July 6, 2015

"[W]hat moves me [about women's soccer] is not a beautiful pass, or a bad refereeing call, or even the players’ backstories."

"What moves me is the players’ faces, and watching women want. ... And we need to see this, because when you’re in the act of wanting something badly enough, there isn’t room for self-consciousness. How you look, your stance, your hair, your makeup, whether you appear pretty, your sex appeal: all of these things that coalesce in my brain, and maybe yours, to form a hum so low and so constant that I take it as a state of being—and when you want, they disappear. When you want, the want goes to the fore. The you can take a backseat."

Via Metafilter, where somebody says:
I'm reminded of...
The Unbearable Daintiness of Women who eat with Men

A substantial body of literature suggests that women change what they eat when they eat with men.... For my senior thesis, I explored whether women change the way they eat alongside what they eat when dining with a male vs. female companion.....

I found that women did change the way they ate depending on the gender of their dining companion. Overall, when dining with a male companion, women typically constructed their bites carefully, took small bites, ate slowly, used their napkins precisely and frequently, and maintained good posture and limited body movement throughout their meals. In contrast, women dining with a female companion generally constructed their bites more haphazardly, took larger bites, used their napkins more loosely and sparingly, and moved their bodies more throughout their meals.

95 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

I want to write a story titled "Haphazardly Constructed Bites."

It's like accidentally on purpose.

hawkeyedjb said...

"For my senior thesis..."

That certainly added to the useful store of human knowledge.

Meade said...

Eat like a man
Want like a girl

khesanh0802 said...

I wrote yesterday in response to Coates' twaddle that I watch a lot of women's college basketball and am always impressed by the skill, commitment and presence of the women who play. It may not be as fierce as world level competition, but it is impressive nonetheless. These women need no one to make excuses for them, they know who they are, what they want to do, and they do it.

Michael K said...

Carefully constructed bites.

MadisonMan said...

I made the (obvious) observation yesterday that the Champion Women's team would probably more often than not lose to any middling College Men's Team, and was scowled at.

MayBee said...

Women are such special creatures. Our wanting is to be praised! It is apparently super rare!

garage mahal said...

Nice to watch a match not riddled with constant flopping/acting/crying after the slightest contact. Much better flow with the women's game.

Bobby said...

MadisonMan,

Funny, I got the same reaction when my 8-year old niece's softball team won their league championship and I refused to celebrate with them because I know my Under-40 men's softball team would absolutely crush them. The little cowards sat there eating pizza and ice cream instead of going out on the field and playing against us like real competitors.

Tank said...

@MM

As someone who agrees with you, the question is what was your motivation at this particular time (the USA about to win the women's World Cup) to look for a way to tear down our team, rather than glory in the fact that we have the best women's team in the world right now?

Timing brother.

rhhardin said...

Some romantic comedy, woman aside to frustrated guy, it's a secret but women themselves don't know what they want.

MadisonMan said...

The person I was with was commenting on the great play of the players. Hence my comment.

There's great. And then there's great.

William said...

I bet the women's soccer team eat like a bunch of slobs when they dine together. Probably eat mashed potatoes with their fingers. The John Belushi school of table etiquette. If they ever leaked a hidden camera view of their table manners, the endorsement deals would dry up and little girls wouldn't want to play soccer anymore.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MadisonMan said...

The person I was with was commenting on the great play of the players. Hence my comment.

There's great. And then there's great.


There are very few men's college teams that would have played better than this women's team. There are plenty of them that would have beaten them due to greater speed or power.

These women played the only kind of great that matters.

mccullough said...

Can't support a team that lets a domestic batterer play. My standards of conduct apply equally to men and women. Hope Solo is no different from Ray Rice.

khesanh0802 said...

I am not sure why MM takes this stand. Men's sports are different from women's sports because each has different physical attributes. That does not mean that women's sports are inferior. In fact the level of skill, drive, commitment and finesse are the same or better in some of the women's games. Men's college basketball I find boring. Many of the players are not very skilled, they just happen to be tall.

You would not expect Wisconsin hockey to compete with the Black Hawks (in fact they can hardly compete in their own league). They don't have the physical ability. So why belittle the women who have just won a world title against similarly skilled players from all over the world.

I don't usually like getting personal in these comment but I would like to know a little about MM's athletic successes. From his comments you would guess that he's world class.

tim maguire said...

I eagerly await publication of The Unbearable [???] of Men Who Eat With Women.

How do men change their behavior around women? Has the senior thesesist spent so much as 1 second wondering if changing your behavior around the opposite sex is a human thing (or, more likely, species practicing sexual reproduction thing) rather than a woman thing? I bet not.

Static Ping said...

I agree with garage mahal. Significantly less BS in the women's game.

As to MadisonMan's assertion, he's probably correct that the women's team would do poorly against decent male competition, but unless someone is making a stupid argument like "there are no women on the men's national team because of SEXISM!!1!" it is not really relevant to the point at hand. (And, yes, people do make stupid arguments like that.)

Ann Althouse said...

I don't know why the fact that men's soccer is bad means you should watch women's soccer!

It's easier to just not watch soccer.

I didn't see the Brewers flopping/acting/crying as they beat the Reds all weekend. Reds didn't cry either.

Tank said...

mccullough said...

Can't support a team that lets a domestic batterer play. My standards of conduct apply equally to men and women. Hope Solo is no different from Ray Rice.


Solo is different. She's "just a girl."

pm317 said...

