Wait, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team Did Lose, Right?

Hope Solo - SI.jpg
Just looked up on TV to see the CBS trumpets proudly announcing that tonight on David Letterman the guests will be ... Abby Wambach and Hope Solo.

Wow, this is going to be tense. Because surely Letterman will ask the obvious question, right:

"How did you girls choke away a World Cup?"

Of course he won't.

At the risk of stoking the hatred hormones of some of you telling it like it is, this is why a lot of us don't take women's sports seriously. As I've stated, I thoroughly enjoyed the women's World Cup. I was bummed that the U.S. lost to Japan on Sunday.

But that's just it. The Americans lost. When, for a number of reasons, they should've won.

Yet, with fans at the airport and with invitations to late-night talk shows, it sure feels like the U.S. won.

Let me get this straight: The U.S. entered the competition in Germany as the No. 1-ranked team in the world. In the final they played a Japanese team they had beaten the previous 25 matches. They had leads of 1-0 late and 2-1 even later, but totally botched clearing a ball in front of their goal and then, in the penalty-kick shootout, were so freaked out that one of their players -- Carli Lloyd -- totally missed the net on her attempt.

Even in the USA Today game recap, Lloyd is characterized to have "not been able to make a penalty kick." Huh? Imagine Dirk Nowitzki getting the passive treatment for blowing a late-game shot. "Nowitzki was not able to make a layup?" Yeah, right. He blew it!

Why are we cheering for choking? And how does Solo end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the wake of a disappointing loss under the headline of "HEART (and heartbreak)."

Because they're women, that's why.

The U.S. men, who were ranked 12th, advancing out of their World Cup group stage was a success in South Africa last summer and I know despite their Round of 16 loss to Ghana that Landon Donovan went on Letterman. But it was the first time the American men won their group since 1930. Relatively speaking, they reached their goal.

We're supposed to treat the women as equals. But when they suffer a devastating, embarrassing loss to an inferior opponent in the most important game of their lives they aren't criticized, but lauded for some heroic achievement.

Instead of a biting analysis of a Final flop, most of the buzz centers around the great TV ratings and the record-breaking Tweets and how this -- finally -- will kick-start women's soccer as an accepted mainstream sport in America, something actually winning the World Cup in 1999 couldn't achieve. This wasn't one step closer to the ultimate goal. It was championship chance hideously coughed up.

It's as though we're coddling the women for trying soooo hard rather than scolding them for choking under pressure. It's a double-standard, and it's why I don't watch most women's sports. We can criticize Serena Williams, but not Alex Krieger?

Seems like we hand out participation plaques and give the winner's treatment to women who almost won. I don't remember LeBron James going on Letterman and being praised for a gutsy effort and I don't remember the post-loss bouquets for the U.S. Dream Team after settling for bronze in the 2004 Olympics. Maybe I missed it?

Sorry, but the U.S. women's soccer team won our attention for a couple of weeks. But, in the end, they lost a championship they should've won. When women's sports have truly arrived in this country that will be the storyline.

For now, set your TiVos accordingly and have your pompoms handy. Underachievers on Letterman tonight.

We're No. 2!

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54 comments
David
David

It is sad to say it, but females are doing way better than guys WTH?, i thought men could do it all, right? 

David
David

I hate to say it, but it takes forever to start all over again, but don't worry Japan will NEVER win again, and the US has won two WC.

David
David

Nobody remembers the runner-ups never ever... better luck next time....

anen
anen

They remind me of Lebron James ...

Monjan
Monjan

I don't agree with much in the article but specifically that the author feels these women should be criticized rather than embraced. "cheering for choking" is quite an overstatement; the response to this tram is not built on thesentiment that these are women athletes who "tried so hard" in the final and lost, but rather in the feelings of passion and determination that were invoked over the course of the tournament... Feelings that were inspired whilst the men of certain US professional teams whined about contractual obligations. And on that note, I am glad we are treating them differently, they certainly have more class than many professional male athletes out there. Bottom line, these women deserve all the accolades and applause they are receiving.

