We knew the USA had to win to stay in the tournament. We also knew that Algeria was playing well (they bagged a draw against England) and that several of their players have a penchant for throwing elbows...and fists...and epithets... We were facing a formidable foe.
For 21 glorious minutes, we sat on the edge of our seats, cheering for Algeria's missed opportunities and wincing at a couple of American shots on goal gone awry. Suddenly, after a scramble in the Algerian box, Dempsey scored a goal for the US. Just as we began our celebration, one of the assistant referees disallowed the goal with a horribly erroneous off-sides call.
And that's when it happened: Everything went black. I thought maybe it was some form of PTSD. Perhaps my brain synapses were overwhelmed by the deja vu of having a perfectly legal goal taken away without cause? Or maybe I'm too pure to witness such evil without losing consciousness? But then I realized the awful truth: The cable went out.
Me: Hello. We were watching the World Cup match when the cable cut off. Also, my mom works from home and it's imperative she have Internet access.
Unhelpful Time Warner Rep: You were watching what?
Me: The USA. World. Cup. Match. And the cable went out.
Unhelpful Time Warner Rep: Let me put in a work order. Can I have your phone number?
Me: Sure. So will they call us when they're coming out?
Unhelpful Time Warner Rep: No. They'll either come by to fix it when they can, or if it's an outage, it'll just come back on by itself.
Me: Okay, but my mom works from home. It is IMPERATIVE she have Internet access.
Unhelpful Time Warner Rep: We'll do the best we can.
Unhelpful Time Warner Rep: ... Bye. [dial tone]
At this point, I couldn't even process the injustices. Mom's neighbor, who also works from home, informed us that the builders putting up a house down the road had cut the cable clean in half. Apparently they do this every time they build a new house, and it takes two or three days to get it back up and running.
We hopped in the truck to see if we could find some live stream online. By this point, we knew the second half had to have started.
Kyle found some Iraqi TV stream on our computer, and just as we were getting things set up, the computer mouse died. So we all ran into the living room, where Noah and I tried to get our new HD antenna working in hopes of picking up Univision—because apparently the Latinos have their priorities right—while Kyle tried to get the stream going on his laptop.
The antenna wouldn't respond. Kyle's laptop wasn't picking up our wireless signal. Noah went and got Old Faithful, a 60-foot ethernet cable he has stashed for emergencies such as stupid online Xbox gaming, and connected the laptop directly to the Internet router.
We watched the last 10 minutes of the match on a 4-inch, low-def screen in Spanish (bless you, Univision.com!). The 90 minutes expired, and we were still tied nil-nil. Unless we could score a goal in the 4 minutes of granted stoppage time, we'd be out.
That's when the heavens opened, Donovan got his foot on the ball, and we all screamed GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! Donovan had done it! He had scored a goal! We won!
Noah, Ethan, Kyle and I jumped and screamed around our ransacked house for several minutes before taking the party outside. We ran around and danced on the front lawn, yelling and clapping and shouting "USA! USA!"
Then, as anyone (in Europe) might do, we got in the truck, tossed Kyle in the back with our flag and a soccer ball, rolled down the windows, and joyrode through our neighborhood and the nearby Food Lion parking lot and the gas station and my Mom's neighborhood, honking and yelling and waving the flag in triumph. Approximately one person seemed to understand what was going on.
Apparently the World Cup doesn't have as big a following in central North Carolina as we'd hoped.
And here's the version we saw:
Gracias, Univision. For everything.