24 June 2010

The Big Shaggy, or Heart

A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the New York Times that talked about the benefits of studying the Humanities (which I do) and also discussed something he called "The Big Shaggy." I've honestly been thinking about it ever since then.

It got me thinking about the idea of heart, especially in light of some of the most recent World Cup matches.

I saw heart in Landon Donovan, in the 91st minute, after he made that goal - and in my husband, who was more enthusiastic about a soccer match than I had seen him about any sports even recently. Since soccer has so few goals, typically, and in this match there was only the one goal, it makes for just the most electric moment. It's something that permeates through the crowd, like the sound of the vuvuzela.

I saw heart, passione, in the Italians today. Sadly, it was too late. Today, in the wake of the heartbreaking loss to Slovakia, Marcello Lippi blamed himself for his team's early exit (you can read an article about it here). Of course, I would point to the fact that Totti and Del Piero retired from the national team, and especially that Buffon was injured and wasn't tending goal. I think that if the team had been able to rally before the 81st minute - because they DID rally and they were on FIRE for those last minutes of the game - things could have been different.

And, heart? Big shaggy heart? How about Isner and Mahut? They played that monumental set in Wimbeldon, playing for two days straight? They showed heart.

I hope that the American team keeps this level of heart for Saturday - and beyond, because I think that the heart they played with has the opportunity to really take them far.

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