Tomorrow the Women’s World Cup kicks off. Finally, no more waiting, no more wondering who will be there and who will be watching from home. Actual matches will replace mere banter being being shot back and forth.
And on the eve of this great day, on this almost-holy night, I have one thing to ask.
The waiting is over. It’s time. Time to enjoy the matches and the upsets. Time to to enjoy the players on every team. Everyone dreams about scoring the winning goal in the final, but even those who play for teams with no chance winning it all, they will still get a moment of glory. Regardless of what happens in their matches, they made it to the Women’s World Cup. They made it.
It is the job of those in the media to try and tell the story of these matches–these players who have dedicated their lives to their sport, their teams, their undying belief they could make it one day, even if they couldn’t see it clearly. We will write and break down and try to put the unexplainable to words. We’ll try to explain what happened, and why.
But that’s our job, not yours. Your job is to enjoy the ride. To watch your team and hope they live up to all you want them to be. To support them if they don’t quite live up to their own promise. And that can’t happen if you get stuck in the overthinking and breaking down, the endless debates over just what outside back should Jill Ellis use today. Let us get lost in all those details while you get lost in the wonder.
Because it is wondrous.
It is a wonder to behold Scotland and Jamaica suiting up for the first time. To know Kim Little and Bunny Shaw will get to show off to the world. There is wonder in what they do with the ball at their feet and a few yards of space in front of them. There is wonder in Lucy Bronze defending or Amandine Henry directing her midfield or Hedvig Lindahl organizing a backline.
There will be upsets and heartbreak and players stepping off this stage never to return. Marta and Christine Sinclair and Carli Lloyd will likely have their last bows. And names few of us know will soon be on everyone’s lips. There is glory to be had in these games.
That is the magic of the moment. No one really knows what will happen. No matter how many matches we’ve seen or how many hours we’ve spent poring over the data, we just can’t know.
So sit back, get something cool to drink and enjoy the magic that only comes around every four years. Before we know it, the moment will be gone again.