With less than 46 seconds from the end of the game between the USA and Portugal, and the US leading 2-1, everyone in my house was already celebrating the improbable victory of the minnows (the serious underdog in soccer-speak) USA over one of the 10 best teams in the world. As we were all counting down the seconds out loud, new year style, as if this victory would herald the beginning of a new era in US soccer, the ball found its way to Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese villain/captain with the attention grabbing hairdo. Using his speed down the right flank, he found the space to deliver a lovely cross in the direction of a pack of players, most of whom were US defenders melting in the heat of the Amazon marking one Varela, a fresh and speedy substitute Portuguese forward who had just entered the sauna pitch. Miraculously, the ball evaded all jumping US players' heads and nested for a split second on the forehead of the Portuguese forward. A flick of the head by Varela followed. It was a clinical header, and the ball entered the US goal like a silent killer zeroing in on its prey. Quick and deadly, the ball hit the net. No. No. No. Had I not suffered enough when the Clippers lost Game 5 of their series against OKC, as CP3 played the last 46 seconds of that game as if the ghost of Smush Parker had overtaken his body? My son, usually cool, calm, and collected, had the presence of mind to throw something at the tv, quieting it for the foreseeable future. He got up from the couch, went to his room, got my BG Clippers jersey, and together with his USA jersey, put them in the fireplace to burn. "Don't worry, Dad," he said. "They can't hurt you anymore."
"To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." F. Nietzsche