Oh dear, it's Christie Blatchford! Here is a journalist whom I have long considered the voice of reason among women, one who had her female libido dominandi firmly in check. Well wouldn't you know: somewhere, at some point the FCS (female chauvinist sow) will bubble up even in her.
To hell with you, Christie! Why does the courageous and successful showing of Canada's women's soccer team have to invite the silly "comparison" with the lack of overall medal production from men? (Team Women Rocks, Ottawa Sun, 21/8/2016) What is to be gained by that ? It is not even that monumental battle of sexes in tennis in which a top woman professional beat the pants off a male champ, alas, twenty years after his competitive career in which time he turned pudgy and developed a heart condition. What possible satisfaction can someone derive from the fact that one's women's Olympic team wins close to three out of four medals for the country? It is the greatest female-male disparity among nations of the developed world. What can women possible gain from the poor showing of their male team-mates? Another rung on the ladder of pride?
Before Rio, I never saw Christie write on soccer. From the way she writes about the game, what she focuses on and what exercises her, it seems clear she is out of her depth and does not have a clue of what is going on. No, the popularity of Marta is not anywhere near that of Neymar in Brazil, even though the two are soccer prodigies. Seasoned soccer fans do not compare compulsively the leading men with women in the sport or, for that matter, whether women are fairly represented among football hooligans. It's like in all other sports: people compare the competitive qualities of players in their own milieu.
I love watching women's tennis. The idea of comparing Serena Williams with Novak Djokovic does not enter into my mind because I am sane. One heard comparisons between the "quality" of soccer during women's world championships on US TV networks in the 1990's and the view was that women play soccer better than men. But anyone who knew the style of women's soccer then (and I played it competitively in my youth) would laugh that off. The women's game was still in its infancy and often resembled unstructured "swarms" such as you would see on a pitch among boys under thirteen. There was no real competition because other than US colleges (under Title IX.) no-one even had a national-level soccer program. Women's game made enormous leaps since then, and the matches are now great fun to watch even for the connoisseurs.
I like the Canadian women's soccer team very much. It has spunk, strong desire to win, and ability to grind out difficult matches. But let's not get carried away: the squad still punches above its weight. In team strategy and tactics, and most players' individual technique, it still has a way to go to catch up with the six top teams in the world.