Howard nets lots of love from USA soccer fans

Posted: July 03, 2014

AMERICA'S MOST popular athlete - for the time being, anyway - is Tim Howard, soccer goalie extraordinaire.

Howard had 16 saves, many of them miraculous, in the United States' 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium on Tuesday.

And fans reacted in a big way.

There were tweets comparing Howard to Jesus:

* "Jesus puts on 'Tim Howard saves' T-shirt."

* "Have you ever seen Tim Howard and Jesus in the same room? Just saying."

* "Difference between Tim Howard and Jesus - Jesus had 11 guys he could trust."

One person went so far as to change the Wikipedia page of Chuck Hagel, the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Hagel's photo was replaced with a pic of Howard making a save.

That prompted Hagel to phone Howard yesterday to thank him for defending the U.S. at the World Cup. And you thought old Chuck didn't have a sense of humor.

If that wasn't enough, there is a petition on Whitehouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to change the name of Reagan National Airport to Tim Howard National Airport.

Finally, there is a great collection of photos at #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave.

They feature Howard superimposed into well-known scenes. Among them are Howard diving between Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald . . . Howard reaching out to stop Luis Suarez from biting Giorgio Chiellini . . . Howard stopping an army of sperm from fertilizing an egg . . . Howard preventing Lance Stephenson from blowing in Le-

Bron James' ear . . . And, Howard keeping abreast of the situation by strategically placing his hand over Janet Jackson's exposed body part to shield Justin Timberlake - and a nation of Super Bowl halftime viewers - from the greatest wardrobe malfunction of all time.

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