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USA Needs Ron Artest

06/18/2010

I stayed up a good portion of last night, watching SportsCenter over and over, still jacked about the Lakers’ NBA Championship.  I’m 20 minutes into the USA vs. Slovenia Soccer match, and it strikes me that they could use Ron Artest.  USA gave up a goal on a play in which a player could have given up his face to block the shot… Artest would have.

On a subsequent penalty kick, another USA player could have headed a ball toward the goal, but it would have meant he would have collided with the Slovenian keeeper.  He didn’t; Artest most certainly would have.

I think that’s one of the fundamental problems America has with soccer.  In a nation that admires machismo and reveres bravery, it all too often seems soccer players are “acting” hurt, often rolling around on the ground holding some appendage trying to get a call, but wouldn’t actually make the sacrifice that would lead to a real injury.

The USA soccer team simply isn’t tough enough.  I won’t try to name names, because I don’t know any of them, save Landon Donavan.  He’s easy to spot.  He’s the one that looks like a 12-year-old boy.  All I can say is they would do better if they had some of the toughness of Ron Artest, who, minutes after winning the NBA Championship, took the time out to thank his psychiatrist.  The dude is tough as nails, strong as an ox and crazy as a bat.

Lakers do not win last night without Ron-Ron.  It doesn’t look like USA will win without him either.

It’s now 42 minutes in and the score is now 2 – nil… I’ll tell you something soccer is good for… I’m finally going to get some sleep.

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