Krieger Fever

4 out of 5 soccer fans agree Ali Krieger has the world’s most contagious smile. It has been known to even spread through the television screen. You don’t even have to be in her immediate area, and that is what makes this such an interesting case. I have uncovered the mysteries behind Hope Solo-itis, Carli Lloyd-aphobia, and now I intend to take down Krieger Fever.

Please do not mistake this for Bieber Fever. This is much more intense and it infects everyone, not just 13 year old girls and curious boys. This is far more serious. There are rumors her smile is in fact so bright that various airlines have enlisted her services to aid in guiding planes to land safely in poor visibility. Although this is from an unconfirmed source, I believe it may be true. We first started taking notice of these pearly whites during the 2011 Women’s World Cup this summer. Ms Krieger had a lot to smile about throughout the tournament as she dominated the right defensive position. And I do mean dominated. She was without a doubt one of the most solid players we had playing for the US. It was like trying to get past a giant, cavity free, and gloriously pure white brick wall. Attackers had no answer for beating Krieger’s skill, determination, and blinding white teeth. She was steady, solid, composed, and fierce every single solitary second of this World Cup. She is without a doubt, one of the best defenders this country has ever seen, and still has such a bright future ahead of her. Her composure over the ball is another impressive aspect of her play that draws you in. She could be under enemy fire with a tank coming at her and she would just chill, look at her options, and calmly place the ball somewhere safe. (Then she could just smile into the sunlight and blind the enemy with her teeth; easy solution) We should not only be thanking her dentist and her great genes which gave her this beautiful smile but also be thanking the Soccer Gods for sending us this phenomenal player who can do no wrong on our back line. After especially dazzling plays those blinding teeth come out in a fabulous smile. At that moment, it doesn’t matter what you are doing, where you are, or how depressed you are…it will spread to you and you will smile.

Her composure on the ball, her skill, her ability to get into the attack, her blinding chompers; all were being talked about all summer. But nothing could ready us for the Brazil game. It was an epic game which will go down in history. The feeling of relief and joy and excitement all mixed in with dozens of other emotions is a feeling none of us watching will ever forget. I would go into some of the details of the game and why it was such a relief but my anger management therapist recommended I not speak of how the referees decided to insert themselves into the game so horribly, or how the Brazilian players decided it was necessary to go for an Oscar every time the wind blew too strongly and protest for a foul and…I seem to be getting worked up. Ok…three deep breaths…count to 10…think of Ali Krieger’s smile…ok, I’m back! Let’s focus on what the outcome was; America’s fighting spirit and fierce athletes overcoming all obstacles and winning in the most dramatically fascinating game I have ever seen. After Hope Solo came up with a brilliant save in penalty kicks after that exhilarating overtime, it was up to our remaining players taking a kick to win it for us. It was our last kick; we just needed to put this one away for the win. Who else steps up to the spot, but the one and only Alexandra B Krieger with nothing but determination and focus on her face. There was no distracting this girl. The laser focus, yet calm and confident look on her face is one I will never forget. (Nor will the Brazilian goalkeeper I am sure) She looked calm, cool, collected and ready to send Brazil home. She stepped to the spot, kept her head down, the whistle blew…and then she made all of America lose their freaking minds. Krieger had scored the last penalty kick we needed for the win and we got to see the biggest Krieger smile we had ever been blessed with. Dentists all over the world fell to their knees and wept at the beauty of it. Orthodontists began rioting in the streets from on overload of emotion. Teeth whitening specialists cursed the Gods that no matter how hard they tried they are not capable of making their clients’ teeth that white. The world could not stop smiling. Everyone near and far had caught Krieger Fever.

There are also some negative side effects to keep in mind though. Roughly 4000 cases of pulled cheek muscles have been reported. When someone catches a glance of Ms Krieger’s smile it is sometimes too powerful for them to handle and they smile so hard they cause severe trauma to their cheeks. But some good news is that dentists and orthodontists all over are seeing such a spike in patients they are in need of hiring more and more staff. Those who never cared about their dental hygiene are now obsessed with having a smile like Ms Krieger’s. Who cares about Moves Like Jagger? We want a Smile Like Krieger! The elderly are shining their dentures, the coffee drinkers and smokers are quitting, the hockey players missing teeth are finally getting the dental work they need and the hillbillies are learning what toothpaste is. She has started a nationwide movement for better dental hygiene.

Krieger Fever is a special virus which when experienced in moderation can be spectacular. But if you are not used to watching her then please, start in small doses. We don’t need any more cheek muscle trauma cases being reported. Start slow, and work your way up. Because I can assure you, when you watch her play and see how absolutely brilliant she is on that field and how lucky we are she is playing for our country and she shines those moon beams at you, it can be overwhelming. But just accept it, smile, and know that you have been infected by Krieger Fever.

