NEWS ALERT ... Chargers ready to bolt town
Team president Dean Spanos ready to convince other NFL owners that team must depart San Diego for Los Angeles.
I can still recall hearing the news that Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon got injured in 1984 and would be sidelined with a lacerated kidney.
That injury occurred well before the days of the Internet – your home phone was the only way people could find you back then – so a friend and I headed over to the local bookstore to learn the meaning.
The second I saw the word “sliced” I suddenly felt real bad for McMahon, who was then one of the biggest jerks in pro sports.
I kept picturing a kidney being sliced and I would just cringe.
Well, lacerated kidney is back in the sports vernacular as San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen is done for the season. Yep, he suffered a lacerated kidney during Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The injury cuts short what was on pace to being a historic season for Allen, the third-year pro who has gone from being a third-round draft steal in 2013 to one of the NFL’s top receivers.
Allen had 67 receptions in eight games before leaving Sunday’s game at halftime due to the injury. The catches tie for third-most in NFL history over a team’s first eight games.
Atlanta’s Julio Jones (70 this season) and former Indianapolis standout Marvin Harrison (69 in 2002) are the only players to have more.
Another way to put Allen’s fabulous half season in perspective is this: He had 71 receptions during a fantastic rookie campaign in 2013 and then increased that to 77 catches last season.
He was not only on pace to shatter his personal high but he also was going to obliterate the Chargers franchise mark of 100 receptions by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003.
But now Allen’s season is over. It ended with an acrobatic 13-yard touchdown catch in which he landed awkwardly and remained on the turf for several minutes.
Allen’s loss rates as a blow for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who has been outstanding with 2,753 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has deep bonds with tight end Antonio Gates and receiver Malcom Floyd but has quickly built a fabulous rapport with Allen.
Judging by ownership intentions, Allen might have played his final game during the organization’s San Diego tenure. Team president Dean Spanos is working as hard as possible to get the franchise permission to move to Los Angeles.
That would leave San Diegans to remember Allen as the guy who lacerated his kidney as they cringe inside and feel phantom pain near their own kidneys.
There’s just something awful about that term: lacerated kidney.
Didn’t like it when it happened to Jim McMahon and don’t like it now as the situation plays out with Keenan Allen.
Consider me impressed that the Kansas City Royals will always be referred to as 2015 World Series champions.
There seemed to be this belief from the so-called experts that there was no chance the Royals would return to the World Series for a second straight season. Kind of like these know-it-alls thought it was a fluke the club reached the 2014 World Series.
But think about it – San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner had a World Series for the ages last year. If he didn’t exist, we would be referring to the Kansas City Royals as back-to-back champions tonight.
They definitely deserve the tag as 2015 champions after winning the World Series against the New York Mets in five games.
The Royals were the best team of this entire postseason. By far.
They get key hits, they make key pitches, they thrive in the clutch and everyone on the team contributes.
Oh yes, they certainly have unlikely heroes.
I mean, geez, somebody named Christian Colon hadn’t batted this entire postseason. Naturally, he comes up and delivers the tiebreaking single in the 12th inning of what turned into a 7-2 victory.
But Colon never gets the chance to engrave his name into Royals’ lore if not for Kansas City’s two-run ninth inning. That’s when first baseman Eric Hosmer made the daring dash to score the tying run – a sprint that instantly etches itself in baseball lore.
New York took a 2-0 lead into that ninth inning behind Matt Harvey’s stellar pitching. Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen had decided to lift Harvey after the eighth inning before the right-hander talked his manager into letting him start the ninth.
The Royals moved within 2-1 and Hosmer was on third with one out. World Series MVP Salvador Perez hit a grounder to third and as soon as David Wright threw the ball to first, Hosmer dashed for home.
All New York first baseman Lucas Duda needed to do was make your typical on-the-mark throw home and Hosmer was a dead duck. But Duda’s toss home resembled the type of throw NFL quarterback Brandon Weeden would make – high and wide of the target – and Hosmer scored the tying run instead of making the final out.
From that point on, it seemed just a matter of time before the Royals would win that game and it finally happened in the 12th. That is when Colon singled home the first of five runs in the inning to leave the Mets feeling devastated.
Collins will certainly receive some heat in New York for letting Harvey talk him into pitching the ninth. But there was nothing wrong with that – Harvey sailed through the eighth inning and was dominating Kansas City hitters.
