Cheer the **** Up WoSo

Negative stuff yanks my chain and when it’s primarily about WoSo and all its woes it yanks harder.

Are thinks wrong with WoSo worldwide? You betcha!
Is whining about it going to change anything? Not on your life!

I ask fans/pundits to take a step back and consider that even articles written that don’t go into hard-hitting facts about the game also have some benefit. The adage goes something like “any publicity is good publicity”. I’d love to see more articles that delve into the inner workings of teams and tactics and coaching decisions, and that’s improving, but we’re still going to see our share of the fluff stuff. Players in scanty clothes (or none at all), articles about “Soccer Moms”, and all the other things they never write about the men will still be published ad nauseum. It may not shed the best light on the sport we all love, but it gets and keeps eyes on the sport.

If you don’t like all the “fluff” then I suggest you seek out the hard stuff and promote that, promote it so much that it starts to drown out the fluff. It’s a fine line we all walk trying to promote a sport we want to see succeed and supporting sites we want to see fulfill their potential while filtering out the stuff we cringe at, but it’s a path we must walk if we want to see the good stuff flourish.

So as you stroll down that bumpy path, I ask that you keep a smile on your face and good intentions in your heart, because if I see one more whiny post about how crappy things are I might just hurt a kitten!

Influence at the Intersection of MLS and NWSL (or how to start a good debate)

It was announced today that Mia Hamm Garciaparra is one of 22 part owners of the “new” LA MLS team Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).

It didn’t take long for the conversation to begin about why Mia would put her money into MLS and not into NWSL. Let me preface the rest of this by saying no one has come forth to say if Mia is, or has been asked to be, involved in NWSL. So there’s that.

I truly see the arguments on both sides of this, but I definitely do not agree with the side that says she should invest in NWSL because she’s Mia Hamm; because she has money and power, because she – I don’t know, “owes” soccer something?

Mia Hamm has carried the torch for women’s soccer in the U.S.A. and in many parts of the world for over 15 years. She was part of the 1999 World Cup team that started the idea that there could even be a women’s soccer league in the United States. She was one of 20 founding players of WUSA in 2001. Mia Hamm has been influential and has lent her name and likeness and experience to so many things supporting women’s soccer I can’t even begin to list them all.

MLS (and NWSL) in the United States is a business, like any other professional sport. If a prominent retired women’s soccer player wants to put her money anywhere in the sport, it is truly a disservice to criticize where.

Has anyone been able to find out if she has been involved in an NWSL team or a team looking to get into the league? Has anyone asked her to get on board? Maybe she is is involved with LAFC looking to incorporate a women’s team in the future. Maybe she’s sick of all the fan back-biting and wants none of it. The fact is, we don’t know if either of these scenarios, or any others are true. Wouldn’t women’s soccer be better served if someone were to answer these questions before they start the discussion?

I guess my problem with the discussion as it stands is it comes from such a negative perspective. Wouldn’t the sport and it’s fans and leagues be better off by celebrating the fact that an ex-women’s soccer player has ascended to this level in the soccer world and look for ways to leverage that?

I always think there will be questions that need answers, but we should make sure we’re asking the right questions.

If you think the right question was asked, I’d like to see your reasoning in the comment. Let’s talk.

We Need to Talk: Meaningful or Meaningless?

Diane:

Had to be said and I couldn’t say it better.

Originally posted on happygosnarky:

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TV’s first all-female sports talk show hit the air Tuesday night. Toward the end they ran a segment called “Meaningful or Meaningless,” i.e. is Orton over Manuel at QB for the Bills meaningful or meaningless. I thought I’d use that tactic to share my thoughts on the show. So fasten your garter belt, here we go!

Meaningful or Meaningless: There is an all-women sports talk show on national television.

HGS Sez: Meaningful

Whether or not you feel this show is necessary, or has questionable goals, or can succeed, giving a platform to voices that have traditionally been marginalized is a good thing. There is unprecedented visibility for women in sports media right now and rather than wait for an invitation to the men’s sports-media table, a group of women have seized a table of their own (though yes the timing is coincidental and fortuitous). The show may not run for 10…

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Time To Empty The Bench

Every so often there are so many things going on in the world of sports that even I have a hard time following them all. When that happens I get a kind of ‘opinion overload’, now is one of those times. So, to use a sports analogy I’m going to empty the bench and put all my opinions on the field in one post..here goes.

