The world soccer community is focused on the World Cup round of 16 competitions, beginning today, and already we see that Uruguay has defeated South Korea.
Within minutes, the US team will be playing the team that sent them home four years ago – the team from Ghana.
Naturally, being American, I will want our team to win. But I won't shed any major tears if Ghana wins.
In fact, if Ghana prevails, I will jump on their bandwagon.
Over the past five or six years I have met many people from Ghana. First, I have met many from the service community, whether taxi drivers, to doormen at local hotels. I have found that Ghanans have a couple of unmistakable qualities: amazing smiles, and hearts of gold.
More recently, I have become friendly with a couple of Ghanans who live in Rogers Park, successful local business people. My friendship with George lead to a wonderful experience last summer, when I hosted his friends his from Ghana at my lake house in Michigan.
His friend, an important Judge, and his wife were caring and appreciative guests; his children, respectful, playful and the entire family full of dignity and grace. Their 21-year-old son fast became great friends with my daughter of the same age and her friends. I, too, feel as though I have made friends for life.
We in Chicago are busy celebrating a world championship in hockey, and we are blessed, unexpectedly, to have a local baseball team sporting a ten game winning streak, and given that this team's opponent for the next two day s will be the hapless Cubs, we can expect that the streak will extend to twelve.
I'm sure that the folks in Ghana have a lot of wonderful and meaningful events in their lives besides soccer, but I also must think that being at the top of the world in futball would mean a lot to them, as well as to much of the population in the African continent that has hosted this event.
Again, may the US be victorious today. It is my patriotic duty to say and feel this. But, if we don't, let's jump on this Ghana bandwagon!