US Trounces Thailand: Sportsmanship and Humility Are the Two Most Overused and Overrated Terms in Sports

The US Women’s National Team whomped Thailand in the first match up of the group stage yesterday 13-0. In doing so, several records were broken including…

  • Most Team Goals in a World Cup Match
  • Tied Most Goals by a Player (Alex Morgan – 5)
  • Largest Margin of Victory
  • Most Individual Goal Scorers
  • Tied Most Consecutive World Cup Matches with a Goal (Carli Lloyd – 5)

It should be a time of celebrating, right? Wrong. Leave it up to the talking heads and the ignorant shit zippers to rain down hate on a team fighting for more than just a World Cup title (read that by clicking here).

Many have come out and said that what the US team did was disgusting for beating down an inferior opponent and not just playing keep away once they had a significant lead. They said it was too much that every triumph resulted in a celebration. They should have acted like they’ve been there before.

This team just broke a handful of records. They had plenty to celebrate as they should. They earned it. This wasn’t just some random game where they were just feeding egos. This team is filled with some of the top stars in the world. One of which (Lloyd) came off the freaking bench. That’s how deep they are. The girl that went apeshit in the 2015 final wasn’t even in the starting lineup.

What did you expect to happen?

You know what I saw? I saw a team of women playing with pride, tenacity and passion. That’s what I want in sports. That’s what I will teach my kids.

Side note, let’s just ignore the fact that goal differential matters in the group stage. That 13-0 win can play a huge factor later on. I won’t even go into on that. That’s an argument that has already been made.

You know what else I saw? The celebration stopped as soon as the final whistle was blown. I watched multiple women from the roster go console their opponents. They encouraged them. They made sure that they knew that they appreciated their effort. That is world class. They could’ve walked off the field, but they didn’t. If there is something that group of women knows, it’s humility. It’s respect.

We are talking about the best women’s team in the world here. Bring it if you want to go toe to toe, otherwise you get smashed.

Guess what? They’re not going to pull a Damian Lillard and showboat on the court after even though none of us had a problem with that. They’re going to give their opponent hugs and words of encouragement.

If you think they are anything but humble and respectful, you haven’t been watching the same team I have for 20 years (fuck, I’m old). They always have been. I started watching them when Mia Hamm played which carried to Abby Wambach’s career and now Lloyd/Rapinoe/Morgan. The attitude hasn’t changed. The culture of the USWNT is engrained with being respectful and showing humility even when they don’t have to.

Playing off the point that you probably don’t watch them, you would know this team relies heavily on air balls both East/West and North/South. They attack through the air. That has been their bread and butter for years. Those types of plays started happening less and less in the second half. Now, no they didn’t pull back and pass around. Why should they? You play to win.

At some point the other team has to stop you. On Rapinoe’s goal late, the defender took a horrible angle at the ball allowing it through. Is she supposed to just boot it away?

How many times have we seen it in sports where teams pussyfoot around and lose the lead? I can name one being a Saints fan. I’ll just leave you with 28-3.

That being said, I want to talk about some the terminologies being used to describe USWNT here. Now that I have laid out my argument for all the things these woman are, let’s just dive into humility and sportsmanship and all these other crutch words we use when talking about sports.

When it comes to sports, fans can’t distinguish their asses from a hole in the ground. On one hand, we love when certain players and teams run their mouths. However, when the wrong team does it, they’re the biggest pieces of shit on the planet. That also goes for the fans. Ask a die hard to talk about their teams biggest rival fanbase.

The hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. Let’s talk about life in general and the social media side of it. We are going to sit here and rip the piss out of a team who has put their name into history with 5 different records in just the first match up of the World Cup. All because they celebrated those victories.

“iT iS WrOnG bEcAuSe tHeY rUbBed iT In.”

Pipe down. You know nothing peasant.

You know who else rubs in all their victories? Most of the people on social media. I am not even going to get into the arrogance and self serving narcissism that comes with journalism and talking heads. They left their dignity at the door. I will stick with the average joes like myself.

Think about this for a second…

These girls are celebrating their victories and we are casting them off as arrogant.

Think about how many posts people make on social media about new jobs they hold when there are people out there who aren’t as fortunate to have the career opportunity because of resources or other factors.

Think about every time you post about being pregnant and how much you love it or your child and how much you love them. Somewhere there is someone reading that who maybe lost a child. Maybe they can’t have children.

Think about every time you post about how much you love your significant other. Somewhere out there is a girl who is scared for her life because her husband is going to come home drunk and beat the shit out of her.

Think about every time you post about your child’s straight A’s. Somewhere out there is a parent of a child with a learning disability who can barely maintain a C average.

Think about every time you post all the great things of your life. Somewhere out there is someone who hates their life because of depression and is contemplating killing him or herself.

But we don’t think about those things. Why? Because apparently it is not ok to celebrate victories in an athletic event. However, in life, all bets off.

It is perfectly fine to celebrate when you earn those victories large and small. But understand that sometimes your best is always going to beat the best of someone else. But it’s our job as people to make sure they know we appreciate their best effort.

Of course the rules change with age. It is hard to look a 8-year-old in the face and say “no, don’t give it your best.” I wouldn’t have listened to that. Hell, I don’t know if I would have listened to that at 12-13.

Sports are all about understanding where you are at in the game and what the situation is.

There are certain ways you can pull back in sports without sacrificing your own grit and determination to put your best forward. There are certain tactics and strategies you can shy away from when you know victory is imminent.

That’s exactly what the USWNT did. They knew the situation. They knew how to handle it. They earned every bit of those celebrations.

For those who oppose it, look in the mirror before you start casting stones. Otherwise, you just look ignorant. I am not saying I am perfect. I am not saying I don’t brag. I am not saying I don’t ever cross the line when I play sports. But at least I have enough self awareness to not be a total hypocrite about celebrating victories.

 

 

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5 comments

  • I remember playing sports and coaching later. One time, when our team was losing by a larger margin, I did not request the other coach to hold back. I wanted my team to rise to the occasion. At half-time, and later during a time out, I explained the other team was playing very well. Our job is to learn from this, then see if we can improve during the game. As we would play the same team again later that season, we would have another opportunity, but use this one to better prepare. Well, when we played them again, they beat us, but only by a goal. We just had to rearrange players and rethink our strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing! I appreciate the feedback and example. I still play rec sports as an adult and of course there are ways to gear back and be respectful. That’s things you can’t teach children because children see things as more black and white.

      You’re absolutely right when it comes to taking your Ls off the chin and learn from them. As an adult because I lost a lot as a kid, I’ve learned how to lose and how to learn from it which is the most important lesson sports can teach you.

      Like

  • The truth will cause many to continue to berate the US Women’s team they know where they can go

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    • In part, we have become so conditioned to the media, their influences spreading into every walk of life. As a kid and teen, I never thought about such things. If we lost, we either didn’t do well enough or we were simply outclassed, the other team far better or more athletically inclined. That’s why there are levels. Even in baseball, we have Single, Double, and Triple A. The Single As don’t complete against the major league.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Absolutely! Same for me. I can remember games We lost in baseball 16-1 but I also remember the ones we won 23-0. Your nature is to compete.

        Unfortunately, the media needs to understand that women’s soccer is still in a very underdeveloped and immature stage which is why squads like the US, Germany and Japan dominate the field. That’s just the way it is for now. But of course whatever headlines get the most hits, which is usually the inflammatory ones.

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