America’s Flag Draggers
Initially I planned to do what I always do on the rare occasions soccer is in the news: Ignore it.
I say this as someone who loves sports and would watch darts if that were the only thing on TV. In fact, I’d watch darts before soccer.
Please don’t tell me I don’t understand the sport. I do.
In college I dated a soccer All American and suffered through countless soccer games. When I lived in Ireland my roommate was a fanatical Tottenham Hotspur fan. Every freaking Saturday, the whole country was watching English football. Aston Villa, Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal, etc., etc., etc.
Torture. Especially knowing that people back home were watching college football.
One of the best things about being back in the States - besides college sports - was that soccer was relegated to sports bars that cater to Brits.
I generally avoid such places.
As I said, I was going to ignore the American Women’s World Cup win. But when I got up Monday morning and glanced at what’s left of the local newspaper fluttering on my front porch I couldn’t believe the overkill. The front page - above the fold - was given over to the victory. So was most of the sports page.
We all know what’s going on here. If we’re honest.
It’s not about sports. It’s politics.
The Trump-hating world - especially members of the media - has a team! Liberals on Twitter who have never before Tweeted about sports were swooning over America’s women all week.
Yep, a team of flag draggers, led by a player who says she’s not going to “the fucking White House” and whose fans like to chant “Fuck Trump,” captured the hearts of many.
Incidentally, kudos to Kelley O’Hara, the team’s fierce defender, who had the presence of mind to pick up the flag before her teammates stomped all over it in their victory frenzy. Thanks, girl. You get it.
Look, Trump isn’t the United States any more than Barack Obama was America when he was president.
We’re bigger - and better - than our leaders. Our teams should resist the urge to get bogged down in politics.
By politicizing the hell out of soccer because they detest the president, these women have alienated a sizable swath of sports fans who might have swallowed their indifference to soccer to cheer on this group of super-talented athletes.
Truth is, these players are amazing. They have mad skills and play with enormous, relentless confidence. They don’t just beat their opponents, they thrash them.
Frankly, I didn’t care about their humiliation of Thailand. Setting a record for running up the score on a tiny nation is seen as poor sportsmanship in some circles. But you do you, ladies. And as far as the player - whatever her name is - pretending to drink daintily from a teacup after scoring a goal against England, hey, celebrate the way you like. I’ve seen worse.
Dropping the American flag to run around pounding their own chests after their win, when they represent the USA? Sorry. Too much. That, after the earlier effing White House remarks was enough for me.
Look, ladies, if you don’t want to go to the White House. Don’t go. As I’ve written before, I think championship teams ought to see such an invitation as an honor. No matter which president is temporarily residing in the place.
Whatever you decide, it’s not the “fucking” White House. It’s the people’s house.
Show a little class.
Looks like the team is going to be squired around Capitol Hill by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris. You’re a bunch of political pawns, ladies. Enjoy.
Celebrate with the team if you like. I’m sitting this one out.