Not everyone in the U.S. foresaw three months ahead of time that the American team would be meeting the Black Stars of Ghana in the World Cup round-of-16. But one major American airline did! I found this in my mailbox a few months ago. It mystified me then, but now all is clear.


Until I saw how the World Cup brackets worked out, I had thought that perhaps this was personalized for my family. My wife and I actually spent the first few months of our married life together on work camps in inland Ghana, in the cities of Bolgatanga, Tamale, and Assin-Fosu. Improbably, we are still married. We liked Ghana and Ghanaians a lot, so we wish the Black Stars well. Still: USA!

PS. Not to add to the pressure, but: Here is what the Ghana Football Association site says before the match:

On Saturday, it would be a meeting of a familiar opponents but Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng, playing in his debut World Cup says the Black Stars are not only playing for a country, rather they are carrying the hopes of an entire continent.

"Now we're playing for all Africa. Ghana is the standard-bearer for the whole continent. The African fans will be behind us as we do everything we can to reach the quarter-finals," the Ghana midfielder said.