Ali, you are truly a hero and an idol to so many. You’re talent wows us, your athletic prowess amazes us, your determination inspires us and your beautiful smile makes us giddy little school girls. On behalf of dentists and soccer fans alike, I thank you for all you and your teeth do for us.

Hope Solo Will Dance Your Face Off

After 13 seasons of reality “stars”, musical has-beens, acting has-beens, retired athletes, current athletes, and Bristol Palin…I, Amy Maestri, for the first time will be watching this season of Dancing With The Stars. I try to avoid most competition based reality shows like Jessica Simpson avoids books. But this season they got one of the very few people I would actually watch for, Hope Solo. After last night I think she’s capable to win the whole thing without a doubt. I mean really, let’s take a look at her “competition”.

Carson Kressley-

He could be a bit of an obstacle for Solo, not going to lie. He is a flamboyantly fabulous gay man with pizzazz that lasts for days. Dancing With The Stars is a show where people prance around in sequins and shiny outfits. It was a match made in heaven. Let’s just hope he forgets he’s the man in the pair and starts dancing the female part and screws it up.

Chaz Bono-

Either the people saying, “ABC is going to burn in hell and the devil will seize your home and your family if you stare at Chaz Bono directly.” Will win and he will go home early. Or the people parading in the streets singing Cher songs in joyous triumph that he is on the show will win and he will stick around.

Chynna Phillips-

Unless she is going to sing some of her parents’ Mama’s and Papa’s jams then I don’t even want to acknowledge her.

David Arquette-

Can someone please convince Courtney Cox to get back together with him and write a Scream 17, or whatever number they’re on? Please, occupy his time elsewhere. Thank you.

Elisabetta Canalis-

Umm, nice job being George Clooney’s ex arm candy?

J.R. Martinez-

I’m still trying to figure out who the hell this guy is.

Kristin Cavallari-

First of all, I found it interesting that Rob Kardashian was introduced as a reality star and she was introduced as a TV star. When do you graduate from reality star to TV star if you still have yet to do scripted TV? I missed the ceremony for her I guess. All I know about her is that her name makes me want calamari.

Nancy Grace-

I had always just assumed Nancy Grace had no legs. I can’t even comment on her dancing or her fans because I am still so weirded out about seeing her out from behind a desk. She also terrifies me, so that’s all I’m going to say here.

Ricki Lake-

I’m going down the list on the ABC site to get all the names right for this list. I’ll be honest, as I saw her name I realized I had already forgotten she was on the show.

Rob Kardashian-

All of his sisters were there, his mom was there, Lamar Odom was there, but he is apparently doing this to step out from his family’s shadow. He said he wanted to get out of his sisters’ shadows. So he made the logical choice to do the same show his sister Kim, did previously. (Snooki, if you are reading this, I recommend you thank Rob Kardashian profusely because he actually just made you look smart with that one.)

Ron Artest / World Metta Peace or whatever he’s calling himself now-

Do I really even need to comment on this one? He looked like a coked up Dennis Rodman wearing an Aladdin vest trying to sexually assault his dance partner last night.

Now onto the main event: Hope Solo. She nailed her steps, got good comments from the judges, looked totally cool and collected, and oh yea…she looked a-ma-zing! She looks like if a runway model and a body builder had a love child. She’s tall, lean, gorgeous eyes, long arms, beautiful smile, and could kick everyone’s ass on that stage including Ron Artest and all 7 of his personalities.

My prediction is she’s got this in the bag. Not only did she get a top score last night, but she also has the best fans in the entire world. Her fans love her as much as I wish I could figure out what Nancy Grace’s hot Irish partner was saying last night. She will do her part and kill it on the dance floor each week and her fans will take care of the rest.

So best of luck Hope and Maks, I know you will do ‘Soccer Fans’ and ‘Hot Russian Guy’ fans proud and win this thing.

Carli Lloyd-aphobia

I recently declared my severe case of Hope Solo-itis. It felt great to be honest and open about it, and truly embrace it. Now that I have done so, I feel it necessary to approach a new subject infecting soccer fans everywhere. It seems there is a nasty case of Carli Lloyd-aphobia spreading. I for one do not suffer from this phobia. I would say I actually have a case of Lloyd-itis, seeing as how she is a boss. The Lloyd-aphobia infecting some of our citizens is what I want answers on why.

