how amazing was that?


Women’s world cup.  USA & Brazil.  How frickin’ amazing was that?


I am about as likely to watch a woman’s soccer match as maybe possibly a high school championship ping pong match or maybe an ice dancing competition in Siberia.

But.  I am a sports guy. And nothing captures the attention of a sports guy than a potentially defining moment.

So here I am finishing up my workout on an exercise bike at the gym kind of watching the world cup match but more interested in finishing up and getting out and about.

And then the defining moment.

The momentum shifter.

The character defining moment.

USA up 1-0. Marta, one of the most amazing ball skills players you will ever have the pleasure of watching, cuts into the box in front of the goal and gets a penalty kick when she gets dragged down. And then the penalty kick.  Hope Solo makes a clean stop.  A beautiful stop.  Momentum shifts to USA and they are off and running.


Nope.  Rekick the penalty kick cause a USA player moves into box too early (a really bad call).  Then the 2nd attempt is good.

The real kicker in the deal? A red card against USA and they lose a player.


Momentum (and a player advantage for the rest of the game) has clearly swept over to Brazil.

This is a defining moment.  One of those huge momentous momentum shifts where you get one of those rare opportunities to measure true character.

This is where being a sports guy trumps the guy who wouldn’t watch women’s soccer if you paid him. And I watch to see what USA team does.

One player down.  65 minutes of it.  And let me tell you.  Brazil is almost Barcelonaesque with the way they find the gaps in midfield and gracefully shift the ball up the middle of the field.  On offense they are something too watch.  USA? Not that graceful.  But tough.  Really tough.  No quit in ‘em.

They give up a goal and are down 2-1 but they just … don’t … quit.

And, even one player down, toward the end they kept pushing Brazil back into its own goal.

A little less than 2 minutes to go. And a USA player puts an absolutely perfect difficult  crossing shot (Rapinoe is really the hero in this sequence) in front of the Brazil goal that puts the ball where only one person can get to it and USA scores.

And I mean the place goes frickin’ crazy. Absolutely bonkers.  And you know what?  I am going bonkers too. And I am thinking that everyone in America is going bonkers.

I mean, c’mon, one player down for almost 66 minutes of 120+ minutes of playing and you score with maybe one minute left in the whole frickin’ match to tie.

It was a defining moment. Even moreso than the ultimate win in penalty kicks.

Because this was a measure of character and will.

This wasn’t just about not quitting (because they could have lost 2-1 and no one would have said a thing about them quitting in the match).  This was American spirit and will at its best. This was ‘team’ at its best. This was where the world’s best goalie said ‘I am gonna be the best’ and you guys act like we aren’t one player down. This team willed themselves to eke out one more opportunity to score even as time was running out.  And this was after running up & down the field with one of the world’s most dazzling offensive machines in the world for over 2 hours.


That was frickin’ amazing.

So how do you put the perfect cherry on top of the perfect ice cream sundae?

You bring in an American company who probably understands the true soul of America, not just its athletes but the soul of the people itself, and let them put a commercial on TV at the end of the match at the perfect time with the absolute perfect message. Nike put a solid, unequivocal unblemished period at the end of the women’s soccer team statement.  They aired an extraordinarily well done commercial using the women’s soccer team coming out of the players tunnel that ends with “pressure makes us.”  (which of course could be read ‘us’ or US – like of A).  Awesome.  Chilling. And perfect.


An amazing game.

An amazing display of grit & character.

An amazing advertisement to remind Americans of what Americans are made of.

An amazing sports day. An amazing character lesson day.

Now that, ladies & gentleman, was frickin’ amazing. And, that, was a life lesson for all of us.

Written by Bruce