United States goalkeeper Tim Howard stood out as the superstar of the U.S.-Belgium World Cup match with a record-setting 16 saves. Despite the loss, American supporters hailed Howard as a national hero.
Fans flooded the Internet with an onslaught of memes; some called for his face to be placed on quarters, others took to Wikipedia to name him the Secretary of Defense, and #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave trended on Twitter.
The best one yet? A White House petition to rename Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as “Tim Howard National Airport.”
“Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match,” the petition reads. “Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.”
It’s a fitting request. Tim Howard stopped shot after shot; the only thing Reagan ever stopped was an air traffic controllers’ strike. Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” about the outpouring of support for him and the U.S. team’s performance, Howard said he, “couldn’t be more proud of the boys.”
“Guys have really stepped up and this has been a special run,” he added. “It ended short, but unfortunately it ends short for 31 teams.”
The petition has already amassed over 3,200 signatures. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, the Obama administration will be forced to officially respond.
Let’s do this, America.
Update, 1:43 p.m.:
Here’s how White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to the petition on Wednesday:
.@pressec response to Tim Howard Sec of Defense meme: “I don’t have any personnel announcements to make.”
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) July 2, 2014