Monday, October 16, 2006

Imagine What the Phone Book is Like

Recently Pipi and I watched the U.S. Women’s national soccer team play Iceland. It was an interesting game for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I half expected to see 11 women running around wearing swan costumes like Bjork. That didn’t happen. What was interesting about what the Icelandic women were wearing, though, is that every player had a name on her jersey ending in “dottir.” That’s just the way it’s done in Iceland, where everyone has a last name based on his or her father’s first name. I’d be Nicole Dondottir, and if I had a brother, his last name would be Donson.

Another thing that was interesting is that one of the commentators mentioned during a lull that Iceland has about 300,000 inhabitants--meaning, according to her, that the number of women playing soccer in the entire country is about equal to the number of American women playing soccer in Southern California.

You’re probably thinking the game was a blowout. I know I expected it to be, especially after hearing that statistic about the talent pool. Surprisingly the score wasn’t very lopsided. USA did win, but only by one goal, 2-1. Partly that can be explained by the phenomenal Icelandic goalie. But barely beating such a small country doesn’t bode well for the Women’s World Cup in 2007, which Pipi and I plan to visit China in order to watch in person.

(What, you didn’t think I’d gone off topic, did you?)

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