Monday, July 18, 2011


As I sat down today and watched the Woman's World Cup Soccer Championship, I cheered extremely hard for the USA team. I wanted so bad for them to win. I know how hard they had been working, and how much they really wanted this title. This would have been such a great win for them. As the Japanese continued to fight and work just as hard, my whole attitude began to shift. I started thinking about the tragedy that they had faced as a country and how much they would have wanted to bring that championship back to their country. They wanted to bring some light back to their nation and that is something that I can understand. 

I can recall the same thing happening when my hometown of New Orleans faced the devestation of Hurricane Katrina.  My family and friends, as did so many thousands on the Gulf, lost most or all of their belongings.  Some paid even the ultimate price -- loss of life. For most of those in the New Orleans area, it was a confusing time in which they felt they have no place to go or no one to turn to in the time of dispair.

In 2009 we, the Phoenix Mercury, won the Championship and I was able to go back to my home town and celebrate with them. I was able to go back and bring a little light back to the people that were searching for some hope...something to believe in, something that would take their mind off of what they were really facing. I was so happy about that and so excited to bring it back to my city. Soon after that our NFL team, the New Orleans Saints brought our city its first Superbowl Championship and the city went nuts. They were so excited and celebrated more than ever. It was that victory and those players doing what they could to put our city on their backs and bring Hope back to the community.

I say all this to share something that we all know and have seen on many different ocassions. The sports world is so much more than just sports. It does things to bring cities, states, and countries together. It gives people a sense of hope and a connection to something great. It also helps brings smiles, laughter, joy, and happiness to others.  I am happy for the nation of Japan as this championship will certainly add fuel to their rebuilding efforts as they continue to rebound from such a tragedy. 

That world Championship game shifted for me and I went from being a fan of the USA Soccer Team, to an understanding human. Being one that has had to deal with devastation, I understand what happened for Japan as they celebrated their Victory.