Carli Lloyd is what we in the medical field call a “beast”. She’s like an 18 wheeler full of talent, skill, and aggression. When this 18 wheeler charges down the midfield you should just get out of the way, or you will be demolished. Basically what I’m saying is she’s a freak of nature. The US Women’s National Soccer team would not be nearly as successful without her honking her horn in the midfield and plowing over the opposing teams. The amount of work she puts into a game is insane. Even if she doesn’t finish a game with a goal or an assist I can guarantee you she still made a huge impact. Her crafty touches in the midfield, her work rate which is mind blowing, her ability to control and direct traffic all over the field and her movement on and off the ball all contribute to winning matches. She is a special player who is not only a “behind the scenes” type of conductor in the midfield but also a player who can shine and take control of a game putting an amazingly beautiful shot in the back of the net. Her little touches and smart runs off the ball and movement in the center of the field is constantly creating opportunities for us. She is also without a doubt one of the hardest working athletes I’ve ever seen. She covers more ground in one game than most people do in 2 weeks of working out. Heck, just watching her makes me want to take an ice bath after a game.

But it seems there are a few people who have come down with this Lloyd-aphobia I have spoken of. They seem to be scared off by her talent. They can’t embrace what a sickly talented athlete she is. When you are a “beast” you have a lot of heavy expectations placed on you. And although she is a very, very sick freak of nature in her pure skill, she will have an off day from time to time (this is what we, in the medical field, call; being human.  Although we are still debating her human-ness for obvious reasons displayed on the field). When these few and far between off days happen the Lloyd-aphobians begin to attack. Even if she didn’t have a bad day they begin to have “episodes” we’ll call them. It’s when they let the fear take over. They know the power and strength behind this athlete and it sometimes consumes them to a point where they have no other defense than to lash out at her I suppose. These “episodes” can occur anytime, with no rhyme or reason. Carli can play a flawless game, until the last minute where let’s say her hair tie falls out and she has to fix her hair. This is apparently enough of a mistake for the Lloyd-aphobians to attack. It’s intense.

The only conclusion I can come to, is the assumption I made previously- they are deathly afraid of someone with that much talent. It is the only possible answer to such an odd phobia with such odd reactions. I just can’t understand it. Also, might I mention as a reminder, what an absolutely clutch player she is for us when we need something huge. Not only does she come to play every day for every minute and is a consistent force for us, but she also is a massive clutch player for us.  Pop Quiz: Who scored the game winner for us in the 2008 Olympics, giving us the Gold Medal? I’ll give you a hint: IT WAS CARLI LLOYD.  (It is now 9/3/2012 and I need to make an addition to this blog which was written almost exactly one year ago, and here it is:) 2nd Pop Quiz: Who scored BOTH goals for us in the 2012 Olympic final, giving us the Gold Medal?  I’ll give another hint: IT WAS CARLI LLOYD.

In my last piece released on Hope Solo-itis I made a public statement that I embrace my Solo-itis and encourage others to catch it. In this, I am declaring it unpatriotic, unrealistic, and just plain silly to have Lloyd-aphobia. Accept the Lloyd! We need the Lloyd! The Lloyd led us to Olympic Gold and World Cup Silver! The Lloyd has a rocket of a shot that would slice runway models in half if it hit them! The Lloyd has poise on the ball that poets will one day write about and painters will paint her taking a shot on the Sistine Chapel! Ok, I seem to be getting carried away…

Embrace the Lloyd. I want “Lloyd-aphobia” to no longer be in our English language. (I understand it is not currently actually in our English language, but humor me here) I love watching her play and think she is one of the best central midfielders we have ever seen in our history. And also one of the best we will ever see. I cannot imagine a US Women’s National Team without her; that would be the real thing to be afraid of.

In fact- let’s make that the new phrase, the new phobia. “Lack-of-Lloyd-aphobia”

That one….I am scared of and do suffer from.

Hope Solo-itis

I am not a doctor, I have never studied medicine, I paid my Asian friend Suong to do my homework for me in high school. You may say this means I am not qualified to diagnose someone with a serious disease. But I beg to differ. I see Hope Solo-itis spreading everywhere. And there is no pattern to figure it out…the very young, the very old, men, women, the young athlete, the elderly obese, even the deaf / blind / mutes who cannot hear, see or speak of her are coming down with this illness. It’s an epidemic and it is taking over our country. It’s even spreading to other countries. I intend to get to the bottom of it right now.

Some have been afflicted with this disease for years. We have come to learn they are called “Holos”. They have been dealing with this sickness almost in the shadows. No one had done any research on it and they were forced to try and hide it at times. When they would show their true colors and share they were a Holo, people would sometimes shun them and tell them there is no place for that in our country. It seemed in the late 90’s there was a similar illness called Hamm-itis. But once that died down there was a period where the public’s interest faded in learning more about these diseases. Until this Hope Solo character came along that is. And then all hell broke loose.

