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Whoever they are, they're absolutely impossible not to watch. They were 3-0 through Sunday, and every win was decisive. Every game is a happening, a Thrillith Fair packed with girls and moms. The U.S. women play technically perfect and emotionally riveting soccer. Not only that, but they try to score, as opposed to most men's teams, who try to get up 1—nil and then pack 11 guys in their own box for 85 minutes. Nobody except the Pope put more fannies in the seats at Giants Stadium than the women's team did two weeks ago. They sold out Soldier Field last Thursday, and had more than 50,000 at Foxboro Stadium on Sunday. Are the boneheads who planned NBC's Olympic broadcast from Atlanta listening?
The women's soccer team is a machine. It's a juggernaut. But most important, it's a floating slumber party. Before games lately, they've been gathering in the hotel hallway for their crucial pregame preparation: putting a dance CD on the boom box, singing at the top of their lungs and painting each other's nails. You figure the Knicks do that?
Hamm calls her teammates "a buncha goofballs," but every one of them has a college degree or is a full-time student. In Japan the minute a player gets married, she quits the game; not the U.S. women. Even when these women give birth, they only pause at 10 centimeters. Overbeck lifted weights on the day she delivered her only child. Mother of two Joy Fawcett, probably the best defender in the world, used to breast-feed in the back of huddles during breaks in practice.
Actually, they're not only fully functioning females, they're fully functioning human beings, too. This off-season, a kid knocked on the door of legendary American midfielder Michelle Akers's home outside Orlando and said, "Can you come out and kick the ball with us?"
Now, if this were the door of most American male professional athletes, the kid would've been: 1) escorted away by security, 2) rolled away by paramedics or 3) simply trying to make contact with her biological father.
What did Akers do? She went out and kicked with her, but only after bringing out an armful of pictures, books and pins. Ain't it great? Ten-year-old girls all over the country are taking down their Backstreet Boys posters and putting up the Goal-Goal Girls.
That ad is right, of course. Clinton would be crazy not to come to the World Cup final on July 10 in Pasadena.
Who else would you want presiding over Babe City?