But once Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain to start the ninth, perhaps Collins should have made the change. Instead, Hosmer smacked a run-scoring double and soon came the famous dash home with closer Jeurys Familia on the mound.
Regardless, the Royals made things happen. Now they are viewed as big-time winners and the turnaround has been swift.
Kansas City endured a string of 17 losing campaigns in an 18-season span before finishing with an 86-76 record in 2013. Then came last season’s surprise World Series appearance and now Ned Yost will forever be referenced as a World Series-winning manager.
Who ever thought that was a possibility?
This is Kansas City’s second World Series title – the first one somehow being 30 years ago. Wow 1985, where did you go?
That was a fun band of Royals led by Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett.
That club also featured terrific players like left fielder Willie Wilson and second baseman Frank White. Bret Saberhagen was the ace of a pitching staff – he won 20 regular-season games at age 21 that season – that included starters Charlie Leibrandt, Danny Jackson and closer Dan Quisenberry.
At that time, it seemed like the Royals would be in line to win another title or two and it didn’t happen. Instead, the long drought of missing out on the playoffs began.
The funny thing is that this group of Royals looks like they should be back in the World Series sometime within the next few years too. Perhaps even win another title.
That would be equally as impressive.
Ever think where the San Diego Chargers might be if they didn’t have Philip Rivers on their team?
Um, no, smartass, saying “in Los Angeles” isn’t the proper answer.
They also wouldn’t have been in the game against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers if not for Rivers having a superb contest.
The Chargers suffered a painful 27-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday in what was an absolutely stellar effort by the veteran quarterback.
Rivers had the most prolific game by a quarterback in Chargers history – the type of performance that would even make Hall of Famer Don Fouts blush.
Rivers set clubs records for completions (43), attempts (65) and passing yardage (503). He broke his own club record for passing yardage – 455 against the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 – while becoming only the 17th player in NFL history to top 500 yards in a single game.
Receiver Keenan Allen caught 14 passes – one short of the franchise record he shares with Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow – before leaving with a hip injury.
But all that production didn’t equate to a victory. The Chargers only scored 20 points despite accumulating 32 first downs, possessing the ball for 38 minutes and running 89 plays to Green Bay’s 49.
The Chargers had a chance to force overtime but a third-and-goal run by Woodhead was halted for a 1-yard loss and Rivers’ fourth-down throw into the right flat never reached Woodhead as the pass was broken up by Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall.
Just like that, Rivers’ big game wasn’t enough.
Here’s the number why the Chargers head home disappointed – 20.
All that production and San Diego only scored 20 points.
Rough way to drop to 2-4 and pretty much know that you are out of the AFC West race with the Denver Broncos being undefeated.
The Packers remained unbeaten with the victory and recorded their 13th straight home win. Oh yeah, they are also 10-1 lifetime against the Chargers.
So the history wasn’t good as San Diego’s lone win against the Packers came on Oct. 7, 1984 and you may know it is also one of the most-ignored victories in franchise history.
That’s because the Padres beat the Chicago Cubs to reach the World Series for the first time that same afternoon. Winslow set his franchise record during that contest but the only receptions most San Diegans saw were on the Monday Night Football halftime highlights the following night.
So considering the history, it wasn’t looking too good for the Chargers when they spotted Green Bay a 17-3 lead.
Aaron Rodgers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to James Starks in the first quarter and Starks later added a 65-yard touchdown run. Starks appeared stuffed in the middle of line before reversing to the right and taking advantage of the fact the Chargers backside defenders over pursued and meandered down the field for the score.
But the Chargers regrouped and scored a significant touchdown right before halftime. Allen caught a pass near the goal line with 12 seconds left – a review confirmed he was a foot short – and San Diego nearly let time run out before using one of its two timeouts.
Nearly a pretty major gaffe by coach Mike McCoy, who has made a habit of curious decisions during his head-coaching stint. There was no reason to be scrambling to the line and trying to get set to snap the ball at the last second. He had TWO timeouts.
If the play gets reviewed, the result can only be improved for the Chargers. The replay officials may have ruled Allen got in as opposed to being a foot short. So no need to hurry and get a play off.
Then weirder, McCoy ran in the field-goal kicking team while the play was under review. It is OK if you used your Nancy Kerrigan “WHYYYYYYY?” voice because that was even sillier than the timeout fiasco.
