Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spain, Kiss My Big Black Yankee Ass

Non-Soccer fans, you might find this interesting as well.

This was the perfect storm of amazing for me.

Not only am I beyond fanatic about or National Team, not only was this one of the 5 biggest wins in American soccer history . . .but it was against SPAIN!!!

I still hold an intense, personal level of disgust and anger for Spain after spending my spring break there in 2002 (maybe '03). I've never met such horrible people. Blatantly racist young people, old people looking at me as if I were a science experiment gone wrong, fascist protests in the streets of Madrid...generally the WORST bunch of people I've ever come across in such a short time span.

Fast forward to last night:
The United States of We Have No Business in the Semi-Finals, versus the consensus #1 team in the world...Spain. A country who's fans are known for aiming monkey chants and throwing banana peels at opposing Black players. Yes, Spain. A nation who's former national team coach once referred to France's Thierry Henry (one of this generations greatest) as "that black shit". Yes, Spain. A nation with Formula 1 fans who couldn't stomach the idea of a Black champion, so they showed up in blackface to let Lewis Hamilton know how they really felt. Yes. Spain.

The 2-0 win was beautiful, poetic, and personally gratifying on so many levels. It was vintage Americana. Despite the scoreline, our boys were out-played, out-shot, and generally out-classed on the field . . .but "football is a funny ol' game", and sometimes heart triumphs over skill when it matters.

Even more wonderful was the fact that it was two Black men, both from New Jersey, both former players for my beloved New York club, that sealed America's victory. Livingston, NJ native, son of Haitian immigrants, Josmer "Jozy" Altidore opened the scoring with a powerful and agile turn that Spain's back line couldn't handle. Presumably because they knocked off balance without the soothing sounds of racial chants in their ears. From there, North Brunswick, NJ native and greatest MetroStar ever, Tim Howard shut the door with 8 saves and delivered one of the greatest individual performances by anyone who's ever worn a US crest over their heart.

Obviously, the game was much bigger than my personal issues with a nation that never knew me and individuals who have long since forgotten me...but I can't help but to feel like the US National Team did me a personal favor yesterday (and thank you, Clint Dempsey for putting the game on ice).

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