It happened. We lost to fucking Belgium. It’s a pretty shitty feeling, not only because we came so close to pulling it off, but also because now we have to endure social media for the next few weeks spouting various forms of, “hurr durr, now we don’t have to pretend we like soccer” alongside people making extremely original jokes about waffles. However, in the aftermath of wading through the rubble of our exit, my good buddy Watkins asked me an intriguing question the other day. We had a bit of an argument about it on the phone before he had to go back to work, so I figured, why not turn it into a public debate for all to see?
A little information first. If you haven’t read the last email chain debate I had with Watkins on Post Grad Problems concerning Dave Matthews Band, Watkins is an old college buddy of mine. To give you a little perspective on him as a person, he once got so trashed that he forced everyone at the party to watch Asian porn, tried to eat a dead bird, and ultimately passed out in a tree, upside down, because he was trying to watch the royal wedding on a TV playing in an upstairs window. He now works as an aide in the office of an undisclosed Republican senator.
SC: Okay, so you and I had another interesting debate the other day, and I figured the guys over at TFM would enjoy the substance of it. I’ll let you pose the question, since you were the one who put it to me originally.
Watkins: First of all, I find it funny that you’re roping me into this again. Did our unimportant argument about Dave Matthews really perform well enough that you think this should be a series, or are you just out of ideas?
SC: A little of both.
Watkins: Fair enough. Anyway, I thought of this the other day, and we talked about it briefly, but the gist is, would you rather the Cowboys win the Super Bowl or the USA win the World Cup?
SC: For clarification, you and I are both lifetime Dallas Cowboys fans.
Watkins: Right. Not OSU. Fuck the Pokes.
SC: Agreed. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m still not totally convinced right now, and I might be just buying into the hype of the moment, but I’m actually gonna say that I’d rather the US win a World Cup right now.
Watkins: Don’t hedge your bets, asshole. You’ve officially swung from a red-blooded, American football fan to a Euro-sport-loving creampuff.
SC: Fuck you for even saying that. Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, appealing to the TFM crowd like the sleazeball politician you are. You know good and well that I’m a basketball fan first, football second, baseball third, and then hockey sort of fourth, but really only if the Stars are in the playoffs. In fact, hockey and soccer are tied for me. Actually, nope. If I’m being honest, I like soccer more now.
Watkins: So why even care about the World Cup? It’s a stupid sport with a lot of running, changes in possession willy-nilly, and you can fucking tie. Any sport you can tie in is bullshit. I mean, yeah I guess you can in football too, but it happens so rarely, even Donovan McNabb was surprised when it went down in ‘08. Although, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that anyone involved with the Eagles turns out to not know something about how football is played.
SC: Nice Philly dig, I’m glad you got that in. But to address your point, soccer is way more exciting than that. I’ve never understood the problem Americans have with ties and possession changes and low scoring games when we love hockey so much. Yeah, there aren’t fights, and the dudes don’t look as lumberjack-ish, but the game is more refined. Even more importantly, I’m not saying that I would rather FC Dallas win an MLS Cup over the Cowboys getting back to the top. I’m talking about AMERICA here.
Watkins: But we’re not even fucking good at soccer. It’s like the one thing we suck at other than retreat and making sushi.
SC: Pandering, pandering, pandering. I’d actually argue that the fact we’re underdogs is what puts winning a World Cup above the Cowboys getting back to the stage.
Watkins: How in the fuck is being an underdog better?
SC: Three words, dicksling: Miracle. On. Ice.
Watkins: You son of a bitch. You’re gonna use 1980 against me?!
SC: You’re damn right. Call me Oliver Platt, because I’m about to fuck your shit with Lake Placid. That was almost a quarter century ago, and no sports moment has trumped it since. A team made up of scrubs that no one took seriously came out of nowhere in international competition and pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever. American victories are the sweetest when we’re the underdogs. The Revolution, Lake Placid, Rocky vs. Drago. The best in history.
Watkins: Yeah, except the Cold War is over, and that was the whole reason that victory was so great. Beating the Russkies at their national game.
SC: Granted. But I’d argue it’s close to as important politically as well. Look at where we’re at. In the ‘80s, most countries were down with the American cause. Sure, Vietnam wasn’t great, but we were going toe to toe with the Soviets on behalf of everyone, which was generally accepted to be a good thing by the majority of the Western world. But now, we’re the pariah. Nothing we do is right. Something shitty happens in some failed state of a country, and we don’t intervene; we get criticized for standing by and allowing atrocities to happen. We get involved, and suddenly we’re the greedy, asshole cops of the world. I’m not gonna argue the merits of Iraq/Afghanistan in a soccer debate, but I imagine you probably agree with me.
Watkins: You know who I work for, of course I do.
SC: So the point is, everyone in the world suddenly has a superiority complex about us. We’re the dumb, fat, loud Americans who bully everyone, and so everyone delights in our soccer team getting pummeled abroad. If we can pull off the win, do it with passion, and do it with class, I think we’d actually get some real respect from normal people.
Watkins: Hearts and minds, I get it. Look, the same is true about the Cowboys though, if you think about it. We used to be awesome. Landry was a fucking class act. The ‘90s teams were fun to watch, and everyone and their mom was a ‘Boys fan. Then we couldn’t get a quarterback for almost a decade, Romo ended up having shit luck, and then when he finally started playing at an elite level, our defense decided to diarrhea the bed. We’re the laughingstock of the league, and yet everyone still likes to act like Cowboys fans are arrogant, entitled assholes. Entitled to what? We’ve won ONE playoff game since Troy left. We know who we are.
SC: Strong points, my friend. So really you and I are fighting a common fight, just on different fields. A once-great dynasty, now in somewhat disrepair, trying desperately to climb back up to respectability and prove to everyone that it isn’t finished. The Cowboys and America. Maybe both teams will win in 2018. That would be some movie shit, man.
Watkins: That’s why we’re America’s team, right?
SC: Exactly. I feel satisfied with where this went. You?
Watkins: I just successfully wasted two hours of my day and got paid for it, so yeah.
SC: Okay cool. You gonna be back in Texas for Christmas?
Watkins: Don’t fucking worry about my plans, asshole.
Watkins is a dick.
Image via Twitter