‘USA’ Chants Inspire Me, but Soccer Doesn’t

beaverdamusa.com, mark grissom, chicago cubsFor the most part…I hate soccer.

I do not care to watch it on television. I never played soccer as a kid growing up. I know absolutely nothing about the game.

The only kind of soccer that I ever found to be even the least little bit interesting, was the MISL. That stands for Major Indoor Soccer League.

Growing up in Chicago, they had a professional indoor soccer team called the “Chicago Sting”. They played their games in an indoor arena. They mainly used hockey stadiums and placed indoor AstroTurf all over the ice and had a goal at each end of the floor.

beaverdamusa.com, mark grissom, loving the cubs

An indoor soccer match featuring the Chicago Sting.

I went to several indoor soccer games. Some of them were at the Chicago Stadium and some of them were played at the Rosemont Horizon.

What got me interested in indoor soccer was the fact I was dating this girl who liked the game and she had me take her to the matches.

I ended up breaking up with her…but I still went to the soccer games. I went by myself and actually had a much better time than I did when she went and I had to hear her nag all the way there and back.

Indoor soccer matches were exciting, because they used the walls to kick off of and it made for a much more “fast paced” game.

Outdoor soccer in a large arena sucks!

I am sorry…it just does!

They spend 90 minutes running up and down the field…kicking the ball around to each other and they hardly EVER score. Just when the ball reaches one end of the field and you think they might have a chance…BAM…the opposing team kicks it all the way down to the other end, and here we go again!

I would rather dig out an ingrown toenail than to have to watch an outdoor soccer match on television…or even live in person.

However…things were just a little bit different these past couple of weeks during the World Cup Soccer Match in Brazil.

This is the match that is played once every four years and it is basically the USA against the world.

Most all the countries in the world are represented in the World Cup.

I guess that is why it is called the “World” Cup.

“TEAM USA” was able to advance to the “Final 16” grouping and they played Belgium this past Tuesday.

We had a funeral at Grissom Funeral Home yesterday at 3 p.m. I did not make it home in time to watch the entire game. However, I was able to watch the last 45 minutes of the match and then the overtime 30-minute play.

“TEAM USA” was tied 0-0 with Belgium when I started watching. So I did not feel like I had missed anything.

Actually…I NEVER feel like I missed anything when I do not watch a soccer game.

But THIS GAME was completely different than all the rest.

This was the day that “OUR TEAM”, the team representing the greatest Nation in the entire world; the USA was playing to go on to the final 8 grouping.

I noticed something during the remainder of the game that I was able to watch.

I noticed that I did not have a care in the world for those final 75 minutes or so. I did not care about work. I did not care about bills. I did not care about politics. I did not care about what was going on in Washington D.C. between the POTUS and the SCOTUS and the Congress. I just flat out DID NOT CARE!

The only thing I cared about during the last half of the United States vs. Belgium World Cup Soccer Match was that I was darn proud to be a citizen of this great country!

I could hear the chants in the stands….USA…USA….USA!!!

I almost wanted to get up off my couch and shout it with them!

I know nothing about World Cup Soccer. I do not know anyone on the team for the United States. I do not know the name of the coach for “America’s Team”.

Even if I did know his name…there is a 98% chance I could never pronounce it.

But what I DO KNOW… is that amidst all the turmoil in Washington. Amidst all the fighting and wars going on in the Middle East. Amidst the problems and cares of our everyday lives…for about 75 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, July 1, 2014…everything inside of my body and my spirit was shouting…USA….USA….USA!!!!

Let us never forget…that we are citizens of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave and God Bless America…My HOME SWEET HOME!

So the game did not turn out like we all had hoped. But we are still number one in my book!


About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!

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