Monday, June 23, 2014

Winners, losers, or drawers

NyQuil is wonderful and effective. Sleep is what is needed for the body to heal. That's precisely what I got, eight wonderful hours of it.

I am almost fully recovered, by tomorrow I'll be dangerous again.

Watching the draw in yesterday's USA / Portugal game was heartbreaking. It felt like a win, all the way up until those last few seconds when I knew that it would be a draw. Before the shot was even taken, I could feel it. But, it's why we watch the game. Studies have shown that people derive as much pleasure from close losses as they do wins, no matter what team you're for. 

Also, bad calls elicit much more excitement and pleasure than do good ones. People watch games, in part, to feel cheated. 

America is still favored to advance. If we can draw (or win) against Germany then it's a guarantee. As long as we lose without conceding too many points we can also advance. Ghana can still knock us out if we lose and they win against Portugal with more than a two point differential. It would be the third World Cup in a row in which Ghana had knocked us out either directly or indirectly, I believe.

As many of you already know, this is not a sport's blog. I am writing this as a patriot and a nationalist, of course. Because nothing speaks of American supremacy more than defeating poorer countries at sports. It's what has me worried about the match with Germany...

Americans still struggle with the concept of ties. I watched it live yesterday. A tie seems un-American. 

There were a few people having to explain to a few others what a tie means when they asked, "Well, what happens now?" You could see that they still didn't quite grasp it. The only thing that seemed to put them at ease was the impending switch to match-by-match advancement, only winners and losers, none of this mathematical trickery where there emerges a sense of off-putting evenness, or equality, with others.