Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#HotSportsTake: The Tie Generation In America

We’ve all heard the complaints.  

A tie is like kissing your sister.

A boring, INCONCLUSIVE style that practically encourages ties in soccer means it will never catch on in America.

A tie is literally worse than genocide.  

If you can tie, well why not just call off the match and go straight to the handshake line? Dan Shaughnessy would be happy that hands are involved at least.

With a tie against Germany on Thursday, the USMNT would advance to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. A US win would do it too, and there’s a good chance we advance even with a loss, but a tie guarantees it. What’s more, Germany would be through in first place as long as they don’t lose. It’s a horrifying thought to most, that it would be in our advantage for both teams to take it easy and play for a scoreless draw, to collude in futility. It must be the influence of that fruity European coach.

Playing for a tie is everything we claim to hate about the sport.

Well, I have a different take on the matter.

Considering the state of our country: what’s more American than a tie?

Oh, I know what you’re saying. We won the Revolutionary War, turned the tide in WWI and WWII when we entered the fray, invented airplanes and nukes and Hot Pockets and all kinds of wonderful things. We practically invented elections and prefer things to have clear cut winners and losers.

We’re a nation of liberty and freedom and I would never dispute that. America is the greatest country in the world.

But that’s all in the past.

Consider the evidence: UNITED is an anagram for TIED’UN, which oh-by-the-way sounds a hell of a lot like “tied one.” (If you even deign to mention that it’s also an anagram for UNTIED I’ll see to it that you’re deported straight to a country that always loses, like Canada.) A tie goes to the runner in our favorite pastime. Our Senate even has a 50-way tie for the state with the most members.

Remember: a tie in this case is about as good as a win, and we’re known to take the path of least resistance if it gets us to the same place. Especially lately, especially this generation of players.

I’m a contemporary of the USMNT by age and I’m dictating this article to my phone from the moving walkway at Logan Airport. You think I’d type when I could just talk and walk when I could be transported JUST BY STANDING? I’m not a sucker.

I’m just abiding by the standards of today’s taker America.

With anti-business Democrats in office, no one has any incentive to try and compete. We just take our welfare and health insurance and hope for the best. The American Dream doesn't seem to include winning anymore. I haven't even seen Charlie Sheen lately.

Look at our recent history in competitions of a slightly larger scale. The Cold War was essentially one long tie for about 50 years before America came out victorious (the USSR’s prevent perestroika defense, much like putting in Omar Gonzalez in the 90th minute, was a bad idea in hindsight). Our more recent wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan: all ties. Sure we could’ve stuck it out and committed resources to the victory but we took the easier path.

Shock and Awe turned into “aww shucks.”

This is truly the tie generation in America.

Back when this country used typewriters and created jobs and liberated Europe we were undisputed winners and we didn’t take the easy way out. The Greatest Generation, understandably wary of soccer, didn’t storm the beaches at Normandy just to hold hands with a bunch of Germans. They played to win. I wish this team would too, would get back to American roots of kicking some European ass, but we have to be realistic.

A tie is just about as good as a win and that’s good enough.

This isn’t the Greatest Generation. Modern society is so obsessed with the Kardashians it’s more like the Greatest Jenneration.

We’re not trying to win anymore.  We’re just hoping to keep up.

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