If you'd asked me when I was twelve what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd have told you that I wanted to be a professional soccer player. I'd have waxed rhapsodic about Diego Maradona, and if you really drew me out, I'd have confessed I didn't plan to play in any old women's league. No - I was going to be the first woman to break into the men's leagues.
It didn't happen, of course. My ambitions were halted early on when I was eased out of my youth soccer league by old men who didn't believe girls could or should compete with boys, even at twelve and thirteen. And no, in my small town there weren't enough girls for us to have our own league. It's small comfort that if sexism hadn't stopped me, my asthma would have.
Still, I have fond memories of being glued to the television during summer 1990. I watched almost every game of the 1990 World Cup, and those that I couldn't watch because they were on in the middle of the night or because my parents dragged me out of the house for a few hours, I recorded with our VCR to watch later. The best games, I watched over and over again, until (to my fury) my father finally taped over them.
Because of summer camps and college classes and lack of cable and so on and so forth, I haven't been able to watch so many World Cup matches from one tournament ever again. But now, thanks to the wonders of TiVo, I have the opportunity to try! So I'm going to be watching a lot of games. I don't know if I'll manage all 64 - probably not - but one can dream!
I may not ever have gotten the chance to play in the pro leagues with these men, but I can now celebrate the World Cup in my own way by choosing an Imaginary Boyfriend for each match. Selections for today's two matches will be posted either tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy!