Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quid pro quo

Here's the article I mentioned yesterday.

My point about things like Germany not hiding the weights of its female players is that the Germans seem a lot more focused on treating both teams like professional athletes.

Eric Wynalda noticed another regard in which the women were unique - the fact that all the TV commentators for the women's game were inclined to be friendly and sympathetic to the players.

"I think it’s amazing that the network will hook up a satellite broadcast to see what Julie (Foudy) thinks of the men’s game, but when the women fall on their face, the boys aren’t allowed to comment."


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if the point should be to emulate men's attitudes towards sports. What's big time about grousing in public and putting down a teammate? I like the women's game because it emphasized team work and, apparently, team unity; but in the loudmouth culture of guy sports, shutting up about being benched is considered bad form. I'm not saying she wasn't the better player and shouldn't have been out there; but people would have made her point for her. She didn't need to dump on the goalie that actually did win a World Cup.

charlton heston said...

Amen Wynalda.

A.C. said...

Team unity apparently didn't extend to how the players treat each other if anyone dares to express an individual opinion. There's unity, and then there's groupthink.

Unity to me means coming together despite differences, not trying to stifle any distinction and keeping everyone in lockstep.

Anonymous said...

Maybe so...but now she knows there are consequences to mouthing off and maybe her comments won't be so gratuitous in the future...and if she does mouth off, knowing the consequences, then it will mean she probably has something truly important to say and we will admire her for her courage in saying it.

Anonymous said...

Good article Andrea! I enjoyed it.

With this 10 week break, a new Coach, and a fresh start come January, all will be well for the WNT leading up to a US vs. Canada Gold medal game next summer! :) Ha, well one can "Hope", can't he!

To Anon1, one more attempt to cover Hope's back.

It has been said numerous times before, and one can choose to believe or not to believe, that Hope was NOT "dumping" on her teammate.

Right or wrong, clumsy in it's delivery or not, she was directing her comments at her Coach. This is what Hope has indicated & in the context of everything that was said and the facts leading up to the game that resulted in her emotional comments, I believe her.

Coach said publicly when he made the decision to go with Briana for the semi that Briana was "quicker", had "better reflexes" for the type of game that Brazil would throw at them, or some such drivel. Hope, after the game, basically said Coach, I think you were wrong, I could have made those saves. (Read ... I'm not as slow as you seem to think I am!)

Hope just didn't link the 2 comments as maybe she would have if she wasn't at the point of emotional breakdown at that moment in time!

The part about living in the past, not being 2004 anymore, also was directed at Ryan as he based his publicly stated logic on past results, not the present. He let results from the past cloud his judgement of the present, and that is what Hope pointed out.

While the game against Brazil back in June that Bri played due to the death of Hope's father wasn't 2004, it was still over 3 months ago AND was Bri's last full game. I also believe many of the players from Sept did not play in June, Marta included?

I get all crazy thinking about that horrendous decision and the aftermath again!

Do I wish she had remained silent and simply let everybody else say it for her, like they already were?


I suspect Hope does to.

Let the healing continue Hope Solo. We're with you.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and actually this firing was only one day after the teams final game, so it was quicker then 98. :)

I think it was a good decision to wait until the 3 game Mexico series was complete, as difficult a 3 weeks as that was for many of us.


Anonymous said...

Oh, as I stated before Ryan was canned, I also believe that Hope was aware it was coming prior to the Mexico series and her second public apology.

That's it now, I think! :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping the record straight, Andrea. That first comment sounds pretty dumb trying to find something appealing behind the way the American women are now remembered. The fact that hope wasn't allowed to stand on the podium, let alone eat, with her teamates proved that the inner circle of the team has little class or perspective.

Last time I checked freedom of speech was encouraged in this country.


Anonymous said...

Anon2, many of us do admire Hope for her courage in speaking up, even if some of us think she should not have for various reasons.

While apparently you don't think what she had to say was important, it was important to her and after all is said and done, that's what matters.

jason said...

I really don't want to hear Wynalda announce during the women's games.

I don't mind the chalkboard stuff he does but when he disses a player he just sounds so annoying.

Also, there were points in which some of the men were wierdly uncomfortable with their coverage.

There was some repetition in content from ESPN announcers but Dellacamera was very good and DiCicco chiming in was cool and he was analytical.

I've forgotten her name but the Ohio State coach was fine and more analytical that the ESPN play-by-play men's team.

When the British feed kicked in, I was very pleased with being able to better hear the crowd. ESPN needs to have it sound just like that with the crowd louder and the announcers quieter.

Anonymous said...

heres to quieter announcers. In some sports like football it makes sense. in soccer it just seems to get really distracting. maybe because there are no stops in play for 45 minutes really. And for christ sake those pop up stats and crap are annoying as all hell. If i want to know their record ill look it up myself.


Anonymous said...

