A Birthday Letter To Robert Green, England’s World Cup Blunder

Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports

Dear Robert Green,

Hello there. We noticed you’re turning 38 today and it’s churlish of us not to send a card, but you know how dross international shipping is and in 2017 it’s just easier to send a message, you know? So happy birthday, and how’re things going? It’s nice to catch up.

We haven’t seen much of you since the 2010 World Cup. Thanks again for that.

On that day, it was more than a speculative effort from Clint Dempsey, who’s like if a Bald Eagle was reborn in Texas and dedicated his life to soccer. We were losing 1-0, looking particularly unimaginative and uninspiring, on brand with most of our soccer history. But it’s okay, you were there to lend us a helping hand when we were down and we’ll never forget that, hence this birthday letter.

Despite being mightily underhanded and underdeveloped in the sport, this was the second time we ‘shocked the world’ and avoided defeat against you guys in a competitive match out of two tries. It was the first competitive game between the two countries since 1950, and let’s be honest it was mostly luck that we somehow managed to win 1-0 that day. And then you were there for us in 2010.

But enough about our history, let’s talk about you.

We were here for your career’s worst moment, which sparked a multi-year fall.

At the time of kickoff that day, you were peaking. We watched you peak as you came out of that tunnel behind the legendary Steven Gerrard! You were starting in goal for the English national team as well as the no. 1 for West Ham in the Premier League. They were a middling yet respectable club in the top tier of English soccer.

Then this game happened. Your starting job with England was pulled and it seemed your confidence was irrevocably tarnished. A few more questionable goals slipped passed you at West Ham, where you’d lose the starting job. You dropped to a struggling club in the top flight, QPR. Unfortunately, they’d get relegated and you’d be stuck in the second division.

But hey, you’re still there, now with Leeds United despite your age. We’re proud of you, and happy for you. And you’re rolling with the punches now too!

Leeds, poetically, also had a fall from grace though much sharper than yours. So it must feel comfortable, more like home than anything else since 2010. We hope that enough time has passed to displace the synonymity of your name with your worst day over there, unfortunately it’s unlikely to ever change over here.

We don’t want to take up much more of your time here, anyway. Just wanted to check in and say happy birthday.

Best regards,

America

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