You know what I admire about football fandom in other countries? That they care about soccer because they actually care about their country winning...England doesn't want your snobbish, douchey support...
Fair enough, although Real Live English Person Cate disagrees (thank you dear!). I suppose I should say that I never meant to compare myself to a serious national side supporter of any kind. John, I know what you mean about the beauty and joy of an absolutely tribal commitment to one team at the expense of all others -- the submersion of the self in a community of shared passion and dedication. That IS what I admire about other national fans, and I know it's what I lack. Not just for team USA, but for England, or any other team. I wouldn't quite put myself in the company of David Wallace Wells's Messi-praising douchebag, if only because I'm not even that knowledgable -- more like a once-every-two year fan, at best.
But the thing about that kind of tribal emotion is that you can't just conjure it if it's not there. And I don't have it. Go USA, and all that, but I'm not going to browbeat myself into a bogus national commitment I don't feel, just for the sake of Landon Donovan's sharply etched forehead.
John (and Mom): I will concede your point to the extent that I formally absolve myself of all claim to be a supporter of any team, England included. In soccer terms, I'm resigned to remaining one of Tony Judt's "edge people"-- beasts of no nation, rank scavengers, really; nomadic fans foraging for fleeting stabs of delight and exaltation amid the chaos of the Cup. OK, that's a bit romantic, but what the fuck. Let's hear it for a 1-1 draw, a united Anglophile advance into Round 2, and some great soccer from all parties involved.