The Julie Foudy’s of the world are always looking to pump up the USMNT when she comments; an elegant, if predictably boring homer. It’s like asking Karl Rove to comment on the Bush administration.

Wynalda is looking to “tell it like it is”. He comes across as conceited, phony, insincere, arrogant, crass, and boorish; he is a living parody of the concept that now that soccer is “big time” we get the same kind of idiotic commentary you hear in NFL games. The only really interesting thing about him is you get the impression he really seems to believe he knows more about it than anyone else but feels he never got his just due. It’s like asking Richard Nixon to comment on his administration. Alexi Lalas is the only person who is more pathetic as a commentator in this particular genre.

ESPN had a chance to chart a much more interesting middle ground but instead chose these human cartoons probably because both are good looking and were good players. One would think there must be other reasonably presentable and articulate ex players from both teams around (John O’Brien? Tiffany Millbrett? ).

I would hope we get more enlightened commentary in the future but then again I was kind of hoping for world peace and an end to poverty too.


Anonymous said...

Below are some quotes from Cat Whitehill.

I'm delighted to hear she considers Hope one of her best friends but I'm confused by the last paragraph below. The "team leaders" asking her "why was your reaction different" part?

I appear to be missing something? Can anybody explain?

View original article:

Key points from article:

"During the World Cup, Ryan drew criticism when he benched starting goalkeeper Hope Solo. Whitehill said the situation has been hard for her because Solo is one of her best friends and Whitehill respects her coach.

"With this team, there's a lot of pressure on the coach," she said. "He was a great coach."

Although she said there was speculation in the media and among the team over the recent termination, she was not aware of how quickly it would happen.

"To me, it was a surprise at how quickly it happened," she said. She noted the team was surprised, as well.

"A lot of the players that have a leadership role on the team came to me and asked, 'Why was my reaction different?,' and I was able to talk to them and share my faith with them." "


Anonymous said...

i saw that as well. was she refering to her reaction to the whole Hope thing or the coach release?
And whom are the leadership players? Im assuming wambach and lilly, anyone else?


A.C. said...

Maybe Cat was talking about her reaction to the disappointment of finishing third. If she was calm while other people were upset or depressed, it would make sense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Meredith,

Other then it being hard for Cat, my confusion is determining exactly what her reaction was, to either situation? I can't tell from her words?

I think what she's trying to say is she didn't choose sides because she cares for them both? Her feelings are likely shared by many on the team, that of being stuck in the middle, not sure what to do or say, so say nothing.

Always a safe route of course. But what exactly did these "leaders" mean?

Anything else out there on this? Any other thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Interesting thought A.C..

Maybe, but the article & her feelings/words seem to center around the Hope & Coach Ryan situation.

Seems she still didn't want to come out and say what was really in her heart?

Just sort of. :)


Anonymous said...

More quotes from Cat in response to the release of Coach Ryan below.

Taken with the other article, she does appear to have taken it in stride, very calmly as you have mentioned A.C.

The so called "team leaders" of course did not take it in stride as they look even worse then they already did with the release of Ryan. Also, Gulati's words must have stung regarding "I think all the parties involved would do things differently if they had the chance".

Make sense? Maybe?

Cat's Comments:

High expectations can create major repercussions.

That was defender Cat Whitehill's reaction to the news Greg Ryan is out as the U.S. women's soccer coach. The decision came less than a month after his top-ranked team lost in the World Cup semifinals following a contentious goalie switch.

"With the standards our team has set, if you don't win, it's hard to keep your job," Whitehill said Monday, a day after players and Ryan were informed of the move. "Nothing against the way Greg Ryan coached, but we didn't play as well as we should have."

Anybody have an opinion on who should wear the Captain's Band next yer?

My WNT Coach hat is now on. Yes, I was hired today! I say Cat Whitehill should wear the Captains Band, if not in January, then certainly some time before next summers Olympics?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Whitehill did what most people do, run for cover. Not a very Christian thing to do, letting your "friends" twist in the wind. Obviously there was a faction, probably a powerful minority who, with Ryan's approval did the Code Red on Solo, while her Christian sisters stood by and did nothing.

I've not been a Gulati fan but his statement about people maybe wishing they had done things differently, along with Ryan's firing, is a pretty powerful rebuke of this faction. If the new coach gives Solo a fair shot she should regain her starting spot. Since Solo was dropped Scurry has shown she is a drag on the offense, as she can’t get the ball to the half way line even on a punt, with any consistency. Having Whitehill take the goal kicks takes one person out of the offense. And she is either very rusty or her vaunted reflexes have diminished.


MC said...

Great article. I'm tired of the whole situation. I guess the only good thing that came out of this last world cup is that now maybe the USSF will take steps to make the USWNT less like stepford wives or citizens of communist China and more like Americans. The whole thing reminds me of Animal Farm by George Orwell.