Finally, San Diego got the offense back on the field and cashed in as Rivers threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman. Trailing 17-10 at halftime in Lambeau Field provided hope and that was infinitely much better than trailing 17-3 or 17-6.
Helping matters more is that the Chargers continued to play strong at the outset of the third quarter and tied the contest on Rivers’ 19-yard scoring pass to Ladarius Green.
But Rodgers finally got Green Bay moving again after going more than 20 minutes without a first down. Once the Packers went ahead 24-17 on Rodgers’ 8-yard pass to James Jones with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if things fell apart.
It didn’t happen as the Chargers moved back within four points on Jeff Lambo’s 32-yard field goal and were able to make the Packers settle for a 28-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 2:37 remaining.
But the final drive didn’t produce the tying points. Rivers drove the Chargers down the field but the offense stalled after reaching the 3-yard line. Two Woodhead runs and two incomplete passes later, San Diego walked off the field with its third road loss of the season.
Just don’t put any blame on Philip Rivers.
Sure, he only guided his club to 20 points but what more could he do?
He did it all on Sunday and it still wasn’t enough for a victory.
Saw a television station article the other day that claimed Boise State’s season-opening game against Washington is the most-anticipated football contest to ever be played in Boise.
Then I fell out of my computer chair and out the third-floor window and slammed my head on the concrete.
OK, so the fall didn’t happen — but that story would be just as accurate as anyone who writes that Friday’s game with the Huskies is the biggest in the city’s history. (see stellar game preview here — http://newsok.sportsdirectinc.com/football/ncaaf-preview.aspx?page=/data/NCAAF/matchups/g8_preview_88.html)
The return of Washington coach Chris Petersen — the coach for Boise State’s best-ever seasons — to the Blue Turf is certainly an intriguing story line. And yes, the Broncos typically don’t attract Pac-12 teams to visit due to their small football stadium so this beats another UC Davis or Miami (Ohio) contest.
But the buzz has been kind of mellow compared to the truly most anticipated home game in Boise State history — the 2009 opener against Oregon.
I moved to Boise that summer and that was all I heard about every day as I tried to figure out why the temperatures were always in the 90s and 100s. Boise State fans were passionate and going crazy about the game and Oregon was breaking in a new head coach named Chip Kelly who was promising the Ducks would be scoring points at high-octane levels.
Oregon also was the first-ever ranked team to visit Boise State and the fans were giddy about that tidbit – as they saw it as something that increased the Broncos’ credibility.
Plus, Boise State had won at Oregon the previous season and the Ducks were still fuming about it. Running back LeGarrette Blount was quoted as saying Oregon owed the Broncos an “ass whuppin.”
Tension was everywhere as the start of the game approached. I was impressed as I saw signs that this non-sports town I moved to might actually have some life at times.
As for the return of “Coach Pete” and his unranked Huskies, the buzz has increased over the past week but pales in comparison to the Oregon game.
People who were mad at Petersen for leaving were able to move on a little easier once Bryan Harsin guided the Broncos to a 12-win season in 2014, including a Fiesta Bowl victory over Arizona. People who are thankful for Petersen’s eight seasons as coach and impressive contributions will get a chance to applaud him before the game or yell something at him as he leaves the field afterward.
The last time these teams met, Petersen’s Broncos were destroyed 38-6 at Washington in 2013. These Huskies aren’t as good and that also has something to do with the level of anticipation as you don’t hear Boise State fans talking about payback.
If the game turns out to be a classic, it might then be remembered years down the road for something more than Coach Pete’s return.
You know, if it should turn out to be … like Oregon versus Boise State in 2009.
Kelly’s fast-pace offense was slowed to a snail in terms of production — six first downs, 152 total yards — as the Broncos posted a 19-8 victory. Yes, Chip Kelly’s team scored EIGHT whole points.
Oregon’s biggest power display came after the game when Blount delivered a right cross to the jaw of mouthy Boise State defender Byron Hout during the postgame handshake.
Hey, maybe that’s what this Washington-Boise State contest needs. Perhaps a player or administrator will cold-cock Petersen before the game. That will get tensions moving in the right direction.
Regardless, if you’re one of those people trying to hype this game as the biggest or most-anticipated home game in Boise State history, just stop it.
Philip Rivers is apparently fine with the possibility of being quarterback of the Los Angeles Chargers.
The veteran signal caller inked a four-year contract extension with the organization on Saturday night as speculation continues that the club is entering its final season in San Diego.
