Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico

Elizabeth Lambert, you're not alone: R.I. girls' soccer championship ends in brawl

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To hear the coverage of infamous New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert, you’d think that except for her, female soccer players are sugar and spice and everything nice.

Well, there is plenty of spice, at least, as witnessed Nov. 8 near the end of the MetLife Soccer Classic Girls Division IV Championship in Providence, R.I.

The game was called with about a minute left, with Woonsocket up 5-0 over Tolman, after a fight between two players escalated into a brawl that cleared both benches. Budding soccer goons representing both sides started fighting in the stands during the post-game awards ceremony.

Under Rhode Island Interscholastic League rules, any player involved in a fight must sit out five games. If the player is a senior, she must sit out the first five games of the next sport she players. If she’s an underclassmen, she sits out the first five games of the next season. The league is investigating to determine whom to punish.

You see the fight start here:

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And here you can see Woonsocket’s coach, Kathy Fagnan, all hepped up, not exactly apologize for what happened. “We’re both physical teams … at some point someone snapped … I don’t know what really happened, I wasn’t on the field … Not to put a blame on anybody, it could be us, too, we were going back and forth … I don’t know, we had the advantage, we had good spirit — you know, I’m not gonna take the fall for that.”

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About that study that says sports doesn’t cause white girls to fight? That researcher might want to double-check her notes.

In praise of Elizabeth Lambert, role model

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You may well have seen the above video ad nauseum — the one in which New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert elbows, kicks and hair-pulls her way around the field against Brigham Young while losing 1-0 Nov. 5 in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

After the round-the-clock tut-tutting and screams of “catfight!” it’s no surprise that New Mexico has indefinitely suspended the junior defender, an action the conference supported. Lambert apologized.

To which I say, apologize for what? For being aggressive? For showing girls how to be tough on the field? For not being sufficiently “ladylike” for a male sports establishment? For doing things that, if she were male, would have been mostly laughed off? Like, say, this Oct. 31 eye gouge by Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, which got him suspended by his team for one measly half against its next opponent, the far weaker Vanderbilt? (Spikes later suspended himself for the full game.)

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The above action is consider par for the course in football, where anything goes in a dogpile. So no harm, right? Spikes wasn’t a goon — he was tough!

My 10-year-old daughter has her first basketball game (with me coaching) today (Nov. 7), and I won’t say that I will plop her in front of the Lambert video and say, here’s how you do it. But I will say there’s nothing wrong with a girl mixing it up, playing hard, bumping people and other playing aggressively to the point other people are scared enough to get out of your way. (My 4-year-old daughter, it appears, so far does not need that encouragement.)

So Elizabeth Lambert, you might’ve gooned it up, and you might have had your tail forced between your legs for gooning it up. But also know you taught the world a lesson that girls can dish shit out — and that the world needn’t react in horror when they do. That is, as long as they don’t react in horror when a male athletes does the same thing.

Written by rkcookjr

November 7, 2009 at 3:03 am