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Party Like It’s 1999

In Sports on July 15, 2011 at 1:33 am

by:  Eric Buenning

We are only 90 minutes and stoppage time away from uncorking a celebration that’s been twelve years in the making.

The US Women’s National Team is one win away from winning the World Cup, something it hasn’t done since Brandi Chastain netted her penalty kick to clinch the trophy.  After the party settled down and clothes were put back on, we waited.  We waited for another moment for like that for us and our fellow countrymen and women  to rally around.  We haven’t had anything like it since.

Now, before we go any further, I must say that soccer, to some people, isn’t terribly interesting (me being one of those people).  Admittedly, it would take a lot for someone like me to get hooked on the sport.  My thoughts on the game remained set in stone going into this month’s World Cup.  Throughout pool play, I was looking for something to grab my attention.  The first thing I noticed?  “Wow, these women are fiiiiiiiine”.   Other than that, not a whole going for me.

Then came the quarterfinal match vs. Brazil.  I was ready to watch because I didn’t have anything else to do .  We started off with a fortunate own-goal on Brazil.  We held our own for a while until the referees started to grab hold of the match.  Hmm..compelling television.  Brazil then evened up the match with an extra penalty kick, accredited to a controversial encroachment penalty.  Alright..that call sucked…Keep watching, Eric.  Then we went into extra time.  After a brilliant goal by Marta and some great acting on the Brazilian team (I shouldn’t be too critical, a lot of people–when bound to a stretcher–get up almost immediately and start running around), I was hooked.  The US, with only a handful of seconds to spare, pulled off some of the greatest heroics we’ve seen in sports.

Here is the video that made my bumps all goosy:

The match then went into penalty kicks, where the US prevailed 5-3, clinching a spot in the semifinals.  The win was epic; the match was about as savory and entertaining as you could ask for, and the moment will live on forever.  But it did send out one message we can all abide by.

For one day, only 90 minutes, let’s rally behind this team like we did in ’99.

For the casual male fan out there:  these women are gorgeous.  You can’t say that you don’t have time in your day to watch these women.  No excuses.

For the casual female fan:  These women are making a name for themselves.  They are a great example of guts, perseverance, and determination.

For the soccer fans:  You get to welcome us newbies into your sport.  What more could you ask for?

For any red-blooded American out there:  We get the rare chance to let our guard down for two hours, put all differences aside, and support a cause we can all believe in.  This isn’t the Green Bay Packers version of “America’s Team”,  this is ACTUALLY America’s Team.  These girls are laying it all out there for us.  They are representing everything we believe here.  The very least we can do is take time out of our day to show them we have their back for once.  They’ve had ours for longer than we can remember, we just haven’t noticed it.

1999 was fun.  But let’s party for a better reason.

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