This one has been in the works since the game in Hartford in August, 2005. The day after that game, I was at work, which, at the time, was the Mass Historical Society. A coworker was arranging World War I posters, and I noticed this one, done by Howard Chandler Christy in 1917. Liberty’s placing a wreath on an honor roll of names that are all very ethnic sounding, all different ethnicities. As I looked over the poster, “O’Brien” caught my eye. “O’Brien…O’Brien, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Keller…” and the lightbulb went off. In the spirit of the original poster, the names listed are all the most obvious ethnic ones from the US player pool this year, and, like the Ramones one before it, the names form a potential starting XI. This time, though, it’s a 3-5-2, with a full subs bench. I bet in 2010 I could redo this with even wackier ethnic names depending on how well guys like Guzan, Arvizu, Nguyen, and Nakazawa come along. Between this and the Ramones banner, I managed to name-check the entire World Cup roster minus Conrad, Olsen, and Wolff.
I’m terribly proud of how this came out, as it took sixteen hours of work to complete, and involved lots of color blending and washes to get the shading right. This one won’t be hung from the stands in Germany, for fear of theft, but I’ll be carrying it with me as it’s small enough to fit my arm span. I can’t believe I pulled this off.