It’s officially “Shark Week” people and it is only appropriate I dedicate my blog this week to the best 7-days of the year. Now, while I will not be discussing the shark attacks from the 1970’s, I will make some apt shark comparisons.
There is a reason why “Shark Week” is only once a year. If the Discovery Channel decided to have it once a month, one every two months, etc., it would really lose its bite (pun intended…you are permitted to laugh). This is the same reason that the Olympics and the World Cup are once every four years. It is much easier to get amped up for an event when you don’t have to do it all the time. Hence the overwhelming excitement about the most recent Women’s World Cup. It destroyed TV ratings, it blew up twitter, it had President Obama paying attention. It was big, really big.
I don’t want to go in to detail on what this means for the future of women’s soccer because I already did so for the WPS blog: http://www.womensprosoccer.com/sitecore/content/Home/news/general/110729-joanna-lohman-blog-5. Feel free to take a gander.
What I do want to talk about is the “rogue” shark, the vicious and solitary shark that is an undesirable variation from the standard. I use the term “rogue” for our league not for its negative connotation but for its assumed unpredictability. This season has been anything but predictable.
It is almost as if we had two seasons built into one. The pre/post World Cup season (PWCS) and the World Cup season (WCS). It is here that our Cheesesteak “double turkey” must be highlighted (thank you Steve) and it is no coincidence this occurred during the WCS. I in no way want to take away from its significance (pretty fricken cool), you would have to be blind and deaf not to realize that during this time period, each team in the WPS was significantly hamstrung by the departure of high quality domestic and international players. For a glaring example, look at magicJack and their results during this period….the worst loss in WPS history 6-0 and it could have been worse. Coincidentally it was against our ‘Steaks who proved to be the strongest of any WCS team.
Similar to “rogue” sharks seperating themselves from the norm, the WCS is not the norm. It cannot be used as the benchmark for the PWCS. Things have shifted dramatically. Teams are COMPLETELY different. Take us for example, we are still winning but not nearly as convincingly. Just look at our last four games. In those matches we have 3 victories (all 1-0 margins) and one loss. That loss broke our six game win streak, took a bite out of our leg, and knocked us back into reality of the PWCS. The parody is back, the unpredictability is back, Marta is back, and magicJack is winning, 4-0 over Boston.
The question is, now that we are back into the PWCS do the outcomes become more predictable? Is the element of the “rogue” a non factor? Not really. Both the PWCS and the WCS have been too short to really form set judgements. The Cheesesteaks have two regular season games left. The first being against Sky Blue, who most recently attacked us and broke our winning streak and then magicJack, the most mysterious team in WPS history (all sports history for that matter). While I am certain we are going to win (I have my biases), I don’t think the certainty in Vegas is as strong.
We are currently sitting at the top of the table with 33 points but have played two more games than the second place Flash. If you do the math on that one, there is a chance we could finish second. The good news is that second place would be our lowest finish considering Boston and magicJack have a solid 19 points with three and four games left respectively. That means even if the PWCS MJ (don’t you love all the acronyms) win-out we would still have more points.
Wow – my brain hurts. This makes for an exciting end of the season and we find ourselves in a great position but need to win these last two games to help our cause. While our destiny may not be in our complete control, it is always nice to go into the post-season with momentum.
If your like me and can’t handle all the suspense then come to our last regular-season home game this Sunday and be a part of it all (Widener University, 6pm) (It’s also live on Fox Soccer Channel). Even better, sit in my personal fan section, JoLohManiacs. http://twitvid.com/RECPP. If your interested in making it rock, call 1-877-977-7445. Pictures and autographs with me after the game….and a JoLoh t-shirt.
It really doesn’t get much better than this. “Shark Week” meets “WPS Shark Week”. Swim at your own risk.