Cheering for the USA ladies in World CupThe Flora-Bama is a cultural landmark, known for some rowdy times. There is probably hardly a day that goes by that someone isn’t hooting and hollering in …
Cheering for the USA ladies in World Cup
The Flora-Bama is a cultural landmark, known for some rowdy times. There is probably hardly a day that goes by that someone isn’t hooting and hollering in that joint, but I was caught off guard by the cheering and yelling that I witnessed in their last week. Country folk, my group included, were getting all hot under the collar (even though none of us were wearing collars for fear of being laughed out of the Flora-Bama) over a women’s soccer game.
That particular game was the USA facing off with France, which saw the Red, White and Blue pick up a 2-1 victory and advance to the World Cup semifinals. Team USA went on to win that semifinal game against England, advancing to the finals to play Netherlands, which will be held today at 10 a.m.
Soccer has quickly become one of my favorite sports. It helps that I’ve had four different children play the sport, and I have coached each of them. My 16-year-old Stone was the starting goalkeeper as a sophomore this past season for the Jasper High School boys’ team, while my 14-year-old Breeze was on the high school girls’ team as an 8th grader. Watching them grow in the sport has helped me to appreciate it even more. Stone has even been invited to play for a club team in the Birmingham area and will be working with players from the Legion FC professional team.
A lot of people say they cannot enjoy watching soccer because it is not a very physical sport. Those people haven’t watched much soccer, and they certainly haven’t seen this current group of USA women play the game. They play with more aggression than a lot of American football teams, and they do it without pads and helmets.
This particular version of the United States Women’s National Team is a lot of fun to watch. They are the best at what they do, comparable to the 1992 U.S. Men’s Basketball Team, which was labeled The Dream Team. This team plays with great discipline on the field, yet they also inject so much joy throughout the game.
Alex Morgan, one of the team’s biggest stars, had a little fun after a goal against England, placing her hands like she was having a cup of tea. It was tamer than just about any celebration you’d see during a Sunday afternoon football game in the winter, but you would have thought she flipped the bird to the Queen of England and that entire country by listening to some of the backlash she got from the celebration.
I think the backlash was all political in nature. The team has received some harsh words from some, mostly due to the strong stance Megan Rapinoe, another star player, has taken about not visiting the White House if the team comes through with a World Cup win. I even noticed on social media last week that one member of the “media” in north Alabama went out of his way to try to gain a little fame off the team by pulling against them in their game against England. If a difference in political ideology makes you cheer against your country, please do not label yourself as a “patriot.”
The U.S. has made it to at least the semifinal round in all eight editions of the Women’s World Cup. They have played in the final match five times and won three titles. They are favored to win their fourth title today.
All these ladies do is win. That is what American athletic teams have always been about. We work hard. We have fun. We win.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.