Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Tears in the Sake," Observations from the Bar on the Women's World Cup Final

Sitting in a bar isn’t always how I spend a gorgeous sunny summer afternoon but there is a World Cup Soccer final to watch. I could think of worse ways to spend an afternoon than watching Hope Solo on six screens and drinking cold beer. The sixth Women's World Cup comes to a close as two time winning US team goes up against first time finalist Japan in Frankfurt, Germany. As a pre-game activity we were watching the Tour de France and something struck me as funny. Now I was always a big Lance Armstrong fan and watched the Tour without fail but without Armstrong honestly it's just guys riding bikes. That is until somebody tumbles and takes out half the peloton than it's excitement. But this is a day for soccer and Hope Solo, all of the 5' 10" long legged dark haired beauty of her, I mean 5' 10" keeper for the US team. Damnit I have to be serious here but it's hard because she is seriously hot. Shift to the compulsory tsunami story and how a win would be so good for the national psyche of Japan. It may be cold but to say today I totally don't care.
From Hope Solo
Solo looks like a giant tweety bird in her yellow uniform. My artistic side doesn't take this as a very auspicious start to the game as the black warm-ups looked much better. But this isn’t a style blog so I will move on to the game. The beginning reminds me of one of those games I always hated to play in with US shots peppering the goal only to clang off the post or sail over the net. In a game like this I always knew it was only a matter of time until the other team scored. Because of games like that I first developed a taste for my fingernails, alcohol came later. Dear god we are wasting chances here, not good. The first half ends with the score locked at zero. Phillies are beating the Mets 5-1 in the 8th inning I suppose it's a tradeoff. Why couldn't they play the final yesterday when the Mets handily spanked my Phils? My mystical side is beginning to worry the sports gods didn't like my tsunami comment but I was just complimented on my Penn State soccer jersey so there is that.

Finally Alex Morgan scores to give the US the lead at the 69 minute mark and now it seem the gods do love me or maybe just have a sense of humor. And than just as fast it's back to nail biting time as the clock is down to ten minutes and Japan begins to take more and more chances than finally score to tie the game and the bar becomes eerily quiet even as we are informed the US team has never lost a World Cup game in which it has scored first, 24-0-3 coming into this game. The game heads to extra time as full time ends tied at 1, I'm just glad it isn't sudden death but penalty kicks loom on the horizon.

Extra time with my nails about gone and for the first time I wish I could smoke a cigarette in this bar. Two minutes left in extra time and any goal scored now will be the latest in Women's World Cup Final history and just like that Abby Wambach scores in the 104th minute to give the US the lead and the bar erupts. Old guys are beginning to tear up now but I'm not quite sure if it's the soccer game or the fact that the Mets truly do suck this year, losing to the Phillies 8-5 today. Omfg Japan scores on a corner just after Solo spent time on the ground recovering from a hard dive and I begin to wonder if there is some drinking game for penalty shots, my mind can't take much more. Penalty shots, the most hellish thing ever invented for a sport.

By now you prob know how it ended, Japan winning in penalty shots with the US missing three of its 4 shots. Totally awesome game but one that should have never been this close. The US just blew too many early chances when they could have put the game away. That’s what they call a heartbreaking loss, enough to make me cry in my sake.

Go Phillies!

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