As far as social media platforms go, I love Twitter the most. Granted, I probably use Facebook more often, but the ability to customize feeds and easily interact with others via Twitter is what makes it, to me, the best platform out there.
I also love soccer. It was one of the first sports I learned, and it was an early bond my father and I shared. His passion for the game was passed down to me, and I as I started playing American football, he used the analogies and differences between the two sports to make me a better player.
I am glad to say the soccer bug was also picked up by my daughter. In 2015, we had the opportunity to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to cheer on the United States Women’s National Team as they competed in the FIFA World Cup. My daughter played recreation and competitive soccer for over a decade, and to see her watch her heroes on the pitch was an extraordinary sight.
Because of her, I am an avid fan of the USWNT. I’d much rather watch the women play than the men, in part because I believe the play is more pure, but also because of the emotional bond I have from watching my daughter play all those years.
A third reason I prefer to watch the women play is that I still recall their amazing run in the 1999 World Cup. Three months before my daughter was born, the US women defeated China via penalty kicks in the championship game of that tournament. The game was amazing. The atmosphere, as seen on TV, was electrifying. I can only imagine what it felt like in the Rose Bowl on that afternoon in July. I still get goosebumps watching the replays, and I became a fan, following the USWNT roster and results ever since.
So you can only imagine my excitement when two of my geek worlds collided. I made a playful remark to a tweet from Julie Foudy, a member of that 1999 World Cup team, as she was commenting on last night’s loss by the US Men’s hockey team in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Her tweet read:
Heartbreak for Team USA. @usahockey knocked out in Qtrfinal shoot out loss against the Czech Republic. I officially do not like Shoot Outs. There, I said it. #PyeongChang2018
I casually reminded Ms. Foudy of the shootout in 1999, and she promptly shared my tweet with a reply of her own.
I know it may seem silly, but it’s a complete geek-out moment for me. Julie Foudy had a stellar career as a member of the USWNT, is an ambassador of the game, and does exceptional work for ESPN. To be RT’d by her – a world champion – is way, way cool!
I’ve written before (Part I and Part II) about some of the things I’ll miss when my wife and I move later this Spring to the D.R. to pursue our mission work. Living in Florida, we’ve had several opportunities to see in person the USWNT compete. Perhaps I should publish a Part III discussing how much I will miss being in the stands, watching those talented women play, watching them represent our country on the pitch, and watching so many girls and young women dream big.