Soccer, American-style, truer than the red, white and blue…

By Carol MacPherson

It’s summer! It’s the World Cup! The only thing we need now is for the U.S. men’s national soccer team to have a real nickname, so fans can chant something a little more original than, “USA! USA! USA!” A writer on Slate proposes “American Dream” which sounds a bit manufactured. “Dreamers” might work. Or “Dreamy” (or for the naysayers, “Dream On”); but it can’t sound so official, or forced, or from a marketing team.

Ghana’s cool nickname, which reflects its flag, is the “Black Stars.” Something similar could work here, if darn ol’ Betsy Ross had made our stars anything other than white… And Red Stripe(s) is a pretty good beer, but it’s Jamaican. And the White Stripes were an alternative rock band, and would make a pretty good nickname if didn’t sound like waving the white flag.

So how about the RWB(s)? The red, white and blue(s)? Why not give it a try. Or it’s back to USA! USA! USA! Let’s dribble through the headlines:

Study: Food trucks safer than restaurants”: It’s true, your bigger restaurants are harder to drive, and the older ones aren’t equipped with airbags. Never mind trying to parallel park.

New gadgets cut into vehicle quality”: Just as they exponentially cut into the driver’s driving quality. (Which auto company will be the first to offer the Multitasker Coupe?)

Voices: Why our girls are going to coding camp”: To meet boys? Kidding! Just kidding. The writer is sending her girls, 11 and 13, to code-writing camp because she believes it’s an essential skill to learn, especially for girls. The girls, meanwhile, wanted more basketball camp. Parents get to decide, of course. But calling a sit-down, instructional class “camp” simply because it doesn’t take place during the school year doesn’t make it fun, or “camp.”

A bolder effort by Big Tobacco on e-cigarettes”: This should help convince those who think the electronic cigarettes are not addictive and/or are designed to help someone break a nicotine addiction.

With blood pressure, lower is not always better”: Indeed. Otherwise known as “death.”

Is it really true that watching porn will shrink your brain?”: Dunno.

Starbucks not funding scholarship program it introduced”: But it is raising its prices. So there you go.

Gov’t moves to ban drones in 400 national parks”: Zion officials in Utah were spurred to action after seeing an unmanned aircraft harassing bighorn sheep and causing youngsters to be separated from the herd. How awful. Can we create some unmanned, mechanical big horns with which to harass the droners (drone operators)?

Alaska black bear, cubs steal kids’ lunch boxes”: Oops. Who in the heck let Yogi Bear have access to a drone?

Challenge: Back in the old days, New York Times editorial writers, in order not to sound preachy, had to make their arguments without using words such as “should/shouldn’t”, “must/mustn’t”, or other “modal verbs of obligation.” It’s not easy. (Which is perhaps why it’s no longer a rule for NYT editorial writers.) Try it some time. (Or if you must: You should try it some time.)


Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472;