The Seattle Times (9/30) reports that U.S. Coach Greg Ryan dropped goal keeper Hope Solo, former Washington Husky standout from Richland, from the team for today’s Women World Cup third place match against Norway. On the previous Thursday, the coach had decided to have Briana Scurry play instead of Solor during the semi final match against Brazil. After Brazil defeated the U.S. team 4-0 & Scurry failed to block key goals Solor was quoted as saying about the coach playing Scurry instead of her:
"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves."
Solo apologized at a team meeting afterwords, but the damage was done to team moral. Team sports have no room for ego centered athletes who think the game is all about them rather then team victories. She should have been disciplined.
She isn’t the only athlete who has made silly and offensive excuses for losing. Serena Williams, on losing to Justine Henin at a U.S. Open, attributed the loss to Henin’s as "lucky shots." Andy Roddick in dropping his semifinal match to the unseeded Frank Dancevic blamed the loss on a bad fast food meal he ate the night before. Then there was the Ukrainian soccer team who was beaten 4-0 who claimed it wasn’t their fault. They said it was "frogs." Frogs outside the team hotel they claimed that had croaked all night before the game leaving them exhausted.
But, my favorite ego driven dumb quote is from rock and roll Little Richard who,while presenting a Grammy award, instead of reading the name of the winner said: "The winner is me! Y’all ain’t never given me nothin…" and went on to complain he should have gotten the award instead of the winner. No competitor should learn to be content with defeat, but every competitor should learn how to lose with dignity and with acknowledgment of the victory by the victor. I hope Ms. Solor learns this lesson as she matures.