Leaving Alabama, 1965

By Jeremiah Cahill


For the first time, I was scared. Really scared.

Hitchhiking solo into Selma, Alabama in March 1965 had been youthfully naïve. Six weeks later, departing that civil-rights hotbed by sticking a thumb out was not only foolish—it was dangerous.

On an early May afternoon, my buddy Paul and I were standing alongside Highway 80 on the outskirts of Selma, hitching west. We had been working and residing in Selma during the weeks following “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, and the later successful march to Montgomery, the state capital.

I was 18; Paul was a bright, energetic 16 year-old dropout activist, and we were eager tag-alongs to a movement in full sway across the southern U.S. We were inexperienced, so not of any skilled help. Our role was simply to add a couple new faces on the picket line or two energetic bodies in a march or at a sit-in.

We gained a well-rounded exposure to “the Movement.” Mine included a voter-registration march that put me face to face with perspiring state troopers eagerly employing tear gas and electric shock batons—cattle prods—to break our line.

In April, Paul and I had been arrested at a sit-in at a university in Montgomery, protesting segregated conditions. At one point, while in the county jail, I had the dubious distinction of being sent to “the hole,” a dark, dank, cramped isolation cell where I spent a day or two. But, being young and healthy, I don’t recall any of those experiences caused me real distress.


After a week or so in jail, we were released on signature and discovered we could leave the state if we wished. With many court cases pending, the likelihood of our being called back to stand trial was low. We were both eager to get back to California.

We had been warned about the danger of leaving the area on foot. As teenage males—no surprise—we didn’t heed that advice. Reluctantly, our fellow activists dropped us off mid-afternoon a ways from town, wishing us luck. But traffic was light, prospects for rides were low, and after a couple hours the sun was sinking.

Suddenly we needed more than luck—we needed an escape.

A dark-colored pickup truck pulled over and stopped about 100 yards away, facing us. Two burly white men got out, revealing shotguns or rifles hanging on rear-window gun racks.

The “rednecks” had a two-way radio in the truck, which they used soon after they pulled up. Standing there, they were close enough that I could see the pistols on their hips. They lounged on their front fenders, spoke a few words between them, snickered and smirked, and mostly just watched and waited.

At least fifteen minutes must have passed in this uncomfortable standoff.

On the shoulder of the road we both realized how vulnerable we were. There were few farms or homes nearby, just open fields then woods.

We tried to keep cool, but–whew! We knew we had no recourse, no way to return to safety. It was getting late.

Suddenly, a big car pulls over. We sprint to it; there’s a rumpled middle-aged white man behind the wheel: “Can one of you boys drive—someone have a license?”

I grab my wallet: “Here you go, mister—Hawaii license—OK?”

“Yup. I’ve had a too much to drink. If you boys can take us to Tulsa, I’ll nap in the back seat. Wake me up if you need gas money.”

Tulsa? Tulsa!! That’s f*ck*ng OKLAHOMA! How many states is that?

“OK, mister. Let’s go!”

He shuffled into the back seat and in no time we grabbed our bags and jumped in.

Behind the wheel, I adjusted the rearview mirror, dropped that Chevy into gear, stepped on the gas, and glanced back. As we hit the highway, all I saw was dust, the truck, and the two guys we assumed were Klansmen who could easily have taken our lives that evening.

For hundreds of miles, Paul and I exulted in our good fortune—and reflected on what could have been our fate.

© 2015. Jeremiah Cahill spent 30 years working with cooperative credit unions. On retirement in 2014, he wondered what he’d do with all his new-found time. Aside from doting on granddaughters, he discovered a penchant for writing memoir and current-events essays. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, he now resides in Madison, Wisconsin.


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Seize the Opportunity

Seize the opportunity, no matter what.

I recently took part in a writing retreat Sarah organized, Write in Nature. I should explain that I am also an Association of Personal Historians member, but had yet to do my own personal history. I thought the retreat would be the perfect opportunity to escape the usual household obligations and really get started on it.

First, a request for you, dear reader. If you are not reasonably familiar with one of our Canadian heroes, Terry Fox, and the Terry Fox Foundation, please stop reading now and Google Terry Fox, and then find the Foundation, and the reference to Terry Fox Runs in international locations. You need to have a sense of this concept before continuing.

Terry Fox statue in Ottowa, Canada.

Terry Fox statue in Ottowa, Canada.

OK, you are back.

