Wednesday, July 13, 2011
v2, d379: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!
Isaac and I watched the USA's Women's World Cup match this afternoon. It was pretty fun. Imagine the mental toughness it takes to play on that stage! I saw one American player blow a scoring opportunity, and you could tell how frustrated she was. And really, it's no wonder, because the game plays out like team chess. It takes so much hustle and strategy just to get a single scoring opportunity. In 90 minutes of play, there really aren't that many legitimate chances to get a goal. You shoot it wide once, you might not get another decent look all day. Crazy. I can't...I can't feel my...OH THE HUMANITY! Tell my family I love them! I...I...nah, I'm fine, I'll keep playing."
(That's an exaggeration. A little)
Really, though, I don't think soccer players flop because they're "sissies" who can't take a little contact (Hello, NBA!). Rather, when you consider how much freaking running they're doing in a sport that doesn't take commercial time-outs, I think I'd take every opportunity to stretch out on the grass for ten seconds or so, too.
One of my facebook friends pointed out how nobody actually cares about women's soccer, and most of the people cheering for the US right now are just bandwagon fans. Well, maybe. I probably won't get to know much about these players or follow their careers all that closely after this event (though "Hope Solo" is up there among Kevin Youkilis and Cal Clutterbuck and a few others for my favorite current sports names). But I'm an American, and I like to see American teams do well. And I can tell from watching this one game and doing the quick recap on the rest of the tournament that this is a great team, and I like to see great teams do well (as long as I don't hate them). So yes, I'm stoked for the Gold Medal Match, and no, I don't claim to be what many would consider a "legitimate" women's soccer fan, but I don't think that gives me any less right than to cheer on the ladies of USA Soccer and be excited when they beat Japan for the championship. Just like I didn't begrudge the thousands of Lightning fans who weren't around when we thought Jason Wiemer would be the cornerstone around which we were going to build our franchise or Art Williams said Vinny L was "the Michael Jordan of Hockey". Sports should be fun. And winning is fun. Sometimes, it's okay to let others share the celebration :-)