Zeeba Neighba
Zeeba Neighba

This story, along with many of the comments, only serve to remind what a backward ass mentality so many sports fans have in Texas. Yes, the Rangers must have "choked" in the World Series. It could never be that a really great team simply was simply bested by a team that played better. This 'if you don't win you suck', 'if you ain't first, you're last' way of not thinking is moronic. No wonder Rick Perry keeps getting elected here!

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Hate to be a man in a seemingly women world..this late night. Here's the deal, RW is the Russ Martin of sportytalk, ladies. He doesn't care about soccer anymore, cause it's over with.And it's COOOOWWWBBBOOOY season almost..it was a chance to get chicks to post methinks. (so wanted to ask one of them gals what she was wearing and or cooking...)

hoyt
hoyt

This post is slightly off base. We're not cheering because they're women, we're cheering because they put a on a great show. If Brazil trounced them, there wouldn't have been much coverage outside a few of the "disappointment" articles. All of this is really due to Wambach's late goal against Brazil. That kicked the nation's interest into overdrive. Without that, nothing would have snowballed like it did. Same goes for Landon's late goal. If that didn't happen - no Letterman. Nothing to do with what's between the legs.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

I heard Craig Miller say "The Miracle on Rice" this morning. I giggled.

Soccers4life
Soccers4life

and you obviously don't know soccer. it's anybody's game, no matter what the talent of each team. that's the beauty of the sport. i swear people are so stupid. 

Soccers4life
Soccers4life

maybe if the men ever make it to the finals they would have some recognition too... don't hate on the women's us team, the men's team needs to take notes

Kava
Kava

They did Choke, just like Lebron in the championships.

But here is the deal, and we haven't heard anything about this, but did we forget the "outburst" Hope had after the Olympic loss, where she blasted the coach and pretty much called Brianna old. She felt she would have done a better job, well she got her chance to prove the coach wrong and failed. She allowed a comeback and lost on penalty kicks. To be perfectly honest, you can say she single-handedly lost the match for the US because she failed to be as good as her predecessor. Perhaps instead of blasting her, she should have studied her. Life has a way of humbling us.

Sybils Beaver
Sybils Beaver

Hey fuckers, some douche named michael mooney wouldn't post my comment over at D (douche) Magazine. The eff head didn't spell richie's last name right and iwas just pointing it out. Apparently he didn't like my line of humor, mustve been to low brow for his ilk

Cough, Cough, Wheeze
Cough, Cough, Wheeze

It's a conspiracy!!!  Let them win to make up for the earthquake by golly.  Way to go Choke Solo!!!!!

Mickeydinanguyen
Mickeydinanguyen

I really think you are writing this post just for shock value. Your comparison between the like of Lebron and Dirk vs. the Abby and Hope is ignorant. How many of us feel SYMPATHETIC to a bunch of multi-millionaire ? May be that's why we are 'taking easy' on the ladies. Secondly, there is always next year for the 'professional' sports, there is no such thing for the WorldCup.Most importantly, they play their hearts out (you know that and everyone who watched the game know that) and give us one hell of a game (and tournament).While a few (you) might want to 'ripped' them for 'choking' and not bring home the cup, most of us would like to applaud their effort...even in loosing. They didn't run off and not shaking their opponents hands nor disrespect their opponents even the USA outplayed Japan for most of the game.

Plato1968
Plato1968

The u.s. team latest commercial said that pressure makes them....looks like pressure actually crushed them....especially the "best" goalie in the world...solo stopped none of japan's money shots during game play

Ruminator
Ruminator

There was something about a division leader taking their eleven game winning streak into a second place contender's ballpark to play three.

eastdallasgirl
eastdallasgirl

Dont forget - this was World Cup play- not romper room.  Really, just getting that far globally in this sport that is not professionally or financially supported well by it's own country is truly a miracle!!  Where are the professional women's teams?  Most US women players have to pay there own way to get here. Be glad the USA Women got a hand in the CUP - because when the boys of soccer get there next time...wont we  expect nothing but top honors and world-renowned recogognition...why is it any different?

