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Media Meltdowns

Iranian Press Corps Dominates Group-Stage Match Against USMNT

Gregg Berhalter and Tyler Adams
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

We hate the media, even those of us in the media. It's a safe and comforting default position that repels the arguments of your neighbors who want to tell you why they hate the media and allows you to get back to your dog-walking business without the accompanying migraine.

So let's just say this then: Go Iran. Beat the U.S. Advance to the knockout stage. We need the Iranian press corps to unleash their rhetorical terrors on another country as they did the outclassed team of Gregg Berhalter and Tyler Adams on Monday, because at some point the position of that U.S. warship really is more important than Gio Reyna not getting to play.

And why not ask the U.S. manager and team captain questions about geopolitics, since we seem to imbue them with wisdom beyond their expertise? If we exalt the coach and worship the athlete, let's put them to the truest tests—answering questions they've never considered.

This is not about the game itself. It's not about that at all. Frankly, I'm watching England-Wales for the comedy, which means I don't have to listen to momentarily uber-patriotic companions befouling my paz y tranquilidad with their chants and blurts and grunts and U.S. jerseys and singing the anthem way too loud as though they are actually in the lineup.

But my support for Iran is based solely on its press corps, which asked Berhalter and Adams about:

  • Racial discrimination
  • The mispronunciation of "Iran"
  • Inflation
  • Immigration rights
  • The location of U.S. Navy ships and the USMNT's role therein
  • Why U.S. fans actually hate the U.S. team despite the fact that U.S. fans love the team as it only can when it pays attention maybe ten times every four years
  • The noted psychological torturer and nation slanderer Jurgen Klinsmann
  • The desecration of the Iranian flag

Not a single question about the bracket, or Reyna, or formations, or any of the other sorceries that surround the average sportswriter. Explain the criminal inequities of your entire culture based on your lofty position as a central midfielder is a way better question, and I'm here for every chance the Iranians get to do the same for the poor bastards from the Netherlands, Ecuador, or Senegal. Who needs the games when you can get this, and how do we get more of it? This is the only logical place Stephen A. Smith can go from here, and in fact he's kind of inching that way already. You can't wear the outsized cowboy hat and whinge about the Knicks and the Yankees forever. At some point he needs to tackle voter nullification and environmental deterioration, and the Iranian press corps is showing us the way. We only hope Monday's performance wasn't specific only to the U.S., and that they can find social inadequacies in the Ecuadorians, the Senegalese or those tulip-torturing swine from the North Sea.

Hey, you got your World Cup, and I got mine. Drinks up, kids. Have a good day, and let a thousand scolds bloom.

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