Back in the day (like 1962 back in the day), before most of you were born, there was a company named Avis, that rented cars. Now in most areas of business there are competitors, meaning there is always a company ranked number one and a company ranked number 2 and Avis was ranked number 2. They were ranked number 2 for so long they adapted this their advertising slogan:
When you’re only No. 2, you try harder, or else.
How fitting is that for the current U.S. Women’s National Team? After all, they have the perfect poster child, no one works harder than Carli Lloyd! Her current form certainly bears that out.
As a motivating philosophy, you have to admit it’s got a lot going for it. Who doesn’t want to be seen as the underdog, fighting to gain the top spot? It accomplishes two things; first it motivates the players & coaches to actually, you know, try harder. That could mean train harder, study more, explore new formations/tactics/lineups, take chances. Second it gives a cushion for expectations from fans and pundits should all of this trying harder not produce immediate results.
I won’t say the USWNT is stagnant, but the growth everyone was told to expect has been slow in coming. Maybe this being number 2 thing will speed up the process, both by players and coaches.
Hey, even if it doesn’t I’m sure we’ll get lots of shitty jokes out of it.