Even Tim Howard couldn’t save this conversation.
“Man, I just wanted to call and say you did us proud,” President Barack Obama told the goalie and his teammate Clint Dempsey in an Oval Office phone call.
The president said that, and so much more, during his conversation with the U.S. World Cup soccer team members on Wednesday congratulating them on their tournament run that ended in an exciting 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium a day earlier. He told them that they did great and that he played soccer as a kid and that the sport continues to grow and that Tim Howard should shave his beard and that he still has his jacket that the team gave him. In the two-minute conversation, President Obama talked for 84 percent of the time; Dempsey and Howard shared the remaining 16 percent.
As Run DMC long ago waxed,
Everywhere that you go, no matter where you at/I said you talk about this, and you talk about that/When the cat took your tongue, I say you took it right back/Your mouth is so big, one bite would kill a Big Mac
“As somebody whose first sport was soccer, although I was never that good, to see the way you guys captured the hearts and imaginations of the whole country is unbelievable,” Obama offered. “Obviously, the sport’s been growing steadily because so many kids are playing it at a young age but this is the first time where I think you really ended up having an entire country focused.”
“Well, we heard you were watching and we know how big a supporter you are, so hopefully we made you proud,” Howard, who made sixteen saves versus Belgium, responded during the only point in the conversation in which anyone but Obama said more than a few words. “It was our honor as it always is to represent our country.”
The president mercifully began the ending of his monologue, “You guys just carry yourselves with a lot of class.”