Back in 1999, I found myself completely engrossed in the U.S. Women’s Soccer squad’s run through the World Cup. I’m not claiming to be any kind of huge fan — I probably watched a grand total of forty minutes of women’s soccer in then decade following — but I really got caught up in those games. It felt like an oddly solitary pursuit, though — I would watch the games in a College Park bar with a co-worker from the record store … and that felt like it for companionship. In those bleak, pre-Twitter days, it was still possible to wonder if anyone else was enjoying a Random Sporting Event alongside you.
Twelve years later, things are a little bit different. By the time yesterday’s amazing U.S./Brazil contest wrapped up in penalty kicks, it seemed like every single person on my Twitter timeline was watching, including a whole bunch of your Washington Redskins.
Linebacker Perry Riley was onboard and tweeting from the very beginning:
Most Redskins players, though, were either late to join the viewing party or just kept their thoughts mostly to themselves — at least until a controversial sequence involving a questionable foul call followed by an even-more-questionable retake on the ensuing penalty kick.
At that point, first-round draft choice Ryan Kerrigan chimed in:
There was little Redskins chatter as the game went into extra time tied, and no reaction I can find as Brazil took the lead. And then, as extra time turned into injury time and the clock seemed to be running out on the U.S. Women, this happened:
And that certainly generated some chatter.
First to respond: running back Keiland Williams:
And Riley again:
That’s where the deluge really starts. Phillip Daniels:
Goalie Hope Solo’s save on the third Brazilian penalty kick prompted even more cheering from the D.C. (American) footballers. Daniels again:
DeAngelo Hall joins in:
And from there it was just mop-up time through the final penalty kicks:
I’m not saying that watching an instant classic alongside everyone else in the world PLUS a bunch of the players from your favorite football team is better than watching it with a co-manager from The CD/Game Exchange, but … well, it certainly makes the event that much more memorable.
In case that’s not enough of a local tie-in for you, here’s one other note from the game, as reported by Sarah Kogod at NBCWashington’s Captial Games blog: Ali Krieger, who actually scored the game-winning penalty kick for the U.S., is from the D.C. area and lists her Redskins fandom in her U.S. player bio.
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