The Solo-itis epidemic saw a spike in 2007. At the Women’s World Cup in China there was a severe upward trend in Holos appearing everywhere. They were growing larger in numbers and stronger. When people would trash talk their illness and the Solo name; those there were fightin’ words. The Holos would not put up with any of it. If you mess with the Solo: you have to answer to the Holos.

But nothing could prepare us for what we saw this past summer of 2011. The Women’s World Cup in Germany created a world-wide frenzy. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, it was spreading like wild fire. I advised close friends and family to stay in their homes and avoid direct contact with people, but it was too late. Everyone was affected. The world has been taken over, and it has been taken over by the one and only Hope Solo.

Now, I have a confession. This may shock you, but it is important you all know this…

I am in fact…..a Holo.

I was infected in early 2007 and have been living with the disease ever since. I understand the allure of it. Once you see Hope Solo play, you are forever a Holo and there is no cure and there is no going back. I think every other Holo can agree though…we don’t want a cure.

I am severely affected by it, but I have found two other people who are so far into the stages of this disease that I am surprised they are able to function still in every day society. They go by the Twitter names of @HopeSoloSwag and @HopeOnTheSolo. I suggest everyone who is living with this follow them immediately so they are able to get guidance and information. You can visit their website at www.hopesolofans.wordpress.com for more information on this rapidly spreading sickness.

Hope Solo, if you are reading this: I thank you for being a true hero and a true athletic phenomenon. You have touched many people, and I for one am proud to call myself a Holo and embrace my Hope Solo-itis.

Are You There Ellen DeGeneres? It’s Me, Amy

Dear Ellen-

Let’s dive right in here. I am a huge fan. I am a comedian. I bleed for US women’s soccer. If you add all of these things together what do you get? (Said as an overly eager and slightly obnoxious cheerleader) You get me, being your official correspondent to Women’s Professional Soccer next season and also the Olympics next summer to cover the US Women’s National Soccer Team! (Feel free to do some cheer kicks and spirit fingers in excitement over this idea. I’ll give you a moment, read on once you’re done.)

Ok, welcome back. I loved that you got into this Women’s World Cup and were tweeting your support for the team. I have loved and played soccer since I was 4. I started writing and performing comedy when I was 14. Those are the only two things in my life that I can honestly say I have ever been passionate about. There is nothing I love more than putting a smile on someone’s face and making people laugh. I always debate if I should have stuck with soccer, but I know in my heart I was meant to make people laugh and bring smiles and laughter to people’s lives. Well, that, and also play with puppies. I love puppies.

So Ellen, I am going to try in every form possible to contact you. I have a writing packet I would love to get to you as well. If you would like to read on to more of my blog entries, to get a better feel for my writing and general lack of good decision making, please do. My dream is to be successful in comedy and someday work for you and learn from you. If I could start that dream by covering women’s soccer for you, I might actually explode from excitement. Literally. But don’t let that sway you from contacting me; I will risk combustion for this. I have so many ideas for different skits, interviews, and coverage that would all be funny, entertaining, and helpful to promoting the sport and the amazing female athletes we have here playing soccer. Your show would be perfect for this idea as a brief segment from time to time covering the WPS league and possibly something for your website for the Olympics next summer. WPS needs all the support it can get and I want to help in the effort. Also, once the Olympics come I suppose I could cover some of those other sports they do there as well. I tend to forget there are other sports happening there, other than soccer. But for you, I would cover anything and everything. Except maybe pole vaulting, that looks terrifying to me.

So please have your people contact my people. I’m sorry, that’s a lie. I don’t have people. If you could get me people, that would be awesome. But I won’t push it, we can talk details later. I hope you get to see this and you see something in me and in this idea.

Thanks for inspiring comedians like me every day.

-Amy

PS: Tell Portia I am super excited for the Arrested Development movie. We want the Bluth’s back!!! And also let her know she had the best chicken dance…hands down.

WPS Champs Are The New Kids in Town

Yesterday’s final of Western New York Flash against Philadelphia Independence was one crazy ride for the championship in Women’s Professional Soccer. Each side battled right down to the very last of 5 penalty kicks they each had to go through. For those of you who didn’t watch or would like to revisit the match I will give an in depth rundown before getting to my point.

WNY Flash won.

