What is it about the Women’s U.S. National Soccer team and the World Cup?
A buddy of mine made quite the astute comment. He said, “In America, women are treated like (bleep) and soccer is nonexistent. But when you put the two together, we can’t get enough!”
It’s true. But why?
Is it because of President Donald Trump? He is the most openly misogynistic president since Rome’s Caligula. Maybe this is a backlash?
No, hopefully people on both sides of the aisle enjoyed it. Although of the one’s who didn’t — well, um, you know who they voted for.
Is it because of the #MeToo movement? We are seeing women less as objects and so therefore gender isn’t important?
No, have you not seen Julie Ertz or Alex Morgan? Sadly, even here I am objectifying them!
Maybe it’s because of the Women’s March. Women have stood up and said they are angry and not going to take it anymore.
No, unfortunately that’s more like pulling society into line. This feels more organic.
Instead, I think it’s something much darker. It’s the sad, sad truth about human existence. We like winners.
Since Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and crew whipped up on China in 1999, I’ve been hooked. I think so has most of America.
Face it, can you name a single dude from the Men’s National Team?
Again, no, not even one.
Oh wait, Pele?
No, he wasn’t even American. And he played in the ’70s!
The men’s team stinks! They get more money for World Cup games, and they lose.
Nope, it’s the winning thing. Americans just dig it. I dig it.
There have been eight Women’s World Cups and the U.S. teams have won half of them and placed no lower than third in all the rest.
I’ll bet as you’re reading this you’re thinking, “What? We haven’t won them all?”
It’s true, we haven’t. But we seldom remember the losses of those teams we root for, do we?
OK, well not exactly. I remember the Cincinnati Reds getting hosed by the commissioner of baseball back during the ’81 baseball strike.
The strike happened in the middle of summer. The Dodgers were one game ahead of Cincy. When the season started back up a few weeks later, the Dodgers sunk, but Houston rose to the top.
Cincy again finished one game behind the leader for the second half of the season. But the Reds had the best overall record!
Yes, exactly, they had the best record, not only in their division, but also in the entire league! And the commissioner decides to go against all hallowed tradition and have a playoff between the two mini seasons?
Say it ain’t so, Bo. Actually it was Bowie (pronounced BOO-ee) Kuhn.
Anyway, I digress. My point is the Reds were winners that year. I still remember!
The ladies of the U.S. Women’s Team are winners, too. And American never forgets winners.
Sorry about second, whoever got that.
Oh and here’s a post script: The Men’s World Cup has been going on since 1930. Guess how many times they have even got a top-four finish?
Yep, once. Third place in 1930! The very first year! There were only 12 teams!
DAN JACKSON is a self-employed Paris businessman. His email address is email@example.com.