The not-so-rapid reaction to the Yanks losing to Argentina

Whilst I rested the tormented rest of the sports fan whose team lost, a few Mexican futbol fans private messaged me about why I wasn’t criticizing the Americans as harshly as I did El Tri when it lost to Chile over the weekend in Copa America.

OK, not that I want to turn this blog into ESPN’s “First Take,” but here’s why:

People were looking forward to Chile and Mexico because the world thought these were two pretty damn good evenly matched teams and El Tri got humiliated 7-0. The entire globe took notice of that beatdown. 

The world also saw Mexico’s defense and midfield flat-out give up. And, of course, when your goalie has no defense and gives up that many goals, the world also noticed thousands of El Tri’s fans turn on their own goalie and call him a homosexual slur. A week after the Orlando terror attack, too, I might add.

Meanwhile, nobody expected the Americans to defeat the No.1-ranked team in the world. … Wait, I take that back. For reasons I’ll never know, three of four Fox Sports 1 commentators did. Seriously guys, that flag waving, were you from Fox Sports or Fox News?

How do you critique an inability to stop Lionel Messi, who scored an goal so stunning I needed a blood test to find out if I had taken hallucinogens before the match? Results negative. I didn’t get roofied in the sports bar.

What do you say? “Lads, that guy wearing 10. He’s good. You should have stopped him.” That’s like saying “Hi, Utah Jazz. That Jordan guy can shoot a little. Stop him.”

The entire world took notice — not of the U.S. giving up, but of Messi’s exceptional skill.

Sometimes, you simply get outclassed by a superior team. The thing I’ve noticed about Copa America overall? Some teams didn’t take the tournament seriously enough, such as Brazil. Other countries did.

The United States, to their credit, did.

But so did Argentina.

The only critique I could give the Yanks over that game came from USMNT legend Landon Donovan, who correctly pointed out that by fouling the Argentinians in midfield, you could have slowed the flow of their offense. Having said that, even if they did, they likely still lose by a goal or two.

But nobody thought for a moment the Americans gave up.

Mexico did.

I haven’t admitted this to my Mexican friends yet

No, it’s not about that wall on the border thing. To be frank, if we could have a wall that magically electrocuted terrorists like a bug zapper but could let in Mexican immigrants, I’d be OK with that. I’m not a big believer in illegal immigration being the No.1 issue that harms our economy. Maybe it damages the economy a little, but I don’t know and besides, you can’t grow up in California and not have Mexican friends.

Now that I work in health care, Mexican patients have been very forgiving with my fumbling attempts at Spanish. It’s a beautiful language that I’m still learning. This is a courtesy that they have extended to me which, I fear, I might not reciprocate if I were in pain in a foreign country.

So I like the people, but I freaking loved watching the Mexican National Team get crushed by Chile last night 7-0 in the quarterfinals of the Copa America tournament.

Oh, that was one delicious beatdown. Here’s why:

We often chide ourselves in the United States for being overbearing, elitist, “the ugly American.” There are some in the world who thought with regards to 9/11, that we had it coming. We didn’t, but if we can be taken to task for being arrogant, that’s a human condition. People from foreign countries can be pretty damned boorish, too.

That includes a lot of Mexican soccer fans.

It doesn’t make them horrible people 24-7, but if you spend 90 minutes with El Tri fans in a soccer stadium you’ll reconsider that whole “make America great again” thing.

There’s a tradition in Mexico whenever the opposing team gets a goal kick. When the goalie clears the ball, thousands of El Tri fans scream a homosexual slur at him in unison. It’s hilarious if you’re 6 and have no idea what the word means. One week after a terrorist blasted through a gay bar in Orlando, not so much.

Other traditions to show blind love to El Tri range from the merely impolite to the blatantly unsanitary. And it puts you in a really weird place. You remember you have close friends who are Mexican, so you have an awkward conversation with yourself trying to excuse this behavior.

Drowning out the opposing national anthem with boos? Well, not every national anthem is inspiring, I suppose. I think Venezuela’s anthem is about panhandling and drug trafficking, so I guess I can live with that…

Throwing beer bottles at opposing players when they score? Um, well, they’re just plastic and empty, so…

Chanting “Osama” when playing the Americans in 2005? Ok, that’s too far below the belt.

Throwing ziploc bags of urine at opposing fans? Dude, what the hell, we were splitting beers in the parking lot in the first place! Where did you sneak off to pee in those baggies… And do you know where I can find a towel?

Have you ever noticed how pretty the girls are in the stands at international soccer matches? Some of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen, and to be sure, there are millions of attractive Mexican women in this world. I would love to take one to see a soccer game, but I won’t because

1) I can’t be sure we won’t get hit with bags of piss, or

2) I can’t be sure she won’t sneak off, pee in a bag, and slam dunk that on the crown of my head.

So last night put me in a slightly thorny space, until I realized that this meant I didn’t have to see any more American stadiums drowning in urine and homophobia for a while.

I’m sorry my friends are unhappy, but let the truth be told: It wouldn’t surprise me if they are secretly overjoyed when the United States loses in soccer. So why guilt trip myself in this idiotic time when political correctness makes us question every statement we utter?

Mexico got its ass kicked in soccer. It was so bad they chanted the same homophobic slur at their own goalie by the end of the night. That’s how humiliated El Tri fans were.


Pass the beer to celebrate. Just point me in the direction of a toilet when nature calls.