As one of a small collection of die-hard American soccer fans, I strongly support the U.S. Women’s National Team in pursuit of the Women’s World Cup trophy. I remember Brandi Chastain sending in the tournament-winning goal in ’99 and followed their early oust in the ’03 and ’07 tournaments. But those riot fences behind the goals. Really?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for an equal tournament for the female players as the men. And soccer fans should be just as passionate for their country regardless the gender of the competitors. But doesn’t it seem a wee bit excessive to have the women’s tournament surrounded by a forty-foot tall barbed wire-topped barrier used to stop thousands of violent maniacs lighting fires in the stands?
What kind of rioters are we expecting for the Ivory Coast versus Sweden Women’s World Cup match after all? A bunch of Swedish lesbian biker chick women’s soccer fans ready to tear the place apart if their blonde beauties fall in the group stage? Won’t these behemoths be able to scale the fence on their own accord?
Maybe it’s to keep out the thousands of young girls who are there to support their role models. A zombie virus could break out, thus turning these children into an army of crazy undead monsters hell-bent on eating women’s soccer star brains. Protection would then be warranted.
There are riots in Greece right now over the austerity measures. Tens of thousands of Greek youths are striking because they don’t want their retirement age to be raised to the ripe old age of fifty-five, or whatever their dream deal is. Maybe they want to go to Germany (not sure how since the Greece airport employees are kicking back on the beach right now during their strike), and go ape-shit crazy at a women’s soccer match.
Maybe they should keep the trend going throughout all of women’s sports. Let’s see a WNBA match where the court is lined with riot officers ready to strike belligerent fans with rubber bullets and tear gas. Get back in your seat, Kaitlyn, Brittany and Tiffani.
My theory is that it comes back to Brandi Chastain. I don’t think that the shirt-removing incident can handle the digital age. What does an average American male think when they are told the Women’s World Cup is on? Two things: I would rather watch anything else on television, including the Oxygen Network’s Movie of the Week; and, Oh, wait, maybe that girl will show her tits again.
Granted she was wearing a sports bra and Brandi Chastain and Mia Hamm retired years ago. But guys really don’t need much more than an unexpected shirt removal to get us to tune in. Knowing that, we are going to have every kind of digital, film, print and web format watching the action of this year’s Women’s World Cup. One of those shirts comes off? We won’t just need the riot fences, we’ll need the entire European Union riot squad along with Interpol to track those who get away with pieces of the torn shirt.
What we can take from the riot fences standing at the Women’s World Cup is that every level of crazy-passionate soccer fan should extend to the men’s and women’s game equally. What we should be saying is not, Why is that riot fence there, but Why is it not being used?
So, AYSO girls of American youth leagues, young German soccer playing girls, rich soccer moms who are catching one of the games while summering in Germany and your average citizen, let’s put those fences to use. Sneak Molotov cocktails into the stadium, bring your enormous flags, your vuvuzelas, your flares and fire materials and go out of your minds for that women’s soccer game. Show them you care. Show them a riot.