After 30 years working for Bell Canada, I was suddenly downsized and retired as a Director in 1995. Days later my phone rang, and it was a headhunter engaged by Nortel, at the time one of Canada’s greatest tech companies. The headhunter wanted me to go to Bogotá Colombia for a three-week consultancy to learn why the revenues from a telephony project of Nortel’s were not meeting expectations. My previous experience at Bell perfectly equipped me for this, but I asked how this person had found me, as I had not put my name out for such offers. He replied that he had first tried another recently retired Bell colleague of mine, whom he knew, but Derrick had just signed a contract with another firm the day before, and so recommended me for the assignment. First unexpected opportunity to seize: done.

I was on the plane to Bogotá as fast as papers could be arranged, made my recommendations, and then waited to see what happened, as I had become convinced the local staff had no idea how to implement the recommendations. Not because they were not capable people; they simply had no experience in the measures required, without leadership and guidance. It did not take long for Nortel to call me and offer a six-month contract to implement my recommendations.

Three days after arrival, I went to the Canadian Embassy for the great tradition of the Friday Night Club, a chance to get cheap Canadian beer and keep up with all the local news. I saw a lady looking very unhappy at the bar, and went over to introduce myself. I was not trying to pick her up. Second unexpected opportunity to seize: done.

Turned out she was the President of the Bogotá Canadian Club, a social/do local good works organization, and our departing Canadian Ambassador had just been approached by the Terry Fox Foundation and urged to get on board with a Run in Bogota. Since he was leaving imminently for another posting, he dumped the task on the Canadian Club. Joan was distraught; of course she knew who Terry Fox was, but had no idea how to organize a Run, especially in the two-month window the Foundation had given her to complete the event.

I assured her that as an avid runner and organizer of events, I would put together some notes on what had to happen. Three days later, I was the Chair of the non-existent TFR Bogotá Committee. Nortel gave me free rein to do whatever I had to do and spend whatever money needed to make the event happen and make sure Nortel got lots of credit as a sponsor. Third unexpected opportunity to seize: done.

What follows are a couple of short extracts created at the Write in Nature retreat. I hope you enjoy them. On the flight back to Ottawa from Madison, I compiled a lot more of the early days of my life. Without Sarah’s Write In Nature retreat, nothing would have happened. Thanks, Sarah!

And then near disaster struck. The Terry Fox Foundation declared that all the money raised had to be sent to Canada to support cancer research there. This was totally unacceptable, as we had already determined and advised the Foundation that legitimate research would be done, in the form of a cancer occurrence atlas of the country, which was desperately needed. Up until then, Colombian researchers had no firm idea of where in the country certain types of cancer occurred, and hence having the right resources deployed in the right places was not happening.

I called the head of the Foundation and told her in no uncertain terms that not one peso would go to Canada, and if they insisted, I would quit and my entire team would quit and the event would not happen and I would write a scathing article about their insensitivity for the Globe and Mail, our leading newspaper in Canada.

They immediately backed down, and the slightly chaotic organizing life resumed.

And then a real disaster occurred. We were getting very close to event time, and planned a major publicity activity at the Embassy, with the new Ambassador, who really was on board, all the news media, a national team soccer star, wine and cheese for the media (necessary in Colombia), and a host of well-known dignitaries of all stripes.

All was in place. And then the night before the press conference, the Colombian Vice-President resigned, something that had been expected for weeks, and was not even news by then, but every single news media outlet covered his resignation, at the same time as our event was taking place. Not one media outlet attended our event. We made all our nice speeches to each other, and then had to drink all the wine and eat all the cheese ourselves. Thanks to the citizens of Canada for paying for one hell of a party.

I have to say that the first Bogotá Terry Fox Run was the most successful ever held in a Spanish speaking country, to that date, thanks to an incredible Colombian and Canadian team that shared my vision of seizing the opportunity and making it happen, no matter what.

If you wish to hear more, email me at wghorne@rogers.com.

Bill, Ellie, Mary Joan, and Jo Ann, at "Write in Nature" retreat, Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

From left: Bill, Ellie, Jo Ann, at “Write in Nature” retreat, Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

© 2015 Bill Horne

 Bill Horne is a freelance writer, editor and personal historian, living in Ottawa Canada. An avid runner and cyclist, he takes orders only from Molly, his 19 year old cat. Learn more about Bill at www.launcestonservices.ca.

