Sec. Def. Tim Howard, The Cubing Keeper

Turns out Secretary of Defense Tim Howard not only could block a record-saving 16 shots against Belgium, but also managed to secure the tie against Portugal while one-handed cubing:

Amazing how shoddy 15 minutes of motion tracking can look, even at low-res! Obviously, this off-topic post is just a bit of a fun, capitalizing on America’s newly-minted hero.

I first became aware of Howard during his impressive play for the US at the last World Cup and have since caught weekend highlights of him playing for Everton. This World Cup was the first time America writ large really focussed on him as the superstar he unquestionably is. So much so that, even with America’s disappointing loss to Belgium, Howard won Man of the Match and endeared a nation. Even Vincent Kompany, Belgium’s star defender, couldn’t help but applaud Howard’s performance:

Every World Cup, I feel like we say the same thing. But this time, I feel like it’s going to stick: America is ready to treat football (the one played with your feet) as a real sport. This World Cup has seen US television ratings off the charts, US fans as the largest foreign contingent in Brazil, and a giant fever for the only sport played by the entire world.

Even without advancing to the quarter-finals, this team felt like the manifestation of American grit: scoring in the first minute against the voodoo team of Ghana that has haunted us, Demspey playing through a broken nose, the team regrouping to tie (and basically beat) 4th-ranked Portugal without Altidore, holding Germany to just a goal to leave the Group of Death on goal differentials, and then making a worthy (if not world-class) showing against a tough Belgian team. We fought tooth and nail until the final whistle (with Wondo bringing us within inches of marching into the quarters), and then anointed Howard a champion notwithstanding the loss. Pretty good stuff.

Just watch these awesome pre-game intros and try not to be moved.

Between the big screen in our board room, my second monitor at work, the Irish pub across town, and my couch at home, I watched EVERY SINGLE match of this World Cup — and I’m not alone among my office, my friends, or my family. Hell, my six-year old asked to rush home from a morning jaunt to Disneyland so that he could watch the DVR’d France/Nigeria match!?! It’s been incredible, and this weekend promises huge fireworks (get it?).

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