Will your daughters recover from U.S. loss?

Dad Days of Summer: While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

I’m wondering how many of you spent Sunday evening consoling your daughters after Japan defeated the U.S. to win the Women’s World Cup.

Did your daughters shed tears? Were they angry and upset about the loss?

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

Or did they even care?

Except for my brother, who’s a soccer nerd, there weren’t many people in my circle of friends who were excited about the Women’s World Cup. But most of them are busy professionals whose daughters are too young to get into a soccer tournament in Germany.

I know there must be plenty of families with daughters who became enamored with Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and the rest of the U.S. team.

Did they become role models for your daughter(s)?

Toni Nagy of Huffington Post made some interesting points in an article this weekend, and while I don’t agree with much she said, I like this paragraph:

I think women need more exposure to seeing powerful female athletes so they know that there is not only a potential future for them in sports, but also all the positive impact that simply participating can make. I got a chance to ask some questions to soccer super star and Olympic Gold Medalist Brandi Chastain and I got to hear first hand the importance of getting your daughter involved in sports. We should encourage all children to test their limits, and imagine the impossible. Of course I am not implying that you should get your baby into base-jumping, but I do think that we should be just as supportive of our little girls being tough as our boys.

Unfortunately for the U.S., there was no golden moment on Sunday, no Chastain to come through in the clutch, like she did in ’99.

Did your daughters – or sons – get into the Women’s World Cup?

If they weren’t into soccer before the tournament, are they into it now?

Do girls and young women need athletes as role models?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

22 comments Add your comment


July 18th, 2011
7:35 am

Soccer is as boring as watching paint dry to spectators…at least to this spectator.
Andy – I will answer one of your questions in a direct fashion: “Do girls and young women need athletes as role models?”

NO! They need parents as role models, something that seems to be sorely lacking today.
We need athletes to kick, catch, run with, or throw the ball for our entertainment. That is all.
It is the same with any other celebrity. Entertain us and shut up. I don’t care how you live your life, your politics, and surely don’t want my kid looking to some vacant headed celebrity as a “role model”. If that is happening, I have failed as a parent.

Father Jane Goose

July 18th, 2011
7:56 am

“Will my daughters recover from a US loss?”

You’re kidding me, right? You graduated college with a degree and this is your post for the day? Will Andy’s parents recover from his blog loss?


July 18th, 2011
8:16 am

I actually watched a few minutes of it but gave up. My daughter didn’t mention it once. So I think she’ll rcover pretty quickly.


July 18th, 2011
8:18 am

People of all ages need smart people to be their role models. It will be a great day in America when intellectuals are paid by advertisers to hawk products and services because people look up to SMART that much.


July 18th, 2011
8:27 am

We did not watch any of it.

Andy, I did enjoy the previous blog on the Pennsylvania Restaurants. Seems like quite a few new posters showed up. Interesting!


July 18th, 2011
8:57 am

We watched the game with a bunch of neighbors and it was a lot of fun. I love watching sports live but not as much on tv, however soccer is non-stop so it’s pretty entertaining (nothing like watching paint dry @Shaggy). That being said, I have a son and all of the kids there were also boys but all of them play soccer. The boys were all out swimming until I let them know it was tied up with less than 10 minutes to go. They all got out and watched the end of the game, the OT and shootout. No one complained about it being boring and no one cried at the end. It was disappointing but for any kid who plays sports, they know that you win some and you lose some.

Girls need role models as much as boys; some will be drawn to athletes and some won’t. I hope all these young ladies know that someone, boys or girls, are looking up to them and that they need to be good role models even if it’s for their little sister, the neighbor down the street or a cousin. I think our society would be in a much better place if all people realize that they are being watched by someone.

Lady Strange

July 18th, 2011
8:58 am

I watched the end of the game and was disappointed, seems we just gave up at the end. I don’t have a daughter but I doubt anyone would have trouble recovering from a form of entertainment. I’m sure the players aren’t happy about the loss but all we can do is try harder next time.


July 18th, 2011
9:09 am

@ Techmom…love your last sentence. On that note… if you are kind to someone else, the favor might be returned when you need a kind soul. I have been both the giver and the recipient and it is so nice when a stranger helps you!


July 18th, 2011
10:06 am

I disagree that athletes cannot be good role models. I don’t think they should be held as role models for how to live lives as opposed to parents but as far as what a person can accomplish on the field or on the court if they try hard enough, sure. I do think girls need to see other girls/women succeed in athletics because we don’t often get the same encouragement that boys get.


July 18th, 2011
10:41 am

My husband, 15 year old son, and I watched the game together yesterday. It was a great game and we enjoyed it.


