This is something that I should have talked about earlier, but you know how that old saying goes, "better late than never". Let me set the scene for you. I'm driving from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to stop by and see my cousin on the way back to Florida. I find myself driving through West Virginia and I'm sick and tired listening to the music I have. At that point, I decide to start scanning through the radio. I am old fashioned girl, no Sirius radio for me, just plain old AM/FM. It finally stops on a clear station, all I can here is men with thick British accents babbling on. I can barely understand them, but at this point I take what I can get. It takes a while for me to realize that what this actually is, a soccer game. not just any old soccer game, the Women's World Cup Championship. Honestly, I had no idea it was the World Cup. A few days prior I did notice everyone's Facebook statuses blowing up over the USA beating Brazil. My reaction was "Oh, that's cute, they beat them. Good for them". I listen to pretty much the entire second half and then, obviously, the penalty kicks. When we lost I said out loud, "Oh, that's too bad." I then went back to my never ending scan through the radio.
Fast forward to the next day while I'm driving from North Carolina back to Orlando. I finally have consistent ESPN radio, and all the talk show hosts have become my best friends on the drive. I'm not sure exactly what the show was (for some reason the Scott Van Pelt show is sticking in my head, but I could have made that up) comes on and I'm entranced over the hour long argument they are having. It's over the Women's soccer game. What I now have learned is that we should have won, our PK's were terrible, but no one was really "bashing" them. This entire show was dedicated to why they weren't being criticized.
The two sides to this argument were 1.) Americans still really don't care about soccer, or 2.) men sportswriters and sportscasters were afraid to criticize them. They second point is the perfect storm to wonder if women really are seen as equals in the the sports world. This discussion went on and on. They were saying if the men's team choked like that the country would be up in arms, but since it was the women's team that did, people are just whispering over coffee. There was one caller that I found interesting and I feel spoke the truth. He was saying that women ARE equal in the sporting world and because of that the men should NOT be afraid to be critical and honest about it. He went onto say that if the sports journalism world is afraid to to say what they feel then in fact the era of women's sports has somehow taken a step backward.
My personal opinion is that we really don't care. Us as a Nation are your typical fair weather fans when it comes to soccer. We are there when it's fun, when it's on the big stage, and when our country is winning. If all three of those aren't there, then we don't care. Of course the sport has taken some major strides, ten years ago I wouldn't have even been able to tell you that a match is 90 minutes long (that's true, right?). You would have told me to go to the soccer pitch and I would have went to the mound with a soccer ball ready to play kick ball. So yes, some leaps in the sport have been taken. BUT I bet you eighty percent of the country had the same reaction as me when we lost "Oh, that's too bad."
Considering that I still shed a tear over the Super Bowl every morning, I don't think the sports are equal. What do you think??
pics taken from USAtodaynews.com