rhythm bandits

Posts Tagged ‘santa clarita blue heat

W-League: J’accuse!

leave a comment »

I begin this post by saying that the Pali Blues always try to woo me with my favorite players for every year they have been around. Let me explain with a simple yet effective list.

2008: Erin Hardy, Carrie Dew
2009: Kelley O’Hara, Ali Riley
2010: See what I mean.

And yet not once have I supported them. I preferred the Colorado Force (can you say Nikki Marshall?) and possibly the Washington Freedom Reserves. (Odd that I’m all right with the Freedom’s W-League side but loathe their WPS team. Sorry Nikki, I loved you in Chile!)

It must be noted that Pali’s first 2010 W-League game is against the former Ventura County Fusion — now called Santa Clarita Blue Heat (such stupid names), featuring Elizabeth Lambert, the disgraced University of New Mexico player. Now I’ve been seeing some ignorant comments from the Pali side that make me hope that Lambert goes into another warp spasm and wipes out the (incredibly annoying) Tony Danza Army.

Look, if all you remember about Lambert is the BYU catfight, you have fallen into ESPN’s trap. In short, you were pandering to ESPN when you said “Let me be clear that Lambert is not representative of women’s soccer!” So what? ESPN has already made up its mind about you and your sport. What do they care whether Lambert is “one of you” or not? See, ESPN only views women’s soccer outside of the USA national team(s) as something to be sensationalized whenever it strays from the acceptable narrative of “the noble female athlete” à la Akers and Hamm. And yet you want to keep it in that acceptable narrative, which ESPN won’t bother to notice.

You accuse ESPN of only showing the bad sides of women’s soccer, of not looking at “the whole picture”, and yet you refuse to see “the whole picture” when it came to that BYU game, where Lambert embarrassed herself, or even when it comes to Lambert as a person. For those of you who bemoan what she has done to the “image” of women’s soccer: what the fuck sort of image do you want? Hope Solo tarnished it, too, but because she is the best goalkeeper in the world, we have to forgive her. Elizabeth Lambert is a mediocre defender from a Division I school not named University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and so you are allowed to dump on her? To look at her as only a bully and not a soccer player? Would you still consider a her a bully if the referees had done their fucking job and red-carded the shit out of her like they should have instead of letting her wreak havoc?

If you believe women’s soccer will be legitimized because someday the unwashed masses will see how “noble” the players are in addition to being good athletes in their own right, you are dead wrong. You are a sellout and a hypocrite — demanding more “open and fair” coverage of the women’s sport while simultaneously trying to limit it, squeezing it into a ponytailed-girl-friendly mold that you somehow believe will make it more palatable to a widespread audience — lambasting the players who have no media training and therefore show that they are flawed and disgusting, simply because they are not the best in what they do.

What Elizabeth Lambert did is bad sportsmanship, bitchiness, call it whatever you want, but it is part of the sport we call women’s soccer. You cannot have one and not the other. Accept Elizabeth Lambert’s bad sportsmanship the way you accept Abby Wambach destroying Daniela’s knee and shattering Christie Shaner’s leg, the way you accept Marta and Cristiane’s theatrics, the way you accept Just Standing By And Doing Nothing when you complain and moan about the WPS league not living up to your caviar taste when they’re on a ramen budget.*

And I say this full knowing that some of my favorite players have bought into this “Maintain The Image!” argument, and are no less guilty of the accusation I have just put forth. It’s just the way it is. I can’t change it, but vilifying Lambert doesn’t help. Lambert is not the one responsible for nasty male pigs and their nasty male pig comments about women’s soccer; those have been around ever since the golden days and will never leave. Lambert’s effect on them is minimal at best.  I’m pretty sure Lambert loves the sport just as much as we do — if she didn’t, why didn’t she just end her career after her national humiliation? Why is she playing in the W-League?

With all that said, Santa Clarita probably has no chance of beating Pali anyway. So, sellouts, are you happy now?

*I took this turn of phrase from a moderator on Big Soccer. Credit where credit is due.

EDIT (10/29/2010): More bitching about ESPN here.


Written by teamongolia

June 5, 2010 at 1:24 am