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Defense Secretary Tim Howard? US goalkeeper earns internet praise after World Cup loss

Published time: July 02, 2014 15:59
Edited time: July 03, 2014 00:58
US goalkeeper Tim Howard reacts during a Round of 16 football match between Belgium and USA at Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 1, 2014. (AFP Photo / Martin Bureau)

US goalkeeper Tim Howard reacts during a Round of 16 football match between Belgium and USA at Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 1, 2014. (AFP Photo / Martin Bureau)

The USA's World Cup goalkeeper Tim Howard wasn’t able to keep the team from being eliminated in Brazil this week, but fans have nonetheless found some innovative ways to express their appreciation.

Howard, 35, set a World Cup record during Team USA’s 2-1 loss to Belgium on Tuesday by saving more shots-on-goal in a single game than ever before in the tournament. Within hours, Howard's Wikipedia page was given a makeover by admirers who jokingly named him the new Secretary of Defense.

Even Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tweeted his appreciation of the prank.

“I do NOT APPROVE of vandalizing Wikipedia for comedic effect,” Wales wrote. “But this is exquisite.”

The US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has acknowledged the joke and called Howard to thank him for “defending the United States of America at the World Cup.”

“Secretary Hagel congratulated Howard on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense.”

On the We the People online petition portal hosted on the official White House website, fans of the New Jersey-born goaltender again expressed their admiration by asking the US government to rename an airportin the Washington, DC-area in honor of Howard.

As of late Wednesday morning, Washington time, the “Change the name of Washington National Airport (DCA) to ‘Tim Howard National Airport’” petition had received more than 3,000 signatures. Should it reach the 100,000-signature threshold by the end of the month, the White House will have to offer an official response.

“Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match; Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America,” the petition reads in full. DCA was already renamed after Ronald Reagan in 1998 to honor the two-term president.

The current commander-in-chief has yet to issue a response to the renaming request. However, Pres. Barack Obama did drop by unexpectedly at the World Cup viewing party attended by White House officials during this week’s game.

“I was worried that if I walked in and Belgium scored, I'd get in trouble,” Obama joked with attendees at the private Pennsylvania Avenue event Tuesday afternoon. At that point, USA Today report, the game was still tied 0-0.

Team USA was eliminated in overtime during Tuesday’s match-up when Belgium managed to score twice in overtime. Julian Green, 19, scored the USA's only goal.

Comments (14)

 

Paul White 04.07.2014 03:38

The story about Tim Howard is neat. The merits of American football are not even mentioned in the article. Tim Howard shined and gave the American team an opportunity to advance. The team simply did not provide goal support.

 

goat-on-a-stick 03.07.2014 20:14

Ward Primer Sanford 03.07.2014 02:30

It is such a boring game, and it is pathetic that Americans are becoming so enamored. When real football begins in the Fall, they will have forgotten all about soccer. Howard is a fine fellow, but the losing team does not deserve all of this attention. Hats off to Belgium for slaying the "dragon" and delivering us (US) from the insanity!

  


I think you need a history lesson on what the "real" football is.

 

Gobberz 03.07.2014 07:58

Ward Primer Sanford 03.07.2014 02:30

It is such a boring game, and it is pathetic that Americans are becoming so enamored. When real football begins in the Fall, they will have forgotten all about soccer. Howard is a fine fellow, but the losing team does not deserve all of this attention. Hats off to Belgium for slaying the "dragon" and delivering us (US) from the insanity!

  


Though I care nothing for 'Football', your US version, is just a cheap knock off of Rugby!

View all comments (14)
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