Don't know the history of Women's soccer team (re. above comment about Hope Solo) but loved the confluence of the mid field goal by Carli Lloyd. That was perfection. Didn't quite understand the diminutive nature of Japanese goalie and she didn't jump high enough to stop the ball. May be she got caught completely off-guard.

Michael K said...

"It's easier to just not watch soccer. "

I don't, except my grand daughter's games and then only once in a while to show grandfatherly support. Dull as paint drying. Good exercise for the kids.

khesanh0802 said...

To Tank and McCullogh; I think there is no moral equivalence between Hope Solo and Ray Rice. All charges against Solo were dropped and it is possible she was the one attacked. See this

Ray Rice was guilty as charged , but worked out a plea deal. See this

Stephen A. Meigs said...

What most appeals to me about womens' soccer is that it is not brutish like (say) the NFL or even mens' soccer. What fun it would be to run all about playing soccer with them were it not for that I'd likely get seriously injured after a few minutes. The night after watching the US vs. Germany game, in revery, I got to imagining how it would be sort of fun to be a ghost who sometimes runs around superimposed on the women, kicking with them, especially if maybe I had a .0001% influence or so of where the ball went, and ghosts had hearts that could get into beating fast from the exercise. I can vicariously imagine myself as them without feeling even slightly brutish. I wish I could exercise more similarly to how girls and young women exercise, even though realistically there's no chance for me to play competitive sports like soccer with them.

What also appeals to me about womens' soccer is that the players tend to really enjoy being strong, with a latent ferocity tempered by good sportmanship. And it's not just physical toughness. There's a kind of brainy quick-wittedness about women's soccer I also like. In England vs. Germany, it was lovely seeing Tabea Kemme using her ball-control skills to coolly and confidently slice through the defense, while at the same time being tenacious on defense considering she seemed to lack (compared to the other super-athletes) physical quickness and an ability to change direction. When her penalty gave the British their game-winning penalty kick, I just (temporarily) threw my arms up in the air.

I suppose if I were young I could get somewhat as crazy supporting womens' soccer as I could be supporting mens' (American) football. A difference is that when women are playing it's much tougher to be indifferent to the misfortunes of the losing players on the team you don't support, especially when they are pretty. And if there were enough pretty players on the opposing team, I might tend to switch allegiances.

I wonder if part of the reason US (and Canadian) women are good at soccer is that soccer is not a big male sport here, and so they can more separate it in their own minds from brutish male athletics. Also, girls here liking soccer won't feel much like they are encouraging males to stay (frustratingly, perhaps?) crazy about mens' soccer, because hardly any males are crazy about mens' soccer here.

Julie C said...

I don't recall seeing the American women crying excessively after the win, but I was annoyed by the Japanese goal keeper who cried for what seemed like a half an hour after the game. At some point it just becomes embarrassing. I assumed she did it to keep from being yelled by fans and teammates.

I've seen men cry after winning a big game. Bubba Watson, for example, after he won the Master's.

Moose said...

World ends: women and children hurt most.

Tank said...

pm317 said...

Don't know the history of Women's soccer team (re. above comment about Hope Solo) but loved the confluence of the mid field goal by Carli Lloyd. That was perfection. Didn't quite understand the diminutive nature of Japanese goalie and she didn't jump high enough to stop the ball. May be she got caught completely off-guard.


Looked to me like Lloyd realized the goalie was too far forward out of position and just kicked it over her head>

@khesanh0802

A dismissal of a DV charge could mean something or nothing. With famous people, it usually means it got papered over in some way so that it disappeared. Just like the many, many college athletes (mostly football players) who get away with ... everything.

grackle said...

Luckily, I tuned in at the start expecting to watch only a few minutes. I do not usually watch soccer but it was America playing and I wanted to see this team in action. I was hooked after that first goal. I don’t know about the women “wanting” factor cited by the author but the emotion of those women was contagious.

Also, I find I like women’s soccer far better than men’s soccer. There doesn’t seem to be the excessive posturing and flopping that plagues for me the men’s version. The sheer nimbleness of the women on both teams, the skill of some moves that even my untutored eyes could see were exceptional, the pluck, the competitiveness – all contributed to the excitement.

The women’s game seems more pure to me and played with more integrity. If given the chance I will watch the women anytime they are on TV.

Jason said...

The comedian Eliza Sleschinger nails the way women eat in restaurants and it's hilarious. Best young comic I've seen in a long time. Highly recommend her stand-up concert vids.

damikesc said...

I wrote yesterday in response to Coates' twaddle that I watch a lot of women's college basketball and am always impressed by the skill, commitment and presence of the women who play.

Having watched the Women's Final 4 this year --- I am not seeing it. Turnovers aplenty, horrible shooting, bad rebounding, weak defense. It was meh high school boys basketball.

Can't support a team that lets a domestic batterer play. My standards of conduct apply equally to men and women. Hope Solo is no different from Ray Rice.

I'd say the women's team was WORSE. Hope was applauded. Rice was condemned by most everybody.

I agree with garage mahal. Significantly less BS in the women's game.

Benefit of it meaning far less.

khesanh0802 said...

@Tank I am surprised that you won't let the facts get in the way of your "batterer" charge. Here's another piece that adds some depth. I agree that college football players seem to receive favored treatment, but in this case - as with sexual assault - we should depend on the legal systems operation.

pm317 said...

@Tank, yes, that too.

khesanh0802 said...

@damikesc. I agree that this year's women's Final was not especially well played. Apparently the men's game wasn't a whole lot better. 68 points wins a men's championship? I was glad to see Calipari's team bite the dust in the semi, however.

