On the Edge of Glory

Last week, I noticed that I was a light on the sports and heavy on the pop culture on this here blog, which would be fine except it's supposed to be pretty evenly split. I promised to do better.

My Monday post would be about sports, I told myself.

I thought I would write about one of my favorite movies, Bend It Like Beckham*, in homage to the Women's World Cup. But then I watched the USA-Brazil match yesterday and realized it would be so much better to write about the real thing.

I love sports. It's the ultimate reality show. You have heroes, villains, and engrossing storylines. This game had all that and more.

What the USA did yesterday is nothing short of amazing. In 123 minutes, those women inspired and motivated me to be better and do better.

How did I get to that point?

I'll be honest. Soccer isn't my favorite sport. I never watch it or even think to watch it unless it's World Cup time. I watched some of the men's World Cup last year, so I was feeling a little guilty I hadn't been watching the women's tournament as much as I could.

I knew the U.S. was playing Brazil in the quarterfinals, which was seen as an unfortunate break because Brazil has one of the best teams in the world. So I was interested to see how we would play against such a powerhouse. The Americans had sounded confident in pregame interviews, but it's a lot easier to talk a good game than play one.

I turned the game on while at work. We scored right away (I actually missed it. I was doing work I guess). While I wasn't engrossed in the game, I did check in periodically. During one of those check-ins, I saw Brazil lining up for a penalty kick. And they missed! Yay! But then they got to go again for some ridiculous call from the referee. And this time, Marta, widely regarded as the best player in the world, made the kick. Now, I was mad.

And then I saw that we would be one player down for the rest of the match. I didn't see the play that got her kicked out until after the game, but that was a bullshit call, too.

Anyway, from that moment, I was hooked. Could the U.S. somehow win a game against a really good team when they were at such a disadvantage? They managed to get the game into overtime only to have Marta score again. As the game neared its end, I admit that I had almost completely lost hope. They were a woman down and hadn't scored since the beginning of the game.

But the U.S. kept battling and then Abby Wambach scored with a minute left in the game. Freaking amazing!

The U.S. went on to win the game with penalty kicks. Duh. :)

This game had everything a sports fan or even someone who simply enjoys a good story could ask for. And the best thing about is that it's true. It's not fiction.

Amazing does happen. It can happen to all of us. With belief, dedication, resiliency, determination, hard work, and teamwork.

And a little karma never  hurts, either.

*Don't worry. I will write about Bend It Like Beckham one day. I seriously heart that movie.