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Call for submissions for 2016 Midwest Review

I like the motivation of a deadline, the clarifying guidance of a promised audience to write for, the inspiration of a prompt to write on… how about you?

Deadline October 1, 2015
The Midwest Review journal is accepting submissions for the 2016 issue.

The Midwest Review (formerly Midwest Prairie Review) is an annual literary and arts magazine featuring the Midwest in work by writers, photographers and artists who live in, or have lived in, the Midwest.

We’re looking for thoughtful and thought-provoking writing and visual art that examines, interprets, and redefines the wide spectrum of life, past and present, in the Midwestern heartland, and are especially interested in new and emerging voices.

See guidelines here…

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Two-Ball Sports

The “Season of Sports” concludes with this post…

By Dale J. Dean

There’s nothing like the fear of imminent death to encourage a person to go beyond their normal abilities. I need that encouragement, because, as a bit of a turtle, I am normally slow and steady. Life, at times, demands that I move faster, make the absolutely correct move, or even kick in with some adrenaline to survive.

And that’s where two-ball sports come into play.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have some fond memories of one-ball sports: little league baseball, sandlot & freshman high school football, golf, and intra-mural high school basketball. I even tried some no-ball sports back then, but I really didn’t like running more than 50 yards. I did put a lot of miles on a 10-speed bike, but never in a competitive fashion. In my later teens, I enjoyed hanging out and throwing some awesome long-distance plastic discs. My hair grew bigger. I was cool. I was mellow. I was way too laid back for most active sports.

Except for canoeing. Ever since I bought my first canoe at age 15, I have always loved canoeing. It started as a way to get out on the lake fishing, moved on to include river trips and camping, and by early mid-life, “sport canoeing” (the better name for freestyle canoeing, which involved precision moves on quiet water in tiny solo boats). A little later, I decided to try whitewater canoeing. Well, I took to that like a catfish to stink bait, swallowing hook, line, and stinker…I mean, sinker.

Which brings us to my whitewater canoeist friend Fill (his name has been slightly changed to reduce future acrimony over my stealing his creative thought). Fill talks to everybody. He has a talent for successfully communicating with people that many of us would avoid: drunks shooting off fireworks at the campground late at night, ultra-conservatives, religious fanatics, pesky salespeople, and even kayakers. He’ll start out easy, let them relax, and then–either blatantly or subtly–express an opposing line of thought that sometimes actually forces these stubborn people think.

So one day Fill is canoeing, and he pulls up beside some athletic-looking-types along the shore, hoping to get them interested in the sport. But they express the opinion that whitewater canoeing looks easy, that they are tougher because they play rugby & football & basketball &tc.

“Yeah,” Fill says agreeably, “but those are all one-ball sports.”

One of them takes the bait. “What do you mean, one-ball sports?”

“Well,” says Fill, “In all those sports, you are playing with only one ball. It takes two balls to do whitewater canoeing.

And if the sexist card just popped up in your mind, believe me, there are plenty of female whitewater paddlers who have an awesome set… oh geez, I’m making it worse! Suffice it to say that we are writing figuratively here… Anyway, Fill may have been speaking literally to those guys along the shore, but I am writing about all types of people involved in adventure sports that require “balls.” I don’t care if a paddler identifies as male or female or L or G or B or T, it takes balls to shoot down swift water into a thundering conflagration of spraying haystacks, sucking holes, seven-foot drops, side-curlers, and huge standing waves all packed in between a rock wall and a hard place.

And that brings us back to the fear of imminent death, which provides a heaping load of motivation to do what needs to be done. And some of it is counter-intuitive, so you need to keep your wits about you. If you cannot avoid hitting a rock, you lean into the rock; leaning away is a natural reaction, but it flips your boat. Approaching the situation described in the previous paragraph, you paddle hard right into the mess. Forward momentum will get you through. The natural, deer-in-the-headlights-type reaction to stop paddling and stare at what’s in front of you will result in a scary swim.

