This is the 2nd contribution by Jared DuBois to The Shin Guardian
You can listen to Jared harangue MLS & US Soccer on the Best Soccer Show or pontificate on the glory coming for Los Angeles Galaxy this season in many other places and to anyone who will listen. Jared holds no political affiliation.
In a recent White House correspondent’s dinner Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers delivered a joke I can’t seem to shake from my brain over the last week. Meyers said, regarding the 2012 Republican Presidential nominees at the annual Presidential roast, “…it’s not a strong field, and who knows if they can beat you in 2012. But I’ll tell you who can definitely beat you Mr. President, 2008 Barack Obama.”
How quickly just three years goes by…
Three years ago, you were just as unlikely to hear the words “black” and “President” juxtaposed next to each other as you would “German” and “creativity.” The world has since—however incredulously–embraced the possibility of giving a man, at least, a chance to live up to a self-imposed ideal that challenges us to believe in the best America has to offer.
The world has also watched, as a new wave of German footballing youth broke the shackles of formulaic systems, rooted in rigid robotic movement.
It’s a brave new world today.
And that’s both a benefit and a curse to new U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
In America we yearn for “The Ideal” like Snooki yearns for bronzer. It’s what makes us who we are to the rest of the world.
So it comes as no shock to read a recent SI interview with the new US coach and hear him speak to our ideals as a soccer nation.
For years the fanboys of America’s least respected game have clamored on the underground blogs, message boards and social media circles for an American team that plays with a style we could be proud of.
One that stresses creative, open, attacking play.
One that we can toss in the face of our Eurosnob friends layered in gear from the Emirates as they mock Michael Bradley in the face of the latest freshly-baked waffle from Cesc Fabregas.
A style that doesn’t sound as ugly as it looks (“The Bucket”).
I’ve learned three things about Klinsi so far: he has a decent DSL connection, knows the Mos Eisley-like places where American soccer hangs out on the Internet, and he knows how to hit CTRL-C followed quickly CTRL-V. Many things have changed in three years but I still own a PC.
Klinsmann is saying everything we want to hear, and it sounds so simple doesn’t it? Just change…
But rhetoric is easy. And unfortunately for Mr. Klinsmann, I’ve been burnt once before…
I want a “change we can believe in”, I really do. But if the last few years has taught me anything, it’s that it’s easy to appeal to a nation that eats up ideals like a fatty piece of bacon for breakfast.
We know it’s dangerous for us, but we can’t help ourselves. We’ve watched for centuries as our nation has consistently done the things the rest of the world has told us we could not.
Then we spike the ball and do the Ickey Shuffle in the world’s end zone. It’s just what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.
Bacon and touchdown dances.
Yet our touchdown dances have been few and far between as of late.
So the bitter bitter man that’s developed inside of me since 2008 looks at what Klinsmann is saying with far more guarded optimism than he probably deserves.
I’m jaded Jurgen.
I know it’s not your fault but like a dude that just got out of a shitty relationship, you’re catching me on the rebound. I’ve fell for a guy that pulled at my heart strings and dared me to believe that he could make a difference in my life. And has failed…
That’s what Klinsmann has to make a difference. It’s a criminally short amount time to install the vastly ambitious changes he has planned for our nation.
Sounds hauntingly familiar, doesn’t it?
If the last few years has shown us anything it’s that the rhetoric meets the road far more quickly than we would like and than is wholly fair in a world where 140-character Twitter streams have usurped the lengthy 15-second sound byte.
As unjust as it may seem, the 2014 World Cup is only three years away. I can’t help but think I’ll be reflecting with nostalgia about how much I liked that 2011 Klinsmann.
What happened to him?
But still… I love bacon Jurgen… and I smell what you’re cooking up in the next room. In fact it smells so good I can almost taste it.
Let’s just say I’m going to lay in bed for a few more minutes and make sure it makes it out of the skillet before I bother getting dressed for breakfast.