On the drive home, after taking it in the solar plexus after today’s 2-1 loss to Belgium, I was listening to sports talk radio.
Some yahoo who lives in El Paso said, in not so many words, that he hates soccer, and it’s hard to get into it because most people there root for Mexico. Well, I’ve never been to El Paso, and I don’t have a reason to go there, but I hope he wasn’t talking for all border communities. Because this World Cup has been an example of the evolution of the American of Mexican descent.
I was at a bar and grill where everyone in there was rooting for the home team. Tables were being reserved (I had to create a stir because I didn’t know this was customary at a sports bar), so we got a table.
We were quiet a lot beginning midway through the first half. The US had been controlling the ball well, but the Belgians increased their attack, taking most of the shots in the latter part of the first half and most of the entire second half. But we stuck with them. The sea of brown people, light-skinned people, the white people, all of us were rooting for the same end.
In the end we were all saddened that we wouldn’t have one more game. One more shot. It hurt.
But then there’s this guy, on a national radio show, trying to suggest that border towns are Mexican fans. I was more than offended. If there is a word that explains “more than offended,” that was me. This guy did not represent me or everyone in this sports bar, no matter what color, creed, religious belief, or place of birth.
Hell, we started seeing people file in to claim a table in another chain restaurant/bar two hours before the game.
We’re Americans. I don’t root for Mexico. I don’t root for anyone else.
One Nation. One Team.
I’m an American. Stop trying to call me anything else but that.