Saturday, June 13, 2015

It's a five year mission ... or is it?

Well here we are again friends. It has been a while, but not without some significant events unfolding before us.

So as not to get into too much, too fast, as tempted as I am, I wanted to address the beginnings of the Women's World Cup in Canada.

Back in 2011 I wrote about my genuine lack of interest in the WWC, awarding myself the "Media Pinhead Gold Medal" in jest all while receiving a few barbed emails from one of the other medal recipients who clearly had a funnybone-ectemy in their youth.

I find myself back in that same spot now, somewhat apathetic to the actual WWC play. Of course the run up was fun with the turf controversy (and Abby now an official spokesperson of Scotts), Hope Solo's epic meltdown, arrest, suspension, trial, subsequent dismissal on procedural grounds, and arrest reports which paint a not so flattering picture of the National Team keeper.

Let's face it, FIFA is not interested, as they have a few other things going on right now. In fact I would be surprised if Blatter or Valcke even went to Canada for fear of an arrest and extradition to the US. Oh by the way, FIFA fixed the tournament as well to maximize the gate too ... so they have a pretty good idea how it is going to all turn out anyway.

Local fans are not all that interested, as while the opening and USA matches were well attended (mostly by US fans), most of the other matches are not, and in fact are quite dismal. I am sure this makes FIFA very sad as they went to great lengths to make sure the matches were as competitive as they could be (see above for the source).

What is more scary though is the demographic that should be excited does not seem to be. Not that my daughter is a representative sample but she has no interest whatsoever about the tournament, and was not even aware. Same too with her team and even most of the parents. As the US progresses in the tournament I do expect this to change, but so far, a little scary.

Even the media is not interested as the coverage from most outlets has been "meh" at best and offensive at worst ... Stephen A. Smith, the gift that keeps on giving. ESPN would you please fire this clown?

Commentators have been pretty awful actually too. There are exceptions with J.P. Dellacamera, Tony DiCicco, Eric Wynalda, and Alexi Lalas, but beyond that it has been really awful with poor commentary and frankly some incorrect comments from folks who should know better. Their default banter is how the referee missed this or that, not filling with interesting facts about what is actually going on. Give me Foudy all day every day and twice on Sunday.

On a related note, FOX should take a page out of their NFL playbook and hire a referee analyst for decisions they want to discuss. Heck I'd bet you can get a bunch of quality folks to do this for a round trip to the World Cup in Canada. It would bring some sanity to a portion of the commentary.

So for my money a poorish start to the WWC with one exception that is Margaret Domka, our lone referee representative form the US, who had a good, albeit unchallenging first round match. It is unfortunate both US teams will not advance as far as the other.

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