Last night, she took a big step toward earning the #25 pinstripes. It started off inauspiciously enough, when she fell asleep in the third inning (approximately 8pm) and stayed out for the duration of a game that ended in a 4-3 loss to Baltimore. Jake Arrieta, the Orioles pitcher, had a nice major league debut, and the Yanks lost only their second game to the Os this year (9-2).
But as she drifted off to sleep a few minutes later after I cajoled and finally lifted her to the bed, we had this sleepy conversation:
Her: We lost...that stinks.
Me: It happens.
Her: Good for that young pitcher, though.
Me: Yeah, but fuck him, right? He's not a Yankee.
Her: But he might be some day.
So far, this is pretty typical. She's much nicer than I am, and will try to find ways to be positive while I'm pretty quick to resort to negativity. But her next comment, after a long pause, shows a gigantic step in her evolution as a Yankee fan. It is simply glorious.
Her: But fuck him anyway. He's not a Yankee now.
It was a very proud moment. In the secret book of jersey points, she just gained a couple notches.
Moving on to the good stuff: WORLD CUP. COPA MUNDO! MUNDIAL! LE COPA DEL MONDE! COPADOR AL MUND! I'M MAKING UP LANGUAGES AND WORDS! MONDU LE COOP! COPAA WAARLD! THAT LAST ONE IS DUTCH!
I'm pumped. Today, it's South Africa-Mexico at 10pm, and France-Uruguay at 2:30. I only have one modest request for these opening matches: I would like both South Africa and Uruguay to win by a score of 15-0. That's it.
What I really want, though, is for the US to beat England tomorrow. This might sound kinda crazy, but if that happens, I really don't care what they do in the rest of the World Cup. I mentioned yesterday that I bought a book called "Among the Thugs," and holy shit, English hooligans are truly alarming. I read over 100 pages just last night (awesome book, by New Yorker scribe Bill Buford), and so far it's basically a story of some really huge British low-lifes going to foreign places, drinking, pissing in public, vomiting, rioting, stealing, and beating up women and children en masse. No joke. We're talking extreme death and destruction. So far, my conclusion is that anyone who romanticizes the hooligan culture in England or elsewhere should be lined up with the hooligans themselves and shot into a deep pit.
That being said, I know the 'hoolies' aren't representative of the Brits in general. But still...we don't have those guys. It's a huge fucking deal in America when someone runs on a field, or, as I said yesterday, when the kid in Philly puked on a girl on purpose. That disgusting act would literally be the tamest thing a British soccer hooligan has ever done. When you consider that the US has the most violent sport in the world (actual football), and that entire seasons go off without anyone getting killed, and no riots, and only a smattering of fights between fans, it's fairly amazing.
So if you want to get fired up for tomorrow's match, just picture a bunch of fat, pasty, dumb Brits with bad teeth ganging up on a 12 year-old Italian kid and kicking him while he's on the ground. I linked to the story of the British government rounding up passports of known hooligans with records yesterday, but I hadn't yet started this book. Now, it makes a lot more sense. It's not much of an exaggeration to call them the scum of the earth.
(Editor's note: at this point in the blog, cue up your favorite patriotic song. We recommend "Proud to be an American." And please take the rest of the words with a giant red, white, and blue grain of salt.)
But guess what? The Brits have always been a bunch of thugs. Remember taxation without representation? Remember the Boston massacre? Granted, nobody likes Boston, and they probably did something annoying to deserve it, but still...it was a massacre! That's bullshit!
But we showed them. We showed them in 1776, and then we showed them in 1812! Well, more like 1814, once we recovered from having Washington burned. But after that, they didn't dare steal our sailors and conscript them for British army duty!
And remember 1950? 1-0, bitches! The Miracle on Grass! That's also our record against England all-time in the World Cup. Undefeated.
I could go on. Their government is a shambles. They treat the Irish like shit, which really pisses me off. They have crappy food. They can't even organize a pick-up soccer game without someone getting killed by unruly fans. Wayne Rooney is ugly. And Queen Elizabeth? Only the second-best Queen Elizabeth in history. I said it. And you know what else? Neither one of them could hold a candle to former first lady Elizabeth Monroe.
The beautiful land will prevail. It's guaranteed. Honesty: I can only name like five members of our team. There will be times even during US matches when I'm a little bored. If you asked me whether I'd rather have an historic US World Cup victory, or just the guarantee that the Yankees would win their next five regular season games against the Red Sox, I'd go with the Yanks in a heartbeat. I'd rather catch a Robbie Cano foul ball, or play ping pong with Nolan Smith. These are the limitations I face, day to day.
That being said: I've never been more certain of anything in my life. We're going to win. We're just better people. It's true, and they know it. We are a superior country to England. I could go on and on. But it boils down to four words, and I'll leave you with those. No more needs to be said.