Women’s soccer’s next big break will not be the success of the domestic league, because the only thing that will make that happen is television, and television has never seen a money trail that leads from a domestic league to its pockets. That’s old news, though, and hardly worth bringing up now.
What the U.S. World Cup title did, other than annoy the hell out of the Japanese, was remind people that big events get big audiences, and big audiences get curious about the people who make the big event worth their attention. Americans love watching the best athletes compete at the highest level, and the World Cup does that.
[RELATED: USA dominates Japan to win 2015 Women's World Cup]
Put another way, the U.S. Women’s National Team has richly earned its place as world champions, and Carli Lloyd is a national name and rightfully so. For those who want to draw their inspiration from the best there is, the 2015 USWNT will do what it did in 1999 – make bigger dreams for more women and girls who have an eye toward kicking down more doors.
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But I know the next step for the sport, and it comes from Steven Gerrard, who turned out for the LA Galaxy-Toronto FC game Saturday, and bought the holiday beer for three Galaxy fan groups. Craft beer, at that – not just the whatever-comes-out-of-the-cheapest-tap stuff.
In other words, this is an opportunity for Lloyd and Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone and Alex Morgan, et. al., to grow the game in the time-honored way – with the love that comes from a frothy pint of Mother’s Little Helper.
Oh, and in case you’re confused on the concept, women drink beer too. I know. I’ve checked.
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In other USWNT news, the Raiders took out a full-page ad in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun to support the team on what turned out to be Al Davis’ 86th birthday.
Either the marketing department is smartening up, or Mark Davis is planning a new potential landing spot in case Los Angeles goes the way of San Antonio.
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And in other Vancouver-y news, the British Columbia Lions under new head coach Jeff Tedford lost its opener in Ottawa Saturday, 27-16.
I mean, it’s football, right? You’re supposed to care by federal law.
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Meanwhile, the Major League All-Star Game starters were announced, and Omar Infante got screwed. There will be no other snubs no matter what you read, because each team will end up with 40 guys on it.
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If you think Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks-related hand injury will provide a $14.8 million cautionary tale for people across the nation, you don’t know the singular power of cautionary tales.
Namely, to produce more cautionary tales next year – because we prefer to learn the hard way, over and over and over again.
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Bruce Bochy has almost no detractors, but he really should figure out an ejection tantrum before he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. He doesn’t snap at umpires theatrically enough, despite the fact that he’s had 65 chances in his career including Sunday night’s (about three per year, and one every 49 games). You hate that his plaque at Cooperstown will say, “Three championships, a long and distinguished career as a tactician and psychologist, and looked like a frowny-faced plush toy when he got run.”
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And finally, Jill Ellis, now a genius, is on the short list at Leicester City. Or she should be. She would be an fascinating contrast to Nigel Pearson, and almost as much fun to listen to as Jose Mourinho.
Okay, the last one's a lie.