The Day That All Changed

As Americans, we love a good underdog story. We love teams and individuals winning who are just not supposed to. It’s essentially how this whole country started.

The Revolutionary War was basically an antecessor, foreshadowing the famous 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. To put it in sports terms, the Redcoats were virtually the New England Patriots (ironic, I know); Eli Manning was a modern representation of Paul Revere.

In 2016, the true American underdog story was the Cavaliers coming back from a 3-1 deficit. It was also the Cubs winning a World Series for the first time in 108 years. (The fact that I sat down and almost watched a baseball game in its entirety is also sort of miraculous.) In 1998, it was the Utah Jazz… oh wait, that didn’t happen.

The rule of thumb has always gone something like this: if a sporting event, game or series just occurred that a Disney producer could successfully turn into an inspirational film, the American public will eat that crap up.

But, “Miracle on Ice” was 37 years ago. In 2017, Disney Executives should be stressed out with the dominance of the United States National Teams. Take the Women’s Gymnastics Team or the Men’s Basketball Team as examples. Look at the medal count of any recent Olympics.

Our dominance antithetically makes it almost difficult to cheer for us. It goes against the nature of typical American sporting behavior. Cheering for our own national team (in almost any sport) has become somewhat ironic, as it goes against our American past-time of supporting underdogs.

On October 10, 2017, this all changed. The United States Men’s National Soccer Team lost to a most unlikely underdog: Trinidad and Tobago, a country which boasts a population slightly larger than Salt Lake County. The man who scored the dazzling clinching goal for Trinidad, Alvin Jones, was earning has 11th cap and had never before scored for the national team. His club team is W Connection of the TT Pro League, a league that in 2014 was criticized by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian over their “paltry” pay packets players were being offered, averaging approximately $3,500.

In other words, the wealthiest nation in the world failed to qualify for the World Cup because it lost to an island nation whom, were it in the United States, would rank as approximately the 50th largest metropolitan area in the country.

Take solace, America. Finally, we have a soccer team that you can collectively get behind again. Because let’s face it, if this team were to ever win a world cup, the Disney movie would make itself.

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