GRESKA: USA Fights the Brits again

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Arm yourself. The redcoats are once again aiming to suppress the rebellion. They look down on our small, unorganized uprising and laugh with contempt. It is time to show those pompous Brits the American way. We’ve done it once before, and we will do it again. So gather your friends, gather your family and prepare for the fight for independence. USA vs. England. The revolution begins Saturday, June 12, 2010.

No, this is not actual war, but it’s close. That’s the day the United States will take on England, opening the 2010 World Cup with the most important soccer game in the history of America.

Sure, some will say the 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup takes the crown. But let’s be honest, that game was like the proverbial tree falling in the forest. No one knew about that then, and fewer know about it now.

Others will argue the win over Mexico in the 2002 World Cup was the most significant. It was unprecedented and did draw worldwide attention, but again, few in the U.S. even saw the game. Aired at 2 a.m. local time, only die-hards witnessed it.

Still, some will point to last year’s victory over the top-ranked Spanish team that hadn’t lost in two years. While that may have been the most impressive victory in American history, it wasn’t the most important. It happened at the Confederations Cup, the baby sister of the World Cup.

This sets the criteria for determining the importance of any game. (1) Did anyone watch the game? (2) Are most of the people who remember the game still alive? (3) Was it a quality opponent? (4) Was it on a prestigious stage?

USA vs. England matches all the criteria.

Almost everyone who watches the match will be alive afterward. Almost. I would say all, but when it comes to World Cup soccer, you never know what might happen. Heart attacks increased by 25 percent during the two days following England’s loss to Argentina in penalty kicks during the 2002 World Cup, taking the oft-shouted phrase “you’re killing me” to a whole other level.

This will be the biggest TV audience for a soccer game in America ever, guaranteed. It is getting the big boy treatment by being shown on ABC, even interrupting the classic “One Saturday Morning” cartoons. ESPN is betting the house on this one, not only broadcasting the game in full HD, but even launching a new network for it, ESPN 3D. Yes, it is really a 3D channel, and the beautiful game will be the lucky one to christen it.

England is one of the top teams in the world and has more talent on the bench than most teams even have on the field. Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand. This team is loaded and has played ferociously of late, breezing through World Cup qualifiers. There are high expectations for the “Three Lions”, and anything short of a victory against the Americans would be seen as a failure across the pond.

There is no bigger stage than the World Cup. Plain and simple. This is the marquee match-up of Group C, and having it be the opening game for the U.S. makes it that much more lucrative. The bright lights will definitely be on for this one.

The offer is out on the table. You have an opportunity to be a part of history. In 38 days, America will once again claim its independence. Will you be watching?

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