Weekend In Review: Unapologetically Nationalistic Edition
WaPo's Steven Goff called it "one of the worst gaffes in World Cup play in recent memory." The British press was far less kind. "Hand of Clod," read the headline in London's News of the World. And the Sun: "Curses! New keeper cock-up as Green gifts Yanks a point." We're speaking, of course, about England goalkeeper Robert Green mishandling of American Clint Dempsey's seemingly innocuous shot from 25 yards out, granting the U.S. a 1-1 tie with the heavily favored Brits on Saturday.
Green is just lucky he doesn't play for Colombia. You'll recall what happened the last time an opposing team's blunder resulted in a U.S. goal in World Cup play. After deflecting the ball into his own net against the Americans in 1994, Colombian defender Andres Escobar was subsequently shot dead, allegedly by drug lords who sustained heavy gambling losses as a result of Colombia losing that game, 2-1.
Hundreds turned out in Dupont Circle to watch Saturday's hugely hyped match on two big screens erected outside in the park, despite temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. WTOP's Kathy Stewart described the scene as "a crush of patriotic people, from time to time breaking out in chants of 'U.S.A.'" WaPo has video of the fustercluck. "I feel like I'm in a different country," one Capitol Hill intern quipped to the Post. Indeed, a British fan felt right at home: "I got drinks thrown at me."
At Bushwaller's in downtown Frederick, Md., U.S. fan Cory Matheny waxed philosophical to the Frederick News-Post about the tourney:
Seeing nations pitted against each other on a level playing field, away from the realm of overt politics, allows soccer fans to be "unapologetically nationalistic, without feeling guilty," Matheny said.
In the Sunday Post, David J. Rothkopf touches on all the international subplots adding drama to the proceedings on the pitch:
This year, both Koreas will play, even as their armies stand at the brink of war. Honduras is fresh off a constitutional crisis. Mexico is battling to maintain control in the face of drug violence. Ivory Coast has been split by strife for more than a decade (although it is now united in despair over national hero Didier Drogba's fractured elbow). And old tensions — some dating to wars centuries ago — still fester among several teams: between Japan and the Koreas; between the Dutch and the Germans; and between Argentina and take your pick of Chile, England and Brazil.
In other news: Mayor Adrian Fenty keeps getting booed. Organizers of the weekend's Capital Pride festival are expecting an ever bigger party next year. And, a Rehoboth Beach ice maker debuts his "booger" flavor, "a green-colored cake batter ice cream swirled with green-hued caramel and Lucky Charms marshmallow bits." Ick.
Another hot and humid day today after the hottest, stickiest Sunday since August. Get used to it. Highs have reached 90 or above on six of the first 13 days of June.