent hit since the U.S. team's loss. "I want the citizens of this great nation, the world's only remaining superpower, to know that I grieve alongside them and urge them to be strong in our hour of darkness, and urge them to return to their jobs and schools despite their heavy hearts."

    Mere days ago, the feeling across the nation was one of great joy, eager anticipation, and optimism for the prospects of the most talented American team to ever take the field. It is estimated that over 85 percent of U.S. households were watching the USA–Czech Republic matchup. And going into the game that most Americans have been waiting for, analyzing, and all but living for during the past four years, schools, offices, shopping centers—everything, in fact, except vital services—closed their doors as the game began.

    Now, days after the end of penalty time, many of those doors are still closed.

    "I take full responsibility for losing the game," said Claudio Reyna, whose shot off the crossbar of the Czech goal as the U.S. trailed 1-0 in the opening half of play has been shown to coincide with a significant bump in the suicide rate, a momentary increase in reports of domestic violence, and a $0.45 increase in the per-gallon price of gasoline. "But we still have games to play in this opening round. I realize that the United States, more than any other country, loves this game. But that is no reason for so many people to cancel their weddings."

    The general feeling of hopelessness may be felt across the United States, the nation the rest of the world thinks of as Pelé's adopted home, the land that popularized the term "soccer," and Americans are finding many different ways to voice their despair.

    Hundreds of yards of black bunting hung over the head and arms of the Statue of Liberty has yet to be removed by the New York City Parks Department; similar shrouds have appeared on Mount Rushmore, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hawaii's Pearl Harbor Memorial. Las Vegas casinos are running skeleton staffs at the tables and doubling the size of security shifts, at once worrying over their empty floors and fearing retribution at the hands of World Cup gamblers who bet on the U.S. out of loyalty. And the House of Representatives, which traditionally remains closed throughout the World Cup, called a special session for the specific purpose of introducing a bipartisan bill that would change America's national sport back to baseball.

    "This cannot last," said Bruce Arena, coach of the U.S. World Cup team and by extension effectively the second-most powerful man in America, in an address televised simultaneously on every national channel Wednesday night. "We cannot have crops unharvested in the fields, the doors of our churches sealed shut, the Stars and Stripes fixed at half-mast, all because of our dishonorable standard of play. We cannot ask you to forgive our loss to the Czechs, as that must be left to the wisdom of the God of our fathers. We have always been a nation blessed with strength, not only in our love for our soccer teams, but in our love for one another, and we must call on both now if we are to endure these dark days."

    At press time, the U.S. team is scheduled to play Italy on Saturday and Ghana the following Thursday, and the National Guard has reported moderate casualties while attempting to contain hooligan activity in the nine largest U.S. cities.


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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    I am reading this and all I can say is ........ what????

    Is this the way Americans deal with a sport they are just bad at? Make a joke of it.


    Mmmm, the WORLDS biggest game and the yanks are crap

    followed closely by the Scots, who invented the game. But at least we take it on the chin.


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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Here is a joke soccer story:

    Lack of yellow card miraculously heals soccer player’s broken leg

    Moments after a slide tackle dropped him to the ground and left him writhing in pain with what seemed to be a broken femur or some other serious injury, Paraguayan midfielder Christian Riveros popped up and continued playing after referee Hans Kimmel failed to produce a yellow card.
    “It’s amazing. I see it all the time in matches,” said Kimmel, a longtime referee. “I seem to have the power to heal serious injuries simply by deciding if the felled player was taken down legally or illegally. I can’t explain it, but I guess you could call me a miracle worker.”
    Riveros said at first he thought he was going to die when he was lightly bumped from behind by an English midfielder in the first half of Saturday’s match.
    “I felt my soul leaving my body. ‘Surely I am going to perish,’ I thought to myself,” said Riveros. “But as my soul was ascending up to the heavens, I looked down on my body and saw that the referee wasn’t going to make a booking, so I decided to go back into my body, get up, continue playing as though nothing happened and then try to draw a card later in the game by blatantly taking another fall.”

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    The USA has a soccer team?



    Why?

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    I got no problem with soccer, but it's like an old football coach told me one time......"There's just something wrong with a sport where the ball rolls around on the ground and nobody picks it up and runs with it".

    Here's what I don't get about soccer, though.
    Lack of yellow card miraculously heals soccer player’s broken leg
    That does seem a little silly. The player falls to the ground and goes into death throes whenever an opposing player brushes through their personal space. You would think the guy is living out Gibson's final scenes from Braveheart.......then, as if touched by Allmighty's Healing Hand, jumps up and runs around some more after the ref's decision.

    I just can't stomach much of that. Other than that, the sport looks like fun.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    I am reading this and all I can say is ........ what????

    Is this the way Americans deal with a sport they are just bad at? Make a joke of it.


    But at least we take it on the chin.
    We let are women do the talking on the soccer field.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    What are you talking about football is the most played sport in the world. I always hear Europeans talking about it.

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Quote Originally Posted by LaRamsFanLongTime
    We let are women do the talking on the soccer field.
    Yea, that's right, and on the cooking & cleaning fields, too...right fellas? fellas? hello?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    I am reading this and all I can say is ........ what????

    Is this the way Americans deal with a sport they are just bad at? Make a joke of it.
    Just so you know, the Onion lampoons all of its news stories. Most of the time we don't joke about sports we are bad at...we just ignore them.

