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I used to like to draw June 23, 2014

Posted by deshon in Musings.
Tags: , , , , , ,

photo of Mark DeshonWhen I was growing up, I liked to draw. It didn’t matter whether it was just doodling or trying to create something recognizable, like souped-up fantasy cars or uniformed NHL “mannequins.” I was always trying to express myself through drawing.

Sadly, I haven’t drawn much in the past few decades, but I’ve come to experience drawing in a totally different sense.

I’ve always been pretty competitive, especially in sports. Winning and losing always seemed pretty black-and-white to me, results that bespeak who had performed better on a given day. Didn’t matter whether it was baseball, football, basketball, golf, or my favorite sporting pasttime—running and racing.

Then, in his youth, my son became enamored with football, football as the rest of the world knows it—what we Americans call “soccer.” There was a lot I had to learn while watching a sport that was at one time foreign to me. The more I began to understand the game and its great subtleties and supreme athleticism, I came to understand why they call it “the beautiful game.”

OK, I’ve become hooked.

But not everything about the game squares with my yearning for fairness in the cosmic realm. Whether it be a decision through the gut-wrenching practice of penalty kicks, a devastating loss, or a fortunate win, I’ve come to dislike the fact that in soccer the outcome does not necessarily reflect which team played better during the match.

Then there’s the tie, known as the “draw” in world football parlance.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ All in One Rhythym™ graphic

Strangely enough, like wins and losses in soccer, draws can also seem like victories or defeats. Last night’s contest between the USA and Portugal is a shining example of the one thing I can’t stand about o jogo bonito. USA’s Group G games so far have seemed somewhat mirror images of one another, with the fortunate exception that our country actually maintained its late-captured lead over Ghana.

One could easily propose that Ghana deserved to win, having outplayed the USA for all but about the first minute and the 88th minute. And then there was last night. Looking to rewrite the records for both teams (Portugal had been undefeated in World Cup play when scoring the initial goal, team USA had been winless when conceding first), USA dominated the match, only to give up the latest regulation-time goal in the history of the World Cup.

So the USA has to settle for a draw, when the whole country could have been celebrating together in a big way this morning. Is there just a little cosmic irony at play here?

And so I no longer like drawing. It can be a rather hollow feeling for both teams, but typically worse if it feels like a loss. Yes, the USA is still in decent position to advance, but the “group of death” is taking on new meaning for USA fans, as expectations (that would surely soften past failures’ wounds) climb.

Then again, I’d enjoy a draw with Germany in the next game. Go figure.



1. jestron - June 23, 2014

Great post!

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