July 18th, 2011
10:48 am

OMG NO!!!!!! We can’t get over the loss, we’ve been crying for days now. My daughters are all on the verge of suicide. I’m so depressed I can’t go to work.. Oh the horrors…..how will we go on? I can’t seem to get out of bed. This is horrible……I can’t feed my animals, the house is a mess, and the laundry is piling up……whatever will we do.

Stupid, stupid, stupid……


July 18th, 2011
11:03 am

We didn’t watch it, so I’m sure that the girl will be just fine..

Tad Jackson

July 18th, 2011
11:32 am

Daughters? Heck, my two sons and I were in a jingoistic mood … and we were screaming and pointing at the TV. Wow, what a game. We were disappointed, sure, but after the loss we did the only logical next thing: we went and ate chicken wings and greasy potato skins at the Tilted Kilt.



July 18th, 2011
12:05 pm

Jones, that’s actually pretty funny.

Techmom, I agree that girls need role models. And I agree that women/girls can be role models to boys. Here’s what I would like to see change; female role models always seem to talk as if they are ONLY concerned about being a role model for girls. I hear it in the words they use. Male role models NEVER restrict their language to just boys. I wish (some) females could get to the point of using terms that are more gender neutral like “kids”, or “young people”, “teenagers”, “people”, etc. It would make the boys feel more included and would benefit everyone in the long run.


July 18th, 2011
12:08 pm

We did not watch the World Cup, but my son LOVES sports. He will watch any sport and loves to play, also. My girls have never been interested in sports – we gave them opportunities when they were little, but they both chose other routes. They are active and energetic, but not competitive or athletic by the common definitions.

I think kids need different kinds of role models and need to learn to appreciate the skills that others have even if those skills fall outside their own areas of interest. Ballerinas can find something to admire in soccer players who in turn can find something to admire in the quiz bowl captain who can find something to admire in cheerleaders. It does not have to be all or nothing.

Hopefully, kids find their biggest role models in parents or other family members, but no law says you can only admire one person or one set of skills.


July 18th, 2011
12:41 pm

@Jeff interesting point. I do think our society is still very gender-oriented and it would do women as a whole better if they embraced that they need to be role models for boys and girls. It will only help raise respect and equality which will ultimately be the way gender-based issues will removed, or at least lessened.

Interesting side note: I am one of the only moms who actively participates in my son’s Scout troop meetings and camp outs. There are plenty of involved moms in our troop but most choose to take a background role (troop committee, treasurer, fundraising chairperson, etc.) Most of those moms were highly involved in Cub Scouts but something happens when boys get to the pre-teen/teen age and it’s almost like we simply expect them to only look up to the men leaders because it’s a male-based organization. While I see the value in boys having great male role models, I also think it’s fabulous if they have great women role models as well. We have to remember that those boys will eventually grow up and most will marry women and have children, some of whom will be daughters.


July 18th, 2011
12:54 pm

Wow, techmom. Perfectly said. I kind of struggled with my wording to make that exact point. You did it much more clearly, concisely and accurately than I did.


July 18th, 2011
2:08 pm

Thanks Jeff- it actually took me several minutes to figure out how to word what I was thinking so I’m glad it made sense.


July 18th, 2011
2:16 pm

Techmom, there was a study of science museum behavior a few years ago that found the same sort of thing you describe. When a family tried out an interactive exhibit, Mom almost always took her turn last, or gave up her turn for time’s sake, and focused more on keeping up with coats, keeping everyone on schedule, etc. The researchers thought it sent a message to the kids that dads know science and experiment with things, moms don’t (and possibly, that science and experimenting are better suited to boys than girls). It sets a better example for kids if both parents get involved in active, visible roles like you said.


July 18th, 2011
3:56 pm

We watched it — at least, me, my husband and my son did. We enjoy soccer. My daughter could not have cared less. :-) With a husband and a son who are both active soccer referees, it’s interesting to hear their takes on the cards and penalties — it adds a whole new dimension to the game :-) The Brazil game was very exciting — and so was the Japan game, even though the end didn’t go as one might have hoped. But, as my son observed philosophically — “It’s hard to fight a tsunami . . . !”


July 18th, 2011
9:07 pm

mjg…i too am so thrilled when a stranger helps me. i have been the helper and the ‘helpee’…i much prefer being the helper…but how nice when someone…especially a stranger does you a kindness :)

on topic-my 2 neices were heavily into the game…posting on fb every move…then when we lost not a word. im sure they are in mourning. they were so excited.

soccer is a great game…my kids played when they were young and loved it. i love watching it.


July 19th, 2011
6:20 am