Kevin Taylor
Kevin Taylor

Apparently Tony Romo is a Fan fan. He called into Arnie a few months ago and Gavin last night.

Reality Check
Reality Check

You don't like women's sports? Then don't watch. Nobody's putting a gun to your head. I have no problem watching Marta or Alex Morgan. They are both badasses, regardless of gender.  So what exactly is the point of this post?

Women should not play sports?Women's sports should not be on TV?People are wrong to watch it?RW has to stir the gender controversy pot because otherwise he has zero other than 3 line blog entries with links to youtube? 

Sybils Beaver
Sybils Beaver

So when richies tags sybils anus instead of me, I finished 2nd, but am I a loser? Nope, I actually win bc I was spared the dissapointment of small mans syndrome... if you know what I mean. I'm still a hero to this whole blog

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Well considering they are #2 out of 150 something soccer playing countries, yeah, they are pretty good.  Im mean its not like they are claiming to be world champions of a 28,30 or 32 team league played in only one country.  So for all they "they choked, wtf, eff em they are only women" comments, they where still truly the 2nd best team in their sport in the WORLD.  Im mean its not like underdogs with a better story dont win, (right Mavericks?)

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Well, wow. Every team that doesn't win is an underachiever?I hated seeing them lose, it begs the question if they choked or if Japan was better, but doesn't matter. Japan won, the classic underdog story. I don't feel bad that the US lost to those women, the Japanese wanted it more. With the exception of a few players, the rest of them looked shellshocked  and scared whenever the Japanese attacked. They couldn't even make clearing moves that you teach your 5 year old near the goal. I guess the biggest issue if I have one, is everyone calling Solo the best goalie in the tournament. She was, up until that point. The Japanese goalie, I have no idea what her name is, was better. The US attacked more, and she turned more away. I'd have to look at the stats, but the Japanese had, at one point halfway through the game, a third less shots on goal than the Americans. Richie, this isn't the Miami Heat doing talk shows after losing to the Mavs. This team wasn't dominant in this tournament, and without subbing in Alex Morgan, they wouldn't have made it to the final. Wambach was a beast, Rampinoe was solid, and Morgan put them over the top and closer to winning. Most of the other girls just weren't ready for that stage.

meh
meh

I don't have a problem with any of this... what I have a problem with is ESPN manufacturing interest just because they're showing the games on their network... not necessarily because it's news.

The USWNT is a good story... even if they did get 2nd.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves, this only got the ratings it did because it's a slow sports time of year and it involved flag waving on our parts... and because ESPN crammed it down our throats.

Sturm's Bloody Rectum
Sturm's Bloody Rectum

You continue to boast your 2nd place in the sports stations ratings......and you want us to pat you on your receading hairline and tell you it's ok 'lil buddy.

bigbody
bigbody

Edit: Why are cheering for choking?

Why are we...

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Yeah I dont know that I can agree with this column. I think the adulation is for going a lot further than before. We do that with men's teams all the time. The Rangers were sure to get standing ovations last year for having made it to the World Series even if they had choked it away. Just getting there was an accomplishment many fans thought we may never see, and there we were, in the frickin World Series. The women's soccer team is being lauded, and rightly so I think, for the same reason.

Now I don't know jack squat about women's soccer, so if this wasn't any special accomplishment for them, if they do it all the time, then never mind. But I wouldn't think so, or what's all the fuss about?

Pay Attention
Pay Attention

This is how it goes in international competitions in case you haven't noticed Richie.  Ever seen the Olympics?  Silver medals are considered an accomplishment... this isn't anything new for men or women.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

First thing I thought when I read the article yesterday was that he's just trying to bait Andrea Grimes again. Isn't Richie a little old to still be throwing rocks at girls he has a crush on? 

