Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sorry, but the US Women’s Soccer Team Choked Big Time

I didn’t want to be the first to say it, but let’s be honest, the US Women’s National Soccer team choked big time in losing to Japan, whom they were heavily-favored over, in the final. Not only losing, but the way in which they did it. This guy just wrote what everybody’s thinking I think.

Is media giving U.S. women’s soccer team a free pass for its World Cup Fail?

He touches on it but I think it’s almost negative for women’s soccer, and women’s sports in general, that there hasn’t been more negative press on their collapse. Even people that don’t know soccer know the US blew a ton of chances throughout the game (should’ve been up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes and at least 3-0 by halftime…basically ending the game) and of course also by blowing two leads and making a horrendous appearance in the penalty shootout Roberto Baggio-style. By marginalizing their lack of polish and finish (apart from Alex Morgan’s goal and assist – tell me why didn’t she start?), it does a disservice to women’s sports everywhere and their attempts towards equality with men’s sports and to be treated as equals. With the accolades of success should also come the criticism of failure. That’s how it is in men’s sports. At least in Philadelphia it is.

And please don’t misinterpret this as me being gender bias or sexist. I actually really like women’s soccer. More so than almost every other women’s pro sport save maybe tennis. I wanted the US to win just as much as everyone else. And I’m not saying we brand these women as traitors or complete failures and totally shun them into lives as hermits living on dark dungeons. 85% of their tournament was great and they did give great efforts. But let’s not sugar coat the at-times debacle that was the final. Psuedo-praise and constructive criticism, not patronizing praise, is probably most appropriate for professionals such as these for their overall underachievement.

Finally, let me dispel their “Miracle on Grass” win over Brazil in the quarterfinals for 3 reasons, so people don’t use that phrase anymore.

1. Not a Mismatch
Though Brazil was technically a higher seed, the US and Brazil women’s teams generally are regarded as almost equals in terms of the crème of the crop in women’s international soccer. Yes they won in nail-biting fashion, but to try to coin the same phrase as the “Miracle on Ice,” is just plain wrong. The US men’s team beating the Soviets was such a mismatch on paper it wasn’t even funny. A bunch of mostly fresh out of college amatuears taking on the best-in-the-world machine that was the Soviet men’s hockey team? That was real David vs. Goliath drama.

2. They Didn’t Win it All
Most people forget that after the US Men’s hockey team beat the Soviets, they still had to beat a heavily favored Finnish team in the final to win Gold; no small accomplishment in and of itself. But by winning the whole thing, they validated their win over the U.S.S.R. as more than a fluke.

3. Japan Did it to Them
Notice any familiarities in the final to the “Miracle on Grass”? Yup, Japan did the same “miracle” to the US by coming back twice (the second time in extra time) and by winning the penalty shootout to complete the comeback. Kind of lessens the rarity of miracles eh? Can you have two “Miracles on Grass”? I and II? I guess so…I mean there’s two “Miracles in the Meadowlands” :)

Anyways, enough criticism…I think I’ve got my point across. But it is necessary if they want the same treatment guys get. It’s part of professional sports. May not be right, but there’s truth to it. They didn’t achieve the goal they set out for, and they did it in spectacular fashion. The media has been easy on them, plain and simple.

For posterity sake of course :)

Poor Robert

No comments:

Post a Comment