There’s nothing quite like being thrown into the fire at birth. Sports fans, we’re one week from the kickoff of the first Women’s Professional Soccer game in the midst of economic conditions that can only be described as brutal. One thing is certain: if WPS survives its first season, and then its second, and then it’s third, it’s a pretty safe bet it should be able to survive just about anything short of human extinction.
I really hope the league is able to survive, and not just because I happen to have a daughter now. WPS and its clubs have tried incredibly hard to do everything right, both fiscally and on the field, in the aftermath of the WUSA going down in flames in 2003 after three seasons of galloping front office brain death. Now it has the dumb luck to be launching at a time that most economists are now saying will likely end up being the worst recession since the Great Depression. Even if you have no interest in sports at all, you can’t help but want it to succeed, if only from a David-vs.-Goliath standpoint.
The WUSA’s demise was a swift kick in the gut to just about everyone involved in all levels of women’s and girls’ sports, and I really don’t want to see it repeated, having experienced it from working in the collegiate level last time around.
On a semi-related note, Philadelphia’s WPS club, due to be the league’s first expansion team in 2010, has a newly revamped and infinitely more informative web site than the previous one.