Just as countries in Europe and South America have for decades, the USA came to a
standstill for two hours, die-hard fans and bandwagon jumpers alike glued to the American's game against Germany.
Never mind that it was the middle of the workday. Companies rolled TVs into conference rooms and ordered in lunch. Fans from one coast to the other packed parks, squares, streets and bars -- anywhere with a screen and a signal.
For the first time, the USA finally - and fully is a soccer nation.Cue to this blogger rolling his eyes in mocking disbelief.
You have to understand that I have been hearing this tired refrain since at least my first year of college, in 1979. I was assured that Soccer was going to join the pantheon of the Big Three team sports loved by Americans: football, baseball, and basketball. In fact, it's never done even come close to American's fourth loved sport, hockey, or even auto racing
But aren't young kids taking up the game? Indeed they are and understandably so. Soccer is a great participatory game. Soccer doesn't cost much to play, scores of kids without extraordinary physical gifts can play the sport, and it is terrific exercise for kids who might otherwise spend their recreational lives playing on electronic gadgets.
Soccer is a great participatory sport, but the notion that it is going to become a great spectator sport, with millions of Americans regularly tuning in to be thrilled by 1-0 games, well that's not going to happen. I have 35 years of experience that tells me that.
What does soccer have to do with the Libertarian Party Well, for as long as I've heard that soccer is going to become a great American spectator sport, I've been told that dissatisfaction with the Republican and Democratic politicians will cause Americans to embrace the nation's third biggest political party, the Libertarian Party. I hear it every election and it never happens. The Libertarians are no closer to electing people utilizing the third party strategy today than they were back in my early years of college.
That's not to say Libertarians don't bring good ideas to the table and espouse a philosophy worthy of adoption. It's just that crafty Democratic and Republican politicians have learned that the minute a Third Party starts attracting converts based on the new party's ideas, the major parties begin adopting those ideas. Republicans, in particular, are increasingly co-opting the Libertarian message and as a libertarian Republican I'm thankful for that.
So will this be the year when the voters finally elevate the Libertarian Party to major party status? Sure it will be, just like this will be the year that Americans finally recognize soccer as a great spectator sport, right up there with Americans love for football, baseball and basketball.
Again, cue my eyes rolling.