Is it just me, or is the weight that American soccer fans are placing on each of the first 2 “USMNT Send Off Series” games pretty damn heavy? The social media channels are infused with so much chatter you’d think the boys were already playing IN the World Cup. And, if you listen on those same channels, other fans of other countries seem to take these matches in stride. These are just “warm up” games after all. Just a series of practice sessions with appropriately limited expectations. Not for Americans though. US fans are pretty fired up. Maybe the Donovan controversy had something to do with it? Shook things up. Cast a bit of doubt?
Whatever kicked it off, the intensity amongst fans, around the water cooler and at the pub is very real. It is palpable. We LOVE it. The upside to all this pressure from the American fanbase is that it certainly illustrates the intensity of what we like to call “Fandemonium”- high expectations for our national team to perform well on the big stage. But, the downside? Well, if this is the kind of stress American fans will be experiencing- like our Irish and English friends, for example- then pour me another, bartender. THAT kind of involvement is hardcore. Lordy!
The 3rd and final “USMNT Send-off Series” match for the US is scheduled for Saturday, June 7. Then, the team is off to Brazil. And, even though we actually won the first 2, my nerves are not quelled in the least. I AM caught up in the hype too. No matter, I plan to gather my friends and head down to the pub Saturday for the last match of the series against Nigeria …but with some perspective.
Because the REAL party kicks off June 12, and more specifically June 16 (Game 1 against Ghana). And, the festivities at the Pub all tournament long are going to be nothing short of monumental. Everyone at the pub is really excited about having fans from all over the world making the pub roar.
After all, it’s perfectly acceptable to spend an entire month drinking beer indoors at a great soccer bar, when it’s World Cup, right?
(Yes. That question is rhetorical.)