Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"In Bob We Trust" - Time to Get on Board

Are you serious? Yup. Take that to the bank.

I wasn't going to write about U.S. National Team coach Bob Bradley. Nothing. Nada. Not a single word. The Free Beer Movement site isn't really the place that most people come for U.S. news and analysis. Frankly we're not particularly good at it. We cover the cultural aspect of American soccer. We're unabashed supporters of our domestic game. We do blind devotion pretty well.

There was once upon a time that I'd hope that I would become some great web-based soccer writer, but that dream has come and gone. That's what our friends at The Shin Guardian are for. They do that up real nice. They're living my dream and I think they're doing it better than I could've imagine myself doing it.

But not here. I've got an opinion on it all. EVERYONE in the American soccer Inter-Net-Blogo-Sphere had an opinion about Bradley last week. What's the saying... "opinions are like assholes, everyone has one". Well, anyone with an asshole (including some just straight up assholes) and a keyboard shared their Bob Bradley-related two cents with the world. I'm really not going to share our opinion, though.

The right choice? Irrelevant now.
I am going to share one thought that will probably spiral into multiple other thoughts on the whole affair. I spent a whole week marinating on the Coach Sweatpants news and came to one conclusion: "In Bob We Trust".

Hold on a darn second. Before you skip down through the rest of the column to flame me in the comments section (or quick navigate away because you disagree with an thought you haven't fully read through yet) I'd like you, dear reader, to think about a few things.

Consider This:

1) I am a fan/supporter of the United States National Soccer Team until I die.
2) Bob Bradley is the current coach of the United States National Soccer Team.

If you can answer "yes" to both of these questions then the discussion is over.

It is time to put away your animosity and get behind the National Team that you love and support unequivocally. Stick around and I will explain why this is important.

If you answered "no" to either of those questions then you may kindly navigate away from this site.

Last week, when I was in my "pondering" mode of the Bradley news I read the news, went over the press conference, listened to various American soccer radio shows and podcasts, sorted through all the opinions and comments of various people across our great land. Some were voices of importance and some of the regular ol' commenter.

As I so often do, I also listened to the podcast that the U.S. supporters group, the American Outlaws puts out on a semi-regularly basis. Their most recent episode came right on the heels of the breaking news of the rehiring of Bob Bradley by Sunil Gulati and Co. at the USSF. What they said, in between cracking open beers, was of a huge help to me as an American soccer fan. I'll expand on this shortly.

You see much of the Inter-Net-Blogo-Sphere had worked itself into a tizzy over the news. There was surprise, relief, outrage... the whole gambit of emotions. It seemed like the 12 stages of grief were in hyper-drive and people sprinting between all twelve, sometimes hitting multiple ones simultaneously.

When the dust settled some took the news in stride; others renounced their citizenship as if George W. Bush had been elected to a third term.

Right man for the job? Doesn't matter any more.
I hate to dive into the terrible practice of "nut-picking," but with so few "mainstream" voices of American soccer sometimes one has to comb through the piles of outrage that flooded Facebook, Twitter, Big Soccer, and Soccer By Ives. Frankly I was surprised at the level of hostility that was borne from the news.

By no means was this the dominant opinion, but beyond the shock that Jurgen Klinsmann wasn't announced or complaints of the process in which USSF went about their coaching search, there was genuine anger and frustration. To the point that people were set to abandon the U.S. National Team.

Now. Back. The. Truck. Up.

Beyond who you wanted personal for the job. Beyond who you thought was the best qualified for the job. Beyond your frustration with the process. Beyond your opinion of Bob Bradley, the person, the coach, the job he's done, the squad he chose for South Africa, the personnel he used during the World Cup. Beyond your hopes for Brazil in 2014.


For any reason.


Listening to Zach, Korey, and Justin, founders of the American Outlaws, guys who are serious and respected fans of the USMNT it was clear that, no matter what they thought personally about Bob Bradley it, the most important thing to do was get behind the rehired coach. For the good of the team for the good of supporting the USMNT from this point forward.

It happens (or should) after elections. One candidate gets up, thanks his supporters for a well fought for race, acknowledges the winner, and implored those who voted for him or her to back the candidate that the voters chose.

Now I know that we, as USMNT fans, did not have a vote in this process and so the metaphor might not hold up as well as I would like, but the truth is that a decision has been made. Despite what horse you backed  this team will be coached by Bob Bradley and the games will go on.

So here's the deal: Bradley's the coach and the USMNT is our team. For better or for worse he's our guy and these are our boys for 2014 (veterans and newcomers). Let's get behind them all, do the work that needs to be done, and support our National Team. We can choose our fandom; it picks us.

I hope you'll be joining me in rooting for the success of our National Team.

Photo Credit: AO: Cleveland

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  1. I would like to shake your hand, sir. THANK YOU for this. I know some people were displeased with the choice, but the complaining has gone on for far too long. It's a done deal. Whining about it now isn't going to make USSF choose another coach -- Bradley's with us till 2014, so suck it up and start focusing on what the team's going to do between now and then.


"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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