As a side, I should point out that I rarely tune in to sports talk radio or TV. Just doesn’t work for me most the time. If I do, the supplier has to be extremely good for me to return. In fact, my list of sports talk people over the years is quite small. C. Cowherd would make that list, and, oddly enough, I definitely never saw it coming, Jim Rome. When I first heard Rome, I hated him. He sounds like a macho male version of a Valley girl. In the beginning, he was very off-putting. But over time, driving in the car, he began to wear on me. Go figure. I even started to see the marketing brilliance of his Smack Down, or whatever it’s called. The Smack Down, or whatever it’s called, in and of itself, is, you know, whatever, not my thing. At first it’s an eye-roller. But over time, given the ‘fraternity brotherhood leadership’ that Rome applies to it, somehow, against your inner-will, you get hooked. I’m sitting there, all high and mighty, thinking I have a Master Degree. What am I listening to this for? My then-girlfriend would call and I’d say, “What? I can’t talk right now. It’s the Smack Down. It’s the semi-finals of the Smack Down. Some loser is about to lose.” And Rome sits on top of his castle like a macho male Valley girl that’s President of an LA Fraternity: “That was like…the worst…Smack Down…ever. You will never win the Smack Down…like ever. You can call as long as you want. That was…terrible. During the middle of it, I was like ‘What am listening to?’ I almost turned you off like after your second word; you’re lucky I didn’t; you’re lucky I’m nice; you’re lucky I love to see bad things mid-air; I wanted to see where this train wreck was heading; and I found out. Oh yeah. That was terrible. What was that guy thinking? What a hack. What a hack.”
If you want sports talk radio with zero talk about sports then Ferrall on the Bench is your guy. Gruff voice. Unimpressed with anything. Sit at the bar, have a beer, that’s Ferrall. The extent of his actual “sports talk” would go something like this (every once in a while he asks his assistant): “Hey, what’s the score on that LSU game? Did they go over the spread? All right. That sounds about right.” One thing I did sympathize with Ferrall over was his distaste for Fantasy League Football: “What the hell is that? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. Why in the hell would I wanna play that? Grown men play that? Why? What for? I can’t believe people waste their lives with that nonsense. You know how much time you have to put into that? It’s insane.”
Back to Cowherd’s show. A recent talking point focused on basketball, to the affect that stars tend to show up at the end of games and provide valuable buckets, regardless of the circumstances. Also, Cowherd likes his quarterbacks to be grownups; no shenanigans, he likes grownups for quarterback. In other words: reliable leaders that won’t get in trouble with the law. Luckily, as it applies to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USWNT has a few of those stars that can provide late game heroics, should it be needed. It’s also a team of confident players that carry themselves well. Furthermore, this year’s team is so strong that, in all likelihood, late-game heroics won’t be needed. But, you never know. Soccer’s that way. As we learned from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Switzerland needed one lucky goal against Spain for a 1-0 win. Of course, that was in group play. Spain had time to recover and eventually won the title. Should the USWNT find itself in that type of situation, one that calls for a slight comeback after an unlucky loss, then Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and Carli Lloyd, along with many others, are available for scoring power. It should be a fascinating tournament. Here are my top four predictions:
- United States
After the Group Stage winds down this list might change. We’ll see.