Tank said...

@k

That article adds nothing. It says they told different stories. I don't know what happened, and neither to do you.

I'm a lawyer, been one since 1983, so I've got a pretty fair idea how the system works.

Incidentally, I did not make any "batterer" charge. You too should watch your facts.

Alexander said...

Well that's just a silly comparison.

The women in group one want to be seen as pleasingly feminine so that the man in question continues to invest time, money, and emotional support into her.

The women in group two want to eat.

In both cases, women are doing first and foremost what they want in the given situation. That two women wanting two very different things would act differently is no surprise to anyone not buying the bullshit that women want to scarf their faces but for no particularly reason at all are oppressed from doing so.

Works both ways, ladies: I bet if you did a study of conversation topics when men dine with men and men dine with women, as well as percent of time men spent talking vs. listening, you would find men change their conversation habits when eating with women!

Same goes for all that nonsense in the football bit. Maybe, some women want to look pretty, have nice hair, makeup, sex appeal. The nonsense that those are inherent distractions and it's nice to see women actually want something is the same old bullshit that feminism has peddled since day one: that women who have preferences that are different from the preferences the are supposed to have are wrong/misinformed/oppressed.

Some women want to win the soccer games, and some women don't. They have different loves. Be tolerant! #lovewins

trumpetdaddy said...

There were at least two attempts at simulation in the box late on, as Japan were desperately trying to win a penalty kick. Both were ignored by the referee.

There wasn't much going to ground in this match because neither of the two teams play that way. In the USA-Colombia match there was tons of it from the Colombians. South American teams go to ground easily. So do Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian teams. This is both men and women.

Every sport has players and teams who stretch the rules to gain advantage. Soccer is no different. You're not supposed to hand-check in basketball, nor carry the ball when dribbling, yet both things happen routinely and are only punished by officials when particularly egregious. Same with going to ground in soccer.

Carli Lloyd was a beast. I've only seen a shot from the halfway line successfully completed in a competitive match twice before, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney being the players in those cases. To even attempt it is top-shelf, let alone complete the score. The Japanese keeper did manage to get a hand to it and re-direct it, but to no avail.

It is silliness to compare mens and womens sports as some have done in this thread. One thing that is to womens soccer's credit is the fact that the rules are the same, the ball is the same, the field is the same, and the time of play are the same. The game is the same, just played by women instead of men.

damikesc said...

I agree that this year's women's Final was not especially well played. Apparently the men's game wasn't a whole lot better.

It wasn't as sloppy. The women lost the ball dribbling up the court with minimal pressure. It was awfully bad.

And few of them were freshmen playing while Kentucky was largely freshmen players.

Julie C said...

This isn't a comment on the way women eat when they eat together but rather WHAT they eat. I've found that when women (particularly if they don't know each other too well) eat together, there seems to be a contest as to who can order the least food. The whole, "I'll just have a side salad" thing. Very irritating.

Also, don't men eat differently when they are with a date? Good luck getting a second date with a nice gal or guy if you eat like you just got out of San Quentin.

damikesc said...

Also, don't men eat differently when they are with a date? Good luck getting a second date with a nice gal or guy if you eat like you just got out of San Quentin.

I didn't. If a woman is so shallow as to not want to go out with you again, you dodged a bullet. And if a woman will only eat salads, I will dump them. I want my women to eat meat. None of that vegan nonsense.

Kieth Nissen said...

So the thesis here is that men eat the same whether dining with other men or with women? I kind of doubt that.

Carol said...

What's really disgusting is how girly men eat..not gay men but guys who have been overly socialized to women. Ordering salad only. Or soup only. Eating cookies by breaking off little pieces instead of holding the thing and biting into it. Gah.

rhhardin said...

Women wanting - If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution. Emma Goldman.

Stick it out through a few pages of Derrida's Choreographies, up until at least Derrida suggests that women don't have a place, they make places.

I'd say that appears, at least to males, as a male social space and a female social space.

To females it would appear as dance.

Old Dad said...

First, way to go USA Women's Soccer. You are world champs!

I have coached boys and girls for years. The girls' "affect" is often a bit softer the boys', but their hearts are the same. On average, girls won't beat boys in physical contests, but so what.

I'm old enough to remember when girls were not allowed to compete in many venues. That was stupid. No wonder some threw like girls.

After Title IX, and fast forward 20 years, girls were playing all kinds of sports and doing dang well. It's a beautiful sight to see.

I have serious gripes with Title IX. Lots of worthy guys got screwed. It should be fixed. But plenty of girls finally got to really play.

The first article cited in Prof. Althouse's post is a little over wrought, but the writer maybe never knew--that's what great competition looks like, and it's a fine thing that we all can see it, and that all boys and girls can see it, and if they work hard enough, maybe experience it.

Those women are world champions, and I'm honored to have seen them play.

khesanh0802 said...

@Tank Sorry, it was McCullogh that made the batterer charge. I want to make a lawyer joke, but that would be rude! Generally enjoy your comments.

khesanh0802 said...

@damikesc Kentucky will be an all freshman team as long as Calipari is coaching. He is the best example of everything that is wrong with men's college BB.

David said...

Too bad Freud never got to see a Women's World Cup. It might have answered his question.

David said...

Hint: They want to win.

Smilin' Jack said...

""[W]hat moves me [about women's soccer] is not a beautiful pass, or a bad refereeing call, or even the players’ backstories. What moves me is the players’ faces, and watching women want. ... And we need to see this, because when you’re in the act of wanting something badly enough... etc.,etc.

