Soccer has new Star-Spangled fan

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I love many things. Tacos. Burritos. Mountain Dew. Tacos, burritos, and Mountain Dew from Taco Bell. Many things.

But one thing I love more than almost everything else is America. Specifically, America being the best and when we get to flex on other countries. There was nothing better than America winning the Ryder Cup in 2016, Serena Williams crushing at Wimbledon, or Rocky beating Russia. I'm red, white, and blue for life.

And this women's World Cup team checks all my boxes: winning (first, and most important box), overcoming adversity (injuries and having to be in France), fun personalities, and games in the middle of the day in summer (teachers get bored).

I've watched the past two games and been thoroughly entertained, clapping my hands with every goal and scaring my dogs in the process. Normally, when sports are on, they expect me to sadly sit at the end of the couch and let tears stream down my face. However, this has been tremendous theater with very few tears.

Now this is when I once again admit I don't know anything about soccer. Nothing. At all. When they reviewed the English goal when she was called offsides, I agreed vehemently. Of course she was offsides. Cheater. But I have no idea how you get offsides.

When they used the same review system to say the Americans tripped the English player in some type of box and gave her a penalty kick, I was irate.

"There's no way that's a penalty! She tripped herself! She's clumsy and a faker!" Also, are you not allowed to trip people? It seems to happen all the time.

Again, literally no idea.

But I do know excitement and I sorta know sports. And this is exciting. Megan Rapinoe is incredible and so fun to watch. She's a great role model for any child because she is a terrific player and confidently speaks her mind on important issues. I also want that picture of her holding her arms out after scoring against France tattooed across my back. Not sure my wife is going to be OK with that, but maybe I can hide it.

Wisconsin favorite Rose Lavelle was all over the pitch (I heard it's called a pitch) on Tuesday. I hope the entire state watched the former Badger and let's all hope her hamstring is OK for Sunday because she was fun to watch. Also, she ran a lot. I got very tired just watching.

Even though I've thoroughly enjoyed this World Cup, I don't think I'm to blame for not liking soccer earlier in my life. My previous complaint about soccer was that it is kind of boring. However, it was likely because I didn't have anyone to root for. I have probably watched pieces of 75% of the Brewer games this year because I care about whether they win or lose, but I haven't watched a single game not involving Milwaukee because I have no interest in other teams.

Whenever soccer was on TV, I have no rooting interest so I don't care. Manchester United? Liverpool? Irish Hooligans? Didn't know, didn't care.

But now I care. I care deeply. I looked up Megan Rapinoe jerseys (could only find youth and women's sizes) and set up my schedule to be able to watch the last two games and will do the same Sunday for the championship game. Not that I have much of a schedule anyway.

And I found the game itself to be far more exciting than I had thought. It did have three goals, which seems to be on the high end, but there were plenty of exciting plays including a penalty kick save! First off, penalty kicks themselves are fairly rare, but getting a save in a World Cup semifinal game to preserve a 1-goal lead? That's good stuff.

The women play Sunday against either Netherlands or Sweden, both of whom I'm sure will be crushed under the mighty boot of America. And if you haven't watched a game yet because you don't like soccer or, more embarrassingly, don't like women's sports, do yourself a big favor. These women are great athletes, great ambassadors, and great for our country. Also, the games are extra good with a little Taco Bell on the side, just a little FYI for you.

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