Thousands sign online petition to rename airport after USA goalie Tim Howard

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01: Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images) Jamie McDonald, Getty Images

Apparently a record 16 saves in a World Cup match not only makes you an American sports hero, it also makes people love you enough to petition to rename an airport after you.

Despite a 2-1 extra-time heartbreaker Tuesday against Belgium, USA goaltender Tim Howard walked off the soccer field at Salvador, Brazil to cheers from his countrymen who had come to see him and his teammates as well as those who watched from the States, thrilled at his performance.

At least a few of those people were so impressed that by late Wednesday afternoon, more than 6,800 of them signed an online petition to the White House to remove President Ronald Reagan's name from the airport in Washington D.C., and call it the "Tim Howard National Airport."

The petition, which can be viewed at www.petitions.whitehouse.gov states as follows:

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; Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.

Now for the Obama administration to even respond, the petition needs another 93,000-plus signatures, meaning Reagan's name will likely stay.

The airport petition is not the only one attached to Howard's name, though. About 400 people have also signed a petition to make Howard Secretary of Defense. No word yet on whether he would give up his successful soccer career for the job.

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