Hand Up: I Fully Endorse the USWNT's Limb-From-Limb Destruction of Thailand, Yet Still Suffered Second-Hand Embarrassment From Some of Their Celebrations
As someone who cringes whenever the concept of class is thrown around in regards to sports, like fields of play hosting the most competitively cutthroat of athletes are supposed to be treated with the reverence of a 5-star dinner amongst dignitaries, I get it. I really do. The phrase "act like you've been there before" makes my goddamn skin crawl, especially with "there" being the back of a goal and not a fucking black tie event.
That being said, I also think that celebrating the 9th goal of a brutal bludgeoning of a soccer game, that was over once it was scheduled, like you're auditioning for a show tune objectively makes you look like an overzealous jackass in the moment...
As a veteran of multiple World Cups, the last of which she was instrumental in winning, it's almost impossible for Megan Rapinoe to derive that much joy from an uncontested tally against a Thailand team that had already tucked their tails. After all, if she genuinely does then it stands to reason that her heart might legitimately explode on the pitch if she pots one in the elimination round.
I say the following as someone who knows the importance of goal differential during the World Cup, and as someone that takes pride in the fact that at least one American team is capable of pounding the piss out of the rest of the planet in the most global of game. Regardless of whether or not it was...::chokes back taste of vomit::..."sportsmanlike", adding the type of insult to injury that you'd expect of someone seeking retribution for the murder of a loved one was a completely clueless display of self-(un)awareness.
The USWNT should have won by 100 if the opportunity presented itself. That doesn't change the fact that - regardless of gender, nationality, or whatever else people will stop at nothing to make this about - you should feel kinda stupid when you frolic shamelessly over a pretty forgiving line in reacting to what might as well have been the 100th goal as if it were the first. As it turns out, the world's best female athletes can also be assholes. Consider it a downside of the ongoing process of equality.
The type of hugs you'd expect to see given to someone safely returning from deployment weren't just objectively over-the-top given the score. They were also awkwardly over-the-top given the score, and I say that as someone who would have liked to have seen said score tripled by ladies that distracted from their dominant talents by acting as if they'd just magically discovered them yesterday.
I don't want to sound as if I'm against celebrating the realization of a lifelong dream, because I am most certainly not. However, I find it incredibly unlikely that any young soccer player, boy or girl, ever closed their eyes and dreamt of scoring the 13th goal against an overmatched opponent in the first game of the World Cup.