USMNT and "national character"

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Ghost, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    I've noticed that many people, in speaking of international football, make note of how the teams reflect a "national character" of the country that they represent. My question to you: How does the USMNT embody the American character, if it does so?
     
  2. Ringo

    Ringo Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Rough and Ready
    Club:
    Yeovil Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unlike Mexico we don't whine when we lose.
    We don't start cheap shotting people when we're behind.
    We play with class and determination.
     
  3. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This World Cup was the first time our play reflected national character: fighting against all odds; coming out and taking the game to opponents with a fearless attitude; not confined to one style of play, teammates who supported each other; playing with pride, determination and honor.
     
    Eleven Bravo repped this.
  4. Maczebus

    Maczebus New Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    My God I think I'm going to be sick!

    Err... anyway ...U-S-A, U-S-A!
     
  5. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    OK, I'll add something else: we once again proved we do much better as the underdog than favorite
     
  6. Ringo

    Ringo Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    Rough and Ready
    Club:
    Yeovil Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    British food can do that to you, I hear
     
  7. Chachi King

    Chachi King New Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    Organization and discipline.

    If Americans can do anything right they have damn good organization and they can follow orders to the letter when they have to. Much props to Bruce Arena.
     
  8. Kraze

    Kraze New Member

    Jun 6, 2000
    Orlando
    To rip off an Orlando Magic marketing tag line from a few years back, "Heart & hustle."
     
  9. I say they represent the american attitude that any goal can be accomplished with hard work and determination.
     
  10. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While I am not going to disagree with the assessments of the USMNT posted here, I would like note that the whole idea of a "national character" (a specific set of personality traits embodied by an entire nation of people) is a load crap so old and so dead it doesn't even have flies on it anymore.
     
  11. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Right.

    Brazilians are exactly like Americans, who in turn are exactly like Germans, wo are exactly like Egyptians. :rolleyes:

    My wife is Kenyan, and we hang out alot with other Kenyans here. And let me tell you, Americans and Kenyans have very, very, very, very, very, very, very...very, very, very different ideas about time.
     
  12. divingheader

    divingheader Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    St John, NB, Canada
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    America is a nation of immigrants. Until recently, our team has been a team of immigrants. I am happy we are seeing more Born in the USA players making it onto the USMNT.
     
  13. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States


    The point here is not (nor did my post imply this) that there are no group vs group differences. The point here is whether it makes sense to

    1. argue that nations have "characters" in a sense remotely approaching the individual psychological construct

    2. whether the behavior of a NATION’s population is consistent enough across time and space for it to make sense labeling it at all (as opposed to breaking it down regionally, or relative to particular stimuli (is the behavior of Americans the same now as it was prior to 9/11? if the answer is no, then what does that say about the presence or absence of national character?)

    Let's take your Kenyan example. I've no reason to doubt your description of time-related behavior, but what basis do you have for assuming that all Kenyans have the same ideas about time? Or for assuming that the observed behavior has to do with ideas about time and being Kenyan as opposed to Kikuyu, or an immigrant of any kind in the US, or…

    Ruth Benedict came up the with idea of “national cultures” in the 1930’s and made a name for herself by characterizing, among other places, Japan very negatively during WWII using Freudian mumbo-jumbo. While most people have dropped the Freudian, they’ve kept the mumbo-jumbo and whenever you see somebody talking about a national culture there’s good bet they are saying what they want to say based on selective anecdotal evidence.

    Anyway, whatever, I’m even boring myself here and that's saying something.
     
  14. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I KNEW you were going to fall back on this straw man!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!
     
    adam tash repped this.
  15. NGV

    NGV Member+

    Sep 14, 1999
    Re: Re: USMNT and "national character"

    Well, there was this game against Costa Rica where our coach and captain were suspended for going after the ref after a bad call, along with a few million Bigsoccer posts complaining that every ref from another CONCACAF country was out to get us.

    So, the when the US team does well they represent America's overall national character, and when they suck, they have nothing to do with us. That's convenient.

    Somehow I doubt that this thread would have gotten many responses if the Koreans hadn't bailed us out after we blew it against Poland.
     
  16. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh-for-Pete’s-sake

    A) I suggested that “national character” was a dead model as far as explaining the behaviors of the populations of nation-states
    B) You accuse me of claiming that there are no differences Americans and Germans

    How does B) follow A)?

