Yesterday the Everton and US national team keeper scored a goal for the ages. He bombed a 90-yard clearance from his own goal area in a Premier League match against Bolton. A fierce wind turned what should have been a three-quarter pitch reset ball into an historic goal. The ball bounced shy of the Bolton box and took a vicious hop over a flummoxed Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan into the goal. Everton led 1-0 and Howard, win or lose (yes Everton lost 2-1) was the story. He was mobbed by teammates, glorified in headlines, and got the spotlight.
Yet Howard wasn't enjoying the celebration. Maybe inside he chuckled. Maybe inside his heart took a dozen or so extra beats. But he wasn't showing it at Goodison Park yesterday. Nope. He stayed stoic; kinda deflected hugs and headslaps and went on with his evening.
Adam Bogdan, his counterpart. The guy flailing on his back desperate to stretch to reach Howard's "shot". The guy who would be the goat of the day. Howard felt compassion for him because he knew his wonder goal was a fluke. He knew his was an accident the ball went in. He knew it was an honest mistake that Bogdan misjudged the ball and was out of position.
Howard told SkySports after the match:
"I was delighted that we were in the lead and would hopefully go on to get three points, but it's not a nice feeling for a keeper. It's really awful actually. For the back four and the goalkeepers at both ends, there was an awful wind swirling. You could see everybody was mistiming balls. Defenders were missing clearances that normally they would put up the field. I think the wind is the hardest condition to play in. Snow, rain, sun doesn't matter, but the wind really does play tricks on you. I let him know that I was feeling for him. It's not a nice place to be. I've been there before, a long, long time ago, and that was why I didn't celebrate."That's all you need to know about Tim Howard. Class.