OK, whatev. There must be some reason people watch women's soccer, and I suppose that's as good a theory as any.

Tank said...

khesanh0802 said...

@damikesc Kentucky will be an all freshman team as long as Calipari is coaching. He is the best example of everything that is wrong with men's college BB.


Really, they should just stop making believe it has anything to do with "college."

Tank said...

khesanh0802 said...

@Tank Sorry, it was McCullogh that made the batterer charge. I want to make a lawyer joke, but that would be rude! Generally enjoy your comments.


If you've got a lawyer joke I haven't heard, GIVE IT TO ME !!!!

BarrySanders20 said...

Althouse said:

"I don't know why the fact that men's soccer is bad means you should watch women's soccer!

It's easier to just not watch soccer.

I didn't see the Brewers flopping/acting/crying as they beat the Reds all weekend. Reds didn't cry either."

Soccer is a contact sport. Players get hit every time they have the ball, if they keep it for more than a few seconds. Most contact is not a penalty. Soccer also blends speed, power, and agility. Scoring opportunities come either by taking advantage of an opponent's mistake, or moving off the ball to create space or gaps in the defense for teammates or a dribbler to exploit. The players make the decisions almost completely without interference from coaches. It's similar to basketball in a lot of ways, just on a bigger field with more players, and far fewer timeouts and structure/interference from the sidelines. The way to defend and how to beat a defense is similar in both sports, modified of course by the rules (esp. offsides) and the way to score. Basketball is just barely ahead of soccer for the most youth participants in the United States, and there is a lot of overlap between the sports with kids hooping the winter and playing soccer in spring, summer, and fall.

In any sport where some contact is within the game and some is penalized, some players will seek advantage by faking/flopping. It happens in basketball all the time. Football too to some extent. The reward for convincing the ref to call a foul in basketball is a turnover and a foul on the opponent, which could get him disqualified. In football it's a first down or yardage. The reward in soccer is much greater, if a foul is called and it's in the penalty area. Then it's a clean shot at goal with no defenders but the keeper in a game where scoring is at a premium.

Flopping/diving is gamesmanship that will only end when the people enforcing the rules decide to punish the fakers with a penalty sufficiently harsh enough to stop the diving/cheating.

Comparing a contact sport to a non-contact sport shows little ability to understand one or the other, or either.

One thing that I thought would appeal to Althouse's lawyerly qualities and her promotion of feminism it's the same game, same rules, same ball, which is unusual in any sport. Why no celebration of this equality? Instead, she reverts back to the patriarchy and admires a game that virtually no women play, where there is no physical contact between players, where every stitch and pitch is carefully orchestrated by the old men sitting in the dugout, and which is played under an arcane set of rules that even the umpires cannot fully understand or administer.

But that why we have more than one sport. Some of us would rather gouge our eyes out than suffer through a baseball game, but don't care if others like the game. We'd rather play, coach, and understand a game that the rest of the world plays, and be able to travel to those countries and talk about or engage in a sport that instantly connects you to people you've never met and cannot otherwise communicate with.

The game last night was as dominating a sports performance as any in recent years. They celebrate their achievement in the sport, others can celebrate their own ignorance about that sport.

In the end, everyone is celebrating. It's all good.



damikesc said...

Really, they should just stop making believe it has anything to do with "college."

I thought Calipari sold Kentucky as an NBA boarding school, basically.

What's really disgusting is how girly men eat..not gay men but guys who have been overly socialized to women. Ordering salad only. Or soup only. Eating cookies by breaking off little pieces instead of holding the thing and biting into it. Gah.

I love those guys because I know their girlfriend will be leaving them eventually. Nobody respects a doormat.

I'll have a salad on rare occasion --- but it'll be exceptionally rare. Like it's lunch and I'm planning on a large steak dinner.

fivewheels said...

The reason curmudgeons feel a need to make negative comments about women's sports at times like these is the RELENTLESS drumbeat of reality-denying boosterism in the media about how much more entertaining, how much more inspiring and just how much gol-dang better women's sports are. The real question is, can fans of women's sports appreciate their games without tearing down men? The answer appears to be no.

Just stop it already. Women flop plenty. The depth of competition is lacking. It's still OK to like it. You don't have to justify it politically or something.

As for quality, well, the Swedish women's team (ranked fifth by FIFA) lost 3-0 to a random local U17 youth boys team that was playing a player short to make it more fair.

campy said...

Five stars for fivewheels!

*****

damikesc said...

The reason curmudgeons feel a need to make negative comments about women's sports at times like these is the RELENTLESS drumbeat of reality-denying boosterism in the media about how much more entertaining, how much more inspiring and just how much gol-dang better women's sports are.

Don't disagree. I heard women's basketball was more "fundamentally sound" than men's hoops. Apparently, "fundamentals" aren't dribbling, shooting, boxing out, rebounding, passing, or even being entertaining.

trumpetdaddy said...

I have no sympathy for people complaining about the promotion to the Womens World Cup during the time that it was actually going on. The same people complained about the World Cup last summer when it was going on.

Get over it. You can ignore soccer the other 3 years and 49 weeks between World Cups.

As to the constant need to bring down women athletes by comparing them to male athletes, I feel the same way. Grow the fuck up. It is no shot at men athletes if women athletes are appreciated, too. This constant need to diminish what women athletes do in their own arenas of competition is simply juvenile.