    C) You state that Kenyans and Americans have very different ideas about time.
    D) I say “fine, but how does that support the notion of a national character?”
    E) Rather than answering this sensibly, you accuse me of using a straw man. Now, according to my understanding, a straw man is an easily defeatable opponent or argument used by someone in order to claim victory without actually addressing the real, more difficult issue/opponent. Please explain how you think I’ve done that because I don’t even remotely see how that fits with anything I’ve said.
    F) Perhaps not all Freud’s ideas are mumbo-jumbo. Clearly the concept of projection still has applicability in some select cases.

    By the way, if you were suggesting that Kenyans are late all the time, maybe it’s just the one’s that know you, and maybe THAT’S because they’re trying to avoid strangely heated arguments that suddenly blossom out of nowhere and therefore has nothing to do with idea’s about time at all.

    Finally, just to keep from hijacking this thread completely:
    One of the things I like about the USMNT is that it tends generally to engage in less gamesmanship and specifically to dive much less than many (but not all) other teams. I think this is a product of the players and coaches consciously choosing not to do this. This is in turn based on a common theme in American sports, wherein faking fouls and injuries to gain an advantage is much reviled as a pussified kind of cheating (viz, Bill Laimbeer), which in turn has roots in other American cultural motifs (NOT some magically existent national personality or “character”).

    DISCLAIMER: the author of this post preemptively rejects any bizarre and pseudo-logical extenuations of his post by third parties, explicitly including but not limited to the following:
    1. The author has called any given NT pussies. Bill Laimbeer, yes. The Three Lions, no. Korea Team Fighting, no. The Ital…um...
    2. The author has suggested anything at all about any particular USMNT match.
    3. The author has suggested that any given individual has actually endangered or even threatened Pete.
     
  17. Noah Dahl

    Noah Dahl New Member

    Nov 1, 2001
    Pottersville
    They did us proud. On the biggest stage, with the most at stake, they showed absolute class. They won and lost with diginity. They were, and are, wonderful ambassadors.

    I would love to say they gave an example of how Americans generally conduct themselves, but that's not what I've seen on TV. In fact, the "in-your-face, winning is everything" attitude is more generally espoused.

    Their conduct is a big reason I wish our US Men's soccer team got more attention here at home. Our other national teams, and the public in general, could actually benefit from such a rare example.

    I've said it before, these are the good old days for American soccer.
     
  18. cpwilson80

    cpwilson80 Member+

    Mar 20, 2001
    Boston
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I meant the statement in reference to the first time we haven't played 9 men behind the ball.

    This thread surfaced a few months before the Cup too, as people were trying to label the "American" style of play. I like the immigrant comparison: just as we are a nation of myriad backgrounds, our style of play borrow elements from different parts of the world.

    Keep in mind, we also beat a heavily favored team (many [including 442] were talking Portugal for the final), took the only point from the host, beat our biggest rival, and outplayed an eventual finalist.
     
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Member+

    Sep 5, 2001
    This is one of the answers I would give. Living in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society, a land of immigrants, i think it's often lost on us how polyglot our team is. And the style follows that trend.

    i also think the comment about our infinite flexibility, i.e. adjusting to the situation of each game rather than having set ideas and practices is very American.

    And could we save this rather silly argument about the existence of a national character. like it's some debate class. I feel like I'm back in Ann Arbor. Very unhealthy. Of course there is no absolute code that applies to every American, but as you pointed out, there are cultural motifs that are commonplace in America. While they may not be the same thing, they are certainly strongly related, particularly for the purposes of this discussion.
     
  20. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues New Member

    Jun 25, 1999
    King Willieville
    We kicked arse with one hand (Jeff Agoos) tied behind our backs! ;)
     
  21. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Our boys played with heart, played fair, didn't cheat or whine, and were successful. We realized success wasn't going to come on a silver platter, so we worked our asses off to earn it. And we showed utter contempt for teams that did otherwise.

    And when we did go down, we went down like true Americans, with all guns blazing.


    Alex
     
  22. Rowdie

    Rowdie New Member

    Jan 27, 2000
    Only Keller seemed to whine truthfully.

    The one characteristic that drove us was having superior athletes. This team was totally confident, in excellent shape, and very disciplined.
     
  23. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Re: Re: USMNT and "national character"

    Hey, it could be worse. It could be Ypsilanti or East Lansing. ;)
     
  24. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The straw man was the word "all." I even emboldened it for you.

    If you're right, are all anthropologists and sociologists wasting their time?
     
  25. Maczebus

    Maczebus New Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    Apart from Mr. O'Brien of course ;)
     

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