“I already won the lottery. I was born in the U.S. of A, baby.” — Creed Bratton
Last week, the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. We lost to Trinidad and Tobago. Our country lost to an island composed of about 1/323rd of our population — and your On Fire correspondent could not be any happier. What could be more patriotic than not only denying Russia the honor of our presence but also proving our complete and total apathy toward the sport most beloved by our former colonizer and arch nemesis, England?
Our team, composed of fourth-tier athletes too Anglophilic to play a true American sport like football, baseball or basketball, said “No thanks” to the opportunity to tramp around on commie soccer fields. Following in the footsteps of President Donald J. Trump, who rescinded a White House invitation to athletes who had already said they weren’t going, the USMNT said “no” to an event to which they were never invited. It’s the American way. Sure, while the White House may be unofficially located in Moscow, it is still a defiant American strategy to avoid excelling at a sport that would place over a dozen fine men behind the red line. The late Joseph McCarthy would roll in his grave if he knew that young, impressionable Americans were being exposed to Marxist ideas abroad. Fortunately, the national team’s prioritization of American ideals is strong enough that the players decided to avoid even the chance of being within the same borders of the shirtless, horse riding Vladimir Putin.
But that failure to qualify is more significant than a simple Cold War victory. Your On Fire correspondent believes that not qualifying for the World Cup is another battle W for a ceaseless Revolutionary War. The best way to break off from British influence is by surprise attacking them with presents in the form of artillery on Christmas morning of 1776 and protesting their favorite sport in the form of losing in qualification rounds.
When Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam consummated their love, they gave birth to a country free of a hegemonic soccer culture. Our best athletes are playing real football in the NFL, completing 360-degree dunks in the NBA and hitting 400-foot tanks in the MLB. Hell, our best athletes north of the Mason-Dixon Line are dangling, sniping and cellying in the NHL.
It took the leadership of a true patriot like Bruce Arena to coach the USMNT to glorious defeat. When the team qualified in 2014, it was all thanks to Jurgen Klinsmann — a German. Arena recognized that it would be close to treason to formulate a truly competitive American team at the international level. It simply wouldn’t be fair if the United States dominated in football, baseball, basketball, both World Wars, gross domestic product and soccer. Thus, Arena’s resignation following the loss to Trinidad and Tobago holds parallels to George Washington’s decision to refuse a third term: Both provided a grand service to their country and should be recognized for their incredible efforts.