And yes, I apply the above criticism to Althouse's comparison of the USA WNT to MLB teams. It's juvenile, in-apt, and dumb. Like soccer or don't. Like baseball or don't. But they aren't the same thing and don't represent themselves as the same thing.

Anonymous said...

The US Men's team used to be distinguished by its straight play (that is, lack of dramatics). I didn't realize that had changed?

The women's win (esp. Lloyd) have received a lot of coverage in sports media, but you'd think the game hadn't happened on the variety sites I visit regularly w/ very different demos. It's just tumbleweeds blowing across the empty street. Althouse didn't mention it until today and then under an unusual angle. Perhaps that's why the enjoyment of other coverage.

Anyway, my young soccer/footballer relative was in Vancouver and I've never seen her so amped. It's great to see. And a midfield goal during play is a big deal no matter who is playing.

fivewheels said...

Seriously, I find the conventional-wisdom media narrative on girls' sports to be, in addition to dishonest, counterproductive. Why are you telling me that we should support girls sports more? Because they're so awesome and so much better than the boys?

Why not make the honest argument: Girls are generations behind boys in getting quality coaching and facilities, and as a result their games lag way behind in quality. *And that is why they need support.* It's logical, accurate and more morally convincing, in my opinion.

Ann Althouse said...

"One thing that I thought would appeal to Althouse's lawyerly qualities and her promotion of feminism it's the same game, same rules, same ball, which is unusual in any sport. Why no celebration of this equality? Instead, she reverts back to the patriarchy and admires a game that virtually no women play, where there is no physical contact between players, where every stitch and pitch is carefully orchestrated by the old men sitting in the dugout, and which is played under an arcane set of rules that even the umpires cannot fully understand or administer."

1. Same game... But the women can't play with men. They are nowhere near as good as the men.

2. When I have I been about "celebrating" equality? I like to recognize individuals who appeal to me. I think equality is a good value to use in analyzing things.

3. As for baseball, women can play and they do play softball. I watch it because I'm from the culture that has watched baseball for a long time and because the home team has been doing well.... after a horrible beginning.

4. I prefer sports where you get to see the individual performance. I don't like the continuous back and forth of a crowd that you get in soccer and basketball. I've tried to appreciate basketball, but I just don't care enough to develop the perception it would take. I don't give a rat's ass about soccer and have never spent any time learning to watch it.

5. Glad the USA won.

Wilbur said...

Soccer: I played just enough as a young man that I can appreciate the game and the immense skills and physicality displayed at the highest levels, including the women's game.

Golf: In a way, I prefer watching the LPGA, in that their game is much more similar to mine than the men on the PGA. I can relate to it better.
One myth about women's golf: you'll hear people say "They don't hit it as far, but their short games (chipping and pitching) are as good or better than the PGA." That's an absolute crock. There's as big a gap in short game abilties between the two tours as in general ball striking.

Softball: Love watching it. You see very little men's fast pich, so it's limited to the women, especially on the collegiate level.

Volleyball: Love watching it. Both genders.

Basketball: Sorry, I've yet to see a women's team at any level that I thought could beat a top-rank USA boy's high school team. I supposed I'd be interested if I had a daughter or niece playing, but that's about it. Just about unwatchable for me.

Some women athletes can be just as tough-minded, competitive and hard-nosed as men. I've played with 'em and agin' 'em, and can vouch for that.

BarrySanders20 said...

Its not more entertaining, and I haven't seen any stories how women's sports are better than mens. They're just not. The depth in competition in women's international soccer is lacking, largely because many of the countries simply don't accept equality and sports like soccer are not supported for women.

But that doesn't mean people in the US weren't watching. TV ratings in the US topped out just under 23 million viewers, which is comparable to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Worldwide, I am sure the ratings were tiny compared to the men's World Cup final of about a billion people, give or take 100 million or so. But it was a patriotic event and we enjoy it when we smash Germany and then Japan. Back-to-back WWII Champs, baby!

The flopping was not comparable. The mens national teams do it more, and it's off-putting. One of the reasons why the NBA is cracking down because it starts to ruin the game. Mens international soccer better get the message.

The "random local" team you cited is one of Sweden's top clubs, and those players are among the best in the country at that age. Still proves the point that in any contest requiring strength and speed, men (and 17 year old boys) have a distinct advantage.

Millions of girls and boys will still play, and the country will go back to watching other sports on TV. They'll tune in again in 2018 for the next men's World Cup (in Russia), and women's World Cup in 2019 (in France). I'll be going to France, but not Russia, not because the game is better, but because the country is.

trumpetdaddy said...

"The "random local" team you cited is one of Sweden's top clubs, and those players are among the best in the country at that age. Still proves the point that in any contest requiring strength and speed, men (and 17 year old boys) have a distinct advantage."


Exactly. That is the academy/reserve team for a top Swedish professional club, not some random Sunday-in-the-park rec league side. Many of those "boys" are signed to pro contracts already and play for Sweden's men's U-17 and U-20 national teams. The person linking the article wasn't trying to show understanding of the game of soccer, he was trying to put down women athletes, so I wouldn't expect any better, really.

"I prefer sports where you get to see the individual performance. I don't like the continuous back and forth of a crowd that you get in soccer and basketball. I've tried to appreciate basketball, but I just don't care enough to develop the perception it would take. I don't give a rat's ass about soccer and have never spent any time learning to watch it."

Obviously.

The fact that you think baseball is more about "individual performance" than basketball or soccer tells us a lot. Compare the stats for the Cleveland Cavs with and without LeBron and then get back to us about "individual performance" in basketball not being as prevalent as in baseball. Same with Leo Messi for Barcelona in soccer.

