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Leading With Their Hearts

Photo: AFP

They don’t have to win another game. They have already captured our hearts.

Did you see trading stop on the floor of the New York stock exchange as traders hugged one another? What was the reaction in your office? In mine, the joy was palpable.  High-fives and hugs everywhere as Landon Donovan kicked that rebound into the net in the 91st minute to beat Algeria 1-0 to take the U.S. into the round of 16 in the World Cup.

We are not supposed to care about soccer. But this is not just about a game. Having watched the match again last night, this time on Univision, the Spanish-speaking announcers hit the nail on the head. Noting the American team’s remarkable comeback from a 2-0 deficit against Slovenia in the previous game, the Univision play-by-play team could only talk about what closers the Americans are.

Here’s the rough translation as soon as the final whistle signaled the conclusion of Wednesday’s miracle in South Africa:

The United States, everyone’s team! The United States, the team of the stars and stripes! The United States keeps writing history in the world of futbol! If you are capable of dreaming it you’re capable of achieving it. More than ever the U.S. has shown what you can do when you lead with your heart…when your heart tells you yes while your mind and events seem to say no… in the 91st minute we were witness not just to Donovan’s goal…today we have seen a goal of faith, a goal of hope…we are reminded of the final stanza of the American national anthem…the home of the brave!

Never underestimate the hyperbole and emotion of Univision. But they got it right. This is all about heart; the U.S. squad’s heart and our hearts.  They had me at Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!

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