Day at a Glance
Women's World Cup popularity only the beginning
Posted: Friday July 09, 1999 07:32 PM
By Steve Almasy, CNN/SI
PASADENA, Calif. - The home page of wwc99.com says it all: "The 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final is now sold out."
What is it the advertisement for the cigarette for women used to say? Does "You've come a long way baby" ring any bells?>
Now while the players on the U.S. team probably don't like being called baby -- except maybe by one Austin Danger Powers -- they have in fact come a long way. And women's soccer as a whole has too.
It was hard just a few years ago to imagine the nerve of a person scalping a women's soccer ticket, but come Saturday there will be people outside the Rose Bowl pitching seats in the upper stands for well over the face value.
"We've been telling people this event was going to be a big deal, but we never thought it would be like this," World Cup spokesman Steve Vanderpool said this week. "It just blows us away at the organizing committee."
It blows away the critics, too. They've heard for 20 years or more that soccer is the sport of the future. For 20 years or more they've disagreed and pointed out there's not enough scoring or it's just plain boring to watch or the offsides rule is the stupidest thing they've ever heard of in sports. But they were always talking about men's soccer. No one followed the women's game.
Not any more. They are women, hear them roar. Better yet, watch them score. They've done so on the field and with the fans, girls and boys that are now flocking to watch them play. And you can bet that many of those fans will be asking mom or dad for the first time if they can sign up to join a league this fall.
Folks, this may be only the beginning.
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