Monday, January 02, 2012

Grant Wahl: Chasing the game through 2011

If journalism is the first rough draft of history, then I'm trying to figure out what to call my "3 Thoughts" reaction piece that I file to at the final whistle of every important U.S. national team game. How about tempting fate? I start writing around the 75th minute, and inevitably something happens that turns my lead note into a DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN artifact. Sometimes that's good for U.S. soccer fans: You should see what I wrote about the U.S. men failing to get out of their World Cup 2010 group -- at least until Landon Donovan scored in injury time against Algeria and the Yanks won the group ahead of England. But sometimes getting rewrite isn't a good sign for U.S. fans. On July 17, 2011, in a sold-out soccer stadium in Frankfurt, Germany, I had already written my "3 Thoughts" on the U.S. women's impending victory in the World Cup final. They were three minutes away from a 2-1 victory over Japan, three minutes away from providing the ultimate follow-up to Abby Wambach's miraculous quarterfinal goal against Brazil, one of the greatest sports finishes of this or any year. Three minutes away.

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