Rivers wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea of moving to Smogville several months ago but dollar signs have been known to change a player’s mind on numerous fronts. And landing a contract reportedly worth more than $83 million – with $65 million of it guaranteed – sounds like a good reason to embrace the idea of playing in Los Angeles.
Besides, nobody says Rivers has to move there. He can commute from his home in 4S Ranch, located in the northern part of San Diego County.
Rivers is 33 years ago as he enters the 2015 season so it is likely his last big-money deal. A player has to cash in while he can and a poor campaign this season – or one in which he suffered a devastating injury – could have cost Rivers tens of millions of dollars.
And the Chargers badly need Rivers on board when they make their move. Arriving in Los Angeles with an established veteran who has 10 years of starting experience surely beats showing up with an unproven rookie or a journeyman behind center.
The Chargers will also be fighting for headlines once they move north so it helps immensely on the public relations front.
Of course, San Diegans aren’t so thrilled with the prospects of this being the last season of the Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium.
That’s no fault of Rivers, who has 252 career touchdown passes and will break the franchise mark set by Hall of Famer Dan Fouts (254) early this season.
Rivers passed for 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns last season so he’s certainly still at the top of his game. With this extension, the club is gambling that he will still be a top-flight quarterback through 2019.
The only unknown is this: How will Rivers like playing in L.A?
Sydney Seau tried hard not to get emotional but that was just not an attainable goal.
Not in Canton, Ohio on a memorable Saturday night. Not when it came to presenting her late father for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The 22-year-old daughter of NFL great Junior Seau was allowed to speak at the induction ceremonies after originally being informed she wouldn’t be allowed to do so. Public pressure helped change that decision.
Sydney Seau undoubtedly had to agree not to bring up the fact that her father’s suicide was likely due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that has robbed many players of a quality life after football.
A minute of silence was held for Junior Seau but shhhhhh – let’s not talk about how the San Diego Chargers’ legend died at the age of 43 in 2012.
To me, the saddest part of the night is that Seau – one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history – wasn’t around to enjoy it. He gave his life to football and he deserved to be standing at the podium giving one of his knockout speeches.
I covered him for six seasons at a time when he was at the top of his game and his determination was unmatched. Whether the Chargers were going to their lone Super Bowl or suffering through a 1-15 campaign with dog-meat talent, he was giving his all even in practices.
I’ve seen it written several times over the past few years that Seau never had a concussion. I know that isn’t true.
You know how NFL teams currently fudge on their injury reports? Just think was it was like in the 1990s when there wasn’t as much scrutiny.
I vividly recall one week during the time I was covering Seau that he was invisible all week. Everything to do with Seau was hush-hush and nobody saw him during the media availability sessions, which was a real oddity since Seau was usually eager to get his television time.
Seau played on Sunday and everybody moved on. But I suspected at the time that he had a concussion – which had yet to develop into a big deal in the football world – and the Chargers were doing all they could to keep it quiet.
Of course, NFL teams lie all the time. Remember all the fibbing the Chargers did per their player injuries leading up to playing the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in Jan. 2008?
The club opened up LaDainian Tomlinson for nationwide criticism by fudging about the seriousness of his knee injury. Team president Dean Spanos had no problem lying to my face over the fact that Philip Rivers had a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury and had undergone knee surgery earlier in the week. Norv Turner also looked into my eyes and denied that kicker Nate Kaeding had a broken bone in his leg.
So yeah, the last people you want to believe about anything are the Chargers. Soon to be known as the Los Angeles Chargers.
The NFL office is just as bad. And with the Seau family having a pending lawsuit against the league, you could see why there was reluctance to allow Sydney Seau to speak.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame cited a policy that was enacted several years back for the original decision. But both the Hall and the NFL eventually got it right by giving Sydney Seau more than enough time to speak about her father – both in the video on him and then on stage after his bust was unveiled.
Think of all the pressure on young Sydney as she was speaking in front of thousands of strangers about her late father. Then realize how eloquently she painted a picture of all things Junior – father, football player, community icon – and there’s nothing to do but tip your cap.
Pretty sure Junior was looking down – and was just as proud of his daughter as she is of him.
If the #DeflateGate controversy wasn’t already weird enough, we learned Tuesday that Tom Brady does a very odd thing when he realizes there might be troublesome information in his cell phone.
