Close Escape

Brandi, what's your favorite Madness album? Wait, let me guess:

Kidding, Brandi. The dark hair works for you, by the way, I like it.

Okay, we got pretty much the dream final, even if the Daily News is running articles along the lines of "What's left for the Olympics after Phelps?" We were all traumatized last year, so we probably have forgotten that Brazil has even more to prove than the United States. This particular stat may change on the morning of the 21st, but right now, you and I have as many World Cup and Olympic championships as any Brazilian women's player. While we've been obsessing on Brazil, they've been obsessing on Germany...and they just beat seven kinds of snot out of the world champions.

Maybe Germany's great run just ran out of gas all at once - it happens. Or, maybe Brazil corrected what flaws they had in their game from last year. They were certainly there, they just didn't show up against an opponent a man down and a goalkeeper who remembers 4 Non Blondes.

I honestly didn't think the United States would get to the medal round, so now would be an excellent time for me to get with the program and support the team instead of being a nattering nabob of negativity. The United States CAN win another gold, sure...but they certainly can't make the kind of mistakes that, to pick an example entirely at random, handed Japan a 1-0 lead in the semifinal. Is it churlish and grating to say that, had the United States been in the other bracket, they wouldn't have made it to the final? Of course it is. They also wouldn't have made it to the final if Kai's goal against Canada had been called offside.

Man, I wish I could cheer on this team. I too love Lori Chalupny. The Red Death* was just astounding out there. If only Whitehill hadn't gotten hurt, I'd actually feel really good about our chances in the final. Heather O'Reilly's been terrific, too. But I can't stand how much possession we gave to Japan, and if we pull a similar stunt against Brazil, we're looking at another four goal beating.

*From Poe's short story, of course.** Build walls, bar the gates, make a pact with Lucifer...it doesn't matter. The Red Death will find a way through.

**....all right, it's from the Roger Corman movie based on Poe's short story. Screw you, that movie rocked.