Did you ever have one of those moments in your head that you thought long and hard on, wanted to say something, but decided against it?
I did alright up until deciding not to do something about it.
Let’s just start with the theme of the week, flavor of the month, and image of women’s sports.
Recently ESPN released its ever famed ‘The Body’ issue from its magazine stands. Inside this physical, paper documentary is many images and stories of famed athletes of both genders and of all sports [even surfing…curious about curling though…] posing in the flesh, lacking the close highlighting the muscular extremes of their bodies. Naturally certain, ‘private areas’ are covered within each shoot as well.
Before you instantly hop on the bandwagon, knowing where I’m going with this. Allow me to disclose this little info:
The magazine issue is brilliant. In many ways our culture has reflected the Romans and the Greeks for years. The fascination of the human body merely goes along in line with the theory of basing a society off of the people of the past. If you have respect for the body, like looking at a pure bread Arabian [did it last week, still fresh in my head], you can find the appreciation of the issue.
The problem I’m having is with the success of the World Cup for the US, the electrified atmosphere of women’s soccer within the USA, why is it that we’re merely being paid peanuts through cheap, quick advertising to gets women’s soccer noted.
A Few Examples:
- SportsCenter: We all know that if you’re involved with a commercial that includes the staff of SportsCenter on ESPN that you’ve ‘arrived’. Most recently there is a video clip revolving involving Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and…a dolphin mascot juggling a ball. While I appreciate the fact that ESPN highlights the fact that juggling is indeed very hard to do [and what they do in that commercial is insane]; I’m curious why the dolphin of the MIAMI DOLPHINS [NFL] is there.
- The Body: While, as noted above, I’m keen with the concept of the magazine and its purpose. Why is it that our players are only getting exposed in the most literal form in order for their names to be distributed throughout the nation?
- Dancing With The Stars: It should be noted that I cannot stand reality tv shows; therefore I’m naturally biased against it. Hope Solo dancing away isn’t the issue, because the fact is; she’s quickly becoming a household name. Personally, it’s the point that unless the woman is dressed and decked out in all things ‘formal’ as a ‘lady’ should be; no publicity will be given to them [unless they’re in their USWNT kit also…]
- FIFA12: Hope Solo vs Steve Nash is one of the more humorouscommercials I’ve seen; primarily for the ripping Steve Nash [NBA] takes for his coaching degree. The problem I have is actually with the game. We see that Hope Solo likes playing video games, she likes talking smack, and she likes the Seattle Sounders [MLS], which due to her home; makes sense. However, as is argued nearly every year it seems, why oh why will EA Games not place women’s teams into FIFA12? I’ll be the first to admit that I love my Sporting KC, but I’d be hesistant to go against the ’11 USWNT, or even scarier…’11 Western New York Flash. The fact is this: IF YOU HAVE THE A-LEAGUE BRISBANE ROAR IN FIFA12 YOU CAN AFFORD WOMEN’S TEAMS AS WELL [though the GK for Brisbane is legit]!
After seeing the examples noted above, we ask ourselves the question:
“What is your point?”
Women’s soccer has entered into the mainstream…ish, more like wiggling your toes at the edge of the pool contemplating the idea of jumping, of the world media. We already know that Twitter, Facebook, and probably soon Google+ are already being overran by the programs. What I’m seeing is that we have players in the media, players in commercials, players throughout every day life…
SO WHY DON’T WE HAVE PLAYERS ON THE TV!?!?
Of course I could go into a rant about Fox Soccer, but for the sake of my mind I’ll spare the delivery. There is no excuse on why we are witnessed the Scrabble championship on ESPN2 when the ’11 WWC final broken the world record for most tweets sent through Twitter. If ESPN is going to place the players in the commercials, if EA Games is going to promote their products through the players, if we have to watch the waltz to see our favorite players, then we should see our players doing what they do best; playing.
All other athletes inside the United States play first, advertise second. Why is it reversed with women’s athletics at the professional level? Why do I not have a choice Saturday afternoons? Maybe I want to watch NCAA Oklahoma State Cowgirls [15-0-0] play their conference matches instead of seeing knuckle dragging pay-to-play college football games. I love Notre Dame…their soccer program at least; could care less about their failing football program, but when I turn on the television. I have no choice.
Is anyone else tired of being required to watch what is deemed ‘culturally acceptable’ within our viewing pleasure? Hope Solo nude in The Body is culturally acceptable, but watching her do her job as an entertainer [as are all athletes in the end] isn’t that well accepted?
91st Minute: Curious to where all of the USA/WPS players disappear to off season? Women Talk Sports has done a great job tracking down EACH ONE!
92nd Minute: Whitney Engen, defender for WNY Flash, has picked up and shipped over to Sweden. All White Kit did a great job sitting down with her to describe the difference in play between WPS and Damallsvenskan.
93rd Minute: Be sure to pick up the newest Our Game Magazine for the month of October here!
94th Minute: Over at Women’s Profession Soccer, Chris Flynn got to sit down [stand up] with USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage about the WPS and its roll with USWNT and beyond.
95th Minute: A fascinating comparison conversation between Equalizer Soccer founder Jeff Kassouf and journalist Dan Lauletta, a man renowned by many for being at every women’s soccer championship with both the WUSA and WPS. Be sure to read his thoughts on the life of women’s soccer inside the US.
With all that said and the blood pressure lowered…pardon me while I go ice myself after getting a reminder of the physicality of soccer last night with my own team…I hate getting old…
P.S. Agree with thoughts and ideas in relation to media, ESPN, and how to market a ‘body’? Let me hear about it, find me on Twitter: @CoachDaugherty