Six Months For One Word

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I figured the US women’s team would act swiftly when Hope Solo called the Swedish team “cowards” for how they played in the quarterfinal game against our women.

Hope received a six month suspension.

I feel no pity for Solo, and what she said was wrong. But if you’re going to get a suspension for that long, throw in an expletive in front of the word “cowards” to get your money’s worth.

I could see this winding up being litigated in court for being too harsh a penalty. Or, maybe she does three months and change of the six months, and gets the test of the ban lifted. Something like that.

It just feels two wrongs never make a right here, and that the six month suspension was over the top. A one month suspension and a monetary fine, that would seem better.

 

The Shootout

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Abby Wambach was sorely missed yesterday…

I just finished up watching the US-Sweden women’s soccer quarterfinal on NBCSN, and as many of you know by now, the Swedes kayoed the US women in a shootout after the ladies played 120 minutes to a 1-1 tie.

When the shootout was going on, I was telling someone with me, “I have a bad feeling about this, after Hope Solo missed catching that free kick the other night.”

For those of you who don’t follow soccer regularly, it’s only used during tournaments when a winner is needed. The fairness of shootouts to break ties has been questioned by soccer fans and media worldwide for the past couple of decades, including yours truly. Each team sends out five players to kick from the penalty spot, and whoever gets the most kicks home wins. If they tie after five kicks, they each get a kick each until the tie is broken, much like extra innings in baseball.

As things turned out, Sweden won the shootout 4-3. But hey, Olympic streaks come and go. The USA men’s basketball team won gold every year from 1936 to 1968, but lost to the Russians in 1972. (Though the circumstances were quite controversial.) India won every gold medal in men’s field hockey from 1928 to 1956 before Pakistan defeated them in the 1960 finals.

I was a Hope Solo fan, that is until yesterday when she said Sweden played cowardly. I found the comment totally illogical and irrelevant. Teams are allowed to play how they want within the rules, and soccer history is full of moments where teams play certain ways to achieve certain results. That’s soccer, and that’s also tournament soccer. If FIFA and the IOC have a problem with how Sweden played, the rules of women’s soccer will change with time.

Just congratulate the Swedes and let’s move on, shall we?

Things in the sports world always come and go, no matter the sport. The question is, was this a “speed bump” for the US women’s team, or the harbinger of more competition ahead?

Privacy For One And All

Some genius decided it was a good idea to hack into the smartphones of some prominent actresses and female athletes, with the dirt delivered over Labor Day weekend. The biggest names seemed to be actress Jennifer Lawrence of “Hunger Games” fame, Kate Upton, and Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the US women’s soccer team.

Yes, the privacy of these people of prominence were invaded. It should not have happened, and the idiot who did the hacking should be made an example of to the fullest extent of the law.

But let me just throw this out there: it may not be too smart to take pictures of yourselves on a device that connects to the Internet.

I just thought I’d say that. Carry on.