No, the NFL lockout is not over yet. More surprising is that I have stopped caring. I thought I would really miss having NFL games to watch on Sundays this fall, but the incessant talk about the lockout has left me uninterested in any of it right now. Now, I’m not foolish. I know that if the NFL really did continue the lockout for an entire season, I would probably not be happy about it. But, the constant attention is getting to be like steroids in baseball: do what you have to do to fix the problem, but can we please stop talking about it?
Luckily, this summer has provided us all with a football fix of the global variety. I have been enjoying football since the end of last month, and I don’t mean replays or rebroadcasts from the NFL. I’m talking about the sport that is recognized globally as football – not the sport we named football just because we can do what we want. Fine, call it soccer if you want.
Many of you joined me in watching football this week, thanks to last-minute heroics by the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s run to the World Cup Final. Most of you completely missed the beginning of the group stage, waiting for the knockout round. A lot of you weren’t even watching when the U.S. dispatched Brazil in the most dramatic fashion. But, after that epic never-say-die performance, plenty of people were watching when the women faced off against France on Wednesday. Abby Wambach led the national team to a 3-1 victory over the French, making the final for the first time since the U.S. women won in 1999.
For those of you in South Texas, you can continue the national soccer craze this fall with the Trinity men’s and women’s soccer teams. The Tigers open up in September, and will battle all the way into December for a shot at the NCAA Division III Championship. For the third straight year, both teams will be fighting for a shot to play in the finals here in San Antonio – which will host the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships for the third straight year.
The Trinity women’s team even has its own “Abby”, as senior All-American Abby Loar is one of the team’s top returning players. The Tiger women return a total of eight starters from last year’s team, which went 18-2-0 overall, and was eliminated from the NCAA Playoffs by eventual national champions, Hardin-Simmons University.
The men’s team can provide you with a little international flavor, with five players hailing from outside of the United States – including last season’s first-year Brazilian sensation, All-American Yuri Ribiero. The Tiger men also return eight starters from last year’s team that finished 19-3-1 overall, losing to eventual national finalist Lynchburg College.