Monday, June 26, 2006

US Against The World

I couldn't be more glad that the U.S. team got ousted from the World Cup. Yes, they were robbed in Italy's game, but that's soccer. Calls on the field are always upheld and never overturned; no in-game video reviews for the referees to use. Its beauty is in its sloppiness.

But my being glad goes beyond their whining over officiating mistakes. I hate the "us against the world" mentality that the US has to bring into any world sports tournament. It actually originates from back home before the tournament. Everything has to be "americanized" and made into a norm, and because the vast majority of americans don't even know what's going on beyond the Atlantic and Pacific, that "us against the world" mentality develops naturally. Here it's "The NBA World Championship" and "The Baseball World Series." The american "world" that is.

The US customizes (americanizes) each sport in order to make it a money-driven industry. The basketball game was broken into four quarters with a gizillion timeouts to try to fit in enough in-arena and TV commercials. The rules of basketball were manipulated in order to make it a more fast-paced game that relies on individual talent rather than team work. In other words, to make it more of an entertainment show than a sport. With that, of course, come all the endorsements and the celebrity craze. The soccer penalty kick was changed to a hockey-like one for god only knows why. Also, it's "soccer" rather than "football."

That all results in american players, coaches, and fans of all sports getting hit with reality and looking like idiots whenever they engage in a world tournament. The US basketball team finished 5th or 6th in the world cup tournament in the US a couple of years ago, and got their butts kicked in the Olympics. It's funny that coaches had to hold orientation sessions for players to learn and adjust to the internationally recognized rules of the game, because as usual the US has to have its own rules. What they missed was that not only are the rules different, but also the style of play. Basketball around the world is more of a shooting game; whereas in the US it's all about driving to the hoop and getting as many free throws as possible and creating as many game stops as enough to make it boring. The no longer "Dream Team" got stuck with not knowing how to defend players on the perimeter. In dealing with that, the US is bringing more international players into the NBA instead of going back to the international rules and changing their style of play.

So until the US makes an effort to blend into the rest of the world rather than look down to it, and until the US changes the ignorant, arrogant way local championships are named, then every US team in every sport will keep sucking in every major world event.

In addition to all of that, I'm glad they're out for the overly patriotic crap I had to put up with by commentators, analysts, and ESPN as a whole.


Diver said...

I agree %100 with what uhave said. I had my degree from a southern satate university. I don't know what happened after 11/9 i have been there twice after 11/9 and they r againts the whole world more than ever in sports and in every thing

DonZz said...

I cannot agree with you more. I watched an Interview witht the United States team coach and they asked him "When do you think the U.S will win the world cup?" .. I then realised the ignorance of their patriotism.

Thank you for clearing this delicate issue.

kinematician said...

they believe that they are a one the best teams since they are ranked 4th or 5th FIFA ! FIFA ranking depend on the continental tourmanents and that what placed the US team so high !

the funny thing (i dont know which game, baseball may be) they call the winner of the league WOLRD CHAMPIONS ! what wolrd is that !

nazzal said...

الله يعطيهم
ساحة صفاة مثل ساحتنا
ويعطيهم ، نبيها خمسه :))
يمكن يفكونهم من ال نيوكونز

SnoCone said...

Word. Their arrogance is annoying enough when they have something worth being arrogant about, but when it comes to football; I just want to smack them upside their collective head. With a mallet.

moryarti said...

very insightful piece indeed Jandeef..

BuJwais said...

To be fair, I happened to watch their game with Italy on ESPN2 online (I don't have ART), and the commentators were actually not that bad. Al 7akam was bad there but they also called him bad when he gave a yellow card to an Italian that didn't deserve it, and they were fair to say the off-side goal wasn't actually an off-side.

Or maybe they're just putting up an act to look unbiased...

Jandeef said...


Yes, they do that when they're mathloomeen