Ok, now onto my point. Wait, I feel like I left some things out. Let me back track a little. The game was a hard fought battle in the mid field from beginning to end. I really can’t give enough praise to Brittany Bock. Each side’s midfield was playing a strong game, but she was just everywhere. She’s Notre Dame alumni and let me tell you, she is one of the ‘fighting Irish’ I would never want to fight. She was like a Fighting Irish ninja who drank too much Red Bull; she was everywhere! In a game with such huge goal scoring forwards such as Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan, Marta, Amy Rodriguez and Tasha Kai it was surprisingly low scoring and battled in the midfield. Bock played a major part in their win and shined every second of that game. You take Bock and her superb work in the midfield out of that game and I see a very different result. I absolutely love a hard fought game in the midfield like this one was. After one goal a-piece in regulation they went into overtime where neither team was able to finish it up and they headed to penalty kicks. I can honestly say I don’t know how many more penalty kick finishes I can handle for one summer. The US Women’s National Team tortured us with 10 PK’s in the World Cup and now another 5 from this game. I don’t think these players realize what they’re doing to us. Forget about how difficult it is for them to go through it, that’s nothing! We’re the ones sitting here on our couches with a Corona on the edge of our seats losing our freaking minds. It’s tough. Now, I am a Boston Breakers fan at heart but WNY came in a close second for me this year so I was rooting for them all the way. Not only for some of my favorite players being on the team, but it’s also been great seeing a new team do so well. They went through all 5 penalty kicks making all of them on each side before Ashlyn Harris came up with an enormous save on Philly’s 5th shot. I mean enormous. Like Kirstie Alley before Jenny Craig enormous. It was phenomenal. How she didn’t make the World Cup roster, as a reserve behind Hope Solo I’m still unsure. So the new team to the league, WNY, walked away regular season champs and also with the cup for the final.

So now, let’s get down to some real talk. That game was a clear indication of the level that we have in this country for women’s soccer. Between the Women’s World Cup this summer and the growing talent of this league, people are taking notice. I live in Los Angeles where we do not have a professional team and I am dying to have one. Before you get all smart with me, I was not here when the Los Angeles Sol was here before folding. How’s this for timing? I am from Syracuse, NY which is about an hour from Rochester. I moved to Los Angeles in January of this year. So I moved to the place which just lost a team, from a place which was about to get a team. I would say the irony doesn’t escape me, but that’s one of those situations where people call it irony when it’s really not, it’s actually just bad luck. It’s like that song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. None of those situations were ironic, they just sucked. So this also, is in fact not irony, it just sucks. Now I want to listen to that song though. Maybe I can find my cassette tape single of it. Then I would need to find a cassette player too though. Oh, maybe a walkman! I appear to be off track.

It’s time for some more expansion teams! There, if I just put it right out there before I get off track again I know I at least said it. This WNY expansion team flourished and the league is growing along with the interest across the country. We have Olympics next year so it is a great time to keep that momentum, as I know the league knows. I just hope there are enough funds somewhere to get a few more expansion teams out here on the west coast over the next couple of years. It would have to be a cluster of teams at once out here and it won’t happen overnight but I can be patient. Some West Coast 2013 or 2014 teams would be a beautiful thing. I mean, let’s be real here. It’s southern California. It’s basically Mexico. There are kids playing soccer in the streets everywhere. It is a soccer rich area. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather see the teams play in stadiums, not in the lot off Santa Monica Blvd with the Mexican children. But hey, if it would get some teams out here I’ll help clear the lot of broken glass. Let’s go!

There is so much young talent in this country coming up the ranks from college and with the growing interest I can only hope that there is something in the works for more expansions soon. These women deserve great facilities, big sponsors, and lots of publicity. So my hope is that WPS can not only flourish along the east coast, but also come out to the west coast again soon too. And hey, let’s even include all those states in the middle of the country that no one really cares about. This is the best women’s league in the entire world, and there are only 6 teams. Imagine if there were 12 teams. It would be the best league in the world…but with 12 teams. So, twice as best. Wrap your head around that.

I think I’m done rambling for now. So congratulations to the WNY Flash and of course my favorites from the team (Imagine a cool music intro for this awesome shout out segment and picture me screaming their names and shrieking holding a sign with their names inside of hearts like I was on TRL back in the day. Damn, I keep going back to the 90’s. Damn! I’m off track again! Ok, music intro, GO!) Begin: shout out. Ashlyn Harris! Alex Morgan! Brittany Bock! Christine Sinclair! Caroline Seger! Ali Riley! Whitney Engen! Beverly Goebel! Kaley Fountain! Yael Averbuch! McCall Zerboni! And congrats to the whole WNY Flash team! (Shrieking noise only dogs can hear) End: shout out.

