Good News Lions

It's hard to find good news from Iraq these days, doubly hard if you're looking in The Phoenix. Fox News is relentlessly on the case though, usually with some kind of dissembling drivel. Occaisonally, however, they seize upon a story that warms the cockles of your heart, without trying to monkey with synapses of your brain beforehand.

It turns out that the Iraqi soccer team took first place at the 2007 Asian Cup, defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the final. While this touched off the predictable fusillade of celebration-via-Kalashnikov, the triumph of the "Lions of the Two Rivers" can hardly fail to move even the most stoic, with its Disney-ready story of adversity and on-field vindication, and the subsequent eruption of glee on the part of the Iraqis. Ready for the tearjerking kicker? The team fields three strikers: One Sunni, one Shi'ite, and one Kurd.

If there are two sports-related things that Americans don't "get," they are a. soccer and b. national pride and unity being bound up in international competition (no one wasted any ammo on the Dream Team, at least to my knowledge). Nevertheless, I hope that this (admittedly Foxified) story of an egalitarian, non-sectarian celebration in Iraq will make you all as happy as it did me.
--Ben Richardson

(Photo via AP)

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