To be completely honest, I do not want to write today's DBR. Yesterday's news about Isaiah Austin is absolutely soul-crushing. I just watched the video of his interview for the first time and to see a young man who has worked so hard and is so strong in his faith have his dreamed ripped away from him so close to it being realized...It just hurts.
However, if there are good things to be taken from this experience, it's that Baylor Nation has been absolutely outstanding in their outpouring of support. If you've ever doubted that Baylor is a family, take a glance at Twitter. You'll change that view right quick. Thankfully, although his primary dream is no more, Austin will be able to return to Baylor to finish out his degree and be an assistant coach under Scott Drew. I cannot think of a better place for him to be in his time of struggle. Best of luck to you, young man, and best of luck in your new position!
Here's SBN NBA's article on Austin.
US Gives Up Late Equalizer, Plays Exceptionally
From a neutral perspective, that was one heck of a match. From a Portuguese perspective, I'd imagine that was much like the US vs. Ghana match from a US perspective. Here's the take from a former football player who loves the Beautiful Game and is overjoyed to see the game catching on in the States.
I've been to a public viewing location for three sets of matches: the opening Brazil match and both US matches. The support has been overwhelming. The eruption of cheers following goals by the US rivals the joy of a crucial Baylor touchdown. That's what the sport is becoming here in the States: a sport of true fans, ones who can hardly sleep the night before, ones who call in "sick" to steal away to the pub to watch football all day, ones who lose their voices cheering for goals, ones who sit in stunned, dejected silence following a 96th minute equalizer. The United States are, slowly but surely, becoming a footballing nation.
Roger Davies of Men in Blazers fame said exactly that on Men in Blazer's show yesterday (if you've not idea who I'm talking about, click the link and watch - they're hilarious AND informative). From a Brit who has forgotten more about football than the average American has learned, this is high, high praise.
I played the game for fourteen years. I put in countless hours of three-a-days in the broiling heat that is Texas in August (spoiler: keeper jerseys do not breath well at all). I, like so many others in the States who have played, love this game with a passion, much like the rest of the world. But the average American? They thought "soccah" was a boring sport with it's "low-scoring" and "flopping". Then they watched. Yes, flopping is a problem, and yes, it is stupid. But the rest of the game. The pageantry of the Cup, the passing, the keeping (TIMMY!!!), the miraculous strikes (Messi. Oh my goodness, Messi). All of it. I love it. And to see Americans falling in love with the game, to see them realize the influence that it can have on your feelings, just all of it. I love it.
But the real test will be after the Cup ends. Will Americans go back to ignoring or hating the Beautiful Game? Or will they turn out in numbers for their local MLS teams? Will they watch the Premier League, the Champions League, the CONCACAF Gold Cup?
I challenge you, dear readers, to go out, support your local clubs. Go watch Baylor Fútbol this fall (they're good too!). Support the Beautiful Game and learn to love it. Go out to the pub, cheer for the US of A. Adopt the sport and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with it.
The Daily Bear