Thanks for an amazing season of the beautiful game. I am so excited for next season and to see Morgan, Bock and the whole WNY team tear it up again. I also cannot wait for the Olympics next year and am anxious to see if any different faces make the trip to London on the roster. (cough, cough, Brittany Bock cough, cough Ashlyn Harris) Now I’m off to find my Alanis Morisette cassette tape and hit up some garage sales and thrift stores to find a walkman!

Love My Boston Breakers

It’s always tough for a sports fan to see their favorite team lose in a big game. What makes it even tougher is when that sports fan is you. I just watched my beloved Boston Breakers fall to magicJack in the Women’s Professional Soccer Playoffs. I’m not from Boston, I never lived in Boston, and the only thing I know about Boston, being from New York, is that everyone in New York is supposed to hate everything that comes out of that city. I could never hate that team though. I became a Breakers fan a couple years ago and with the players they have had coming through there, it just gets better and better for me. With WNY Flash joining the league this year they have become a second favorite. With talent like Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, Brittany Bock, Ali Riley, Caroline Seger, and Ashlyn Harris, it’s hard to not take notice. They’re also as close to a hometown team as I have, since I am from Syracuse, NY before moving to Los Angeles.

But let’s get back to Boston. I think they were an underrated team this year. Let’s start with my all around favorite player who has been my favorite player for about 4 years, Leslie Osborne. She’s a central midfielder for the team who takes on a defensive or holding midfield position and is also their captain. She is a straight up baller on the field. She’s quick, she’s smart, and she’s vocal. She conducts her team and leads them through the game controlling the pace and the possession. I love watching her play because she is that person on the field who holds everything together. If I knew anything about building a house, I would say she is whatever makes that house stay together and not fall down and crush you in your sleep. But I don’t, so let’s go with this instead; she’s like the nail in the wall holding up a painting. Yeah, that sounds good. You might not always see the nail doing all of its great work back there holding up the painting, but it’s there. It is the only thing keeping that painting on the wall for everyone to see. Without the nail you would just have a blank wall and a painting sitting on the ground. That’s no fun. That painting is going to get ruined, nice job. She provides all the work to let other players shine and win as a team. I’m not saying she doesn’t get to shine as well, because she is so strong and well rounded as a player she definitely gets her time in the spotlight too. But the holding midfielder sometimes does go unnoticed for all of their hard work. So from now on, when you’re at someone’s house and you see a beautiful painting hanging on the wall I suggest you take a look behind it and make sure you comment on what a good job that nail is doing to hold up the painting as well. Don’t be rude.

I took notice of Alex Morgan about a year ago and as soon as I saw her play I said to myself that she is the future of women’s soccer in the US without a doubt. I still stand by that statement. I also want to throw two other names in there as well though in Lauren Cheney and Kelley O’Hara who both play for Boston. Lauren Cheney had one of the best first World Cups you could ever ask for from a player. Everywhere you looked she was there. She was playing a different position from what she is used to, playing an outside midfield spot, but you would never know it wasn’t her primary position. Normally a forward or an attacking central midfield, Cheney brings that flexibility to her game where she can do just about anything. This World Cup convinced me of it. If Pia Sundhage told her to go out there and play left midfield while covering right back and also making a few saves as a goalie from time to time all while juggling rubber chickens on a unicycle for comedic affect, I think she could have done it. Scratch that, I know she could have done it. She is a player who if you take your eye off of her for one second she will burn you. It might take you awhile to find her, but once you do you will find you’ve been burned. O’Hara is the other player I will put in that category of the future for the sport. The first time I saw her play was when she was playing for Stanford against North Carolina in the championship in 2009. UNC is my team for college so I was cheering them on but couldn’t help but notice this feisty little leprechaun running around creating a mess for UNC to deal with in the midfield and up top. It was an unfortunate end to see her getting a 2nd yellow in the game but I looked forward to hopefully seeing her go pro. When I saw her on FC Gold Pride the next year I was super excited for her. Without a doubt one of the most fun players to watch. She’s quick on the ball and is just a little troublemaker. The kind of trouble maker who makes defenders want to bang their head against the wall. She covers a lot of ground weaving in and out, disappearing and reappearing it seems. I also read that she is a beast on the fitness level, killing all the fitness tests. I have so much respect for someone like her who really prides herself on her fitness to benefit her game, which it has clearly. But I also read somewhere that she likes putting water on her cereal. Cereal is one of my top 3 foods and that just seems almost sacrilegious to me so I may have to deduct a point for that. But water on cereal or not, she is still my favorite little leprechaun.