Big Mike said...

5. Glad the USA won

I learned enough about soccer when my son played it during his middle school years. I even learned the offsides rule, or I think I did. So I know enough to appreciate what's going on and was planning to watch last night's match. But I wasn't watching the clock and tuned in 20 minutes late, so the match I saw was won by the Japanese 2-1 thanks to an own goal off Johnston.

;-)

Big Mike said...

@Tank (1:58), how do you tell a dead skunk in the road from a dead lawyer in the road? Skid marks in front of the skunk.

@Tank, did you know that it's possible for a woman to get pregnant from anal sex? Is there anything else that could possibly explain lawyers?

@Tank, why doesn't God sue Satan? Because Hell has all the lawyers!

Anonymous said...

I'm boycotting women's world cup soccer. The winners only get paid $2 million. Whereas the men get $35 million.

#waronwomen!

BarrySanders20 said...

Many different sports to appeal to many different appetites. Though I don't like the popular non-contact sports like tennis or baseball, I appreciate the skill and dedication it takes to excel at the top levels of any sport, including sports where you are really competing against the clock or gravity, like track & field, swimming, speed skating, cycling, etc. Cant stand the sports that rely on judges like gymnastics and ice skating, but still admire the athletes who can do it, and the parents who can put up with it.

Team sports with contact -- the crowd -- each side with a goal to attack and a goal to defend. That's something to watch, and if you're good enough, to experience. The thrill of the game. Makes life worth living. Perhaps it's left over from hunting or combat hard-wired into the brain from the days of old, but it's its always been there and wont ever change. I get what makes the players do what they do, train like they do, care as much as they do, sometimes lose their mind and take out an opponent in a fit of anger only to regret it later, especially in soccer. It doesn't matter if it's women or men playing. If it's the national team, then add a layer of nationalism and I'm compelled to be a part. If others don't get it, thats OK with me, since I don't get what makes those other sports interesting enough to care about or watch.

Freeman Hunt said...

I even learned the offsides rule, or I think I did.

I was a team captain, and I don't know that I ever really learned it.

trumpetdaddy said...

As for "individual performance," Carli Lloyd put on perhaps the single most-dominating individual performance in the history of women's soccer yesterday, and one of the most dominating individual performances in all of professional team sports of any kind or level.

To do what she did at the highest level of her game, in the world championship match, was stunning. Not just the goal from the halfway line to secure the hat-trick, and ultimately be the game-winner for the match, but the other two goals were each quite difficult in their own ways, especially the first, off the outside of her left foot, in traffic, off a whipped-in corner kick. Anybody who has ever played the game knows how difficult that shot is to execute cleanly.

Moreover, she was physically overpowering of every Japanese player who tried to defend her, made excellent runs off the ball, tracked back to defend, and had two other point-blank shots that were saved. Truly a world-class performance on the biggest stage of her sport.

What we watched yesterday from Lloyd was Messi-like. It was truly impressive and not likely to be repeated by anyone in the women's game any time soon.

trumpetdaddy said...

My mistake above. Holiday scored prior to the third Lloyd goal and actually had the ultimate game winner. That takes nothing away from Lloyd's achievement, however.

fivewheels said...

trumpetdaddy, I just think that post would have been better if you had left out the last paragraph with the Messi comparison. It's not necessary.

Lest anyone get the idea that I don't love women's sports, I have to say I do not personally know anyone who has paid to attend more women's sports events than me, especially events that did not involve a family member. Tennis, golf, basketball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse. (Admittedly, no soccer.) I have to believe I'm in the top 1 percent of Americans in this regard.

But I watch sports because I'm a fan of sports at all levels, not because I'm a propagandist or feminist pennant-waver. And if I went to a Little League game, I wouldn't say "That kid is like Miguel Cabrera, but better!" or "Too bad the Yankees aren't good enough to win like these kids!" to justify it.

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen, guys have been super supportive of the US women's soccer/football team in general. Once you get wrapped up in any game, you want a win, as you can see in the following vid:

Via sports bars and living rooms around the US, a compilation fan reaction from last world cup's big USA moment when Wombach saved the USA's chances against Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Wombach=Wambach.

Titus said...

One of the lesbians on the team made out with her girlfiriend in the stands....for all the world to see.

Christopher said...

This thread reminds me of Futurama (sorry for the lousy video quality).


Anyway, congratulations to the women's team on their victory.




Quaestor said...

I watched the last 50 minutes or so because my hosts last night insisted. Soccer has always struck me as an exceedingly dull sport designed to tranquilize bourgeois yahoos between quaffs of dishwater beer dispensed by the gallon. Soccer has all of the intellectual stimuli of NASCAR racing with none of the mortal strum und dang.

And that post game award ceremony... it was just like youth soccer for grade schoolers, everybody got a medal, even the goddamned refs!

American FIFA soccer is just youth soccer on crack.

Tarrou said...

"Want" is why women don't beat men at the highest level of competition, even in things they have a physical or mental advantage in.

"Want" is for those who already have, and will always lose to "Need".

Gahrie said...

it was just like youth soccer for grade schoolers, everybody got a medal, even the goddamned refs!

It was the championship game...the US got winner's medals and Japan got second place medals.

rcocean said...

Why this never ending pressure by liberals in the MSM to make "us" care more about Women's sports. We're always supposed to be celebrating that they are more popular, and booing anyone who dislikes them or utters a word of criticism.