Dale avoidingHouse Rock on the Mad Mile of the Gallatin River in Montana. Photo by Carol Olson

Dale avoidingHouse Rock on the Mad Mile of the Gallatin River in Montana. Photo by Carol Olson

Whitewater paddlers talk about picking a line; it’s a plan, a proposed path through the mayhem. Sometimes it works. On a trip to the southeast years ago, one member of our group was an excellent paddler who was familiar with the river. He led us to the quiet water above zig zag rapids, and we looked downstream. He said there was a “cheat route” to the left where people could avoid most of the rapid, but he told us all to watch his line and decide for ourselves. He skillfully zig-zagged between rocks down the run-in to the final zag, a right turn where you had to catch a line between a huge pour-over hole (think sucking, recirculating whirlpool) on the right, and the other half of the river’s current piling up on a cliff wall of rock on the left. Logically, the problem with this run was that last zag; if you had any trouble on the upper zigs and zags, you would probably end up in that hole or up against that wall.

Everybody decided to take the sneak route. Well, everybody except for me. I thought that zig zag looked like a lot of fun. And it was! But compared to our leader’s precise, slalom-racer run, I looked like a boat in a pinball machine, bouncing off rocks and hydraulic obstacles all the way down. But I maintained control. I had to, because I didn’t want to end up dead, and I made that last right turn, smoothly sneaking between the frightful hole and the beckoning wall.

Yes, it took two balls to play that sport.

© 2015 Dale J. Dean.

Dale below House Rock, balls still intact. Photo by Carol Olson.

Dale below House Rock, balls still intact. Photo by Carol Olson.

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My Life in Sports

The Season of Sports continues…

By Doug Elwell

No one noticed it at first, but when Ollie Baker planted his corn that spring he left a fair sized corner of the field fallow. It was the field that sat on a clear line that marked the end of Pinhook and the beginning of not Pinhook—Reel Street. One day a backstop appeared. A few days later there were bases and a home plate. One night a pitcher’s mound rose out of the ground like a blister on a heel. Then nothing. It sat there unused tempting us like Eve tempted Adam with the apple. One day no one said a word. We just walked onto that field and started playing baseball. It was our field of dreams decades before the movie. I was eight that summer.

Days later on a Sunday Reverend Whompus announced from the pulpit the formation of a little league team. All interested boys were to sign up on the sheet at the back of the church and meet on the lawn at the parsonage on Wednesday. Evidently the bait succeeded because about twenty of us showed up. I had only a vague idea of baseball. It seemed simple enough so I went to the meeting on Wednesday. Reverend Whompus was going to be our coach. He took our names and phone numbers then handed out a schedule. We would be playing other nearby towns in a couple weeks. Each of us was to get a glove and a bat. He would supply the balls.

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My mother was a diehard Cubs fan and was so pleased that I wanted to join the team she took my schedule and taped it onto the refrigerator. I don’t think anyone had come up with the idea of refrigerator magnets yet. I think she had visions of her future listening to the Cubs on the radio while she did her ironing and hearing them announce my stepping up to the plate in Wrigley Field.


We drove over to Terre Haute to get me fitted with a bat and a glove at Root’s Department Store. Immediately I ran into my first obstacle on my way to Cooperstown. I was and still am a lefty and gloves for the right hand were almost a custom item in those days. There were none to be had. The clerk suggested I learn to catch with my left hand and quickly slip the glove off and throw the man out as he slid home in the dust. It took a while, but I got quite proficient at that and could catch, pull my glove off and throw the ball in only a few seconds.

Jimmy Hammel was our pitcher. Jimmy was always throwing things. He threw whatever he could get his hands on. Pebbles, clods of dirt, any kind of ball, wads of paper, anything he could pick up, he would throw. He had done this his whole life and it showed in the strength and accuracy of his arm. He hit me in the head with a large pebble from fifty feet once and left a small scar right here above the hair line. It was an accident, I think, but he was so scared I would tell on him, he ran into the house and brought out a wet washcloth to stanch the bleeding. But there was the evidence of the blood soaked rag to dispose of. He ended up throwing it in his neighbor’s well. I never took another drink from that well.

Coach Whompus and I realized early on the one skill I had, baseball wise, was hitting. But that was the only skill I brought to the game. Fielding a ball and throwing quickly enough to get a runner out at a base was problematic at best. As quickly as I could throw off my glove and get the ball into my left hand to throw a man out simply wasn’t fast enough. So he made the best decision he could. I was put out in left field since very few of our opponents could hit a ball that far and if one did, I might catch it on the fly. But if it was on the bounce and I had to throw in, I was at a distinct disadvantage. My dad knew less about baseball than I but even he knew I belonged in left field. He often looked at mom and said, “That boy is out in left field.”

