As I sitting in this small two door car a few days ago with my wife, celebrating our one year anniversary [woo-hoo!], we were winding our way through the Rocky Mountains on our way to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. There we found a resort that had 23 natural, hot springs for all aches of the body [personal favorite was the 108 degree pool looking over the river below us, my ankle is grateful as well]. Regardless of the entertainment of the scene and methods of natural healing, the trip to Pagosa was a terrifying one.
All completed in 4 days [left Friday night, was home early Tuesday morning]
Completed in car that is missing part of the front bumper, power outlets that don’t work, and a very strange banging noise in the front.
I started to get nervous while traversing up one of the passes in the mountain range [please understand that I am from a land that is literally flatter then a pancake, or crepe for some of you]. The speed limit was 45 miles per hour, I didn’t understand why until I heard my wife’s car make the most horrific noise imaginable next to mating wilderbeast. I honestly thought the vehicle was going to die and we would coast down the mountainside.
It was merely switching gears because of the incline [though it probably still shouldn’t have sounded like that].
I share this riviting story with you because:
A. It was tramatic and worth a good chuckle.
B. We are at a pivital moment in 2011 with women’s soccer.
For the most part within the past months, when we weren’t dealing with sickness, tornadoes, or just other random insanity moments [paging Dan Borislow], we focused on the ending of the W-League in Australia, the uncertainity of the WPS, the growth of the W-Leauge [US] and the WPSL, and the odd moments that came with it.
However, now the gloves are coming off.
My biasness must be known.
I can only write so much about the game I love in this time in our lives because I can feel the chant beginning in my soul, the patriotism rising in my heart, my head is pounding because I can hear it over and over again…
USA! USA! USA!
All of you in England [like this lovely site leader], Australia, Germany [yes, even you], and others. I cherrish you, I’m inspired by your growth of the women’s game, and I respect you, but for the next two months…
YOU’RE FRESH MEAT!
While pouring through articles this past week, digging up information about the Women’s World Cup [aside from the ’99 World Cup in the US…beating dead horse moment], it came to my conclusion that we’re trying to mainstream the game.
In the US it translates to this:
We’re obessed with statistics, as a new softball coach [yes, I cry myself to sleep at night] I’ve come to understand that batting statistics, how many stolen bases, errors, fly balls, etc…is important, but their only as important as the people who want to read them.
A. Who has won the most world cups?
B. Who has hosted most frequently?
C. Who holds the most caps?
And the list can go on and on…
There are people who have crunched those numbers, and trust me, had I wanted to, the information is out there for me to find as well. However, when the WC comes up, something switches in my head.
I revert back to my 11 year old self screaming at the TV in the basement of my uncle’s house. I smell the popcorn that had just got done popping. I hear the adults in the background amused that three boys were so fascinated in a girls soccer of all things.
I remember the shot.
I remember the block.
I remember the goal.
I definitely remember the sports bra [I was 11, come on].
I remember that day thinking to myself, “This is why I’m an American. This is why I’m proud.”
As the days wind down, the news of teams like the unstoppable German’s, the young and talented Australians [by young, I’m talking that the average age of this team is 21.6 years of age], the injured, but still fighting Swede’s, and the hometown hero’s of the US will flood everywhere [even ESPN cares now].
In the upcoming days, I too will join this bandwagon of fine football followers [yes, I said football, primarily for illiteration purposes] in speaking out over the main countries that you should want to know about [yes, this might include Columbia…]
While this is great, informative, and perhaps even entertaining though. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this knowledge, or should I be getting out the war paint?”
I’ll sport my red, white, and blue [and black now because since Nike made the jersey’s, black is an official US flag color…*sigh…].
What are you going to be sporting?
Person suggestion: your friends, a nice TV, and if you’re near Bolivar, Missouri [and can find a place that serves alcohol that hasn’t been burned down] the pints on me.
P.S. No worries, come Saturday you’ll get your fix of all things footy [see, I’m coming around], including some true oddities of the WPS world with the national team players gone.
P.S.S. Concerned? Wondering why nothing was said about Sporting KC opening up this week in MLS [the stadium opens], or even worse…WHERE ARE ALL THE LINKS!?!?!? Let me know over at Twitter: @CoachDaugherty [there it is!]