American Audiences Lose By Not Seeing More Televised Women’s World Cup Matches


So, Japan barely beat the U.S. in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup final—congrats to our radioactive competitors, Lord knows they deserve some good news! But watching I couldn’t help but think how in-often I see athletic women on non-cable broadcasts: such fine female athletes sliding and struggling on the international field, hugging their short-haired sisters,the American fans cheering and celebrating every goal, star-spangled banners waving in hands. Think of the young women watching, seeing what they could become; the young men discovering a newfound respect for female strength.

And then, someone at the bar changed the channel to the Real Housewives of Subservience where a blonde in lingerie massaged her shirtless husband’s feet. The contrast left me feeling a little sick to my stomach and hungry for what so many American sports fans never see… female success.

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  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    It’s hard to respect a “sport” where after 120+ minutes of hard play,the “winner” is decided by one-on-one penalty kicks. Why bother playing the game in the first place?

    What was the point of it all? Luck? Chance?

    Did the best team prevail? …Hard to say. They could have the same result from the team captains played rock-paper-scissors at center-field.

  • davidyu

    If you actually watched the game, you’d see that these women are amazing athletes. Sawa in an interview said they had practiced the game-tying 117′ set piece to deal with much bigger opponents, and it paid off. There’s definitely a point, and any true athlete can easily see that.

  • RL

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): Do you share the same opinion about hockey? Or is it also difficult to respect another sport that breaks ties with a shootout? I’ll trust the gender of the players is not a factor, so I’ll take the remarks to be the result of jingoistic disappointment. *P.S. Great article

  • chrissie riot

    Also Hope Solo.

  • danram

    @RL: Just to add to RL’s point, aren’t (American) football games that end up in a tie decided by sort of the same “shootout” thing (or sudden death) system? Actually, it is worse because, isn’t it the first team to score (modified recently, but not much) wins even if the other side didn’t have a chance to try? To make it a little bit more worse, the team that gets first possession of the ball during overtime is the one who wins a coin toss, I believe. So, it’s the same, if not worse (with the coin toss and the “sometimes, not giving a chance to the other side”), in the NFL.

  • danram

    Anyway, I love the NFL and I respect soccer. I was just making a point that the “sudden death” policy is not jut for Soccer.

  • TommyOC

    @Ted B. (Charging Rhino): It’s hard to respect a “sport” where you: spend half the game sitting (baseball, gridiron football); have unlimited substitution/rest opportunities (basketball/hockey); have a rulebook over 30 pages thick (all of them); require large amounts of equipment.

    See, I can make a “sport” out of using quotation marks, too.

    As a long-time soccer coach, I HATE to WIN via Penalty Kick shootout. But I hate to lose even by same even more. I agree that it is a shame Sunday’s final had to be decided this way, but I believe the PK shootout is the best way to determine the winner. Why do I say that, you ask? Because the game has to end at some point and I’m comfortable saying 2 hours (120min) of unending motion and fatigue is that point.

    Why not play on in alternating halves or go to sudden-death after 120min? Because if you did that, the game would devolve into a tired and sloppy goal rush, one whose winner would be determined by blind luck or a sloppy fatigue-fueled mistake. In other words, not bookending the game to a finite length would destroy the urgency to play attractive soccer and the need to close out a game by any means before Extra Time is up. It’s a tradeoff that has to be made to keep the game competitive whistle to whistle.

  • TommyOC

    On this article itself, I’m saddened ABC/Disney didn’t go through the effort of showing the Final on ABC to reach as broad an audience as possible. Instead, they showed Golf on that channel. Golf. I’m sure a global event capturing national media attention got more ratings on ESPN than golf did on ABC… So why they didn’t try for even more ratings?

    On that note, our lovelywriter should consider patronizing a sports bar when the next major sporting event goes down. I don’t know what bar he was at, but I doubt a legit sports bar – even the burgeoning gay ones – would have changed the channel – to Real Housewives, of all things.

  • skrillex

    We had great coverage on the CBC of every game of the entire tournament here in Canada, even though Canada got ousted pretty quickly (…embarrassingly enough. We’ll be back in 2015!!). It was great sport, unusually great sportsmanship, a few underdog upsets, and overall great television. The level of skill in women’s soccer compared to just four years ago has increased dramatically, and I’m really optimistic about where the sport is heading. If you watched the whole final game, you’ll know that the best team won, and the best player won the Golden Ball (although I really, really, reeeeaally like Marta from Brazil). Anyone who loves football but scoffs at the FIFA Women’s is seriously missing out.

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