In a wild twist of fate Tuesday night, the United States Men's National Team bombed out of World Cup qualifying. After a 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago at Ato Boldon Stadium the team failed to qualify for the world's biggest sporting event for the first time since 1990.
To reiterate: the USMNT will not be joining the world in Russia next summer. And it is no more than this nation deserves. In fact, it is a lot less.
This has nothing to do with Bruce Arena, and the makeshift job he did trying to sew up this ailing team like a bunch of old soldiers.
This has nothing to do with Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, or Clint Dempsey, who couldn't find the nuts to string together more than one good performance in a row for the entire year.
This has nothing to do with Trinidad & Tobago, their flooded pitch, their raucous fans, and the glory strike from a no-name 40+ yards out in the 30th.
This has nothing to do with Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, or Honduras, all of whom qualified instead of us.
This has nothing to do with the fact that nobody even watched this goddamn game because it was only played on an obscure sports channel for premium cable subscribers.
This has to do with the fact that we are a shit country.
This has to do with the fires eating up the western coast right now, an apt metaphor for the nigh-apocalypta smoldering in our citizens' hearts and minds today.
This has to do with the flooded floors of homes in Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, and the dogs left tied to trees and fenceposts as the storms poured in.
This has to do with the rolls of paper towels the President threw at desperate faces in the drowned state of Puerto Rico, an apt metaphor for the impotence of the weakest man in the world.
This has to do with our lust for guns and blood. Our treatment of mass shootings as if they are a natural disaster we just couldn't avoid. Our incessant coverage of everything violent and shocking and filth. Our homegrown white male terrorists set on breaking world records and the world one-hundred bullets a second.
This is about robbing women of their choices, children of their voices, men of their right to protest in the land of the free and home of the enslaved.
This is about our militant colonialism of the Middle East, our stockpiling of bombs on the East coast, our trillion dollar fighter jets, and wounded army vets who return shaking to a shellshocked home.
This is for our opioid dead, the sugar and fast-food fed, the millions who make bed with the gutters and wake to the sound of another store shuttering.
This is for the bodies left in the streets, the lines of chattel stalking in their cells, the capital rising rising in this great american hell.
This is for the rape of the forests, the shit in the rivers, the trash in the skies, the tears still dropping from indigenous eyes.
What were we talking about again? Our soccer team?
Sink the fireworks. Burn your shirts. Take shelter and cower. Here we are, 2017, a nation devoured.