#10 – Things I’ll Miss About South Africa’s World Cup

Previously on Benign Humor, I recounted the Top 10 Things I Missed about the USA.  But let’s not get it twisted, everyone, I had the best vacation of my life.  Landing in South Africa notched my sixth continent, leaving only the inaccessible, freezing, and eye-poppingly expensive Antarctica.  I think I’ll just save my $5,000 and sit in a meat locker.

 For thousands of reasons, my trip to South Africa was a once in a lifetime experience.  I will never be able to replicate the excitement I felt in the 92nd minute of the USA-Algeria match, when I saw a wild elephant for the first time, or the disgust I felt when Lizzie stepped in human poop at our hostel in Cape Town.  It’s bittersweet.  Not the poop; the nostalgia.

 And so, I feel it’s only fair to recount the Top 10 Things I’ll Miss about South Africa’s World Cup, including both my time in ZA and the time I logged distractedly watching matches from my desk at work.

 And, by request, shorter – but more frequent – blog entries!  Here we go!

10.  All my friends rooting for the same team. Don’t even act like you weren’t psyched for the USA-England match.  Don’t pretend you didn’t make at least two Redcoats/Revolutionary War jokes.  You rooted for the USA — your country of upstarts and pioneers.  It was a refreshing gulp of solidarity.

The only Yankees I'm comfortable rooting for
The only Yankees I'm comfortable rooting for

And it’s rare that the US appears as the underdog.  We’re a G-8 country with a permanent seat on the UN security council; we have the most powerful military on Earth; our economy is like My Buddy (wherever I go, he goes); and we pretty much do whatever we want.

All things considered, America sits at the popular kids’ table.  So, watching the US play underdog is an exciting change of pace.  And while everyone loves a winner, everyone loves a successful underdog even more.  Think about it.  Who wasn’t rooting for Butler in the NCAA finals?

We rallied for our boys.  Through the agony, the injustice, and the redemption, we rolled with them.  For better or worse, I haven’t felt this patriotic since 9/11.  It is indescribable how much I prefer these circumstances.


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