In his comment on the preceding post John Whitehead noted (re: the new NWSL broadcast deal with Lifetime): “Of course, if it turns out she (Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of Lifetime) just wanted a sports-themed reality melodrama, not so good for the league.”
Which got me thinking; what a hell of a sports film (or Lifetime series) the Thorns’ 2013 season would make. Good for the league? How about GREAT for everybody! Below the fold, consider the storylines we lived that season!
The beginning, with USWNT goddess Alex Morgan leading the line for the consensus runaway champions. Dark mutters of conspiracy theories all around the league of how Portland is being handed the first season’s title. (For extra melodrama – Laura Harvey can be the sort of Red Queen brooding in her northern fastness/crap pitch…)
Spring and the team assembles; Alex the Golden, the Idol of Millions of Prepubescent Girls…Sinc, the Big Boned Gal From Southern Alberta – the tough, silent veteran…whacky teammate Tobin, the lockerroom cut-up…Adorable Mana Shim…KK, the cliche’ mad ‘keeper…we’re talking “WW2 movie platoon” here, with the team coming together under CPC’s be-hatted leadership.
The season begins and the sun shine in April and May, the team riding high…fans in alt…glory on the pitch…but then…
The Thorns falter. Losses and draws mount up in June and July. Thorns slip to second, then to third. Drama in the locker room, concern in the stands, furrowed brows in the front office. Tense scenes between Merritt and CPC, trying to puzzle out the problems. Fans grieving, furious, supportive…players struggle to stay committed. Obligatory locker room rage scene (Tobin?) and Sinc dispensing wise-Crash-Davis-like-wisdom…
The First Low Point; the August 4 3-2 loss to FCKC. The Foxhoven Interview. Things look dark. There is No Joy In Thornsville.
The Wrath of Christine: the final day win in Seattle when it looked like CPC had thrown in the towel and was playing for a draw. The Thorns are alive and in the playoffs! Hope struggles with trepidation.
But then…the Lowest of Low Points! The first half hour of the semi in KC. Down two goals, staring at the End…but…Tobin pulls one back…Tiff Weimer sends it into overtime…Allie seals the win. We’re going to the Final!
And The Final itself; Gritty defending as the old sweats of Rochester led by The Mighty Wambach swagger in expecting a beatdown…tense moments…how can the suddenly-underdog Thorns pull this one out? Then Tobin’s “stand in the wall and look pretty” free kick…Sinc-Alex combine with the deathblow, and Joy is Unconfined! (And in the subplot, the Ragequit of Abby Wambach tearing off her runner’s-up medal and stomping away).
The sweet taste of the First Championship Since 1977!
And we’re not just talking sports-drama-cliches here. Think of all the wonderful “human interest” stories through all this; John and Cindy Parlow Cone struggling to keep their marriage going amid the pressure of her first season as coach (and, finally, choosing Love over Glory)…the birth of the Riveters and the Passion of the Fans…(some sort of imaginary feud between Foxhoven and Morgan…? Gotta have some dramatic tension in there somewhere, right?)…Adorable Mana and her Adorable Girlfriend learning to live and love in Portland…Kat Williamson and her roomies struggling to make ends meet and live the dream…KK – let’s face it, that gal is a story in and of herself!
C’mon! Are we talking pure Emmy-award-winning gold here, or what? Are you reading this, Lifetime?
Because if you are I want “story adapted from” credit.