Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Day To Remember Why America is Wicked Sweet

Today is not a normal day. Today is my good friend Mike Bewalder's birthday, but sadly, whenever I hear "September 11th" the first thing I think about is not him growing a year older, as it should be, but instead my head swirls with the images, thoughts, and memories of that day. It is almost that simple to reference...That day.
Remembering 9-11 in a way that enriches your life, and the way you live it day to day, will always be a good thing. If we can learn from those who lost there lives because they were targeted as symbols of what we all stand for, we can honor them. Nearly 3,000 people were murdered on this day 6 years ago because they were in America, living the American dream, flying the friendly skies, or defending our freedoms. It is in honor of those victims at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the tragic flights, that today I would like to remind everyone why I think America is so special. Here is a top ten list of the things I miss about the United States of America after 6 months in South Korea:

10. You don't run into Canadians everywhere.
9. There is a diverse population. It is a place where I'm not stared at because I look different.
8. You don't have Korean men telling you that you are handsome all the time.
7. I don't perpetually speak in baby talk. People can actually understand what I'm saying...most of the time.
6. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and weekend barbeque's.
5. Long weekends. The Korean education system seems to not have fully grasped this concept, I mean, who wants a Thursday or a Tuesday off when Friday and Monday are starring you right in the face!
4. Not worrying about mosquito bites when you go to sleep. It's not so bad for me, but seeing the insane number of bites on my friends, coworkers, and students, I still have a bit of insomnia.
3. Going out with my friends, or even just talking to them, or laughing with them.
2. The Jersey shore. Yes, I went to Thailand but I still miss that "No Fun beach" and the crazy weekends there.
1. American football. Yup, this is ranked higher than my friends, and higher than my family (which didn't even make the list, sadly) but for good reason. Let me explain.

Football is America. We like to think we have freedoms that the rest of the world doesn't, we like to think we have a government for the people, that we're the home of the brave, and all that jazz. But honestly, we just have football.
Go ahead and think of a time where you can picture a lot of people having fun. I've come up with the completely erroneous number of 95.8 percent of the people reading this just pictured themselves either at a football game, watching a football game, or playing a football game. I know I did.

Sports make people happy, and that is what America is truly about, "the pursuit of happiness". Of course life and liberty work themselves in there somewhere, but almost everyone has life, and I don't even think we have liberty anymore, so it all boils down to football, or I mean happiness... whatever.

When Joe Shmo can't talk about Bush's international policy, or find America on a map, I'll bet 10 to 1 he can come up with Tom Brady's completion percentage. Some people get more excited or more devastated by sports than anything else in their lives. And what is the best and most popular sport in the world? You said it...Futbol.
Wait...what's futbol you ask? It is the most popular sport in the world, but we Americans refer to it as Soccer. This is where the ingenious ingenuity (can those words be used together like that?) of the American mind shines so brightly. We took what the rest of the world loves more than life itself, their "happiness", and changed it's name to soccer, which sounds a lot like sucker, which has the root word of "suck". As in "this sport sucks". Accident? I think not. Then on top of that, we made up our own game, and just slapped their cherished name on it as if we knew it was even better than the reigning "best sport" right from the start. Well, they were right. Over a hundred years later those Americans seem to have had the best case of foresight I've ever heard of.

America may have a lot of things that other countries don't but over here in Korea I can keep in touch with friends and family, I can go eat a McDonald's cheeseburger, or a pizza, I can have a beer, get a job, support myself financially, and over all, live a pretty good life. But one thing I can't do is watch football.

I am not in America today, and with the football season starting it reminds me more than ever of what I'm missing. I hope this posting made you laugh, but if not, I hope it at least made you realize there are some things we all take for granted. Life is short, too short, so enjoy what you've got because even if all seems lost, you've still got football, while I'm over here stuck with suck...er.

P.S. - I actually like soccer.


Chris said...

fantastic commentary....the first two weeks of the college season, and the first week of the pro season have been so good. Maybe not so good if you're a Giants fan....be thankful you didn't have to watch that game. Although, i don't know if you know (or if you can get it in Korea) but you can download NFL games on iTunes....i suggest looking into it.

Yankees' baseball should have made the list

Paul A. Kroll said...

Hmmm, NFL games on itunes...Quality suggestion. I'll look into it. Thanks for the comment. Also, Yankees games didn't make the list because for some reason watching the computer screen refresh every 30seconds is a lot like watching a baseball game, sad to say, but true. And you can always look at the numbers to see what went on in a baseball game, but in football sometimes the numbers don't tell the real story. Example: Eli and Burress blowing up in week one...and we lose.