I watched most of yesterday’s women’s World Cup match between the United States and Thailand while playing bar trivia last night. It was a 13-0 rout, in case you missed it. Tonight, one of the stories on the network news concerns whether or not the continual scoring and subsequent celebrations were evidence of poor sportsmanship. I doubt that a men’s team would face the same criticism- they would have been portrayed as exuberant rather than bullying, their displays of bravado being portrayed as admirable.
The US is a large, wealthy country, and one that places more of a premium on women’s athletics than most other nations (though the Michigan State horror shows how far we need to progress). It’s no wonder that the women’s national team would be a dominant force in the World Cup. Coming opponents will be wealthier countries than Thailand, countries with stronger soccer traditions- the outcomes of the games might be uncertain. Let the women’s team have their moment of exuberance, they play a lot better than their male counterparts.