  • Domestic violence as it relates to sports:
    Domestic violence can never be justified, it can be rationalized, but never justified. I’m not sure why domestic violence is different than just you know, violence, but according to the law it is. If the law singles it out as a separate offense then ALL sports need to have a policy in place to deal with it when it occurs. Because let’s face it, it will occur. Sport is just a microcosm of society and since it hasn’t been eradicated in society, it won’t be eradicated in sport. In my opinion any policy has to include help as well as consequences from the sport entity involved. Every person has done something they are glad they got a chance to grow from and change for the better. I am not and never have been an advocate of zero tolerance. I don’t feel that policy addresses the problem, it only makes it a problem for someone else. I also think that every case is different and a policy has to have enough flexibility not to punish someone for merely being accused.
  • NFL and Sponsor reactions to domestic abuse:
    The NFL was not at all prepared for the backlash they got from the public in regard to the recent cases of domestic abuse, no one will deny that. And they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sports realizing that they have a social responsibility that reaches much farther than making small pink things for the ladies. They didn’t get it right, but they too deserve a chance to change. I look at it as allowing them to make the mistakes and address the problems in drafting policy so each and every other sport doesn’t have to, let them bear the burden for their short-sightedness and we all reap the benefits. The fact that the sponsors have jumped on board to spur the NFL along is just an added benefit. Each sponsor has a different social message, so let’s just deal with each of them individually as our conscience sees fit.
  • USSF, NWSL, and domestic violence:
    Just like the NFL, USSF and NWSL don’t have a domestic violence policy that addresses what to do when a player is accused. Honestly, is anyone surprised by this? Soccer is a “civilized” sport, not like that barbaric other football. They need one and the arrest of Hope Solo brought that to light. Unlike that other football, USSF and NWSL has decided to let this play out in court before they assess any penalties. Is this the right thing to do? I think so. I think whatever comes out in court will go a long way to shape the domestic violence policy for USSF going forward.  I also don’t think they ever expected the first alleged offender to be from the women’s side, so they were doubly unprepared.
  • The double standard and domestic violence:
    Once again I think everyone was a little surprised that a (relatively) high profile  female athlete was accused of domestic violence and didn’t really know how to handle it. Within USSF I don’t think we can call this a double standard since we have nothing within the sport to compare it to. (If you know different, please correct me in the comments) As far as sponsors go, you may be able to make a better argument. Nike has suspended an endorsement contract for a male athlete until the verdict is in. Why they don’t do the same for a female athlete, I don’t know. Maybe the court of public opinion isn’t loud enough (snark).
  • The court of public opinion and domestic violence:
    I hate the court of public opinion for several reasons, least of which is it’s propensity to judge by knee-jerk reaction. Just because a video surfaces or some individual looking for their 15 minutes of fame makes some loud accusations, that does not always, note I said not always, mean guilt or result in a conviction. I believe we are a country of laws and as such every accused deserves their day in court..a real court, with real laws and procedures.
  • Abby Wambach is a rock star..and a soccer star..and still relevant..and the youngsters will just have to wait their turn or make a case so good that no one can deny them a spot on the roster. That’s how it’s done, kiddos.
  • Cycling politics aside, these cycling uniforms are horrendous. I don’t care if the Pope designed them.
  • I get my WoSo fix (and other sports I follow) largely from Twitter. Twitter is mean..and great..and mean. I’m having a hard time with that. I love snark and sarcasm, love it! Why can’t folks understand it doesn’t have to be mean and personal to be good?
  • Why do baseball players play in their pajamas these days? Those long uniform pants…
  • WNBA has really stepped it up this year, Brittney Griner has changed the game.
  • Don’t cry that you can’t afford WCQ/WWC tickets when you’ve tweeted at least $700 in jersey purchases in the last year. It’s all about priorities people.
  • I have zero interest in tennis anymore, even Serena can’t make me watch.
  • Sometimes sports, like life, sucks. But sometimes it doesn’t and those are the moments I watch for.

Calm Down and Play On

This is to clarify my tweet to NWSL about smoke at Portland Thorns’ home games.

I sent the tweet to NWSL because by the shots shown on Portland’s YouTube broadcast it appeared that the smoke was in the stands with fans. It was a simple question about the rules, which state flares/smoke by fans is strictly prohibited.

Their reply was that it was part of Portland’s game day atmosphere, under the control of Portland. I mistakenly took that as Portland was choosing to violate the rules. If you follow Merritt Paulson on twitter, you might understand why I thought this to be the case. As it turns out that is not the case. The smoke is set off from a capo stand by the supporters group. It is not set off by a fan and is not in the stands.

I know this to be the case because some level-headed members of their supporters group, Rose City Riveters, took the time to explain it to me. Unfortunately, all the snark and “Portland hater” tweets and subtweets did not explain the process to me.

I don’t hate on teams/players/supporters groups. I have my favorites and I have those I do not like. If I don’t like something I usually state that fact and leave it at that. Occasionally I digress into snark, but not very often.

To me this whole experience is just indicative of how quick people are to look for the worst on twitter. I’ve been guilty of it a time or two, but I try not to be that way. I support the league and the teams in it. I don’t always like the league and I have teams I don’t like, but I hate neither.

I hope this helps some to understand that my question did not arise out of hate, but a concern for safety and adhering to the rules.

If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to use the comments.

Blue Crew Ticket Combo Pack

Diane:

Good value, better experience!

Originally posted on KC Blue Crew:

Supporters Section Ticket Combo Pack

Want to save some money? We have the perfect deal for you! With our supporters section ticket combo you will receive: a t-shirt, sunglasses, drawstring bag, and a single game supporters section ticket to a game of your choice. These items if bought individually are a $40 value, so you’re saving $10. This combo is a great way to make any FC Kansas City game an exciting and memorable experience. Without breaking your bank you get to enjoy the game in the fun, lively supporters section and receive some cool merchandise as well. Proceeds from these go to help cover Blue Crew expenses like tailgating and banner supplies. Order yours today to ensure that we will have tickets to the game you want still available!

Click here to order!

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The World Cup Experiment

Originally posted on A Foreign Language:

Over the past month the world has erupted in a football (soccer) frenzy. As an avid supporter of the sport, and an ex park player, I couldn’t be happier about it! Every four years FIFA blesses each of its football faithful with one month where living, breathing and talking non-stop football is acceptable even to those outside of the sporting religion.

The World Cup tournament attracts all sorts; those who have been counting down the days since the Spanish packed the trophy in their overhead luggage upon departing South Africa to those who insist on trawling through hours of strategic, tactical, team and individual brilliance to find the negatives (enter diving and Luis Suarez). The World Cup month invites all sorts to get amongst the atmosphere, to ooh and to aah and to behave as self-appointed football analysts.. That is unless of course you are a woman.

Before I continue…

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