Women’s soccer, pro/rel, UConn hoops and taking things for granted

If there’s war between the sexes, then there’ll be no people left — Joe Jackson. (Tori Amos did a terrific cover version.) I’ve spent too much time on Twitter this week grabbing the third rail. I’ve been in conversations on promotion/relegation, women’s soccer equity, and UConn women’s basketball. Let’s dispense with the last one first. The “Connecticut is too dominant” issue has reached The Guardian this week, but it’s being fanned by ESPN. You know — the colossus based in Bristol, Conn., founded by people who wanted to watch Connecticut sports. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so quick to point to … Continue reading Women’s soccer, pro/rel, UConn hoops and taking things for granted

Washington Spirit report: Pretty good for preseason

Mild, sunny weather. A couple thousand fans nearly filling the stands and spreading out over the hillside. Crystal Dunn creating chance after chance. Washington Spirit fans had a lot to enjoy Saturday afternoon at the SoccerPlex. The result — a 2-0 win over Penn State — wasn’t particularly important, though longtime Spirit fans will be relieved to see the team no longer losing these preseason encounters with college squads. More important was the promise of quality play on a lovely spring day. That said, it’s still a team in preseason, with a few things to iron out: – New central … Continue reading Washington Spirit report: Pretty good for preseason

A revelation on Jurgen Klinsmann

The U.S. men’s soccer coach is trying to impart some sort of style, a vague nation of playing “the right way” with skill and flair. He juggles his lineups, often putting players in unfamiliar positions. He emphasizes long-term growth over short-term details like defensive responsibilities. He’s generally positive and upbeat, even after losses. At last, I’ve figured it out. Jurgen Klinsmann is coaching as if the MNT was a U-10 team.   Continue reading A revelation on Jurgen Klinsmann

“Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case

Don’t stereotype. Don’t rush to judgment. Those are the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case from 10 years ago. Three men suffered the horror of being flung into the spotlight as wrongly accused rape defendants, and the collateral damage went far and wide. “The momentum of a country hungry for justice overtook any serious investigation of the alleged crime,” writes Christina Cauterucci in Slate. So when I heard ESPN’s excellent 30 for 30 series was releasing a documentary on the case called Fantastic Lies, I had a bit of trepidation. I had hoped the last word had come three years ago. Too many … Continue reading “Fantastic Lies” and the lessons of the Duke lacrosse case