Sunday, July 17, 2011

Women's Soccer: U.S loses yet makes millions of fans

This is part opinion and part scoreboard. By now, most Sports fans...and other fans know the U.S Women's Soccer Team lost in the World Cup Finals Sunday afternoon to Japan in what could only be described as an "Incredible" game. Tied 1-1 after regulation, both teams scored in the 30-minute overtime period, bringing the game to a battle of penalty kicks. Japan won the shootout, and the World Championship.

As an observer of most things sports, there were some utterly fascinating things borne out of this soccer tournament, the biggest being that people actually watched and paid attention. We here at the OSG Satellite HQ monitor Sportswriters and Sports Personalities from all over on places like Twitter and Facebook and it was absolutely incredible to see just how many "Professional Sports Journalists" were into this game.

From the Sportswriters at Yahoo Sports, to Dick Vitale, and so many others, if you were watching the Live Twitter Stream, you would have been amazed.

((ed.note--Per Darren Rovell of CNBC--Twitter reports over 7,100 tweets per second at the end of the game Sunday afternoon, breaking a record for them))

Soccer for the most part in the U.S has been considered a bit of a fringe sport, certainly not anything close to the scale of Football, Basketball, Baseball or even Hockey or Golf. But yet, the most seasoned of observers were living and dying with every Megan Rapinoe cross,  Alex Morgan attack and Abby Wambach header attempt.

We aren't going to go out on a limb here and say this is a "Turning Point" for soccer in the U.S. Sure, the ratings we suspect are going to be awfully good for ESPN, they should be. The men's team garnered similar attention during their World Cup. But, to be totally honest, there are still an awful lot of "Mainstream" Sports fans who just laugh at the mention of soccer. They shouldn't.

We here at the Satellite HQ and the home office offer a hearty congratulations to the Women's World Cup teams, heck, considering everything their country has gone through, what the Japanese women pulled off by winning is nothing short of miraculous. Watching the gutsy performance of the U.S team also reminded us what the purity and strength of our Sports system is when done right.

There are precious few "Pro-Athletes" who could do what these women did. There are even less that would want to. We got a collective headache just watching Wambach flinging her head around at flying soccer balls. But to see the unrestrained joy and effort they put forth was to us, unbelievably inspiring and we have a sneaking suspicion that it had a similar or bigger affect on a country full of 8-14 year old girls looking for some good old fashioned Sports heroes and Sports drama.

So, to the U.S Women's Soccer team we say thank you. To the Japanese and the Brazilians and the French and everyone else, we salute your bravery and effort. And most importantly to all you high minded Sports Journalists from the high-powered Newspapers, magazines and websites, we say thank you for the enthusiasm, let's carry it over and get rid of the cynicsm that we always seem to fall back on.

Here's some highlights from today's final:

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