losing it at the movies: shampoo (hal ashby, 1975)
t-men (anthony mann, 1947)

champions once again

In a tournament where the USA's most marketable player was Alex Morgan, who is in the Mia Hamm mold (pretty, scores goals), it was a "purple-haired lesbian goddess" who was the face of the World Cup. Morgan is so good, she tied for the most goals scored yet seemed to be off her game. But Megan Rapinoe rose to the occasion as few others have. She scored as many goals as Morgan, she was named MVP, and she pissed off the President of the United States. Nothing is more American.

It's a tradition here to post this quotation at the end of a World Cup:

One thing I know for sure about being a fan is this: it is not a vicarious pleasure, despite all appearances to the contrary, and those who say that they would rather do than watch are missing the point.... When there is some kind of triumph, the pleasure does not radiate from the players outwards until it reaches the likes of us at the back of the terraces in a pale and diminished form; our fun is not a watery version of the team's fun ... The joy we feel on occasions like this is not a celebration of others' good fortune, but a celebration of our own; and when there is a disastrous defeat the sorrow that engulfs us is, in effect, self-pity, and anyone who wishes to understand how football is consumed must realise this above all things.

--Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch

Image result for megan rapinoe


Nondisposable Johnny

Just curious. Does Rapinoe have some kind of special knack for penalty kicks? They seem easy enough for any good player to be chosen but I don't know much about soccer. Is it one of those situations where you never put an 85% free throw shooter on the line for a technical if you have a 90% shooter on the floor?

Steven Rubio

There are probably some players who are just bad at taking penalties, and everyone knows who they are so they don't get chosen except in an emergency. The statistics tell you most of what you need to know, although there's a Small Sample Size problem, since no one takes that many penalties in a career. The intangibles come from how well a player can ignore the pressure of the penalty kick, although I suspect that is spotted in the statistics. Rapinoe is good at penalties, and she seems to have ice water in her veins, so she gets to take lots of them. Sometimes you'll see the person who was fouled taking the penalty, but just as often, there's the idea that the fouled player might be a bit shaky so they don't take the penalty. All in all, it's decided before the game what order the penalty takers will go in, unless someone just bullies their way onto the spot.

Goalies traditionally have little to fear. No one expects them to stop a penalty, so there's no shame if you can't do it, while if you do succeed, you are an instant game-saver. In recent years, teams/goalies have begun tracking penalty histories, so you might know that Player X always aims for the upper left corner. Obviously, the players who can mix and match their penalties can beat this notion.

Nondisposable Johnny

Thanks. That all makes sense. I didn't get to watch much except highlights....which seemed to consist mostly of Megan Rapinoe making penalty kicks! I remembered her mostly as an excellent passer from previous WC's and Olympic Games so was a little surprised to see her feature so prominently in the scoring...In any case whoever made the decision to put her on PKs obviously knew what they were doing.

Steven Rubio

Here is Megan Rapinoe's most famous assist:


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