Credit: © Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: © Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Be An American – Watch the US in the World Cup Final

Offsides with Marc Ryan
July 05, 2019 - 4:45 pm

This Sunday, all of you will have a choice; you can choose to be an American, or choose to be un-American. You see, at precisely 11am eastern time, our United States Women’s National Team will face the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup Final. Our women’s team won the World Cup in 2015 and is attempting a historic repeat. They’re playing three days after our nation’s birthday.


Be an American. Watch them.


You: “Who are you to tell me what being an American is about, Marc Ryan? Are you saying if I don’t watch this I’m un-American?”


Me: “That’s what I’m telling you. Show up.”


Regardless of your political affiliation, few can dispute that we’re more divided now than we’ve ever been. Never before has our country felt as though a line has been drawn in the sand with everyone forced to take sides. This isn’t the work of one president. It’s been in the works for years.


Sadly, politics have entered the sports realm and have even resulted in us turning away from games we love. In 2016, NFL television ratings were down 12%, in large part due to brush back of players kneeling for the national anthem.


In this World Cup Cycle, US star Megan Rapinoe, a member of the LGBTQ community, was asked if she would accept a White House invitation if the US won. “F no!” was her answer, paraphrasing.

I get that some of you will see that and won’t root for the team because of it. You’d be making a mistake. Look, I’d always opt to go to the White House. Regardless of anyone’s feelings about a sitting president, it’s an honor to be invited. I love Megan Rapinoe, but I disagree with dissing the president. These things do not have to be mutually exclusive for me or you. You can disagree with her performance (in communicating with the president), but it’s poor form to take that out on the performers (the US Women’s National Team).


Many of you also have been slow to welcome the beautiful game, attempting to speak for all of us by proclaiming “Soccer doesn’t work in America.” That ignorant statement flies in the face of booming tv ratings, a successful domestic league for both men and women (MLS + NWSL), and the explosion of youth soccer. Additionally, a recent survey of kids 12 and under showed more of them list Major League Soccer as their favorite sports league than Major League Baseball! Wake up and smell the coffee, soccer haters. The revolution isn’t coming. It’s already arrived.


So this Sunday at 11am, I invite you to do something you may not have taken part in in the past. Watch our women’s team on the biggest stage. Allow yourself to be swept up in pride for the best country in the world. Allow sports to unite us at a time when so many other facets of society are dividing us at alarming rates. I guarantee you’ll find it to be an exhilarating experience; one you won’t soon forget.

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