Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Undeniable Art

Define art.

Yeah I know you do but try it anyway. It isn’t as easy as it seems. There are things that people do every day that are art, but they just don’t realize it.

Take our own Abby Wambach. You don’t know who that is? Have you been living under a rock, out of the country, sick in hospital or captured by aliens? Even if you don’t millions of people all over the world know Abby Wambach. Ms Abby is the star striker of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and soon to be headed to London to set the world afire once again with play that makes every other soccer player weep with envy.

Ms Wambach is the first soccer player, male or female to win the AP’s annual sports award for Best Player of the Year since it started in 1931. Whip out your calculator that’s the first player, man or woman to win the award in eighty years!

Did she deserve it? Without a doubt. Wambach has never given up for a second while the game clock was ticking, she crashed, pushes, fights and struggles with two or even three of the opposing teams markers, because even if you don’t know it they do, Abby is the Terminator.

When all hope was lost last summer at the World Cup and time was running out in overtime, Megan Rapinoe, not such a bad player herself made a heroic cross and there on the end of it was Abby, flying in, whipping her head and crashing the ball into the back of the net. Captain America came through again.

She didn’t come home a winner, the U.S Women lost to Japan in a nail-biter, but Abby was magnificent in defeat and completely unaware of what an effect she had on the game, the sport and the girls who will play in the years to come. She was so good that even in defeat the soccer fans couldn’t wait for her to come home, home to a hero’s welcome which frankly left Abby bewildered, “I lost.” That’s all she had to say when a hometown crowd in Rochester gave her a standing ovation.

And that is part of what makes Abby Wambach an artist. She doesn’t know that what she is doing is so special that even those who play the game play at the International level play the men’s game whisper her name with reverence.

Of the thousands of soccer players in the world there are only two who are her betters, Leo Messi of Barcelona and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United. They happen to be the best players on their squads.

This year 2012 Abby will take the U S Women to London to play for Olympic gold. I hope she wins it, at 31 the days of her career are coming to a close.

But win or lose Abby Wambach will be there and be ready and be terrifying for she is the Terminator.

Not since Babe Ruth swung a bat has there been a sports hero so selfless, so unassuming, so devoted to her team, her sport, her art.

If you haven’t seen her play, you should mark your calendar; this might be the last chance. And what a shame it would be to miss this opportunity to see the greatest living soccer player in her final battle.

Fire the guns, strike the gong, make way, make way, look out London Captain America is coming…

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