Video Fun: This Will Brighten Any Day

I never thought I would cry at a soccer game.

Soccer was never really my thing. Growing up, like just about every other American kid, I played it a little, but once I got into high school I put aside the sport for more socially-acceptable pastimes like football, basketball and masturbation. Since then, I never once watched a soccer game; it just wasn’t interesting to me. I was that guy who called it “not a real sport,”  proclaimed that it was way too boring of a sport, that it would never become popular in America because we, as Americans, had a whole slew of more exciting options to choose from. Soccer was for poor countries. Not for my America!

How quickly everything changes.

After two weeks of World Cup action, my mind has been completely changed. In reality, it started off as nothing more than an excuse to drink at 7 in the morning. I’ve watched every U.S. game — and paid half attention to a few others — but that was nothing to prepare me for the explosive sporting experience that was last Wednesday’s U.S. vs. Algeria game.

For those who missed it — and I don’t see how you could — here’s a quick rundown: The U.S. needed a victory (not a tie, a victory) to move onto the next round. An early goal by the U.S. was disallowed due to an iffy offsides call, and that was followed by about 10 amazing chances where the U.S. players just couldn’t put the ball into the goal. Think of 10 home runs being just foul in the bottom of the ninth. It was like that.

Time was running out. There was only four minutes or so left in the game. Soccer is a sport that’s all about patience, not pushing it. It’s not a sport where you can’t pull a goalie and try to get a quick score at the end. If you’re reaching “stoppage time” — the added time at the end of the game by the ref to account for injuries and other nonsense — without a goal, chances are it’s not going to happen. But then, with time rapidly ticking down, with the American fans about to head home angry at the horrible officiating by FIFA and heartbroken at the missed opportunities, everything changed. That silly commercial for the World Cup about everything changing in a moment? It’s true.

I was watching it at a converted theater in Hollywood with a jam-packed crowd. The match was just a slow-drip of everyone’s emotions. With every missed opportunity, every minute that ticked away, the fans just become more and more dead inside. But, as soon as that goal went in, it was pandemonium. People were hugging, jumping, sobbing (like THIS guy), running in place, doing odd dance jigs. It was complete and total chaos. If you did not get a chance to experience it, I truly am sorry. It was one of the happiest sports moments I’ve had. (This is a video of the craziness if you’d like, but it’s a bit too Blair Witch-ey to fully endorse viewing it.) But, just to give you some sense of what went down around the world, Deadspin put together quite an extensive list of the various videos of people celebrating. Here are my three favorites:

Who knows what will happen on Saturday when U.S. plays Ghana, but it almost doesn’t matter. We have this moment, and that’s all that counts. So, if you’ve been having a bad week, I suggest you close it out by watching a few of these videos. It truly doesn’t get any better than that.

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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.