Competition or Network Sideshow — Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing (July 2019)

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team rejoices in a shared moment.

By Mark S. McDonald, sports/culture expert-in-training

Our U.S. women’s national soccer team plays England in the World Cup semifinals Tuesday in Paris. You already know the U.S. kick-ballers have a growing legion of followers, including Old Grump here.

Tomorrow and beyond, my greatest wishes:

  • Each U.S. team member will show ball skills, field vision, fitness of a greyhound and class. These women could dribble through morning traffic on Mesa Street. And they are fit and superbly trained, especially on defense, where the back line functions with keen spatial relationships. They move as one, as if tied together by an invisible rope. Young, impressionable girls look up to the U.S. team and adore every move our women make.  
  • Equal pay for the women. With the likes of Martina Navratilova and Chrissy Evert and Co., we went through this hoo-haw a generation ago. Are we slow learners, or what?
  • Every U.S. team member stands for the National Anthem, then later, nobody dog-cusses the President. Maybe, just maybe, network TV cameras will find someone other than Pink Hair. Enough already.

Miners football coach Dana Dimel has his own way of sidestepping political manure.

“No disrespect,” he told me just after coming from Kansas State. Respect women, faculty and staff, Old Glory and the National Anthem and “Eyes of Texas.” So far, his message has come through.

At the World Cup, at the Sun Bowl, on the UTEP campus, let’s hope we can focus on the competition, not a peripheral sideshow. Keep the main thing, the main thing.

And you say?

{McDonald is a UTEP grad and a two-year starter in football absent of singing talent. For reasons of his own, he stands for the National Anthem. His most recent book, Beyond The Big Shootout – 50 Years of Football’s Life Lessons, is available online at <>.} 

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