history 101

the old adage says that history repeats itself.  more specifically (and in the words of the great george santayana), “those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”  it happens rather often.  whether it be something as big as hitler marching into russia only to retreat in a giant failure after napoleon had done the same less than 200 hundred years prior or something as small as trying the dining hall food everyday in the hope that it will be (magically) delicious, which it never really is.  either way, history is quite repetitive.

and though i’m sure you’re sitting there singing such praises as “good point”, “well done”, and “bravo”, you may also be asking yourself why the point was made.  and it’s a valid point to question the point, i assure you.  basically, it’s quite simple.  history is repeating itself.  in a big way.  and it’s happening in china.  ooh, china.  so exotic.  so foreign.  excitement for sure.

sadly for all of you exotic thrill-seekers out there, the chinese history isn’t what’s repeating.  it’s american history.  in china.  american sports history, to be precise.  if you’d care to read about it, you should probably take a look at the article right about here.  the story goes a little something like this:  the united states women’s soccer team (which is praised [for lack of a better term] in their current fifa world cup television ad campaign as “the best team you’ve never heard of”) is playing against brazil in the semifinals of the 2007 fifa women’s world cup later today.  they’ve played the entire tournament (and the majority of the past few years) with one goalkeeper (namely hope solo [and yes, her name really is hope solo]), and they’ve won every game in this tournament with the exception of a tie to north korea in the opening round.  their coach, however, has made the decision to switch goalies for the upcoming game against brazil.  why?  well, just because.  it’s not because of bad play or injury or anything.  he’s just kind of bringing in the new girl (who is named briana scurry and is actually the old girl, as she used to be the starting goalie on the team for several years but then took a few years off from the team and when she came back had to assume the role of backup).  now, the new/old girl is definitely good.  that’s not a question.  she’s proved her skill in many big time games for the team in the past.  but regardless, this move has quite a few soccer aficionados stumped.

the question, of course, is whether they should be stumped.  does this make any sense at all?  thankfully, i happen to have the answer (and basically, the result of the upcoming game to go along with it).  that answer is found deep within history.  this move may seem crazy and unprecedented to some, but in actuality, it has happened before.  if you’d care to join me in my figurative time machine, we can go back and take a look.

very interesting. “in a surprise move, bombay has gone to his bench.” sounds familiar. “i don’t know about this move by bombay. putting in a cold goaltender to face the leading scorer in the tournament.” cold goaltender, check. leading scorer in the tournament, check (it just so happens that two players from the brazilian team [marta and cristiane] are in first and third place, respectively, on the goal scoring list). and why did coach bombay put julie in? “julie, you’ve got the fast glove.” (though, i think emilio estevez is much cooler than me because it sounds like the actual line is “julie, you got the fast glove.” if it had a “yo” on the end, it would be perfect.) and why is coach ryan (of the u.s. women’s team) putting in briana against the brazilians? well, in his press conference yesterday, he stated, “i think the way the brazilians play, in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making the goaltender make reaction-type saves, i think [scurry] is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations.” now that may not be grammatical perfection, but when push comes to shove, you could probably simplify it down to “briana’s got the fast glove.” or hand, in this case. though soccer goalies wear gloves too. just not big baskety ones.

personally, i see these two scenarios very much as one and the same. coach greg ryan is just the next coach gordon bombay, and briana scurry is just the next julie “the cat” gaffney. i haven’t thought far enough into the metaphor to tell you who the next charlie, ken wu, and gunnar stahl are, but trust me, they’re there. it runs deep. and the result of the soccer game? well, that’s easy. the usa ducks won. after putting in a new goalie. against the best goal scorer. so logically, when the u.s. soccer team puts in a new goalie to go against the best goal scorer… well, i’ll let you create your own logic on that one.

so what was the best part about this post? well, you thought you were in for a history lesson and instead you got to watch “d2: the might ducks”. that’s pretty much as good as it gets. and so with that, i leave you. but always remember, “greenland is covered with ice, and iceland is very nice!” with that in mind, you can never go wrong.

update:  oops.  apparently they should have considered changing into duck jerseys at halftime. 


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