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One of the upshots of the recent string of games by the USA Men’s National Team is that fans are angry.
They are frustrated because they see a team that should have come out of August with three victories, and a team that squandered opportunities.
All that is fine. But what is gratifying to me is the anger. Go ahead, be angry. Care. It’s what we all should be doing.
The most disturbing thing for me during 2006 when the Eagles lost 56-7 to Canada in a World Cup Qualifier that they were simply not prepared for, was that fans just seemed to shrug. Having been sold, at the time, a bill of goods on how helpless we all were to control our rugby destiny, many fans simply gave up on the dream.
I still remember one comment sent to me that year, which said something like: “Wow, the United States will never compete in my lifetime.”
I found the sentiment to be pervasive, and sad.
We are better than that. Losing to Canada by 49 points is not acceptable, and fans now see that losing 27-7, especially when you have the game by the throat, is unacceptable.
The anger, and I hope the players understand this, is just the other side of the coin that contains elation. We don’t want a shrug of the shoulders during a loss, and nor do we want one during a win. I personally would like to see USA fans be more demonstrative and passionate during internationals. And I hope those that converge on New Zealand this September will be boisterous and proud.
We have nothing to lose by caring.