After the U.S. defeated China to capture the Women's
World Cup (WWC) Saturday before 90,185 fans at the Rose
Bowl, USA TODAY's Gary Mihoces reports that the USSF
"increased the bonus pool" for the 20 U.S. players from
$250,000 to $1M. USSF General Secretary Hank Steinbrecher:
"We caught lightning in a bottle" (USA TODAY, 7/12). WWC
President & CEO Marla Messing "presented the players" with
the check that averaged $50,000 per player. Messing: "We
got together with the Federation and we found there was
unanimity that this was the right thing to do. What [the
U.S.] players did is beyond anyone's expectations. ... They
deserved to be compensated more fairly than what they were
getting." In DC, Amy Shipley adds that the WWC "expects a
surplus" between $2-7M from the event (WASHINGTON POST,
7/12). Messing, on the success of the WWC: "It struck a
chord. I think it's going to take some time to reflect and
figure out what that chord was. Something superkinetic
happened" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/12). FIFA Dir of Communications
Keith Cooper: "We have to admit, we never thought it would
be this successful" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/11). TIME's
Bill Saporito writes that the event was "carefully managed
and almost perfectly marketed by the" WWC (TIME, 7/19).
ABC's Robin Roberts' epilogue after Saturday's Final: "I
never thought I'd see something like this ... women athletes
being accepted and embraced at this magnitude. When I was a
little girl growing up, I dreamed of seeing a moment like
this." Interviewed during halftime of Saturday's Final,
President Bill Clinton spoke on the WWC's impact: "I think
it's really going to have a bigger impact than most people
realize now." More Clinton: "In some ways, it's the biggest
sporting event of the last decade because it's new, it's
different for Americans" ("Women's World Cup Final," 7/10).
CUP CRAZINESS OR OVERHYPE? A USA TODAY editorial runs
under the header, "A Defining Moment For Women's Sports"
(USA TODAY, 7/12). A N.Y. TIMES editorial states the U.S.
"players have taken women's sports to a new level" (N.Y.
TIMES, 7/12). The AP's Jim Litke: "No group of athletes was
more accessible, more articulate or down-to-earth than this
one" (AP, 7/10). In Denver, Vicki Michaelis: "America right
now is a soccer nation" (DENVER POST, 7/10). In San Jose,
Ann Killion: "Every step of the way, accepted beliefs about
soccer and women's sports had to be abandoned. Every step
of the way, standards were created" (MERCURY NEWS, 7/11).
In St. Paul, George Dohrmann; "To say that this was the
finest hour in women's sports history is to be obtuse and
nearsighted. It was bigger. It was one of the finest
moments in sports" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/11). In
Boston, John Powers: "This event was always about America
and America's feelings not only about soccer but also about
women. This was about gender equity" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/11).
In Charlotte, David Scott wrote that the Final "signaled a
new public awareness of women's soccer and, indeed, of
women's athletics" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/11). REUTERS'
Jill Serjeant: "22 women made soccer the coolest sport of
the summer" (REUTERS, 7/10). But FSN's Jim Rome said Friday
of the hype: "Enough already. It's soccer" ("The Last
Word," 7/9). In N.Y., Filip Bondy wrote that the "final,
scoreless victory ... was a terrible artistic failure, and
probably did more to wreck the future of women's soccer than
it did to boost the sport" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/12). But in
Detroit, Drew Sharp: "When we overly hype to create an
imaginary air of importance, we run the risk of eroding the
splendor of the achievement" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/12).
FAN FRIENDLY: In L.A., Helene Elliott puts "the
unofficial" attendance for the WWC at 658,167, including
Saturday's crowd, which was "the largest ever to attend a
women's sporting event" (L.A. TIMES, 7/11). Scalpers
"filled the streets asking up to" $1,000 a ticket for the
Final (MERCURY NEWS, 7/11). In Boston, Powers & Springer
wrote that WWC organizers had "projected ticket sales" of
475,000 before the tournament (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/10). In
Miami, Michelle Kaufman reports that the WWC generated more
than $100M in licensed merchandise sales, and more than 700
journalists covered the Final (MIAMI HERALD, 7/11).