JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

A beautiful video capturing beautiful moments

I was in my car, parking at the train station. The score was 0-0, time was running out. I couldn’t believe that, after such a promising World Cup and so much talk of this being America’s best-ever soccer team, the U.S. would be eliminated in the first round.

I was about to get out of the car when the announcer became excited. The U.S. was roaring up the field. Donovan gets the rebound, and———SCOOOOOORRREEE!

Can’t remember the last time this happened, but I was pumping my fist and screaming, all alone in my vehicle. And yet, if you watch the above video, I wasn’t alone. Far from it.

These days, so much of TV is arranged and choreographed. I’m thinking specifically of American Idol, and those stupud season-ending episodes where the finalists go home. Their “fans” are screaming and holding signs—and you know they’re being instructed to scream, and that the signs were likely provided by Idol producers. In short, it’s garbage.

The reason many of us had to Donovan’s goal was real. Passionate. Euphoric. This video gave me chills. I’m guessing you’ll get them, too …

PS: To me, this video speaks loudly for the beauty of being underdogs. The reason we’ll never, ever have another Miracle on Ice in hockey? Because using professionals has killed the very idea. It couldn’t possibly be a miracle, for there’s nothing miraculous about ours pros being their pros—even if it’s Canada or Russia. The same goes for Olympic basketball. Remember how fun it was in 1984, when the U.S. team included amateurs named Jordan and Ewing and Mullin? Now, they’re all highly paid pros who expect to win. The game is still exciting, but the euphoria is missing.