Best of 2011: Not just for little girls any more

This week I’m reposting some of my entries from this year that not only are my favorites but that I thought really resonated as well.

The U.S. women’ s soccer team captivated the nation for a few days last summer with its run to the Women’s World Cup finals. But unlike the 1999 team, this one wasn’t touted for being role models for young girls, nor was it presented primarily for the benefit of the “ponytailed hooligans” from 12 years before.

(Nothing wrong with any of that, but the travails of women’s pro soccer since then have shown that it takes a lot more than a feel-good story to make a professional venture stick. As I wrote recently, too many of the wrong assumptions and sentiments are still being cited.)

This past summer, these American players were fully adult, edgy, even controversial women, some of whom were trying to rid themselves of a painful past. All they did was put on a hell of a good show. It was a quintessential example of great sports entertainment.

Red-blooded American men who normally wouldn’t pay much attention to women’s sports or soccer tuned in as if it were the Super Bowl.

From July 20: Free at last: letting women’s sports grow up.

Enjoy.

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