Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's Been a Good Run, Boys

I've never known more about soccer (football) that I do at this point in my life.  Thanks to the Japan National Team, I got into the Bundesliga and, thanks to the Bundesliga, I got into the Champions League.  Which means that starting out with the World Cup three weeks ago, I knew people from just about every single team and had some expectation as to how those teams would play.

Where do I begin to describe my feelings for my own team?  I know their names, I know their playing styles and many of them, I know their off-pitch personalities.  (I couldn't stop laughing at one video of Yoshida-san and Uchida-san greeting some ball boys in which Uchida-san immediately reached up and patted them on the head, much to the boys' chagrin).  There's no objectivity towards my boys - I'm not sure there ever was.  

And now the World Cup moves into the knockout stage and my team returns home, heartbroken and disappointed in themselves.  Zaccheroni has resigned from being manager.  Hasebe resigned from his captain post.  The team is trickling back to Japan, with Hasebe leading the way, stunning the media with his gentlemanly refusals to stop his and give interviews.  

It's sad, waiting for four years to show the world what you're capable of and realizing that you didn't do that.  However, as I think back on my team and their playing and how the games went, all I can say is: Thank you.

It's been a good run, boys.  I've enjoyed every bit of the past four years.  Thanks for the journey.

Ganbatte Nippon!

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