Patriotism or Abashment

First off, I want to acknowledge the opinions of anyone reading this. You have every right to not like what transpired just a few days ago.

Did anyone know the Women’s World Cup was starting this week? I love sports and I wasn’t even aware that it was going on. Who do we blame? Media? No. The media only focuses on what “moves the needle” and not what the minority of people want to hear. But one thing that did move the needle this week, the United States Womens National Team (USWNT) absolutely punishing Thailand in the World Cup 13-0. Now, when this game was airing, I was at work and saw a 3-0 score at halftime. My first thought, “Okay, we got this game in the bag and that’s great!” Come to find out just a short hour later, our girls kicked them in the teeth and added another TEN…..TEN GOALS to make it 13-zippy. You would think the American public would be ecstatic because our Men’s team can’t even seem to beat the easy countries nowadays. And yet, the big defeat of the Thai women brought on more scrutiny than ever. Most were not upset about the score, but more so about the celebrations after each score. Here are my thoughts on the goal amount and celebrations.

Background of this video, that same panel (TSN in Canada) had a different, immediate reaction video following the game that said things such as:

  • “If you’re going to blow away a team, do it with humility. They did not.”
  • “…this was disgraceful from the United States. I would hope they could’ve won with humility and grace, but celebrating their 8th, 9th, 10th goals the way that they did was really unnecessary.”
  • “As a Canadian we would never, ever think of doing something like that.”
  • “For me, it’s disrespectful and disgraceful. Hats off to Thailand for holding their heads high. Their first time on a World Cup stage….I would love to be there to just hug them all.”

What a joke telecast. First off, they are comparing Canada to the United States which is completely unfair, especially to the American young women who scored their first goals in a World Cup. “I would love to be there to just hug them all” has to be the most idiotic thing ever said on television. What are you going to do? Hand them orange slices and Capri Sun’s for their effort? If you want respect, you earn it. The Thai women earned their respect by showing up against the USA and playing a full match. Yes, they got the doors blown off in an embarrassing fashion but that doesn’t mean they want you to send them well wishes as if a natural disaster just struck their country. This is the WORLD CUP. The tournament of all tournaments. Welcome to the best of the best Thailand. You got an unlucky draw and got the best team in the world in your first game, tough luck. You know who else in women’s sports got tough luck? (All American’s for the record.)

  • Lindsey Vonn. One of the favorites in multiple skiing events and was injured or banged up for the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.
  • Kerri Strug. Vaulted her way to a Gold Medal in the team event after busting her ankle in the 1996 Olympics.
  • Mary Decker. One of the best track runners in US Women’s history. She was too young for the 1972 Olympics. Got hurt before the 1976 Olympics. Couldn’t compete because of the United States boycott from Moscow in 1980. And finally collided with another runner in the 1984 games and was unable to finish the race.

Kerri Strug

I am not one of the Thai women that participated in the game. So honestly, I do not know if they want sympathy or not. But competing on the World Cup stage is a huge accomplishment. (Again, ask the USA Men’s team how their last World Cup on their couches felt.) For the people who say “why didn’t you let up?” The United States was not going to let Thailand receive a beat down then let up in the last 20 minutes. Why let the Thai women wallow in their defeat during the game while you pass back and forth? That would be the most disrespectful thing ever. Those takes from media members are absurd. Everyone is there to compete and win the tournament. This isn’t a recreational game you see down at the local sportsplex. You’re not going to let up whatsoever to make sure the feelings of your opponent are suffice. Did the Seahawks start taking a knee to run the clock in the 2014 Superbowl up 36-0? No. Because that is the cream of the crop, and to win a Superbowl is the ultimate achievement in the worlds most popular sport. So if your argument is to “lighten up” or “pull back on the reigns,” you are as soft as a My Pillow from Mike Lindell.

My Pillow

Now on to the last point which is where the most outrage was brought up: The Celebrations. I did not agree with some of the women’s celebrations. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Head Coach Jill Ellis needed to tell her players to not let up but be respectful after scoring. Ripping her for “losing control of her team” is out of line in my opinion. If you put yourself in her shoes, do you tell the young women to tone it down after scoring the goal of their life? Absolutely not. But Megan Rapinoe? Come on. What the hell was that leg kick thing? I don’t like how you are 33 years old, have scored many goals on this stage and have to rub it in the faces of your opponent with a choreographed celebration. Mallory Pugh is 21, Rose Lavelle is 25. You are 33 and scored the 9th goal of the game. Go ahead and do your airplane thing and head back to your position.

I disapprove of “excessive celebrations” when up by a huge margin. That is something that I agree with most people on. If you are the Monmouth basketball team of a couple years ago or the Iceland National team who are having fun during the game after a good bucket or nice goal, cool. But those celebrations were not during blowouts. If you want to use the term “act like you been there before” go ahead. But some of these ladies haven’t been there before so I won’t go to the full extent and call these women “classless” or a “disgrace” like the Canadian women did on that telecast.

In conclusion, we all have to come to the understanding that this tournament is not like March Madness or a major sports playoff hunt. This tournament comes once every four years. These men and women have waited their whole lives to wear that American shield with the stars and stripes draped across their chest. If you want to celebrate like you just won the Superbowl, World Series or any other championship you can think of, go ahead! Veterans can act as role models as well. Rapinoe should have celebrated but in a different fashion being one of the veteran captains of this years squad.  I think I can speak for everyone, even non-sport fans, that we have an increased interest in the sports that have our nations flag involved. All eyes are focused in on you and that includes the youth in that respective sport. You can not know what the f*** is happening on the field and still go crazy when a goal is scored. It’s about our patriotism in the end and that is all their is to it. So let’s all put that game aside and root for our ladies representing our nation over in France. I’ll leave you all with a little song by the one and only Toby Keith…

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