Shaka says the Azteca is not that difficult. Janusz says it is. Mind you neither of them ever won a match there as players but hey, most people who aren't Mexican don't. Do you think we'll break the jinx this year? I hope so because if we can't do it now --Gold Cup final aside, Mexico are reeling and the Yanks are stuntin'--we may never do it.
Yet deep inside there is some sick, self-hating part of me that wants it to continue just to have something to complain about. I have a couple of friends who are Boston Red Sox fans that swear that now that the Curse of the Bambino has been lifted it's just not as fun anymore. And Lord knows reveling a sense of collective damnation is certainly part of the appeal of supporting the New York MLS franchise.
To some degree I think every culture needs a boogieman and for American Soccer that boogieman is a 107K capacity pit brimming with smog, projectiles and the unpleasant scent of repeated failure. Now don't get me wrong here, I want us to win and win big. Coupled with the Spain win, this would be an epic one-two punch that the American game needs. But we still need a reliable, comfortable enemy to keep pushing us on.
Take the 1980's for instance. Remember how tight that sh*t was? It was all hair-metal, happy-rap and new-wave goodness. You know why? Because if we didn't we were just as bad as communist Russia so we had to show the world that we knew how party. Then the wall comes down, the U.S.S.R. breaks up quicker than Velvet Revolver and we no longer have a great, evil enemy or an epic quest ahead of us. Next thing you know it's the 1990's and everyone is listening to 12" mixes of Ace of Base records...just like the Russians.
Wait, where was I going with all this? F*ck. Wait, no. I dunno. The point is good needs evil and Azteca is evil at 7,300 feet. If we win it will come at a cost, and that cost would be creating an imbalance in the force.