You know, for being supposedly the slowest week in pro sports, these past few days have provided a lot of fodder for cheering, and jeering.
Here’s the best and worst of the sporting world this week:
Cheers | The U.S. Women’s National Team
I’ll be the first to admit, soccer is not my forte. I know enough to look like I work in sports radio when people ask me about it at parties, but it’s never truly been my thing.
But these past few weeks, watching the U.S. Women’s National Team completely dominate the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been unthinkably wonderful.
Wherever you stand on the celebrations or the politics involved, you can’t deny that these women are true patriots, American heroes not only to millions of girls and young women — as Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, and more were for my generation — but to all Americans.
Congrats on a well-deserved, well-earned win.
And that, as they say, is the tea. (Did I get that right? I’m old.)
Jeers | U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro
Megan Rapinoe is an American hero. She’s a two time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, including this year in which she also picked up the tournament’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards. She’s won a gold medal, came in as a runner-up in yet another World Cup (2011), was a finalist for FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012, and is a National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Famer.
If you’re the U.S. Soccer Federation president, learn how to pronounce her name.
Come on, Carlos. The optics alone are bad enough, not to mention the fact that they come amid a — justified — push to pay women’s soccer players the same as their male counterparts.
Cheers | Rockies All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon
Finally, a Colorado Rockies player showed up on the national stage.
Previously 0-for-8 in his All-Star Game attempts at the plate, Charlie Blackmon cut the National League’s deficit in half on Tuesday by taking Oakland Athletics’ righty Liam Hendriks yard in the sixth inning.
Notoriously, the Rockies have failed to show up (at least offensively) in the Midsummer Classic, which doesn’t help the even-annoying Coors Field effect argument. Not to mention Blackmon struck out swinging with the bases loaded trailing 4-1 in the eight.
But, nevertheless, thanks to Chuck Nasty for bringing some Rockies pride to All-Star Game this week.
Jeers | National League
In my 31 years on this earth, there have been 32 Major League Baseball All-Star Games. I’m really not sure how that math works out, but that’s what Wikipedia tells me.
And of those 32 contests of the greatest sluggers and throwers in all of baseball, the American League has won 25 times, including Tuesday night’s 4-3 victory in Cleveland.
Just let that sink in a little.
Aside from a pair of three-game winning streaks (1994-1996 and 2010-2012), the N.L. squad has won just six times. Not to mention the league blew a late-game lead in 2002 that resulted in the calamity of playing for home field advantage in the World Series.
Boys, step it up.
Cheers | The Broncos Stadium training camp practice
For the first time since 2014, the Denver Broncos will bring training camp to the masses at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
On July 27, from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m., the team will hold practice on their home turn. And the best part, it’s free to the public.
Fans still have to download tickets through Ticketmaster, which is a bit of hassle, but at no cost.
Trust me, it’s worth the hassle.
Broncos Country shows out in huge numbers every year during training camp, but nothing compares to when the team hosts a stadium practice.
It’s an event to be experienced, and you should.
Jeers | Spiders
Spiders, supposedly, serve a purpose in this world. But for the life of me, no one’s been able to fully explain to me how and why.
I unashamedly loath spiders. And it appears for pretty good reason.
Example No. 10 million: Pro golfer and American treasure John Daly was forced to withdraw from The Open Championship in two weeks because, at least in part, because of a spider bite.
Yup. A tiny little brown recluse bit him in the abdomen, causing him to develop a major infection and enter the early stages of sepsis.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was required, as was surgery. All because of this little arachnid.
All of the nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.