Yesterday, I stopped on the Women’s World Cup on ESPN. When it comes to soccer, I would say my fandom is limited to big events like the World Cup, Champions League and this past week’s Gold Cup.
The few minutes I watched of a couple of games were good, but it was nowhere near as interesting as some of the stories surrounding the squads. For starters, the average height of the Japanese side is 5’4” and they aren’t even the shortest team. That honor belongs to the Mexican side, an inch shorter at 5’3”. To put that in perspective, J.J. Barea would look like Dwight Howard if he were to suit up alongside either of these teams.
So Japanese and Mexican women are short, you pretty much already knew that. But did you know that the reason North Korea lost to the United States was because the team got struck by lightning less than three weeks ago? Apparently the goalie and four defenders were among the injured and should not have been playing, but were toughing it out .
If you ask me, it sounds like somebody who really wants to avoid a life of working in the mines. Would anybody be surprised if the story was absolutely true, with the caveat that the lightning was coming from the fingertips of a cloaked Kim Jong Ill?
Then came the story of Equatorial Guinea. The smallest country to ever qualify for the event, they have an inversely proportional amount of drama surrounding them. Four of their players from the qualifying rounds are no longer with the team. Unfortunately, one of their star players, Tecla Bile was killed in a car accident in December. Another player was removed due to nationality issues. The other two were removed due to gender issues.
Gender issues? Yes, apparently they were dropped after Ghana voiced suspicions that some members of the team were using performance enhancing penises at last year’s African Women’s Championship. A third player accused of being a man, Genoveva Ayonmang, is actually still on the squad, as the team’s captain.
So when I am sitting on my couch tomorrow, I will be watching women’s soccer, if only for the hope that they can top any of the storylines that have come out so far.