Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I Would Have Thought God Would Want to Limit My Power

As part of my post Friday about who is and is not pants, I called out two teams I am a fan of, in the “Pants” category, the Washington Nationals and US National Soccer Team.

Well, they both certainly made me look stupid.

Since then, it’s been good times for the Nationals and National Team. The Nats took two out of three from the Yankees in interleague play over the weekend, both on comeback victories and Sunday’s game on a walk-off homer by developing stud 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman (incidentally, with Zimmerman, David Wright, and Miguel Cabrera, does any division boast as many good young 3Bs as the NL East?).

I’m still getting used to wrapping my head around being happy about a tie, but it was a seriously impressive tie USA managed to wrangle out of Italy. They were fast, they were sharp, they did it while playing with 9 guys against 10 for basically the whole second half. They even came oh-so-close to pulling out the win, but for the offsides that invalidated Beasley’s go-ahead goal in the 65th minute. And they sure illustrated a difference between Team USA and those flouncing, flopping Europeans. Brian McBride wiped the blood from his face and kept on going!

Sure, the Nats didn’t sweep, and USA didn’t even win, but they certainly played like credibly good teams. There are many reasons why this could be: better preparation, opponents laid low by injuries, playing a bunch of whiny Italians, etc. But I’m going to attribute this to their embarrassment at being called Pants in this space.

Who would have guessed I had that kind of power?

That said, and just in case, I’d like to issue a blanket pronouncement of “Pants” to the following teams: Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Vanderbilt Commodores (all sports), Ohio State Buckeyes* (football), Team USA (all Olympic events).

And you too, Nationals and, er, nationals. You’re both pants. Make us proud again this week.

*Not that the Buckeyes need it, given that they own Michigan and all...

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