Brady has one of his personal assistants destroy the phone.
I got a new cell phone recently and Sprint said nothing to me about destroying my old phone. Perhaps Brady – the quarterback of the New England Patriots – is with Verizon and has the Egocentric Destruction Customer clause in his plan.
There certainly must have been some good info to hide for Brady to revert to such tactics when he is fully aware the NFL had requested access to his text messages. Why else would someone destroy the phone under those circumstances?
The NFL revealed Brady’s cell-phone antics on the same day the league announced that commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the silly #DeflateGate situation.
According to the NFL, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages on the phone over a four-month span. That sounds like a lot of messages to me. Certainly must have been a lot of chatter over the “weight of balls.”
Maybe there were awkward texts about the “texture of the balls,” — that phrase that sounded oh-so-odd when New England coach Bill Belichick used it in the late January spin-control press conference.
Either way, Brady exchanged 80 texts per day — on average — and it is reasonable to expect there were exchanges that had to do with the deflating of the footballs.
But a famous guy like Tom Brady is certainly hoping to prevent other activities that may hurt his public image from becoming commonly known.
So here we go … the top 10 reasons why Tom Brady has his cell phone destroyed instead of turning it over to the NFL:
10. Been hacking into the New York Jets emails and had all their defensive game plans saved.
9. All those pictures of NFL footballs in various stages of deflation look just a bit suspicious.
8. Has pictures of a large Confederate Flag draped on his bedroom ceiling.
7. Was “sexting” with the wives of 12 different teammates.
6. Several photos of his dart board — all with Peyton Manning’s picture on them.
5. Took private locker room pictures of Rob Gronkowski dancing naked.
4. He owned the lone known photos of Belichick laughing and smiling.
3. Those provocative pictures of wife Gisele Bundchen are supposed to only be seen by him.
2. Turns out Brett Favre wasn’t the only famous quarterback who sent penis pictures to Jenn Sterger (http://www.citypages.com/news/jenn-sterger-goes-deep-with-nfl-on-brett-favre-update-6563128).
1. There were indeed shocking pictures of deflated balls on the phone — his own.
So I took a vacation to Drought Land and amazing amounts of rain fell from the sky.
Well, I did joke about taking a wheelbarrow full of water past security at the Boise airport so I’m guessing that the Weather Gods somehow learned of my zany request.
Regardless, I wasn’t expecting that a vacation home to San Diego would become memorable for crazy rainy weather. On one July day, it poured so hard that it set the record for most rain in the MONTH of July in San Diego history.
Then the record was broken the following day as it rained even harder and longer. And I recognized all the thunder and lightning as I seemingly brought it with me from seeing it for five straight nights in Boise.
Oh yeah, that thunder and lightning somehow followed me back to Boise too. I like being magical but this is a bit ridiculous.
Anyway, you surely recall the drill from past years. Vacation by tweets is back for another run and you can catch all the action of #VacationInDroughtLand below.
–Vacation to #DroughtLand begins tomorrow … my biggest concern is whether there is enough water left for me to take a shower.
—#VacationToDroughtLand about to commence. Hope TSA doesn’t mind me checking in a wheelbarrow full of water.
–No sound on for All-Star HR Derby … That means no Berman Buffoonery … Life is good. #VacationInDroughtLand
–Always fun to visit the cemetery and see my father’s tombstone. #VacationInDroughtLand https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/621101597167255553
–OK, guess the tombstone is just coming in upsides down on Twitter. It is fine in my laptop & came in fine on Facebook. #UpsideDownUpsideDown
–Was feeling pretty young on my vacation. That ended when I saw Joe Morgan with a cane. #VacationInDroughtLand
–Nothing like the cool breeze of a SoCal summer night. #SanDiego is known as paradise for a reason.
–Freeway traffic, ugh. Feel like I competed in NASCAR race & none of the other drivers had Dale Earnhardt Jr’s brain. #VacationInDroughtLand
–Great time at my sister’s house last two days. Eight-year-old niece didn’t want me to leave. Smart kid. Ha! #VacationInDroughtLand
–Look! Pay phones! Spotted in Orange County. The MLB All-Stars born in the 1990s don’t understand them either. https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/622245299000455169
–Spoke to diehard #Cardinals fan today in Orange County. She was EXTREMELY BITTER about Albert Pujols. Told her he was just a few miles away.
