Hide your waffle irons, America.
After the U.S. lost, 2-1, in extra time to Belgium in the World Cup Round of 16, the domestic reaction has been more resigned pride than vitriol. Still, the Belgian waffle had already been the target of some American attacks — most notably by Waffle House of all places — before the game (despite the fact that apparently no one in Belgium eats Belgian waffles).
And so some maple-syrup-glazed hate has flowed following the World Cup match.
That’s a sentiment that many in this country would probably agree with. At least, as "Good Morning America" points out, until tomorrow morning. So most Americans will probably just need a moment to mourn before they cheer up with some Hoegaarden and Stella Artois without feeling guilty.
After all, the U.S. exceeded expectations. They escaped the so-called “Group of Death” without seeing their World Cup run die. They (finally) beat Ghana. They (almost) beat Portugal.
Americans packed parks and stadiums and Disneyland to watch the game. They watched in ballparks in Detroit and Miami and Atlanta. They even skipped work — sure some for the beer but most of them for the soccer. (Yes, for the soccer).
That has U.S. soccer enthusiasts, such as former national team player and ESPN commentator Alexi Lalas, pretty proud. “This team has provided a glimpse of the fact that there is a soccer culture in the United States,” he said on ESPN after the game. “And it’s vibrant. And it’s passionate. And ultimately it will lead us to win a World Cup.”
“We feel for Tim,” said Kasey Keller during ESPN’s postgame coverage. And he would know — he used to have Howard’s job.
In America, those such as baseball writer Jon Morosi can still remember this World Cup fondly. Really, how often can Americans rally behind an underdog national team?
It could be worse, after all. As ESPN’s Roger Bennett and Michael Davies noted on “Men in Suits” after the game, “You could be English.”
So take heart, American fans. And as you eat your tear-soaked waffles tomorrow, join together and sing for the final time: “I. I believe. I believe that. I believe that we. I believe that we… at least outlasted England and Spain.”
Twitter: @zhelfandCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun