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Happy Cinco De Mayo, Gringos!

Today is a day of pride and honor for Mexicans who celebrate their nation’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla one hundred and fifty years ago. 

For Gringos in the U.S. though, today is unfortunately a day in which we see some of the worst stereotypes about Mexico thrown around like an old pancho. Yes, Americans everywhere today are wearing sombreros while eating bad mexican food and guzzling tequila shots.

If the U.S. festivities were meant to honor our own Mexican ancestry, we sure screwed up somewhere along the lines. Why, at some point in the history of celebrating every “ethnic” holiday, do Americans end up turning it into an all-you-can-drink puke fest? 

If the Mexican-Americans claim their heritage has been singled out for such treatment, tell them to take it up with the Irish who have watched as St. Patrick’s Day went from their culture’s holiday to everyone else’s excuse to get drunk and skip work.

What’s next? Columbus Day sponsored by Papa John’s Pizza? Will we all drink Franzia and wear berets on Bastille Day?

Heck, if Americans actually learn about Guy Fawkes Day, we can all get rid of our remaining Fourth of July fireworks stash.

So, I will honor Mexico and Mexican-Americans today by honoring the greatest Mexican-American soccer player of today: Carlos Bocanegra.

Carlos was born in America to “parents with mexican heritage.” So he really isn’t all that Mexican, but his granddaddy might have been. Hey, it’s late and I want to go have some Modelos, so he’ll have to do. 

Carlos began his career with MLS, but it was clear he was simply too good to stay forever. After winning Defender of the Year honors in 2002 and 2003, he made the jump across the pond to jolly old England.

Carlos has had success abroad with Fulham, and with a win on Sunday, he can ensure he stays in the EPL for at least one more year. He has appeared in over 100 matches in the Prem., a number most Americans only dream of.

More important though to MNT fans, Carlos is our Captain and has played with determination in each of his 53 appearances.  A fixture on the team for three years now, Bocanegra has emerged as perhaps the best defender in the entire nation.

So, enjoy your Cinco De Mayo everyone. And try to enjoy it responsibly. Remember, just because you can eat the worm, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.