A Victory for Vanilla-Lovers: U.S. advances to second round | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

A Victory for Vanilla-Lovers: U.S. advances to second round


The U.S. ties two weak teams, England and Slovenia, and barely beats Algeria and not only advances to the second round but wins its group. Life really is unfair. Even worse, look at the schedule and you’ll see the U.S. could advance to the semifinals without having to play a single strong opponent.

They definitely wouldn’t have to face Spain, Brazil, Portugal or Argentina until then. Those look to be the four strongest teams, even if none of them wins (or even all necessarily advance) in the end and despite Spain’s amazing ability thus far to not score goals.

In my view, the team that deserves to win usually does (with the possible exception of the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings playoff series of 2002 or South Korea’s ridiculous referee-sponsored advance at the same year’s World Cup. So I’ll admit, all you people now sending me gloating emails — that’s OK, I can take it as well as give it out — the U.S. deserved to advance, no matter how lousy the competition and how lamely it performed.

Still, cheering for the U.S. team at soccer is like rooting for Killers to win the Academy Award.

Mediocrity Uber Alles.

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