Bernstein: What's Not To Like About the USWNT?

What's delicious is how they make all the right people unhappy as they keep winning.

Dan Bernstein
July 03, 2019 - 2:45 pm

(670 The Score) ​​​​I'll admit I'm late to the party at this point, but I'm more than happy to join in the fun being had by the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team as it vies for another World Cup. I had been following along with the outcomes and the headlines both on the pitch and off, enjoying things vicariously through friends and colleagues whom I follow on Twitter, people with far more knowledge of the game and emotional investment in the program.

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And sitting down to dedicate time to watching their hard-fought 2-1 semifinal win over England on Monday turned out to be well worth it, just an objectively entertaining viewing experience all the way to the final whistle. The vanquishing of that particular opponent frames Independence Day quite aptly, even if the roles in this hegemony are reversed.

The joy with which they actually play has an infectious quality about it, as does their utter lack of concern for the picayune thoughts of those critical of seemingly every behavior they may exhibit. It's hard to not have fun watching them play in large part because they have so much fun playing, and that's precisely the way sports are supposed to work.

What's really delicious is how they make all the right people unhappy as they keep winning in their style.

It's like the MLB chuds inside and outside that sport who feel it's their responsibility to police expressive exuberance, so as not to contribute to the erosion of our children's precious ethical fiber. Bat flips and fist pumps are anathema to these self-appointed vigilantes, representing some decay of civility in polite society that require a subsequent assault with a baseball for some combination of retribution and deterrence.

The actual reasons are largely deep-seated identity crises and discomfort with the celebration of multi-culturalism, of course, but only the dumbest of them have said those quiet parts out loud.

So it is with the USWNT, pilloried for their post-goal self-congratulations after they put 13 of them in the back of Thailand's net, because of some unwritten rules capping the number of those that are acceptable, and then Alex Morgan's pantomimed sipping on tea after her goal upsetting those who let it cut a little too close to the bone.

And the fact that no less an overweening prig than Piers Morgan is on the wrong side of all of this is especially good, as he continues to step on these rakes on the ground like Sideshow Bob, to the delight of us all. If he's upset, something good is happening.

Same goes for the rancid and bilious orange glob lobbing cowardly Twitter spitballs at the irrepressible Megan Rapinoe. If she's the subject of the latest syntax-challenged tirade from the golden commode, it's cause for a victory lap. Brava to her for her performance so far, her deeply felt sentiments about what it means to be an American and her ongoing efforts to let her actions mean more than words.

People are loving all of this, for good reason. The USWNT jersey is now setting sales records for Nike, already the company's No. 1 in the sport's history, including both men and women. Television ratings are surging too.

Talented, victorious, outwardly confident and outspokenly and unapologetically on the right side of history is an easy combination to support.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.