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Pledge allegiance

One of the proudest things I love mentioning to people I meet is the fact that I am Mexican-American.  My parents are both from Mexico and journeyed to the Bronx where they met, got busy, and had me! I learned my ABCs and 1 2 3s in Elder Ave *Shout out to the Elder gang*.  Then we moved to Wyomissing, and here I am back today for spring break. 

Growing up was vastly different for me than many of the kids I’ve met in Wyomissing and at UD.  I grew up listening to two national anthems with the utmost pride for both.  I bleed bars and stripes, but I have Azteca blood.

Both nations take immense pride in their flag and their loyalty to one is never blurred or questioned.  Me like the other 33 million of Mexican Americans are never entirely sure to which ethnicity we belong too.  In certain regards we are American, we can vote, we love McDonalds, we enjoy HBO, we enjoy the multiple options of mobile telephone coverage.  Conversely we are very strongly linked to our Mexican roots; we can eat anything as long as a tortilla is involved, bailamos combia, nos informamos por Uni Vision, tequila doesn’t affect us.

The area where my allegiance is most unknown is on which Men’s National Futbol team to support.  I have been a fan of El Tri longer then I have been of the American team, when I was younger I blindly supported El Tri just cause that’s who my dad and uncles supported.  It was always a big family event when I lived in the Bronx when Mexico played the US.  Back then we lived a lot closer to our family and so huge parties were made out of the events.

The Mexican soccer team is much larger and the team more prestigious.  In fact through all of my playing days I always tried to emulate Mexican players. For me there was no American player I wanted to be.  So the dream to play in the green and white when I was younger was greater than any ambition to wear the red and blue. 

I can’t really put a point on it when I started really caring for the American team.  Maybe after the ’06 World Cup did I start caring more for the US, as I remember they were in a very difficult group that year.  Also ESPN around that time started caring about the World Cup and aired more games.  I then started to relate to that underdog struggle for the Americans. 

The American game has never been pretty, but I started to appreciate how hard they worked and just how much of the American spirit they played the game with.  Having lived here my entire life I’ve noticed that there just American ways of doing things, hard nosed with no regrets.  That’s the way I started seeing America play, and it was even more apparent in the Confederations Cup of ’09.  

Tonight the two take center stage for another World cup qualifier.  I’ll again be watching and just be on the edge of my seat the entire time.  Sure I’m wearing a Mexican jersey now, but there isn’t denying that I hope America succeeds. I hope the other 33 million Mexican Americans are having an easier time trying to decide where they stand on this extremely contested rivalry.

-Aye VarViVa-


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This entry was posted on March 26, 2013 by .
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