“Most of the world is going to stop on Friday, and won’t resume spinning again until July 10. Of course, here, where there’s more interest in the NBA and NHL playoffs or the baseball races, it might come as a surprise to learn that the United States’ squad is ranked fifth in the world in soccer.”

Deford then ponders the unthinkable:

“Obviously, though, if we’re fifth in the rankings, we have a valid (if outside) chance to win the World Cup…. Of course, consider what might happen if we actually win. If the United States, which really doesn’t care about soccer, beats everybody who is passionate about it, we’d really be despised around the world. You think they hate us now? If we should win the World Cup, there would be absolutely nobody else left in the coalition of the willing.”

NPR‘s Joe Palka blogs regarding his conversation with Deford after hearing his commentary:

“The most passionate sporting moment [Deford] ever experienced in his entire career was in 1990 when he was in Cameroon. Like virtually every other living person in Cameroon, Frank watched television as Cameroon played England in the quarterfinals. Cameroon scored first, and it was as if the entire country erupted in joy. It was, says Frank, an amazing experience.”


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