Out of the whole squad of extremely talented players on the Breakers those would have to be my top three. This year I have also become a fan of Taryn Hemmings, Alex Scott, Jordan Angeli,and Meghan Klingenburg too. This is all still without even mentioning players like Stephanie Cox and Rachel Buehler from the US Women’s National Team. And of course former player, and the amazing legend in women’s soccer, one of my all time favorites, Kristine Lilly. The talent is endless on this team. Also, I cannot stop writing until I mention Kelly Smith as well. If we are talking international players she is at the top of my list. Christine Sinclair and Caroline Seger would hold high places as well but watching Kelly Smith play is just pure enjoyment. She has a determination in her eyes and a focus that makes you think if she stares at you for too long she will burn a hole through you. Hope Solo is the queen of the intimidating eyes and the stare down, for sure, but Kelly Smith just has a laser focus in her eyes that shows in her play. She is a phenomenal addition to the Breakers and I absolutely love getting to watch her play and make defenders cry as they realize they just cannot keep up with her absolute brilliance.

It’s sad to see them out of the playoff race but I am just grateful for them putting on show after show for us of the beautiful game. These girls really do show us the beautiful game too. They don’t show us the dark side of flopping and diving and dirty plays. They show us the skill, the determination, and the class of world class athletes who just flat out do work. And as much as I say I see the future of women’s soccer in Morgan, Cheney, and O’Hara, I also have to say that although I believe they are the future, they are also very present. No doubt they will be leaders for our country in years to come but they are already making such a sizeable difference to our nation and the sport that it almost seems false to say “future”.

So I’ll continue watching the WPS playoffs without my Breakers, and cheer for Morgan and WNY to take home the final. But for now I am going to go hang a new painting and could use some help so, Leslie, if you’re reading could you come help me hang it?

 

Haven’t You Heard? Female Athletes Can’t Be Talented AND Pretty

Since the Women’s World Cup there has been a lot of media attention around the whole US Women’s National Soccer Team, but especially certain players. I for one am thrilled with the reception they are getting. I must say, it gets a little confusing though when it comes down to female athletes. Players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo really make things complicated.  They are both top shelf players in their respective positions and some of the best in the world. They also both happen to be pretty and have fun and likeable personalities. Some people are saying they are only getting attention because they are the pretty ones; they’re hot so they get media attention. That’s where I get lost. Apparently people would rather ugly talented people or gorgeous untalented people? In Hollywood people love the “triple threats”, but apparently in women’s sports we only should like the “single threat”. When was the last time you heard someone say Derek Jeter is only one of the biggest names in baseball because he’s hot? Good looking male athletes apparently are allowed to keep their talent but females instantly lose any skill or talent as soon as they are deemed “hot”. I guess we want our girls to be ugly so they only are recognized for their talent. (Because obviously a pretty girl can’t also be a top athlete, don’t be ridiculous) So if you are an up and coming female athlete you have an important decision to make. If you are both pretty and talented you need to choose otherwise you will be ridiculed for having the audacity to be pretty. It’s time to stop using any products which will eliminate blemishes, yell at your parents for getting you regular dentist cleanings and braces when you were younger which has now cursed you with gorgeous teeth, cut your hair while blindfolded with children’s safety scissors next time you get drunk, and this is an important one…never EVER wear pink or anything girly. Because once you hit it big if you are still pretty you will get more media attention, but you will also have a select few people all of a sudden saying you’re just a pretty face.

I could understand this logic if they weren’t actually some of the best players. I could understand this opinion from people if Alex Morgan spent the World Cup picking dandelions and trying to bring back “bumble bee swarm the ball” techniques from when we were all 5 years old while waving to fans during the middle of a play. Or if Hope Solo spent her time adjusting her gloves while balls flew past her into the net as she posed and winked at the cameras. But no, Alex Morgan spent her time scoring goals, setting up goals, and sprinting past every defender the world had to offer at this World Cup like the freakishly fast “baby horse” that she is. Seriously, she’s like a beautifully strange and awesome breed from a horse, a gazelle, and a cheetah that all have severe caffeine addictions. And Hope Solo spent her time defending her goal against 12 penalty kicks in 6 games, coming up with jaw dropping saves, and diving onto a shoulder that most people would have given up on after her almost career ending injury to it. I’m not sure if you heard me correctly either so I will reiterate and make the font slightly larger so you see it…12 penalty kicks in 6 games. Asking a keeper to deal with that is like asking Snooki to go out for one night with no bronzer and to not show her kooka. Is it physically possible? Yes. Is it probable? No. There is no keeper in the universe whether it be a man, a woman, or a mechanically engineered robot goalie who could have dealt with it any better. Morgan and Solo each had a phenomenal World Cup, a phenomenal year and have nothing to look back at and regret. And yes, they looked good while doing it. How dare they?!?

