Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A thank you letter

Dear Croatia,
Coming into yesterdays World Cup matches I was in a solemn mood. The United States team played with no passion whatsoever, and I wondered why I cared about this tournament in the first place. Still, I made my way down to Radio Radio to watch you take on Brazil. I wore my Croatia tshirt and my Croatia scarf from France 98. In the beginning, I was the only Croatia fan there. Everyone was ready to see Brazil, and ready for all the hype. In pregame we heard about their fans, their star players, and throughout the game announcers kept telling us we were watching Brazil, with nary a mention of the 11 representing Croatia.

At the half you were down 1-0. A great goal from Kaka. You didn't put your heads down. As the second half wore on, something unexpected was happening. You were controlling the play. You had your chances. The crowd at Radio Radio started suddenly having people switch allegiance to Croatia, and rightfully so. You were the better team. But unfortunately you didn't score. The game ended 1-0 to Brazil. Yet in defeat, you outplayed Brazil on the field, and you out sang and danced them in the stands. You deserve to hold your heads high and proud. When nobody gave you a chance, and still few will even admit those truths. Thank you for reminding me why I love this tournament in the first place. Now let's work on some finishing and get through to the second round.

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