This is what it looks like when your hobbit-proportioned island nation — which on its best days is still little more than a sheep-infested birthmark on Earth's backside — coughs up the mother of all leads and lets the U ! S ! A ! roar from behind to claim America's Cup, and wouldn't you know it, on New Zealand's version of Independence Day, as well.
The photo cutline describes "a weeklong national vigil" for Emirates Team New Zealand as Kiwis watched an 8-1 lead evaporate in the best-of-17 sailing slog. Presumably this photo was taken in the moments just before Oracle Team USA completed the preposterous comeback, or in the endless 44-second maw of self-recrimination before Team New Zealand limped along behind. So many emotions on display here! There's the mother whose child is presently mangling the piano recital. The office drone who just learned he's expected to work a holiday weekend. The brittle dinner party hostess who can only martini-smirk through her fury. The stranded tourist wondering whether to tell the wife that, yes, despite his protestations that he didn't need four-wheel drive, they were axle-deep in mud and would be spending the night roadside, sans snacks or water. The suddenly bereaved fair-weather fan ("our boys!") and the long-suffering wife listening to her husband describe, to her face, while reeking of sex, that he'd been out at the bar for a pint and if she doesn't believe him, well, that just proves his point, that maybe this marriage isn't what it used to be.
This is the Kellogg's Variety Pack of disappointment, the Pride Flag of goddammit. There's nothing we Americans can say, except, thanks for the great run, Kiwis. You'll always have Dead Alive to cheer you up.
Photo credit: AP