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    The player falls to the ground and goes into death throes whenever an opposing player brushes through their personal space. You would think the guy is living out Gibson's final scenes from Braveheart.......then, as if touched by Allmighty's Healing Hand, jumps up and runs around some more after the ref's decision.

    I just can't stomach much of that. Other than that, the sport looks like fun.
    A lot of these guys don't even bother to deny they dive. They say it's just part of the game. I think the referees should get to issue penalties for "being a sissy." I propose that if a player flops around on the ground too much, the opposition should get an opportunity to take a driven free kick at him to toughen him up.

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I got no problem with soccer, but it's like an old football coach told me one time......"There's just something wrong with a sport where the ball rolls around on the ground and nobody picks it up and runs with it".

    Here's what I don't get about soccer, though. That does seem a little silly. The player falls to the ground and goes into death throes whenever an opposing player brushes through their personal space. You would think the guy is living out Gibson's final scenes from Braveheart.......then, as if touched by Allmighty's Healing Hand, jumps up and runs around some more after the ref's decision.
    After reading this, now I understand why soccer is the 'sport' of the 'sensitive' fellas. (a.k.a. "girlie men")
    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Yea, that's right, and on the cooking & cleaning fields, too...right fellas? fellas? hello?
    Of course! After all, "loading the dishwasher" means giving the wife a shot of whiskey, right?

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    The title of the thread says 'Nation comes to halt' I could care less how we do in the worldcup of soccer, I bet had football players grown up in different countries they would be great soccer players. Long story short our athletes aren't playing soccer, whereas in other countries soccer is the premiere sport to play.

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Soccer players in america strive to be one thing when they grow up. A kicker in the NFL.:tongue:
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Quote Originally Posted by rams_fan81
    The title of the thread says 'Nation comes to halt' I could care less how we do in the worldcup of soccer, I bet had football players grown up in different countries they would be great soccer players. Long story short our athletes aren't playing soccer, whereas in other countries soccer is the premiere sport to play.
    Nope, it has to compete like any other sport for the attention of the public. The fact that it's the most popular global game by far is down to the fact that it's easy and cheap to play and it stirs something within the soul that translates to extremes of emotion.

    Nations do and have come to a halt.

    There are area's of the education system and the country for that matter where Cricket,Rugby and Rugby league are far more popular than football. My wife's home town Wigan for example, is a town where even now, when their football team is in the premiership, the struggles of the rugby league team are paramount.

    Added to which, is the fact that major commercial organisations have sought, for the last 20 years or so to exploit this and you have had the further explosion of popularity in it's main domestic markets such as England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy.

    There are fantastic amount of money involved in the game and it's leading lights are global phenomenon.

    The USA's current world ranking of #4 (I think) was an absolute mystery to me and many others who follow football and this current world cup and it's been proved to be a myth by their performances here. It meant that FIFA thought they were better then England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc etc which they quite obviously weren't

    Fact remains is that the USA should be a major player in football,especially with it's large hispanic population. The fact that it isn't says a lot.

    It also puzzles the hell out of the rest of the world.

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    Sure, soccer competes with other sports in other countries, but it's still up there among the top. I would imagine tennis and golf get higher ratings in the U.S. Where I grew up, lots of kids played soccer until they got to be say 10-12 years old. Then most abandoned it for the sports they saw on tv. And is it any surprise? Think about it. The best baseball players from around the world come to play in the U.S., the best basketball players from around the world come to play in the U.S., the best "American football" players in the world play in the U.S...the best soccer players from around the world (including the U.S.) play in Europe or South America. MLS is suffering from some of the same problems as NFL Europe--we all know the best talent isn't playing there, and other sports are already entrenched.

    Let's say an American kid who could be the next Pele watched the playoffs of all the major sports this year: do you think he's going to go to his daddy and say, "I want to be like Clint Dempsey" after seeing a World Cup in which the whole team managed just 4 shots in 3 games, or do you think he's more likely to see the NBA Finals and say, "I want to be like Dwayne Wade"? Not only did we lose badly in two of our World Cup games, but we did so with very unattractive and uninspired play.

    American athletes also know they can make more at other sports. Currently, two MLS players have salaries over $1,000,000/year. Meanwhile, Roger Clemens makes over $20,000,000/year. A lot of MLS players make close to the minimum of $37,000. By comparison, the rookie minimum in the NFL is $225,000. The minimum in MLB is $270,000. The NBA? $398,762. It's just not even comparable; you'd have to go to Europe to make those kinds of salaries as a soccer player.

    In order for soccer to really catch on in the U.S., we need some American sports heroes to emerge and capture people's imaginations, and the domestic league has to become competitive enough to be talked about among the best in the world. The problem is that the sport has to reach a certain level of popularity to attract the best athletes...to become popular...to attract the best...It's a vicious cycle.

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    Re: Devastated By U.S. World Cup Team's First-Round Loss, Nation Grinds To Halt

    I agree entirely, but it's primarily down to the insularity of the US, it's taste for sports and the strength of it's home market economically.

    The thing is that the US wasn't ever going to get instant reward for it's efforts, it's going to take time and in a country that is used to being, and demands to be, the best that isn't good enough.

    Why are Basketball, and baseball (For all love.......????) Olympic sports? Because it was presumed that there would be instant rewards by the IOC that would result in bigger commercial revenues and higher interest in the US.

    Why was Mia Hamm a household name but Kasey Keller isn't?

    Mia Hamm won, Kasey Keller hasn't.

    Football takes time and even then it's not the always the most deserving that wins.

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