Redmond: Will the USWNT Win World Cup Glory? Or Succumb to the Laws of Sports Karma?

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The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) will take on England today in the World Cup semi-finals and some Americans are struggling with whether to support the team.

The women soccer players are all Americans and by right should be supported by their fellow countryman but their boorish behavior and disrespect towards our president breeds resentment from normal people. I’m not including liberals as normal because they excuse violence against journalists they don’t like (see Andy Ngo) and their presidential candidates think an important priority in America is that MEN should be guaranteed the right to an abortion (see Julian Castro).

In short, they’re lunatics.

And hopefully they won’t be running the asylum. This is a big demarcation line though in sports/politics. If you really want to see the American women win the World Cup, there’s about a 92% chance you’re a liberal. If you don’t really care or would be happy to see these braggarts get a comeuppance then there’s a 96% chance you’re a conservative (numbers may vary as they are completely made up).

My issue with the women is completely related to their ill-mannered behavior and not their play on the field. I’m impressed with their athleticism, intelligence and creativity but why do they have to be so damn unlikable? The best player is a pink-haired gal named Megan Rapinoe who looks like she’s heading to an Antifa protest. Rude and foul mouthed, Megan had this to say when asked if she would visit the White House if they won the World Cup, “I’m not going to the f*cking White House”. Man alive woman, you kiss your mother with that mouth? So Trump supporters are supposed to cheer for this woman and hope she wins?

You see the difficult situation this puts us in?

Normal people are put off by these displays. Yes, we get it, you don’t like Trump. Do you have to be so nasty in broadcasting your hatred? Of course she was joined by numerous other teammates in their condemnation of the President. Trump played it perfectly as he is wont to do. He tweeted his invitation for the team; win or lose, and made Rapinoe look small by comparison. Her goal celebrations are especially irritating. She had a celebration versus Thailand where she made a long run and slid into her teammates while scissoring her legs together. The editors at Breitbart insist I describe these events no further. Instead, ust take a look at the annoying featured picture of Rapinoe for this article.

Does that not make your skin crawl?

I think the kids call it cringe. Are we now celebrating smugness and self -satisfaction? Not in my house we aren’t. I want kids that are neither seen nor heard. If the next generation grows up emulating Rapinoe we’re going to have a generation of self-entitled brats screaming “look at me! look at me!” And the liberals would counter oh you’re just an old man yelling get off my lawn. And I’d say yes, get off my lawn.  Why are you on my lawn in the first place? I just mowed my lawn. Get your own lawn.

The USWNT destroyed Thailand 13-0 in the first round of the tournament.  There’s only about 30 acres of flat, dry land in Thailand, the rest is rice paddies and beaches (I assume), so it stands to reason they wouldn’t be all that good at soccer.  Also, Thai people are reserved, gentle and some of the politest people on the planet.  And you have to humiliate them by 13 goals? Then to make matters worse these ill-mannered heathens celebrated each goal like it was V-J Day. They were screaming, shouting and jumping around as the Thai women stood shell-shocked both by the lopsided score and the astonishment that women could act so ill-bred. It used to be the term “Ugly American” referred to tourists in France asking for ketchup with their steak au poivre, now it’s our women’s soccer team fist pumping in the face of their dejected opponents.

They’re hard to root for.

While contrarily, the women’s English team seem like a nice bunch of lasses.  In their quarterfinal match against Cameroon, the English Lionesses had to deal with an assortment of antics (spitting, complaining, pushing) from Cameroon and they handled it all with typical English stoicism. They walked away from the altercations and went about their business. I’d like good things to happen to that group of girls because they deserve it whereas the American women not so much. So because I’m American I have to root for these thuggish American women? I don’t think so. The same document that gives Rapinoe the right to kneel during the anthem, gives me the right to root against her.

I’ll be rooting for England this afternoon.

