Bird at Play: I believe in the US, do you?

What an exciting fortnight to start off the summer! For my first "real" teacher summer when I have a little extra time (around carpooling to soccer camps, curriculum writing, and fitness workouts - not mine obviously) I have the blessing of being able to watch the world's best soccer for the first two weeks of summer.

Here is my take on the first two weeks so far.

FIFA once again has fallen short in their handling of the biggest storyline in the World Cup, the biting incident of Uruguay's Luis Suarez. Although it may seem like the punishment handed down was a bit harsh to some, he should have received a minimum two-year, if not a lifetime ban.

If I was the next biting victim I would make sure that I got a piece of FIFA's ONE BILLION DOLLAR "non-profit" surplus for failing to protect me from a known serial biter.

Unlike four years ago when practically every star had a dreadful experience on the pitch in South Africa, this Cup has been all about the superstars of the game. German scoring machine Thomas Muller, Brazilian phenom Neymar, and FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi all lead the way in scoring but are followed closely by six players with three goals apiece, all by the top players on their respective teams. Even our own Clint Dempsey became the first American player to score in three World Cups, including two goals that were vital to the USA's first round success.

Mostly because of the ability for players to travel to play in leagues around the world, no longer can you simply hand the FIFA World Cup Trophy to the traditional soccer-mad countries. Spain, England, Italy, and Portugal have all taken the long plane ride home while newcomers, Chile, Costa Rica, Greece, and Algeria still have games to play before they board their return flights.

I have not seen parity like that with the exception of the NFL and the parity-friendly roles instituted by commissioner Pete Rozelle.

The best part about this year's World Cup is the success of the USA team, and that for the first time in history our advancement to the Round of 16 in consecutive Cups. What that's done to the viewing public of American soccer has been nothing short of miraculous and there's plenty of room for people to jump on the bandwagon.

Even on TV in England they're showing videos of, get this - American SOCCER fans - watching from cities across the country!

You don't have to be a soccer fan to get on the bus, just someone who loves the United States of America. Like the 1980 USA Hockey team or the athletes that represent our beloved country every four years in the Olympics, we need to rally around this group of 23 young men and take the ride with them as long as it will go.

French philosopher Voltaire once wrote, "Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."

Nobody gave the USA a chance to get out of the "group of death" but here they are in round two. Come on, get on the bandwagon, there's plenty of room.

I believe. Do you?