By Josh Kramer
This past weekend was absolutely wild in the sporting world resulting in some Twitter records (compliments of USA Today). There was some great soccer, great golf, and of course great baseball as is always the case in July.
The following is what has caught my attention.
The USA Women most definitely choked
You got to finish to win any soccer game at any level, especially in a game of the magnitude of the World Cup Finals. Sadly, the USA could not finish. They could not finish when they had very feasible opportunities to score, and ultimately they could not finish the match. I hate to say anything that may take away from Japan’s amazing accomplishment in this year’s World Cup. And by no means am I saying that Japan is not a very deserving champion. But lets put all questions to rest regarding if the USA got beat by Japan or if they choked it away. The answer is obvious.
The American’s without question were the superior team. Not just on Sunday, but in general. They were bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic, and of course more talented than the Japanese squad. And unless you were watching a different match than me, you witnessed the USA women outdo the Japanese in every facet of the game, outside of the infamous shootout.
I had been reading over the past few days how Japan was the more skilled and technically sound team. Give me a break. If the Japanese were more skilled, they did a great job of disguising this fact, letting the USA trump them in every way imaginable.
The Americans had a very unusual problem though. They did not know how to play with a lead. In a tournament where the Americans had become accustomed to playing the role of the cardiac kids, they went into shell shock as the favorites and the team with the lead time and time again. Now don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for Japan, regardless if I was rooting for the red, white, and blue to bring it home. They were playing for so much more than the Americans in the grand scheme of things and this is ultimately a great accomplishment for Japan. Hopefully, it has enabled its people to have something to smile about amid the rough aftermath they are still experiencing due to the horrific earthquake/tsunami that ravaged the country. But by no means, will you be able to convince me that Japan outplayed the Americans on Sunday.
Also, a note to American Coach Pia Sundhage. A game is never over until it is over. How could you take out your spark plug Rapinoe? And don’t tell me that she was tired. Every player on that field was fatigued.
There are a few truths that everyone can take away from this tournament though.
-Hope Solo is without question a mega-star now.
-Abby Wambach is a great leader and a warrior.
-Alex Morgan will be in the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition on the page after Hope Solo.
-Lastly, the shootout was utterly embarrassing for both parties involved. Outside of Wambach’s shot and the game winner for Japan, the shots were very sub par, and that includes the ones that went in.
How could the USA go from shooting so well in the shootout versus Brazil to the performance that millions of people got to witness on Sunday?
There is a one word answer. Nerves.
Sunday was a “Miracle on Grass” for Japan.
Kobe Doing Work
So Kobe is not necessarily doing the work that we are all accustomed to seeing him do. No player in the NBA technically is right now. But I had a good laugh when I heard about the latest international basketball news, which is unfortunately all we have regarding professional hoops at the moment.
The Turkish team, Besiktas, who signed All Star Deron Williams is of course making an attempt to sign the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. Any prominent international team that does not make an attempt to sign Kobe during the current labor situation that is facing the NBA would be crazy.
They offered Kobe a monthly salary of $500,000 (not bad right). Kobe of course said no. He wants at least a million a month. Kobe Bryant does not play games. He is all business, all the time. Sure he comes off a bit greedy here, but look at the situation from his perspective. This past year, he made the top salary in the League at $25,244,000. This equates to $2,103,667 a month. How would you like for your salary to be cut by over 75%? Kobe apparently is only willing to cut his in half.
And honestly, I can’t blame the guy.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.