France and Switzerland ended their match Tuesday 0-0. A tie.
Ara Parseghian once said that “a tie is like kissing your sister.”
I don’t agree . . . well, except in the case of the women’s U.S. win by shootout in 1999. Even that is recorded as a draw: China 0, U.S. 0 then shootout is 5-4 in favor of U.S. That match made soccer famous in the U.S. and launched an even greater wave of soccer enthusiasm.
In the United States, ties are no longer acceptable. College football used to be satisfied with ties. No more.
The tie is an awesome thing. It says both teams fought it out in the mud and the blood and the sweat and both walked away impressed with the other. They exchange jerseys and greetings at the center of the field.
The tie is something of beauty. Some might say, as long as there is a context to handle it, to deal with it and record it and work with the system of wins, losses, ties and move through the bracket, it has value. I agree but would add that the tie is something more.
The tie will always stay with these world class athletes. For as long as they live, they will know they didn’t conquer that team, didn’t get bested by them. We are every bit as good. We did our best to beat them. They did their best to beat us. Neither relented.