Is Anyone Calling US Women's Soccer Team "Chokers"?

As regular readers know, I care very, very little about soccer, whether played by men or women. But believe it or not, that’s not what’s motivating me to write this post or ask this question.

“Choker” is an ugly word, and it’s almost always used unfairly. When two players or teams square off in the finals in ANY sport, it’s a safe bet that both players/teams are extremely good. No one should be surprised that any player/team good enough to make the finals is good enough to come from far behind and win.

But here’s what I’m getting at: fairly or unfairly, a male soccer team that blew a lead in the championship game WOULD be reviled as a bunch of chokers who folded in the clutch. Is there any doubt of that?

And yet, I haven’t read or heard any sports commentator use that kind of language about the Amrican women who coughed up the lead against Japan. Frankly, I almost never see female athletes ridiculed or raked over the coals for poor performance the way male stars are.

Why not? Does it just seem unchivalrous to talk about even highly competitive women that way? Why do people laugh at, say, the Buffalo Bills for coming up short in 4 straight Super Bowls, while saying, “Aw, that’s a tough break” when the women’s soccer team falls short in The Big One?

Yes, even though it’s stupid. Why not just look in the other thread and see for yourself?


I would have liked to see a U.S. victory, but Japan needed it more than we did considering recent history over there. Good for them, and congrats to our gals for a fine run in the tournament. Get 'em next time.

Jim Rome said it several times, with various emphases and elaborations, on the radio this morning.

I hope one of the gals goes on his show and goes after him like Jim Everett did a few years ago.

It was a conspiracy. Like how the Patriots “won” the Super Bowl after 9/11. Patriotic indeed! :wink:

A ton of people are calling it a “choke”. Many in this thread, also ESPN is trying to decide if the winner of “biggest choke” should go to the Miami Heat or the US Women’s Soccer team. Apparently NBC agrees.
I disagree that it was.

The actual game, no. The penalty kicks? yeah, i’d say so.

Abby Wambach could totally kick his ass, but is too classy to do so. Hell, Alex Morgan could probably kick his ass and not even mess up her hair.

I have been. They choked, plain and simple.

The only people who use the word “choke” in respect of any sporting event, are people who have never competed at any level in a sporting event. Hope this helps. Oh, and commentators looking for column inches or broadcast minutes I suppose.

I’m calling force field on Japan’s goals. Seriously. How many times did the ball get tantalizingly close, but then bounced out? Wasn’t there one time it hit the top bar and go totally the opposite way you expect*?


*Okay, so I didn’t actually try to calculate the physics, it just looked like the world’s unlikeliest deflection from where I was sitting.

I think that is somewhat down to the lack of prominence of women’s sports in general. If you ever frequent message boards dedicated to women’s sports ( and I’ve briefly hung around a few for NCAA women’s basketball and the WNBA ) you’ll see a fair number of accusations of “choking” by the dedicated cognoscenti, addressed at both teams and at specific players.

Where do you get that idea? It’s plainly false.


That’s just totally false. I don’t even know why you would think that.

Japan beat Germany, the host nation and pre-tournament favorites, in the quarterfinals. They also beat Mexico 4-0, a team that had beaten the USA a few months earlier. They were the most on-form team in the tournament.

The USA missed a lot of chances, but to say they choked is to unfairly diminish the quality of Japan’s side.

Why would the fact that the other team is good mean that the US couldn’t choke?

Lets not even get into the match, just talking about the penalty kicks. Going 1 for 4 isn’t choking? If that’s not choking, then there’s no such thing.

Interestingly, Colin Cowherd, who I normally think of as more toolish than Rome, argues that there was no choke here.

Yeah. They were leading with 8 minutes left and couldn’t finish. They were leading with 3 minutes left and couldn’t finish. They went into PKs and missed three straight. If that’s not choking I don’t know what is.

OK either they haven’t played or have the maturity level of a teenager.