Those of us who know the sport know that these ladies truly are some of the best in the world. I get it; some people just want everyone to have a fair shake at it. I agree there are plenty of female athletes who probably don’t get the media attention they deserve because they might not be as pretty as others. But is that reason to penalize the ones that are? True, it may be sexist for people to view female athletes this way, when male athletes are very rarely based off of looks, but again let’s not target the wrong people here. Let’s not ridicule the ones breaking through and gaining support for women’s soccer. Let’s embrace the fact that people outside the sports world are gaining an interest through these women.  They may tune in just to see Morgan and Solo but once they are tuned in, they get to see a full squad of beautiful and extremely talented women playing a fast paced, technical and impressive game of soccer and hopefully become fans of the game. And luckily it is only a select few who put up the ridiculous argument I have been ranting about. The guys who say it are ignorant about the sport and just want to sleep with them and the girls who say it are ignorant about the sport and are jealous of them. Sorry guys, saying they’re not talented probably won’t help in your pathetic attempt in your delusional fairy tale land to sleep with them. And sorry girls, that you have a pig face. (I know, I know I am stooping to their level with that one, but I just couldn’t resist)

I say we praise these women for being the best at what they do, and just be happy when they get the media attention. Anyone who supports women’s soccer or just women’s sports in general should be thrilled head over heels that they are getting the attention that they are. Our Women’s National Soccer team is filled with beautiful talented athletes who will hopefully continue gaining attention and being beasts on the field making our nation proud knowing that we have some of the best athletes in the world.

So Alex, Hope, if you are reading…keep up the great work on the field and please don’t cut your hair while 6 shots of vodka deep with safety scissors, we love you the way you are.

US Women’s National Soccer Team

Anyone who knows me, know I am an extreme soccer nut, always have been.  This year after the US beat France in the Women’s World Cup to move on to the final I went insane.  I was running and jumping around my apartment like a nut job.  Within 10 minutes of the final whistle I was online looking to book a flight to go home for the final.  I live in Los Angeles now and home is Syracuse, NY.  I decided I wanted to be at home with some of my old soccer friends and family to enjoy this final.  After all, I have been waiting literally half of my life to see them in the Women’s World Cup final again. So I called my friend, told her to pick me up at the airport the next morning at 10 and it was all set.  I would fly out that night.  Soccer possesses me to do crazy things.

We all know how the story ends though.  We know that their brilliant run came to an end against Japan and they brought us the silver.  When Alex Morgan scored our first goal I think everyone watching the game with me was actually genuinely concerned for my health.  I went bat shit crazy.  However, when Japan scored their final PK that clinched it for them, I think they were equally as concerned for me.  I couldn’t move.  I was paralyzed with my US soccer ball stuck to my head where I was holding it.  Literally didn’t move or speak for 5 minutes.  I am so extremely proud of this team and what they accomplished, and I will more then happily cheer for the fact that they brought home a silver.  But oh man did that one hurt.  It really did feel like they had it all game.  It was theirs. They played one hell of a game.  And to anyone who says they choked…I want to know who you are, so that I can then choke you.  The people saying that are obviously people who don’t understand the beautiful game, or sports in general, or possibly how to tie their shoes in the morning.

Now that it is back to business as usual and they are back with their WPS teams it drives me crazy not being able to watch all the games.  Fox Soccer Channel does a great job of airing games on Sunday, but that’s it.  We need some more support for these athletes and this league.

I have an idea I am working on getting to Ellen Degeneres.  Its fun, its funny, it promotes the sport, and would be perfect for her show. I will explain more in blogs to come, but I am here on out, making it my mission to not only made my voice heard in comedy but also help promote the sport of women’s soccer in this country. I know what a bold statement that must seem, especially since I am making it on a blog I just started 2 days ago that currently has 3 followers. (Yes, I know one of the 3 is me, but come on…saying 2 followers would just be pathetic)

I have said it once to a friend and I’ll say it again…I am pouring lots of time and effort into an idea to help myself succeed and to help women’s soccer in this country.  Lots and lots of time and energy.  I am even having dreams about it.  One of which ends with Alex Morgan and I eating In N Out Burgers on bouncy exercise balls.  Another where Ellen Degeneres is very concerned over the size of my couch telling me it is far too small and I must get a new one.  Its gotten out of hand.  But with all of this time and effort on one idea, I know one of two things will happen.  Very soon I will end up one of two ways.  I will either be famous and living my dream…or I will be a shut in with plastered walls of the US Women’s National Team and Ellen Degeneres while eating beans from the can telling everyone I am president of Whiskey Town.

Lets cross our fingers for the first option.