Monday, July 11, 2011

07/11 (USWNT!!!) Quickie

Super-proud of the Quickish coverage of the US women's soccer World Cup win from yesterday, masterfully curated by Michael Katz. Please check it out.

So that was one of the most exciting finishes I can remember in sports. Playing 10-on-11 (for an hour!), down a goal -- not just the last minute of an extended overtime, but the last minute of stoppage time after a Brazil player faked an injury, tacking on a few extra minutes to OT.

Analogues are unfair and unnecessary, but this wasn't like a Hail Mary touchdown in football or a buzzer-beater in hoops. This was like being down 25 with two minutes to play and winning. The closest thing I can think of is a baseball analogy -- it was like being down 8 or 9 runs with two outs in the 9th, against an All-Star closer, with your pitcher coming up to bat -- and winning.

"This is why we love sports" is so cliche -- but so universal and true. It is certainly at the heart of why I personally love sports. It was as remarkable of a finish of a game as I can remember.

(My only regret -- and this is fairly meta-media stuff, so forgive me -- is that as I surveyed the sports-news landscape last night and this morning for compelling takes on the game, there was such a dearth that I almost couldn't believe it. Hoping for more as the day progresses.)

It was a hell of a weekend in sports -- just when you think Derek Jeter reaching 3,000 career hits on a home run is the most dramatic thing that could happen this weekend, the USWNT tops it. (And, as amazing as Jeter's performance on Saturday was, it was topped on Sunday by the women.)

I remain utterly saddened by the tragedy of Shannon Stone's death in Texas. As jaw-dropping as Jeter's 3,000th hit was or as jubilant as Abby Wambach's header was, I just can't shake how crushed I am about Stone and his family's loss.

I hope people don't lose sight of him as the sports world moves on, as it always does: First Jeter, then the US women's soccer team. This morning brings optimism about an NFL labor deal perhaps as early as 10 days from now. Tonight is the Home Run Derby; tomorrow is the MLB All-Star Game -- no matter who pulls out of it, still a great midsummer event. The ESPYs are mid-week -- is it too late to write-in Wambach's goal as the Play of the Year? We're near college football "media days," which -- at least in the SEC -- is an event unto itself.

I have been covering all sports on a daily basis for nearly 9 years -- there is this notion that mid-July is the "slowest moment of the sports year." (This year, that was supposed to be compounded by NFL and NBA lockouts.) Sure doesn't feel like it.

In fact, on an early-July Sunday that is supposed to be as slow as it gets, we got the most electrifying moment of the sports year. Not bad.

-- D.S.

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