Frantz: World Cup 'excitement' too much to handle 

Wow! I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure if I can handle this anymore! I don’t know if my heart can take it! If I were to be granted just one wish, I’d wish for them to slow things down a bit in South Africa so I can catch my breath!

I mean, there’s nothing quite like a worldwide tournament of International Keep-Away to quicken the pulse and lift the spirit, but there’s only so much excitement we can handle!

I mean, did you see that one game on Saturday when one guy from some team actually kicked the ball into this big net? It was incredible! And then on Sunday, I’m almost positive there was another one ... in a whole other game! I think they called them “goals” or something, but don’t quote me on it. I wish those things happened more often so I could remember what to call them.

But who cares! It’s easy to see why a whopping 24 percent of Americans, according to the latest Zogby International poll, are watching at least some of the World Cup Keep-Away tournament!

The excitement level is clearly off the charts when 90 full minutes of nonstop running generates at least one or two real scoring opportunities for each team per game! I don’t know what the other 76 percent of Americans who plan to ignore the entire thing are thinking about!

And you know, it’s funny. To listen to some of those “Ugly Americans” tell the story, you’d think that there wasn’t anything thrilling at all about a series of games that have so far ended in scores of 0-0, 1-0, 1-1 and — when the German team caught fire — a barn-burning 4-0! Those crazy American fans just don’t know what they’re missing!

Well, at least a few of them get it. Those 24 percent were ecstatic after their heroes’ 1-1 draw with England! From city streets across the land they could be heard cheering and chanting deep into the night: “We didn’t LOSE!  We didn’t LOSE! WHOOOO!”

And it is most definitely a great day in the USA when we are celebrating ties! Nothing says “World Superpower” quite like, “We didn’t lose ... and they didn’t lose ... so EVERYBODY WINS! Yay for participation!” It’s that competitive spirit that has made our country great!

Of course, some of those soccer-haters just don’t understand what we 24 percenters love about this great game.

They think it’s just all about the U.S. vs. The World that gets us excited every four years. They think that if we’d cheer for soccer, we’d scream for just about any American team, as long as it was in international competition. They think we’d stomp our feet and scream in breathless anticipation for the U.S. vs. France in World Cup Hopscotch if they’d put it on TV.

(OK, we would.)

But it’s not about that right now! This time, it’s about soccer!

So we’ll let those 76 percent losers have their touchdown bombs and their home runs and their slam dunks! We’re getting ready for four solid weeks of 1-0 matches! Yay for participation!

Now, who wants a juice box?

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@sfexaminer.com.

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