The freeze-out continues. Hope Solo flew home from the World Cup alone, according to Gayle Bryan's blog.
Nothing says team togetherness like going to a competition together with 21 players and coming home with 20 and a changed ticket for the ostracized one.
Bryan also has some thoughts from Shannon MacMillian on her blog. One quote in particular stood out for me.
"I think that part of the reason people have fallen in love with our team over the years is because we have a respect for each other. Many times, fans have told us that they love that we’re not bashing each other, we’re not out there for the big dollars, we’re not out there getting in trouble. This just goes against the character and the fiber of this team and what it stood for."
Mac - I hate to break this to you, but people fell in love with your team because you were winners. Are Yankees fans really that crushed that Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter aren't buddy-buddy any more? Not if they get the job done on the field. If they're as tight as Damon and Pythias, it doesn't matter if the team is losing.
It makes me cringe a bit to think how many girls might have bought into this - "They like us because we're good girls, because we never fight in public. We can't even want more money for our hard work, because that would appear selfish."
Bogus. The most successful women's sport in the world is tennis. I grant that except in certain competition formats, it's not really a team sport, but heck, I remember when Anna Kournikova and Martina Hingis were doubles partners and Martina would get on Anna's case about her weak serve. The personalities on the tour are upfront with their statements and unapologetic about their competitive drive. They speak out about wanting equal prize money, they criticize others and themselves, basically, they're not out there playing nice - they're playing to win.
Hingis had some comments recently on Kournikova's chances for a comeback, when the Swiss Miss was asked if she would partner with the Russian again.
"She was okay," said the Swiss. "But she would have to train. I don't want to go out there and lose first round."
Blunt, but completely honest and accurate. No one is saying to Hingis, "Oh, you were right about Anna, but you shouldn't have said that. Let the press and the pundits say that - you should act like a lady."
Well, the obvious point is that team sports is a different story. The strange thing is that I'm not sure the women's teams isn't being incredibly short-sighted in their shunning of Solo. The farther they go to punish her, the less significant her crime seems, and the more that the attention turns, paradoxically, to the players on the squad, for appearing like unforgiving tyrants. It's as if Solo's statements deflected attention from Ryan, then the team's reaction and placing Solo out in the cold is once again diverting attention, and ultimately making the team look bad. Because nothing says, "respect for each other" like making someone eat alone and fly home alone.