In sports, nothing is certain. Just ask the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, fresh off losing the Women’s World Cup (or winning the silver medal, take your half of glass). Or just ask the Brazilian Women’s National Soccer Team, who lost to the United States in overtime-penalty kicks in the semi-finals, after Brazil lead for 122 minutes.
So we were looking forward to seeing the Summer SF Pro Am championships this coming weekend, secure that the “Stanford-lite” team would be there. First they had a play-off game the week before, and what with injuries, one star shooter out of town (Tinkle went to Vegas), overtime and players fouling out left and right and playing with four, and bada bing bada boom, Stanford is out of the championship game (See Judy Richter’s account). Dare we say shades of last year? No we don’t dare because this game had completely different set of circumstances.
So back to our original premise, in sports, nothing is certain. When the US Women’s National Team lost such a roller coaster, overtime-penalty kick game in the World Cup Finals, Stanford Women’s Basketball player Nneka Ogumike posted on her Twitter account “Those women battled hard. It's not over and it's not done, but this fight was worth the run. I know the feeling.” Apt words from someone who felt their pain. (You know we would bring up social media sooner of later, what with our adolescent infatuation with all things Twitter or Facebook).
So even though Stanford was a perennial top 5 team last year, there are no guarantees for the upcoming season. Stanford fans have gotten used to the Cardinal having their way in the Pac-10, oh excuse me Pac-12, that it could be a year of ups and downs. Preseason polls have been non-existent, we think all the sports writers are still recovering from Women’s World Cup Fever, but at the end of last year, everyone was touting Baylor and barely had Stanford in the top ten. We’ll see how that shakes out in the fall. But with a huge crop of rookies for Stanford (six) we are not so sure of things as in past years. And that’s exactly why we follow sports. Nothing is certain, nothing is guaranteed, but we love watching talented, hard-working athletes try their hardest.