Tag:World Cup
Posted on: July 13, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 2:57 pm
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The U.S. women, fame and social media

 Around 2:03 eastern, on Twitter, the name Abby Wambach was trending. That is a sentence I thought I'd never write.   On Facebook and Twitter, on BlackBerry's and email, the deeds of U.S. women's soccer is spreading. Social media is making the team one of the most popular phenomenons in the country right now.   What the 1999 team did was more impressive but this title run by the women will be more watched. This is simply an incredible mix of a great physical accomplishment, national pride and the Facebook generation. By the time the women are done, and if they win a championship, they might be the most Tweeted and Facebook'd non-NFL champion we've seen. I mean that.

They've grabbed the country by the neck and won't soon let go. They're also inadvertently taking advantage of the fact that this is a scary time for the country right now. Unemployment is high, the debt ceiling is, well, at the ceiling, our leaders are squabbling, and parts of Europe are financially falling apart.

In this country the women offer hope and good, old fashioned fun. They're perfect for these times when we're always looking over our shoulder seeing what bad news is coming nexty while we're sending a text.

We can watch, enjoy and Tweet all about it.

  
Category: Soccer
Tags: World Cup
 
Posted on: July 10, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 3:25 pm
 

World Cup soccer: A thrill a minute

It's fashionable to bash soccer in this country. We mostly hate it. Don't get it. Stick our noses in the air. We're soccer snobs. And most Americans only hate soccer because much of the rest of the world likes it. Well, if you didn't like the penalty kick orgasm that was the United States' victory over Brazil on Sunday, you are not only soccer phobic, you don't have a freaking pulse. You're the walking dead.

That was, so far, the best moment in sports in the past year. It was better than watching LeBron James get punk'd or the World Series or even the Green Bay-Pittsburgh Super Bowl. In fact, I've covered about 15 Super Bowls, and this game was more exciting than some 90 percent of the ones I've seen.

There is no grand statement here about how soccer will take more of a foothold now thanks to the excitement of what the U.S. women are doing. We've heard that before, and it never happened. But that's not the point.

What we're seeing now is just enjoyable, brilliant sport -- athletes at the top of their game, taking on the world, and winning with both skill and heart. It's what we want our athletes to do, and they're doing it fearlessly and breathlessly.

The U.S. performance is knocking the wind out of everyone who watches. If you're not seeing this, you're missing a gem. You're missing something that's been better than any sporting event we've seen in America this year.
Category: Soccer
Tags: World Cup
 
Posted on: July 11, 2010 5:02 pm
 

A great World Cup

When South Africa was awarded the World Cup there were vocal and legitimate concerns from around the world wondering if the country could indeed pull it off. South Africa was still reeling from decades of apartheid. Significant portions of it were poor and crime-ridden. There were debates if the billions of dollars needed for stadiums would be better spent on the country's infrastructure and social programs.

In the days before the games visiting journalists were issued dire warnings about potential holdups and extreme crime.

Then, the World Cup began and, mostly, in the end it was a rousing success.

The games were entertaining and while the country remains plagued by social ills like poverty the country still did itself proud.

Off the field, a nation that was once the scourge of the planet and stood for ugly oppresion welcomed the world as a free nation. That means something. That stands for something.

On the field, the United States had close losses, there was the anarchy on the French team, the Italian crash, and of course Diego Maradona, the Ozzie Guillen of the World Cup.

The tense Netherlands-Spain final game came down to the last seconds and there was, of course, the annoying vuvuzela.

The flopping in soccer is so disgraceful it makes the NBA flopping look good but let's not allow one dumb thing to ruin a solid World Cup.

Not bad. Not bad at all for a country some didn't think could make this work in the first place.

Category: Soccer
Tags: World Cup
 
 
 
 
 
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