Patriotism is perhaps the greatest collective emotion that exists, and has ever existed. War, that which was the main contributor to the outpouring of such in the past, is now being replaced by sport in such function. There is no greater pride, than watching your national team win big at an international event. Here are two of our favorite of such moments, in which we believe national glory was felt at its most intense.
Roddick winning the 2003 US Open final
This moment was so momentous for the Americans, not simply because of the fact that an American won an American tournament. It was the timing of such win that made it so significant in the eyes of the Americans at that time. The win came at the time of the passing of the last generation of tennis greats, which was the age of American tennis greatness, best embodied by the then GOAT Pete Sampras. With the coming-to-prime of non-US tennis stars like Ferrero, Federer, and Hewitt, it looked liked tennis greatness, in the same fashion as global politico-economic power concentration, was on the verge of becoming a non-American affair. Roddick's win at the 2003 US Open, coming just right after Sampras's retirement, seemed to have signified that the age of American greatness in tennis was not yet over. The passing-of-guard symbolism was not lost on many, and it was natural that the national mood was electrified at this win, to say the least.
France winning the 1998 World Cup, in France
French patriotic fervor must have reached peak height with this one, given the context of such win. Reaching the final of the World Cup despite never having entered one before was a massive feat by itself. But overturning the reigning World Cup champion despite such novice, is one giant degree more impressive than the first. By not only overturning the reigning champion, but also a four-time World Cup champion, you raise yourself to a peak in history. And, all these are mentioned without having said that such victory took place on the home ground of this over-thrower. Such combination will probably never be repeated ever again in the world of football. It can be compared to the greatest match in tennis history - the 2008 Wimbledon men's singles final - equaling it in importance within their respective sports, yet far surpassing the drama of the 2008 final if the national element is factored in.
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