The bigger issue is if there is such a thing as sports karma, will it play out today in the soccer match? Celebrating a goal to go ahead 12-0 surely should bring the sports gods down on your head. Similarly, handling adverse situations with grace should make those same gods smile on you. This is a great test case- England should have great karma and the USA terrible karma. Karma is a bitch and we shall see if she rears her ugly head today against America.

Here are some examples in sports where karma has come back to bite teams in the ass.

1996 Baltimore Orioles- Roberto Alomar goes crazy and spits in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck over disputed 3rd strike call in the Division Series.  After the game, he compounds his appalling act by reasoning that Hirschbeck had become bitter once his son died of an illness 3 year earlier. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan called it “the most despicable act by a ballplayer, ever.” I was a huge Orioles fan at the time and knew we would not have karma on our side. So if any team was going to be feeling karma’s wrath it would be the 1996 Orioles.  They won the Division Series but the next game they faced the NY Yankees and lost the infamous Jeffrey Maier game where that little 12-year old truant bastard reached over the railing and interfered with Tony Tarrasco catching the second out of the ninth inning. Instead, it turned into a Derek Jeter game-tying home run. The umpire missed the call. Or did he? Did he dislike the Orioles after the incident and turn a blind eye to the interference? It’s a reasonable question. The Orioles would go on to lose the game and the series. The Yankees would begin another dynasty, winning 4 Championships in the next 5 years. It all started with karma. Did the umpires conspire against the Orioles to protect their fellow ump? Possibly, we’ll never know but that’s karma.

The 2019 Washington Capitals were well positioned to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships when they entered the playoffs to face the Carolina Hurricanes. They were the number one seed in the Metropolitan Conference and had a ton of confidence. They were up 2 games immediately and well on their way to the 2nd round. That was until their team leader Alex Ovechkin decided to pick a fight with a scrawny 19-year old kid from the Hurricanes named Andrei Svechnikov.  Ovechkin was 33 years old and outweighed the kid by 50 pounds.  Svechnikov had never had a fight in his entire NHL career. Ovechkin flattened Svechnikov knocking his head off the ice and sidelining him for 3 games. It was an ugly scene and karma was looking for a way to get back at the Caps.  It reared its head the next game when Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele cross checked TJ Oshie into the boards and broke his collarbone. Would Foegele have done so if the Hurricanes weren’t pissed off at Ovechkin?  Maybe, but unlikely.  The Caps lost a team leader in Oshie and eventually the series in 7 games. Bad karma can find you in interesting ways.

Dusty Baker was all set to win his first World Series as a manager. Russ Ortiz had pitched 6 1/3 sterling innings in the 6th and what should have been final game in the 2002 World Series.  On his way off the mound after being relieved, Dusty called him back and gave him the ball to commemorate his excellent pitching effort that would lead to the Giants World Series Championship. The baseball gods do not like when you celebrate prematurely. The California Angels exploded for 6 runs against closer Rob Nen and would go on to with the World Series in 7 games.  You don’t tempt the baseball gods by prematurely celebrating a victory by giving your pitcher a keepsake before the game is over.  Dusty, never recovered and went without winning a WS as a manager despite numerous chances with the Giants, Cubs and Nationals.

Marian Hossa desperately wanted to win a Stanley Cup.  When he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline in 2008, he finally had his chance.  The Penguins went to the Cup final only to lose a gut-wrenching game 6 to the Detroit Red Wings.  The Penguins wanted to resign Hossa to a long-term contract paying him 7 million dollars a year for 5 years but Hossa chose to take a 1-year deal with the Red Wings at the same 7 million per year.  His reasoning was the Red Wings had a better chance to win a Stanley Cup. You can probably guess what happened.  The next year, the Red Wings lost a nail-biting Stanley Cup Final 7th game to…the Pittsburgh Penguins and Hossa was still without a Cup. Karma doesn’t like when you try and take short cuts to a championship. Hossa did go on to win 3 Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks so karma must have a short memory. We shall see how short when The U.S. Women face England today. Enjoy!

Dan Redmond can be reached on Twitter @danfromdc

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