I'm not much of soccer fan, but the even I could tell the women aren't very good. Compared to the men, they are slow, weak, can't kick and can't defend very well. It takes them forever to mount an attack on goal and they need to get close-in because they can't kick very hard.

As for College Women's basketball its a joke. The women can't jump and all the skill and competitiveness of the men's game is missing. If it weren't for the Frustrated Sports Dad's and the obsessive "I'll watch anything with a ball" Sports fans these Women Team sports would wither away.

trumpetdaddy said...

"trumpetdaddy, I just think that post would have been better if you had left out the last paragraph with the Messi comparison. It's not necessary."

Why? It is absolutely an apt comparison. Frankly, one could make the argument that Lloyd was actually better in this instance than Messi was in the exact same instance last summer at the men's World Cup championship match. Messi didn't carry his team on his back, score a hat-trick, dominate the defense arrayed against him, and score from the halfway line whilst winning the world championship. Carli Lloyd did. Does that mean she is a better player than him or could take him one-on-one? Of course not. It does mean that in the equivalent circumstance in her sport of women's soccer, she stepped up in a way that few, including Messi, have in men's soccer.

"I'm not much of soccer fan..."

You should have stopped there.

Every single thing you said after that is bullshit.

Quaestor said...

It was the championship game...the US got winner's medals and Japan got second place medals.

Thanks for making my point for me.

Doug said...

I might be off topic here, but why do professional women billiards players only play other women? And bowling, too?

trumpetdaddy said...

By Quaestor's logic, every sport in the Olympic Games is the same as his stereotype of youth rec league soccer matches. So are the FIBA world basketball championships, the Rugby World Cup, and every individual professional sporting tournament, from the races of the Triple Crown to the PGA tour, to Wimbledon and the other pro tennis tournaments.

Because in all of those events, the second-place (and often-times lower placing) finishers receive a reward, either trophy, money, or both. In fact, even in the sports I'm sure he would point to as "pure" like the NFL or MLB, the players do receive an additional bonus paycheck for having qualified for the finals, regardless of whether their team wins the event and gets a physical trophy.

The pathological need some people have to reach for any reason, real or imagined, to slam soccer is really pathetic and childish. Fine, you don't like soccer. don't play it, don't watch it. But, if you are incapable of any kind of intelligent discussion about the game, and instead can only fall back upon the lamest of stereotypes in a pathetic attempt to be "contrarian" or funny, kindly fuck off and find somethign else to do while the rest of us are enjoying the match.

damikesc said...

Why? It is absolutely an apt comparison. Frankly, one could make the argument that Lloyd was actually better in this instance than Messi was in the exact same instance last summer at the men's World Cup championship match. Messi didn't carry his team on his back, score a hat-trick, dominate the defense arrayed against him, and score from the halfway line whilst winning the world championship. Carli Lloyd did.

Messi played against competition measurably better than Lloyd. Not her competition...her personally.

It's amazing how great some minor league players can play in the minors and then look incompetent in the majors for baseball. NBA Developmental league players look great in the Dev League --- but, let's be honest, pretty bad in the NBA. Jadeveon Clowney, who came from my alma mater, was one of the most amazing athletic specimens ever in college football --- but hardly was dominant in his injury-shortened season in the NFL.

Lower competition makes talented players look amazing.

Does that mean she is a better player than him or could take him one-on-one? Of course not. It does mean that in the equivalent circumstance in her sport of women's soccer, she stepped up in a way that few, including Messi, have in men's soccer.

Again, lowered competition. Messi did amazing things in his league. World Cup had appreciably better players. The depth of great women soccer players is real shallow.

The pathological need some people have to reach for any reason, real or imagined, to slam soccer is really pathetic and childish.

The sports press has spent DECADES telling us how "wrong" we are for finding soccer to be dull (why do they have riots? Because they have nothing else to do). Blowback is a bitch.

But, if you are incapable of any kind of intelligent discussion about the game, and instead can only fall back upon the lamest of stereotypes in a pathetic attempt to be "contrarian" or funny, kindly fuck off and find somethign else to do while the rest of us are enjoying the match.

It's fundamentally dull as shit. Feel free to critique.

Joe said...

Apparently, women's soccer is superior to other sports because the women want to win. I suppose in the last Superbowl, neither team wanted to win, so it came down to chance.

damikesc said...

Apparently, women's soccer is superior to other sports because the women want to win. I suppose in the last Superbowl, neither team wanted to win, so it came down to chance.

After the last interception:

Wilson: YAY! WE DIDN'T WIN!!!

Want to know a sport that has fun female participants? MMA. Ronda Rousey of UFC is a freak of nature who seems unbeatable. Nothing is worse than fighting a woman, knowing exactly how she will beat you (armbar submission), training hard to avoid her beating you --- and she beats you ANYWAY with that same armbar submission. They have plenty of women who are quite adept at fighting.

trumpetdaddy said...

Again, the women's World Cup isn't played against men. It's played against other women. Nobody is arguing that women soccer players should play against men soccer players. Nobody that is, except those who are hating on soccer and the attention it has received the past three weeks, and those people are doing so disingenuously, as anybody with a brain can see. Not a single one of these disingenuous critics would apply the same logic to say, college football. "Oh, the NCAA championship bowl game was lame because none of those teams could compete with the Super Bowl champ."

No shit, Sherlock. Two different leagues, two different levels of competition.

But, that is what they are doing to diminish the achievement of the USA WNT in this instance. "Oh, they suck because they aren't as good as the men."