We were in the middle of a tie game one day. I was at my post in left field and I had to pee. I was hoping the inning would end soon, but the man at bat was a timid soul and Jimmy was off his game that day. The batter swung half-heartedly at pitch after pitch—all foul balls and no strikes. My sense of urgency was building. I waved at Coach Whompus but he didn’t see me. Mom did though. She smiled and waved back and even gave me a thumbs up. My urgency was approaching a critical level. Finally I put my glove down and stepped into the corn field behind me to relieve myself. While I was standing there I heard the crack of the bat and a roar rose up from the stands, actually a smattering of wooden benches and a couple lawn chairs. I finished as quickly as I could and ran back onto the field to retrieve my glove as the batter rounded third for home. I had no idea where the ball landed.

Kids do things like that I guess. That turned out to be my one and only baseball season. I had a few hits and RBI’s, but of course offense is only half of the game. For the other half, any potential I might have had was never realized for lack of a right handed glove and being fully housebroken.

I played at junior high basketball but lacked enough coordination to dribble a ball down the court by myself, let alone through a persistent defense. I played football in high school all four years. That was my best sport. But even there, I was too tentative. I didn’t want to hit anyone and I didn’t want to get hit. One can get hurt doing things like hitting and being hit and knocked down. I did manage to score one touchdown in my senior year. It was on a pass unerringly thrown by Jimmy Hammel.


© 2015 Doug Elwell. Doug Elwell writes short stories and memoir that feature characters, lore and culture of the rural Midwest. His work has occasionally appeared in his home town newspaper, The Oakland Independent, two editions of Ignite Your Passion: Kindle Your Inner Spark, True Stories Well Told, Every Writer’s Resource and Midwestern Gothic. He can be contacted via email at: djelwell@mchsi.com.

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Creative Nonfiction magazine: call for entries

We pause in the “Season of Sports” to bring you… a call for entries!

Creative Nonfiction masthead

We Want Your Best Stuff

We’re seeking submissions for upcoming issues of CNF:

Aug 31: Marriage. View guidelines >

Nov 16: NEW! Childhood. View guidelines >

I’m making it my personal goal to get an essay into this magazine. Earlier  this year I submitted a story on the theme “Weather” and am waiting to hear if it made the cut. I have a few things to say about marriage and childhood. I bet you do too. Join me in the CNF Challenge!



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What Does a Gal Have to Do to See Professional Women’s Soccer?

The Season of Sports continues…

By Rita Nygren

When I was 13 years old and following my big brothers around everywhere, it was a no brainer to continue playing soccer.  I’d been playing co-ed recreational leagues since I was 8, just like the boys had, and so of course I would play when I hit high school.  It was Mukwonago High’s first year with a girl’s team, which struck me as odd.

I’d never heard of Title XI.  The HEW (Dept. of Health, Education & Welfare) regulations were still being contested.

But in the selfish world of a 13 year old, I didn’t see any reason why there wasn’t already a conference league. And so my friend LeaAnn & I went to try outs, and basically every girl who did was sorted onto the two teams: varsity and junior varsity.

I wasn’t annoyed at being dropped in the JV category.  I was not what you’d call a natural athlete.  It’s horrible, sometimes, that one’s permanent mental picture of oneself is that 13 year old self: in my case, chunky, uncoordinated, nerdy, acne, always chosen last in sports, shy, and (as my brothers would tease me) all the dexterity of a fern.  It was, actually, an honor to be allowed to play on the same team as the popular, talented girls.  Our heroes at the time were the stars of the boy’s team – really, they were our only influencers, because the 3 TV channels we got back in the Stone Age had never aired a soccer game.  I’d never seen an adult play.

But I knew how to learn, and had been the ball retriever for the guys until I was able to at least be more than a pylon during their pickup games, and then knowledgeable enough to be able to predict what the opposing player was going to do and get a foot in the way.  Never fast, but able break up a play — the definition of a high school full back.

After practicing with a coach who HAD played as an adult, I was JV squad captain, and then moved up to varsity in my #9 jersey.

Small town paper shows author stealing a ball as a highschooler.

Small town paper shows author stealing a ball as a highschooler.


And then moved on to a college that didn’t have a soccer team of either sex.

Really, it’s not like I was motivated to compete harder.  Where could I possibly go with it?  But it was fun, and I found a club in Winona to play with — mostly international male students who were patronizing with their play to the three or so gals who’d show up, at least until I ran them over a few times while stealing the ball.  Then I moved on to post-college recreational leagues in Madison, which then led to regular indoor games, followed by beer.

