Recently, we had a pivotal game in the World Cup qualifiers – the U.S.A. vs. Mexico game played in none other than the famous Aztecastadium. It was by all means, a big game, the big north vs. south.
Now, I have no authority when it comes to soccer. I hate playing all sports that involve balls, thus I ran track and cross country in high school instead. I squirm and run away from flying objects and I do not have the coordination, grace, or reflexes to play soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, or anything that involves basically throwing yourself at flying objects. In fact, I’ve been known to run away from the shadow of a flying ball (in my defense the shadow was coming at me real fast!).
Furthermore, I find soccer to be the most boring of the “ball” games due to low or no scores, constant fighting, and 90 minutes of “almost” a goal. There are only three things I like about soccer and they are: Chicharito Hernandez, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. These three I like VERY much!!!!
However, despite my lack of interest for futbol even I was tied to the T.V. during that epic Mexico vs. U.S.A game and like many Mexican-Americans I was at a crossroads between rooting for the country I live in and the one that runs wild in my veins. For many of “us people” this game is the mother of the identity crisis, because no matter who you root for, you’re a traitor to someone.
But this decision is never difficult for me. This girl ALWAYS roots for Mexico over U.S.A.
Now, before you get all red, white and blue on me understand that I love the U.S. and am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had growing up here!
I consider myself an American patriot, I am a proud military wife, I vote, I love Aerosmith and the Dallas Cowboys and can recite most of the Gettysburg Address.
However, knowing what this game and futbol mean to Mexico I can’t help but root for el TRI.
The reason is that while a few Americans tuned into the game, most where combing through their NCAA brackets or watching The Voice instead. In the U.S. this game didn’t even make the top T.V. ratings, and came after Dancing With the Stars, The Voice, and even Splash.
In Mexico, it’s soccer nation and everyone and their abuela was watching this game.
Winning this game would have been a good thing for the U.S., but for Mexico this would have been life-altering.
That’s because as the “step-child” in North America, sometimes Mexico and Mexicans feel a little slighted by the U.S.
For Mexicans, winning this game would not just put a spring in their step, it would have cured cancer in Mexico, increased their GDP, ended pollution in Mexico City and even the cartel king El Chapo Guzmanwould have turned himself in! Well, perhaps not exactly in that order…..or at all, but you get my drift.
Soccer is not the big sport on the U.S., in Mexico it is the ONLY sport, and given the recent miserable years marred by crime and drugs in Mexico, they could use this picker-upper more than we can.
What winning this game means to the U.S. pales in comparison to what it means to Mexico and that is why as a Mexican-American I ALWAYS root for Mexico in soccer and why I always will.