*Rubs fingers along his temple trying to understand*
Last weeks issue of “Weekly Wrap” designated the choice of stating that if women athletes are going to jump through hoops of the media world in order to get their name out; when will the time come to get on television? How much press does a league need in order to establish itself inside the United States.
Shooting Yourself in the Foot:
I was up and running around on business early Thursday morning when I started to stumble across police reports including a DWI [Driving While Intoxicated] and a WPS player. Nearly causing an instant migraine of understanding what this could do to the league and the team the player was a part of, my multiple hour drive became a little more interesting of chewing over the facts and relating them to public relations of the league, the team, and women’s soccer:
- An error was made by player and team: The player in question had been sent to a local bar to support the men’s national team take on Ecuador [which they lost]. After leaving the bar around 3:00 AM the player had a B.A.C [blood alcohol content] of .15, this is nearly double the legal limit [.08]. A few things we can derive from these facts:
- The player in question is a smaller individual, it would not take a lot of alcohol to spike a B.A.C level
- Illegal is what illegal is, no matter who you are or what you do
- If the team, for whom the player plays for, directly requested them to support the USMNT at the local bar, it would be wise to at least have had an escort associated with them, in the event that they were not safe to drive
- There is guilt that is on the player as well for making a poor judgement call prior to grabbing her keys [not that alcohol can inhibit poor judgement calls as well]
- Actions have already taken place within the team, making a statement that they already have a plan for each player in the event that personal issues do come to a head within the team.
That becomes the big topic…personal issues…because of this little phraise, it alters what is acceptable and what isn’t within a league. Let’s discuss this a bit further, it LeBron James, Tiger Woods, or *sigh* Ronaldo were to create a infraction within their local legal rules and regulation, the world would know about it in a heart beat. Let’s face it; we’re obsessed with Tiger Woods crashing his SUV, his wife leaving him, and all other aspects of his personal life…and we’re sickly obsessed with Ronaldo falling down…point being is that these people are celebrities in their own right. They’re athletes, they’re ‘entertainers’, we pay them to put on a show; and we pay them far too much. However, do we hear about issues within MLL [Major League Lacrosse; yes it does exist] in regards to their players? No. Do we panic at the knowledge of a fight at a hockey game [or a hockey game at a fight]? No. Tiger Woods getting chased around with a golf club doesn’t cause us to blink for a moment. We’re drawn to drama anywhere we can find it.
What is the point of that rant? These are all people in well known leagues, ‘respectable’ positions, and a icon in their own game. I could name those three people world wide and 95% of the people would know those names. What about Alex Morgan? Karen Bardsley? Meghan Klingenberg? Sure, most of us reading this would be able to acknowledge their existence, but 95%? Hardly.
The WPS is still at a primitive existence, just like the NFL once was, as was the NBA, and more notably the WNBA. In their younger years we rarely heard of their issues outside of their fields and courts. Why should we make the WPS an exception? Now is a time to play politics; while honesty and integrity are great things and do conduct better business in the end; when it comes to news, not all news has to be reported. Don’t get me wrong, it’s off season; digging up new info on the WPS can be trialing at best, but looking off the field for news isn’t always going to go in the right direction.
Unbelievably there is a silver lining to all of this ‘hoop-la’. The identity of the WPS is up for grabs. It has been complained about for some time now that in order for the league to succeed it must be able to get past the little girls teams with the girl-next-door appeal. We saw life of this when Hope Solo became known to the soccer world for standing against her coach. While I never encourage law-less activity, or creating a ‘negative image’, it’s worth showing that these ladies aren’t perfect, they are human, and they don’t always keep their hair straight and nails painted. They’re soccer players, not the image from the 1920’s.
91st Minute: As stated last week, a new CEO is stepping up for WPS. Chris Flynn got to have a sit down with her and her goals for the WPS. [Do not ignore the Midwest, please]
92nd Minute: Out of espnW [I know, I know, I can’t believe I’m floating over there as well] a great article about the balancing act of soccer players over in Sweden; many having to work part time, while playing as well.
93rd Minute: Congrat’s to LdB Malmö on taking the Damallsvenskan 2011 Crown
94th Minute: The Western New York Flash continue to reload for the 2012 season with Equalizer Soccer reporting that Ali Riley will be returning for next season.
95th Minute: Much like espnW’s article noted in the 92nd minute, another out of the Aussie W-League in regards to these fine ladies juggling their lives as well [I’m sensing a theme for next weeks article].
P.S. Feel free to follow all of my free flowing thoughts via Twitter: @CoachDaugherty