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

This post served one purpose: Piss people off and drive up page hits. Nothing else.

USWNTfan2011
USWNTfan2011

Let's not forget the 15+ shots on goal by the US that missed the net. And then there's the defense bloopers that led to Japan's equalizers. It's easy to blame Solo because she couldn't save the game when it was down to the last minute, but PK's are harder to save than kick, and the USWNT missed a few vs Japan which put Solo in an impossible position. Like Wambach said after the game, there were missed opportunities all around and no one or two players on the team are to blame.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

she's not used to stopping money shots, she is used to swallowing them!!!!

Thank you, ill be here all week

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Without Nolan in Anaheim there's no fake controversy to drive people to a radio show.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

dont worry about that, a blog post like that wont get everyone up in a tizzy, and a wont get a certain feminist to write a column about said blogger

Rooster
Rooster

"Be glad the USA Women got a hand in the CUP - because when the boys of soccer get there next time...wont we  expect nothing but top honors and world-renowned recogognition...why is it any different?"

I would imagine if the boys of soccer get there it will be met with a collective, "meh."  It is soccer after all.

Had Hope Solo looked like one of the wookies that normally play women's sports, I doubt anyone would have cared about this, either.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Offsides, 5 yard penalty on the defense, first down.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

He does fit into that doucher demo that would find Gavin appealing.

Adam
Adam

"I mean its not like they are claiming to be world champions of a 28,30 or 32 team league played in only one country."

Two of the three leagues have teams in Canada (soon to be three with the Bills to Toronto) but I LOVE THIS POINT.

Adam
Adam

Word.

I don't like how ESPN dictates what sports to watch but it's business. It's the same way Google shows you a GoogleMap at the top when you search an address on Google instead of a Yahoo! map or Mapquest map. Businesses are is business for themselves.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Lol. We might see Arbytron make a post in this thread.

j's bs
j's bs

yahoo sports: Sportatorium id#284216

Adam
Adam

There are a bunch of errors in this article including the very start to the damn thing. "Just looked up..." instead of "I just looked up..." It's lazy.

"It was championship chance hideously coughed up." Missing the word "a" between "was" and "championship."

Adam
Adam

There are a bunch of errors in this article including the very start to the damn thing. "Just looked up..." instead of "I just looked up..." It's lazy. "It was championship chance hideously coughed up." Missing the word "a" between "was" and "championship."

Plato1968
Plato1968

Wow you missed the point and this team did not go further than other teams...past teams won it all. This team was ranked #1 in world so finishing 2nd was not an accomplishment

Plato1968
Plato1968

Not the same. This u..s. team was clearly more talented and choked. And it was not the olympics.

bigbody
bigbody

THEY DIDN'T GET SILVER MEDALS....AND THIS AIN'T THE OLYPICS!

USWNTfan2011
USWNTfan2011

Actually this year was the first time since 1999 that the USA women's team has made it to the World Cup finals. That's 12 years. Making it to the finals was an accomplishment. Many felt that after the Mia Hamm, Akers, Chastain era (the team that won in 1999), women's soccer in the US would fall apart. Until a few days ago, this was a legitemate concern but the players on the USWNT this year advanced us to the finish.

I strongly disagree with this article. As a Cubs fan I know plenty about "looking on the bright side" when my team loses. It's not always tough criticism with men's sports, and if it was I doubt the Cubs would still have a fan base.

There's nothing soft or sexist about congratulating these women. They made it farther than any USWNT since the Mia Hamm, Akers, and Chastain era. It was a close game; Japan won it fairly but both teams showed enormous skill and class, something this article lacks...

meh
meh

actually they did get silver medals.

Adam
Adam

12 years is a misleading stat. They only play once every 4 years.

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