In 1999, one of my teammates and I decided we’d go to a professional game.  So far, I’d mostly seen European games televised in the bar at the indoor soccer facility.  In general, I’d rather play than watch, so I knew little about teams to follow, but delighted in any good play (okay, particularly in any good defensive steal).  But this year, there was a women’s World Cup, and there was a game close enough we could drive to.

original Brandi ChastainMadison to Columbus is an 8-hour drive, and Sara and I did it one long road trip, saw the game, stayed in a hotel, and drove home.  I camped a lot, but staying over in a hotel was kind of weird for me, and frivolous, particularly to see a sports game. But there on the pitch was Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow, and Tiffany Milbrett, and here Sara and I were, on a bench seat in Crew Stadium with 23,101 other people enjoying our ladies trouncing South Korea.

I picked up a Hamm jersey that trip.  Her number was 9.

I still play, at my age, in my new hometown in Oregon.  I’m faster than I was in high school, but a bit more cautious of my skull and ankles.  I certainly see more professional soccer now than I did then.

Several women’s leagues have since attempted to catch hearts and minds in this country since those early World Cups, but each seems to have only a 3-year lifespan.  The reason is simply that people don’t go to the matches.  Why aren’t they popular? A host of reasons. The women’s sport is trying to break into an entertainment niche that is barely cracked open by the men’s MLS area. the women are competing for recession dollars with their big brother, who backhandedly has encouraged them while expecting the girls to go back to traditional pursuits like beach volleyball, I guess.

The latest incarnation of a North American women’s league, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), managed to talk Portland’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team into doubling their return by investing in a ladies’ team.  For a town that calls itself Soccer City, this seems like a reasonable bet.  For an MLS team that has the rabid fan base known as the Timbers Army, there should be enough overflow support.

But then a 13-year-old girl asked why the new team, called the Thorns, shouldn’t have their own supporters group. It was a no-brainer for my young friend Mau — of course this new team would have a group similar to the Timbers Army.  Her folks, heavily involved with the Army, helped her foster this idea, and the Riveters sprang up. Sure, some of the structure and people were there from the Army, but some were new soccer fans who wanted to watch the gals play.


Mau and Mom at Thorns game in 2013.

Young Maureen is now checking out colleges out of state, but the Riveters really does claim her as a founder of the movement.  And in turn, we have to give the Riveters credit for making the Thorns so successful in the league.  The average attendance at NWSL game is about 2,500 people.  Except for Portland, where our average Thorns game pulls in 13,000. When they talk league averages, they have to throw out Portland for blowing the curve.

The Thorns are definitely profitable.  All the other MLS teams look forward (sometimes with trepidation) to playing here at a ‘real’ stadium, with thousands of screaming supporters and fans who make elaborate art for the match.  And to be lead out onto the field by local girls’ teams, who may someday be carrying on the legacy.

Tonight I just watched the final for the Women’s World Cup 2015, during which the U.S. simply outplayed and beat Japan in the first 16 minutes. Please, go watch recordings of the first half, it’s mind blowing.

While that series has been going on, the Thorns have been missing seven of their best players, as they were off at the WWC playing for the U.S., and Canada, and Germany.  35,000 people filled the stadium in Vancouver, while I was in a bar-cum-block party with the Riveters (including one guy dressed up as General Patton, I swear). All sorts of men and women in their red, white, and blue were cheering on their nation’s team, and singing chants not fit for a 13 year old girl’s ears.

Folks are hoping that the WWC win will give a bump to women’s soccer attendance everywhere else. (We’ll likely sell out the allowed seats for the next Thorns game when Our Gals come home).  And I think that’s a bit of a pity.  There’s little else we can do from Oregon to better promote the sport, shy of buying tickets in other cities.  It’s a world-class game, but it seems to fall under the radar.

Some folks seem to want to clean up the chants, remove the beer and market the league to soccer moms to take their kids to, but that’s just going to lead to a fan base that believes it’s a token sport for kids, not a REAL sport that entertains adults, worth their time after age 18.  Which will lead to a shrinking league, not a growing one, with dedicated supporters for every team, and the next no-brainer for a 13-year-old girl who’s in need of a role model.

© 2015. Rita Nygren is an adrenaline junkie living in Oregon who pursues soccer, off-road bicycling, and other activities all too likely to end in visits to emergency rooms when not sensibly at work in the database mines. 

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