July 4th comes early this year as America unites as one to support the Red, White, and Blue against the Red Devils of Belgium. Millions will do their patriotic duty of sneaking out of work come 4 PM Eastern. Here’s how newspapers both here and in the Low Country are previewing the massive match.
The New York Post wins everything (see above photo) with its bloodthirsty eagle embodying its Spirit of ’76 message – “Go Kick Some Ass.” Quite a turnaround from the paper that declared soccer “stupid” four years ago.
The New York Daily News comes in a close second with its titanic two-page spread showcasing five of USMNT’s best pumped up for battle.
It’s one thing for a desperate hack of an unpatriotic pundit like Ann Coulter to attack soccer for attention. But for a major metropolitan newspaper like the Boston Herald do the same? The Herald joins the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy in raining on America’s parade with its petty anti-soccer back page. Proof that, at least in sports coverage, Boston continues to lose to New York.
At first blush, the L.A. Daily News’ headline of “A Fine Antidote for Your Soccer Fever” could be confused for another Coulter-esque troll job, but it’s simply a clumsy way of introducing a story on the best places to catch the game.
The O.C. Register boils down the matchup to its essence – - Hot Dogs versus Waffles. One of the few areas where we’re willing to concede a draw with Belgium.
West Coast workers will try to pull of a “long lunch,” East Coasters will try to clock out early, and those in the middle will schedule afternoon “meetings.” The Seattle Times has its finger on the nation’s nervous pulse with its fun front-page story on how productivity will come to a halt come kickoff.
Those who don’t have to worry about work will be gathered at massive parties like the one featured on the Kansas City Star’s front page. The USMNT’s march through the World Cup has turned the city’s “KC Live” district into “the biggest living room in the Midwest,” which speaks volumes about where the sport stands.
Meanwhile, in Belgium, their tabloid DH pales in comparison to the NY Post with its tame photoshop of Belgian players bursting through the American flag like a weird take on High School footballers storming the field.
Roundup the Williams Sisters, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, and Tracey Austin, it’s all hands on deck as Flemish tennis star Kim Clijsters declares war on the U.S. on the Gazet van Antwerpen’s front page.
Le Soir shows President Obama tweeting Belgium’s Prime Minster Elio Di Rupo with a bet on today’s match, he’ll take the country’s two pandas if the U.S. wins. Like everything in Belgium, even the recent gift of two pandas from China caused its Flemish region to accuse Di Rupo of favoritism for putting the pair in French-speaking Brussels instead of Antwerp. Hopefully such infighting breaks out amongst their squad today.
Finally, Het Nieuwsblad sticks with the Obama-theme with its tired “Yes We Can” headline. We’ll check back in tomorrow with what should be some mournful Belgian front pages.