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American soccer fans should remember these great moments of dominance and perceived divine right. In fact, enjoy and relish in Sundays game and marvel at what was done because it won’t last forever; it is not sustainable for many reasons.
Hearing people talk (myself included) after this past Sunday, after the game against Brazil, you would think that God lives and routs for American sports teams and its athletes alone…of course there are many things wrong with that idea but that is the mentality. Added with the idea that we are better because of some divine right- then again we shouldn’t be surprise; that is ingrained in American culture.
It works to the benefit of America of course in these great moments where you think they have no hope and our teams manage to pull out improbable victories, it is because American athletes (the good ones) believe in the idea of some kind of close relationship with god and also the arrogance that goes along with believing this. I’m not saying they believe they can fly or walk on water, they just believe that god is somehow on their side and there is no way they can lose; a great mentality in sports but dangerous off the field of play.
All I’m hearing is this idea in sports and maybe that is something built in every athlete around the world but I think it speak s to American Arrogance in sports all together. It’s funny but when the U.S is bad at a sport, we simply say the sport sucks or ridicule those who are considered great… especially the media.
Sticking to on the field though, I want to make it clear of course; no mentality no matter what the belief, means anything without the skill and financial backing to become good at what you do.
For example, the American women’s team is great and they will be good for a while but we must look into why that is and let’s leave divinity aside for now. Let’s take a team like Brazil and how good they have become with little to no support back home. America spends so much money on developing its athletes and it’s a year round thing. We also reward these athletes with equipment, fields and money but a place like Brazil has only recently come to accept the idea of women playing the same sports that men play and the fact that they can play it very well.
We’ve come to expect great things in all our athletes but not all countries we compete with make these kind of investments; why do you think a great player like Marta comes to play in the U.S during the season…the financial backing and development is there in women’s sports in the US in a way that is not present in other countries.
So the bottom line is, at this point in the development of Women’s sports, we should be far ahead of every other country given how much money we spend and invest in these sports. The dominance we see or the improbable comebacks and the great wins won’t be there in 10 to 15 years because the rest of the world will have caught up.
The same way other countries have caught up with us in basketball is the same thing we will see in Women’s soccer. That arrogance will have to turn to respect in order to stay on top; the same way American basketball players have learned to respect their European counterparts.
Like everyone one else, I was in awe at the performance from the Women’s team against Brazil. But after hearing people talk, I caught myself saying things like, there’s something about American athletes; that is the wrong way to look at this victory. We should look at this victory in the realm of the idea of what sports are. There can only be one winner and the American team wanted it more than Brazil did and they had the talent to get it done; that’s it, nothing more nothing less.
Sports are about making history as did the Japanese team the day before on Saturday or any other team that has done great things in sports around the world. The Brazilian men’s team has won many tournaments because they have the talent and support that the women’s team lack at this point, the American men’s team doesn’t win for the same reasons; sports are simple, so let’s examine sports the right way and leave out the unnecessary.