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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Can't have it both ways

Anybody who writes about sports for a living gets tired of hearing athletes and coaches spout the same old cliches.

So it's refreshing to me to hear an athlete speak her mind. I'm referring to Hope Solo, the goalie on the U.S. soccer team until Thursday's semifinal game in the Women's World Cup against Brazil, when she was benched in favor of Brianna Scurry. The U.S. went into the game with a 51-game unbeaten streak and came out with an embarrassing 4-0 defeat.

After the loss, Solo spoke her mind, saying basically that anybody who knows anything about soccer knows it was a bad move to bench her. She even went so far as to say she would've have stopped the goals.

Some columnists criticized her, calling it a less than classy move. Maybe they have a point. Solo could have been more circumspect. But you can't really have it both ways. If the media want honesty out of athletes, it seems a bit wrong to criticize them for it -- although I suppose anything they say is fair game. No wonder most athletes and coaches are vanilla in their comments. I prefer honesty.


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