There have been two lost bets which I’ve failed to settled up over the past couple years. In the infamous case of “Cookie Puss”, I can at least lay claim to being 2.5 hours removed from the nearest Carvel. The other, however, has been a strictly brutal form of denial.
I really dislike the Mexican national soccer team. For one, they are the fantastic rivals US Soccer wants and deserves (History of the rivalry here). They also play physical, skilled soccer and after a few years of the States getting the better of our Southern neighbors, Mexico now looks fit to throttle CONCACAF again should Jurgen Klinsmann and Claudio Reyna fail in their task of revolutionizing the American team.
In 2009, a group of four friends and I made the journey to Columbus to watch the US try to tame Mexico in 2010 World Cup qualifying. We had a blast, trading Canadian beer for Mexican with tailgating fans of El Tri (how American of us!). Songs were sung, rain poured down and the States unloaded on Mexico, dos a cero.
On my way out of the stadium, I ran into a surprisingly smiling Mexican fan named Jesus. We exchanged “good games” as if we played and then he shocked me by asking to do a post-game jersey exchange, my US blue for his Mexican Blanco shirt. Joking that we’d never actually wear the shirts after that photo, we took a photograph.
Remarkably — and for the love of lager I have no idea how — we found each other and stayed in touch through the Information Superhighway, or “The Net” as you may know it. Later, we made a bet on the Gold Cup Final game between our two beloved national teams. The loser would take a photo whilst wearing the winner’s jersey and post it on the web.
Well, the US U-23 team played so poorly they failed to even make the 2012 Olympics and the Mexican U-23s winning gold by playing near perfect football… I will settle up far later than I should’ve. Plus, the US & Mexico have a friendly Wednesday evening. I’m hoping this photo won’t stick in my craw for that long.
Here you are, Mr. Jesus Perez-Chino
Who says athletic patriotism is a pain-free endeavor? Go States.
Now onto Cookie Puss…