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Archive for January 1, 2023

Jan. 1, 2023 — Giftgiving for the New Year

Happy New Year, gentle readers.

This is the time of year where we hand out gifts to the world of women’s athletics.

Here’s a few:

To Kaiya McCullogh, Kayleigh Kurtz, Sinead Farrelly, Mana Shim, and all other NWSL players who were the target of abusive and coercive behavior by coaches and administrators: I sincerely hope you are able to find joy on the soccer pitch again, a joy unjustly wrested from you.

To Brittney Griner: the courage to use your platform to demonstrate just how plainly evil the Putin administration actually is.

To Philadelphia and Nashville: newly-minted WNBA and NWSL teams.

To the U.S. men’s national field hockey team: respect and funding.

To Christen Press: a slot in the final roster for the United States. You’ve scored too many ridiculous goals to be left home.

To Charlotte North: a stage which will allow even more fame and exposure than she’s been getting with Athletes Unlimited.

To North American women’s lacrosse rulesmakers: the courage to ditch overtime and go to 8-meter free positions to break ties.

To the NCAA: a pain-free implementation of the video assistant referee in women’s lacrosse.

And, for that matter, implementation of VAR for women’s soccer after a blatant missed call in the final.

To Sam Kerr: an enormous World Cup with success and goals aplenty.

To the LPGA: a decent presence on network television.

To Hailie Deegan: a win in SRX to silence the critics.

To the Premier Hockey Federation and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association: a sense of detente and the realization that only a unified professional presence will help grow the game.

To the people running this spring’s XFL and USFL: the realization that perhaps the same amount of investment in pro women’s tackle football might have been better.

To the world’s soccer media: the ability to compare what is going to happen this year at a FIFA world event to a “men’s World Cup,” not just a “World Cup.”

To the FIFA Women’s World Cup, an epic final between the United States and Canada.

To soccer journalists Meg Linehan and Molly Hensley-Clancy: a Pulitzer.

To the U.S. women’s field hockey team: a streak of positive results in the FIH Pro League.

To Karen Shelton, Ann Simons, Pat Toner, and other long-time coaches who have retired: an avenue to give back to the game.

For anyone else I may not have mentioned: much happiness and health in 2023. Make it your best ever!