I can’t pretend to be a soccer fan. Put me in front of a soccer game-err, match-and I couldn’t tell you what’s happening. I just don’t get soccer and I don’t have even a flicker of interest in it.
Until you put me in front of game, sorry, match with a stadium full of Seattle soccer crazies. Then I’m yelling and chanting, singing along with the band, and Boom-Boom-Clapping. I can’t make myself watch a match on tv, but dangle a ticket to a Sounders game and watch me turn into a salivating fanatic.
That’s how I found myself at the US Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier last night. The intoxicating Sounder’s atmosphere married with patriotic fervor? Sign me up!
It didn’t disappoint. I’m still high off the euphoria and pride that ignited every single person in the stadium. The energy generated by the crowd could have powered the entire city last night.
This game couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been so despondent over the direction of the lovely USA. I feel like we’re slipping away from the beautiful ideal of the Founding Fathers as a place for liberty and justice for all. There’s the NSA thing, the IRS thing, the Benghazi thing. It just goes on and on.
All I’ve felt for my country lately have been bad things. I wasn’t flush with patriotic fever when I walked through the gates last night. We stood before our seats the entire 90 minutes and watched 11 men sweat on the pitch and I felt a beautiful thing for my country. I felt pride and hope.
It’s a beautiful thing to root for your country. I feel sorry for people who don’t get sports. They are missing out on this experience that delivers hope and pride.
In this atmosphere where 40,000 people are so invested in every second of the game it’s hard to think that things can’t get better. If we can come together to fanatically cheer on some dudes kicking a ball around, we can come together to make the country better.
To feel those feelings about my country, it was a magical 90 minutes.