Go Beyond

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Women's World Cup Update

I'd like to congratulate the US team on their victory. At first, I thought Netherlands was too weak of a pairing but I was very impressed with them the first half of the game, incredible defense. Unfortunately, that feeling came back in the second half. Really didn't seem all that passionate about even trying for a goal in the last twenty minutes. It was like they were in any old game, playing well, but not giving it their all. Not all of the Dutch players were this way, one of the wingers in particular, but most of them were.

My favorite team all around has definitely been Sweden. When the US has five minutes to go and they're ahead, they just waste time trying to hold the ball in throw-ins. It's very boring and unsportsman like and it's something that I haven't seen Sweden do. The US team has a bit of an attitude, partly deserved, and they probably were going to win no matter what. Yet, I still think Sweden might have been better competition for them.

I would have liked to have seen Japan beat Netherlands and move on as I think they were a "different" enough team to have more of a chance. Though without that, I'm sad that Sweden did not defeat Netherlands and advance to the finals. I think they played the better all around game. But, Sweden did a terrific job against England, really pouring their hearts out even though the match was for third place.

In Netherlands vs Sweden, Sweden's star player, Asllani, was carried out on a stretcher in the last two minutes. She was repeatedly tackled over and over through the whole season as far as I can tell. Somehow very tough, good attitude, and fantastic to watch. She was certainly my favorite all around player given her attitude and performance. Incredibly, she actually played in Sweden vs England though only the first half. Nice to see someone continue to play no matter what and shrug off their injuries (though not always the best idea for long term health).

I saw her Twitter and was a bit disappointed. #forevher hashtags, Coca-cola advertizements. I have to wonder, is she really that basic or is that actually the reality of this World Cup that I've been watching? I do appreciate that in soccer its two 45 minute halves with only one commercial opportunity in the middle. Otherwise, very very commerials and stops in play. So much better than other sports. But, it's clear these players are sponsored and so much of the "female empowerment" movement is just to attract more customers for big corporations. While I tend to loathe what modern feminism has become, further insult to injury is in acting like they are even furthering their cause with Nike and Coca-Cola. Asllani doesn't look like she drinks Coca-Cola and at the end of the day, Nike is really just a pair of shoes. What's the message here? To be an empowered woman you have to drink Coke and wear Nikes? Or worse, to be an empowered woman you have to be a sell-out who sells Coke and Nikes through silly ads and a stream of Tweets with pointless hashtags.

I have immense respect for Asllani as a player, but seeing the reality was a bit bleak. Is it that most soccer players can only play if they are sell-outs? Does it creep up on them slowly? (Oh, wow, Nike wants to sponsor me! Oh, wait, maybe that wasn't as good as I thought.) Or is it just an extra bit of income that isn't all that necessary? I don't really know.

Of course men's sports are rarely much different. What does VISA have to do with soccer? Buying the very small amount of equipment required to play the game? What about GEICO? At least GEICO tends to have funny ads that aren't encouraging endless consumerism. Of course it'd also be nice to see insurance non-mandatory.

Ads are strange, the ad money enables many things and yet it turns you, I, and them into the customer. I know ads aren't always bad, but what value does Coca-Cola add to the world? I'm not saying all sodas are pointless, but it's a carbonated drink. Why is it not just a grocery store item? Why do I need to be told what to drink when I'm not looking for something to drink? I'm not saying this should be forcibly changed, just Coca-Cola is a prime example of a corporation that has almost no beneficial human purpose in its current form. What if FIFA was unsponsored? What if you just paid to watch and their were no ads? What if the players were only there playing soccer because they enjoy it?

I guess it also brings another question, if you love soccer is it still worth it if you have to be a spokesperson? Or is it too much?

I tend to hang around fairly alt-right groups on Voat and such and they are very anti-women's world cup. One 40 year old guy saying he could outplay any of the players competing. I think that's pretty absurd and watching these games, they have pretty impressive talent, they are very smart, and some of the saves are every bit as good as in the men's leagues. Maybe watching sports in general doesn't solve much. I will say it's been entertaining and stressful for me. I guess when sports are about sports, it makes some sense. When sports are about sitting around the TV all day, drinking beer, eating wings, pizza, and getting fat, do you not see the irony? American Football is very much like that, a bunch of fat old men watching something they could never do. Such a joke. I'm not a whole lot better although this is one of the few sports I've watched at length in a long time. TV in general, of course, is very overrated. I have never owned a TV.

I was a bit disappointed seeing Rapinoe not hold her hand over her heart for the national anthem. Maybe it's not the biggest deal, but what statement is she trying to make?

The sad thing is that I imagine life post-World Cup would feel pretty depressing for a while. Not as grand or interesting. It's hard to top it. I wonder how many of the players feel depressed after.

On the US team, I was quite impressed with Heath, Dunn, and the keeper. Lavelle is also a very talented player, nice to see her score the last goal.

Anyway, enough rambling. You should quit reading and go outside.