–There was a better chance of me packing reindeer than “rain gear.” #VacationInDroughtLand
–Lunch at Mona Lisa, the best pizza place in #SanDiego. Always a high point. https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/622526154080063488
–We will be having baseball tonight based on the view from my free seats at #PetcoPark. https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/622557525280329728
— Cleaned up my dad’s brick like any good son would. #VacationInDroughtLand https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/622566452671844352
— Congrats to the Colorado #Rockies for getting two runners to third base. But having them get there at the same time isn’t good.
— Replica of PetcoPark was Saturday giveaway. #VacationInDroughtLand https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/622638733938921472
–Nephew & niece want me to join them in pool — & now it is pouring mules & donkeys for second straight day. #VacationInDroughtLand
–Pretty sure the drought is over in #SoCal. Just spent more than an hour battling monsoon-like rain. More water on freeway than at Sea World.
— Being on vacation & not seeing any TV, I don’t know what all these Donald Trump comments are about. But isn’t he a dorky doofus every week?
Yep, two more In-N-Out burgers. Each bite feels like heaven. Last ones until next CA vacation. #VacationInDroughtLand https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/623225606705016832
–The TV woman telling us about the weather is named Dagmar Midcap … got to be a real name cuz you wouldn’t make that up as a stage name.
–Taking trolley to #PetcoPark & worst nightmare occurs: Dude twice as big as seat sits next to me. How come 90-pound women don’t go to games?
–The famous Western Metal Supply Co. Building beyond LF at #PetcoPark. #VacationInDroughtLand https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/623311283295653892
–Matt Kemp homers for the #Padres … Multiple replay angles … Maybe they can show it another 42 times.
–Gerald Dempsey Posey III just got an RBI single for the #Giants. … Sounds a lot less imposing than “Buster.”
–Speaking of athletes nicknamed “Buster,” how about that time #Chargers selected brittle bust Craig “Buster” Davis in the first round?
–Remember when there was no LOUD MUSIC every minute at #Padres game? Only Danny Topaz playing the Lowrey Organ. Can we go back to organ days?
—#Padres unbeaten (2-0) with me in the ballpark in 2015. Some rich person ought to bankroll me an August vacation. https://twitter.com/MrSportsBlog/status/623371872231501824
–Why are the lights on at Qualcomm Stadium? Did the field flood again?
–My mom has a phone book in her house. MLB All-Stars born in 1990s: Why doesn’t she just Google to find the number?
Something tells me there will be a lot of teenagers named Carli about 15 years from now.
And that’s fine after Carli Lloyd stenciled herself into United States athletics lore with an epic performance on the biggest stage in women’s soccer.
Lloyd scored three goals to lead the United States women’s national team to an easy 5-2 victory over Japan in Sunday’s championship match. The World Cup title is the first for the Americans since Brandi Chastain’s famous penalty-kick goal decided the 1999 finale.
Talk about a big-time performance in a pressure-packed situation in Vancouver. Lloyd scored all three of her goals in the first 16 minutes, including an epic blast from just inside the center line.
There are a couple NFL teams that could use a kicker like that.
The 32-year-old Lloyd scored six goals in the World Cup and strongly shut down the criticism that former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage recently tossed her way in an interview with the New York Times.
“Carli Lloyd was a challenge to coach,” Sundhage told the publication. “When she felt that we had faith in her, she could be one of the best players. But if she began to question that faith, she could be one of the worst.”
The comments made Lloyd sound like a mentally weak head case who might fold under the pressure.
Seems like that scouting report didn’t hold up in the World Cup — hmmm, maybe coach Sundhage was part of the problem.
Those critical comments will quickly be forgotten after Lloyd’s fabulous finale and now her star will be rising as one of the top female athletic role models.
It is always a win-win when young girls find more heroes to emulate in the male-dominated sports field. They see NFL and NBA stars in commercials all the time but have to look hard to find someone of their own gender.
Two of my nieces have become starstruck over U.S. standout Alex Morgan and were among the thousands of little girls mesmerized by the “Share a Coke with Alex Morgan” promotion. The winner of the grand prize earns a training session for themselves and a friend with Morgan.
Carli Lloyd became the hero of numerous young girls on Sunday. Something tells me she won’t be overwhelmed by this new gig.
Anyone who can score three goals in the World Cup final can easily juggle having three million new fans.
As well as having chance encounters down the line with young girls who say “I was named after you!”