The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 is happening right now in Germany! It started June 26th, and it runs until July 17th. So far, the groups have been whittled down to eight teams for the quarter-finals:
Last summer, I spent days and days hanging out in sports bars or having lunch in a restaurant specifically because it had a TV streaming a World Cup game – any game. My entire neighborhood was tuned into the tournament, even after the USA lost. I heard my entire block erupt every time a goal was scored or missed. The World Cup was a major event in the United States last year – and this country is notorious for not watching soccer/football. The final between Spain and the Netherlands set American television viewership records for a soccer game. So why don’t I see the same enthusiasm for the Women’s World Cup? Hell, why don’t I see a mention of the tournament?
I am furious at the news media right now! And myself. I’ll take a little of the blame for not following female sports as much as I do male sports. Still, I have not seen any advertisements for the Women’s World Cup on television, nor have I read any recaps or scores online. Despite the fact that the American women’s team has had much more success than the men’s team, winning two of the five FIFA Women’s World Cups that have taken place and three of the only four women’s Olympic soccer tournaments, it still does not garner a mention on the front page of any major news website. IT’S LIKE WOMEN’S SPORTS DON’T EXIST, at least in the United States. In Germany, apparently the games have been setting records for viewership, with even more people tuning in for the women’s matches than for some of the men’s matches last year. I can only hope that such statistics encourage more networks and news outlets to cover the games.
As a life-long footballer, I love watching the tournaments. I particularly enjoy watching women play soccer because I have always noticed that female athletes aren’t the total crybabies that male athletes are. They don’t stop the game continually with bogus midfield weeping sessions over a kicked shin. When a woman gets knocked down in a soccer game, she immediately stands back up and takes the free kick. No fussing or hysterics. And now I can boast that my biased observation is, in fact, fact: researchers have found that female soccer players are far less likely to fake injuries on the field than male soccer players. It appears men just can’t take a little competitive contact. Pussies.
The next scheduled matches are on July 9th, with England playing France, and Germany facing Japan. So, will you be tuning in?