What Is The Weight Of Football In World Cup They’re Headed Our Way!

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They’re Headed Our Way!

It will exist as one of those frozen moments, a super happy micro-Camelot (because nothing so minor an orgasm can last longer than a synapse), sandwiched between the serious discoveries in Kosovo and in the waters off on Martha’s Vineyard, when we all paused for a collective breath: “Yes!” We knew it was going to happen, we had been talking about it for weeks, but it went down too perfectly to even be scripted. It united the whole country, connecting generations, genders and races. And this is the best day in women’s bodybuilding.

What else can you call it when the main image across America is an ecstatic female athlete, ripping off her shirt, and flexing triumphantly in front of the whole world, and no one questions it? The cover of Newsweek: “WOMEN RULE!” Time Cover: “What a Kick!” Sports Illustrated cover -wait, isn’t that a MALE zone, where women only list a sidebar?

But you can’t argue with the numbers: 90,185 fans (including the President) along with a billion saw via TV Brandi Chastain’s double biceps and Nike sports bra. 23 million dollars in tickets were sold for the games. Two point nine million homes watched the Brazil game on July 4th, a larger audience than the audience for game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup finals. One hundred thousand women started football between 1990-1997, before Mia Hamm became a household word…

Significant as these figures are, they only begin to tell the story, which was unfolding in the media weeks before Brandi drilled that upper right past Gao Hong. Cheering alongside the usual host of painted pre-teen “mini-Mias” was (gasp)…guys! And that gets the advertisers’ attention because their main demographic is young males. Boys…women’s sports…football? What is happening here?

For as long as we can remember, women’s sport and football have never been taken seriously in the big picture. Tolerate maybe. The general attitude could be summed up by a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Daily News who scoffed at any implication that the women’s soccer revolution was anything but cute, just a blip in sports, a “win-one-for-the- -USA” -go-girls-go glance.” Ho-hum. The hype was all orchestrated, even for the busloads of rent-a-fans-bored men. There would be no women’s soccer never cracked the national consciousness, because there I am not any national awareness anymore, except for NFL football. “Good night” he woozed. “Good creek. Three weeks until Eagles camp…”

Funny thing about that: it echoes the big wheels in bodybuilding politics. Can’t sell these girls or their fights, but we’ll let them languish. Give the boys the big bucks. Time notes the pay gap between the soccer women, “some of whom earn less than $30,000—coffee money for a male professional.” Sound familiar?

Try this for irony: while the women have brought finesse to bodybuilding posing, they have actually made football more physical and aggressive. Fans argue that women’s football is more exciting and offensive than men’s, noting that “women are more likely to have one-on-one confrontations.” Women, adding mano-a-mano to men’s sport? Meaning: Damn! But that last shoot was absolute mano-a-mano.

However, to dwell only on the games and competitions themselves is to miss the point. The connoisseurs of female muscle must realize that the competitions are just an excuse for getting these women together, out into the open air, where they can be seen in a justifiable format. Bodybuilding competitions have never been the last word, and never will be, as much as we need them to keep some kind of dynamic going. Whether they knew or cared, Brandi Chastain and her cohorts have undoubtedly done more to promote the cause female muscle than all (almost unknown outside the physical body) Ms. Olympias.

How else could you have US News and World Report marveling “now you’ve got big, strong, sweaty women banging each other … and thrilling fans,” and Time proclaiming “Now It’s Sexier to Be Strong .” Or Newsweek tells us “…young, muscular women of outstanding skill…became a new kind of national hero.”

You’ve got it all here in an epic package: the (essay) “aging” lion, Michelle Akers in the air, who spends herself heroically during the big game, but rips the IV’s and the mask oxygen to stumble back to the finale; the reluctant idol Mia Hamm, beautiful, unassuming (when she’s not challenging Michael Jordan’s “I can beat you” in multi-million dollar spots), her poster adorning countless girls’ (and boys’) bedroom walls, her shirt number 9 is the hottest number in town; the dark, enigmatic, unsung savior, Briana Scurry; and of course, the shot seen around the world, “I-ran-my-ass-off-for-this-body-I’m-proud-of-it,” Brandi Chastain… The women these are familiar names. And that’s significant to us because their prominence is forever associated with strained, sweaty, muddy quadrupeds, bone-crunching collision and relentless effort. It’s raw muscle, which is shown as a function (Achilles always for accepting a physical body in public), and therefore he needs no excuses. Lady-like? Ha! You tell Mia she’s not feminine!

And it can only improve; many of these women are more muscular, especially in their legs, than the bodybuilders of McLish’s era. Football is tiring. Football is punishing. Football is sprinting, leaping, diving, sudden changes in direction, explosive kicks, pushing yourself back up to your feet even before you hit the ground, long, pinpoint throws above. And now sports nutrition and weight training are generally practiced; in fact the same issue of US News and World Report that covered the game also featured an article promoting High Intensity weight training for everyone.

What does all this mean? It means that within the next few years, you’ll be seeing these girls get a lot more muscular as play-acting standards rise and a new generation of Mias take to the field, unencumbered by ideas an ancient of physical precision and sport. -conditioning (read: squats are cool). We’ll have to do something about those baggy outfits. It is not Lenda or Andrulla; this is not appreciating a muscle for its beauty, rather than what it can do. But it’s a massive head start for female muscle, and I’ll take it. I’ll take it!

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