Being better than the men wasn't the standard of this competition. The standard was being better than the other women. USA were playing in this tournament against the best women soccer players in the world. That was the standard. Everybody knows that is the standard. That's why it's called the "Women's World Cup," not the "Women's and Men's World Cup."

It isn't "lower" competition because there is no expectation that women will play against men in soccer. The minor league vs. major league analogy is completely in-apt because it isn't a relevant possibility, any more than that the Olympic Games will have unisex figure skating or 100 meter races. They are two separate competitions.

As to whether or not "sports press" have been trying to convince you of anything, that's their job, dude, to sell competitions for people to watch. Perhaps you are annoyed that it is working. The ratings for the final on Sunday were outstanding, better than every single game of the NBA Finals and every single NFL game played last season in the Sunday night time slot. And twice the viewership as the final four years ago between the same two teams.

Frankly, I find American rules football to be excruciating to watch. 3 1/2 hours of beer commercials interrupted by about 32 minutes of actual game play, most of which consists of freakishly abnormally-sized men in shiny spandex pants picking themselves up off the ground.

But, if that's what you find exciting, to each his own.

Anthony said...

I was rooting for the Japs, just so Hope Solo would have to whiiiiiiine about how it was someone else's fault. Alas. . . .

Gahrie said...

It was the championship game...the US got winner's medals and Japan got second place medals.

Thanks for making my point for me.


What point? They give out second place medals in every single tournament that is held, world wide.

Look, I am as much a critic of the "everybody gets a medal" deal as anybody, but that is not what this was. They gave out medals to the first four places, which is normal. Nobody else got medals.

Gahrie said...

By the way, the refs at the world cup were in a competition too. They were competing against each other to win the best game assignments. By all accounts, the ref for the third place match was pissed because she didn't make the final. So their medals were not just participation medals.

damikesc said...

Again, the women's World Cup isn't played against men. It's played against other women. Nobody is arguing that women soccer players should play against men soccer players.

Nobody's arguing that. My argument was that inferior competition tends to generate skewed results. You said she had a better performance than Messi had in the last WC. And she might have --- she also played considerably worse players.

Great player vs great player can make the great player look more pedestrian.
Good player v mediocre/bad player tends to make the good player look great.

Not a single one of these disingenuous critics would apply the same logic to say, college football. "Oh, the NCAA championship bowl game was lame because none of those teams could compete with the Super Bowl champ."

Actually, one of the more fun discussion is "What NFL team, if any, could the national champ beat?". I'm not sure where you're going for sports discussions.

And nobody is saying "Man, that player had an amazing game. Even (insert NFL star here) didn't play that well in a similar situation". Because it is an insane comparison.

It isn't "lower" competition because there is no expectation that women will play against men in soccer.

It couldn't be moreso if it tried. It's why I made that minor league v major league comparison. A AA player only plays against AA caliber players --- nobody attempts to compare them to major leaguers.

The minor league vs. major league analogy is completely in-apt because it isn't a relevant possibility

YOU made the comparison and then doubled down on it. Go back and see who brought up Messi first.

The ratings for the final on Sunday were outstanding, better than every single game of the NBA Finals and every single NFL game played last season in the Sunday night time slot. And twice the viewership as the final four years ago between the same two teams.

That one game did better than an not competitive NBA Finals and the WS which has notoriously poor ratings for years. And it did better than random NFL game? Astonishing news. Really. It beat all 17 NFL games aired on Sunday nights? I'm beyond amazed that a regular season game was beat by a tournament final. I truly am. Stunned even.

Frankly, I find American rules football to be excruciating to watch.

Grand. Any more irrelevant minutiae you wish to unload here?

3 1/2 hours of beer commercials interrupted by about 32 minutes of actual game play, most of which consists of freakishly abnormally-sized men in shiny spandex pants picking themselves up off the ground.

As opposed to a sport so dull people have to riot to avoid dozing off. Where "action" consists of kicking a small ball up the field then back down and not doing much else.

In a 90 minute game, if you get 2 minutes of action, it is a top-tier soccer game. Lovely.

Ctmom4 said...

@ fivewheels - Heh! My sons would always tell me that the women's team would lose to a reasonably good boy's HS team. They - the women- played at the top level of their sport. It is just a much lower level than the men's. I did appreciate the absence of flopping and rolling around on the ground, though.

There was much whining yesterday about the 2 million the women's team earned, vs. the 35 million the German men were paid. But the 2014 men's cup netted 2 billion. The 2011 women's ( I don't know if they have numbers for this one yet), only 75 million. So, the women were actually overpaid. They also didn't sell out the venues, and ticket prices had to be reduced.

Kirk Parker said...

"It's similar to basketball "

That's supposed to be a recommendation???

MrCharlie2 said...

In the US Soccer world (at least the male side) the accepted wisdom is that the US Women's would be competitive with the US U-16 "men's" team. The speed/size/strength differences would overcome the skill and brain advantage of the women at about that point. That comment above about a good high school are probably true.

You will never see that game.

Personally, I really like the women's game. I think the 2011 WC final (also US / Japan) was the best game I've ever seen. I don't think they'll ever get rich.

Gahrie said...

In my experience, the women are much more sportsmanlike than the men. Brazil's boorish behavior stood out because it ran against the grain. The obvious respect shown between the Japanese and American players was one of my favorite things about the match.

Gahrie said...

Back when I was young and stupid, and played rugby, the best part was that you would spend 90 minutes biting, scratching, kicking and butting heads in the scrums, but after the match was over, both teams would head to the nearest pub and get drunk together, bragging about their new scars.