Monday, February 22, 2010

USA!

So the women's hockey team will be fighting for the gold in a few days, as they usually do. Women's soccer is also a sport at which America excels.

Though it's only two data points, I wonder if this is perhaps because women have more equality here in certain regards? I have no idea how other quantifiables line up, like income disparity and such, but I find the dominance in those two sports interesting. The soccer is especially note worthy, given our general mediocrity in the men's field.

Anyone have anything to add?

11 comments:

Mark said...

Um...Megan McArdle is dumb?

NutellaonToast said...

Yeah, I guess with her around it's hard to make ANY claims of American greatness. Another dream shattered.

Hunter said...

What a nice post. It makes me forget all about the one shredding Yglesias to death for his trivial pro-USA blurb... :)

BillCinSD said...

Golf US women are good but not uniformly the best.

Basketball US women have 4 straight Olympic titles

Softball US women were so dominant the event got dropped from the Olympics, although they did lose the Gold Medal in Beijing

spencer said...

I don't know if I'd go so far as to call men's soccer in this country "mediocre." Definitely not elite and probably never will be, but I'd say probably better than just mediocre.

Anonymous said...

Title IX increased funding for women's sports. That level of funding is absent in much of the rest of the world.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Did somebody say McArdle?
~

NutellaonToast said...

Hunter, the main damn point of that post is that Dumbass doesn't know shit about hockey. EVerything else was me just fucking rambling.

NutellaonToast said...

Title IX is an interesting idea. It's fairly new, if I recall. Did our rise to the top in some of these sports coincide with it?

I think basketball and softball are cool, too, but less interesting in that they just match our dominance in men's version of the same, though perhaps the men are less elite than the women...

Anonymous said...

Soccer at the youth level is co-ed, so youth soccer programs get funding and support. And that benefits all athletes. Same to a lesser extent with baseball, which is why American girls dominate softball. Hockey, too, is mostly co-ed at the basic-skills level (ages 4-6).

Difference is, unlike boys who play soccer at the pee-wee level, girls have relatively few major team sports that compete for the best athletes as they get older (I'm looking at you, American Football...).

Also, Title IX, which dates back nearly 40 years, had helped to sustain the participation of girls up to the elite development ages.

NutellaonToast said...

But why don't girls play soccer in other countries, where it's practically a religion? And what sports siphon them off from it? I think soccer is the biggest surprise out of all of them.

Hockey can be explained by the relative small number of countries that play it. And, again, softball and basketball coincide with our generally greater enthusiasm (as well as size and wealth) for those sports.