Tuesday, July 31, 2012
HOPE'S SOLO ACT IS WEARING THIN
Hope Solo. Is there a better surname for a superstar athlete who is trying pretty damn
hard to squeeze an "I" in the word, team? Isn't Solo the perfect name for a person
hell bent on trying to make woman's soccer and the Olympics all about her?
It's pretty clear the Hope Solo has been blessed with a lot---athletic skills, good looks,
and a physique that she was more than happy to bare in ESPN The Magazine's "Body"
issue. But God didn't bless her with everything. He must've been updating his status
on Facebook when it came time to handing out class to Solo, because the goalie for the
U.S. Women's team has very little of it.
Solo is using the Olympic games in London as a personal platform to take her Q-rating
to a entire different level. She has a book (of course) and a perfume line to promote and
there is no better place to Solo-flex than on the world stage. She wants people to talk, tweet
and text about her and she's certainly off to a great start, managing to gain the Olympic
spotlight for achieving very little.
Give her credit though, Solo has managed to gain a lot of attention in a sport that few
people care about, outside of the Olympics and World Cup. Perhaps, Solo learned the
art of self-promotion while watching Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco.
In the countdown to the Olympic games, Solo was the centerpiece of an article on ESPN.com
that highlighted all the sex and games that go on in the Olympic village. Solo was quoted as
saying that athletes were getting down and dirty out in the open and that she and her teammates
showed up for an interview on the "Today" show still drunk after a late night of partying. But
that's the kind of stuff that sells and Solo knows it. In today's reality show driven world, one
has to be controversial to get noticed. You have to say something really extravagant to get
attention and Solo has become an expert at that.
Solo continued her selfish act when she got offended by what she felt was unwarranted
criticism by NBC soccer analyst, Brandi Chastain, after the U.S beat Colombia 3-0 last
Saturday. Solo tweeted the world that Chastain should "lay off commentating about defending"
and goalkeeping "until you get more educated" and "the gamed has changed from a decade ago."
Really, Hope? I thought athletes never listened to talk radio, read the newspapers, or pay
attention to analysts. What's the matter, you can dish it out, but can't take it?
Solo certainly couldn't take it in 2007 when she was benched by Greg Ryan in favor
of Brianna Scurry in the semifinals of the World Cup against Brazil, a game the U.S.
lost 4-0. After the game, she lob verbal grenades at her coach and teammate, "it was
the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows
that." Whoa, stay classy, Solo, stay classy. Scurry couldn't escape Solo's wrath, either,
"There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," Solo said. That's
what you calling being a great teammate! Way to handle it with class and such dignity!
The Solo act is growing really tiresome. I realize this kind of behavior gets you the
headlines, endorsements, and your own reality show these days, but I just wish there
could be more athlete like 17-year old Missy Franklin. She's a class act that I'd watch
over and over.