Wednesday, June 19, 2019
We are holding a very fancy betting pool at my library to celebrate The Women's World Cup. Because $20 here bought a person a randomly selected team and an also random Golden Boot Player (that's the person who scores the most goals in the tournament), loyalties were widely distributed and the library fanbase was scattered across 24 teams.
That was until Australia's Sam Kerr was briefly interviewed following a dramatic come from behind victory against Brazil in game two. She said something to the effect of:
"We don't listen to the h8ers. Me an' the girls showed them and they can go suck on that one."
Perhaps curiously, we all became Sam Kerr fans.
Then, five days later, Sam Kerr scored four goals against Jamaica to propel Australia into the round of 16. At this point Sam Kerr hysteria seized the library staff. Yellow and green started showing up everywhere. People were drinking Fosters in the break room at all hours. Walking by any conversation between co-workers here, one could catch the tang of fake Australian accents, and it was a matter of course to hear the phrase "The h8ers can suck it."
Why Sam Kerr? What captured our imaginations?
We library employees are pretty civil people, not overly given to coarse language. And also we are in the USA where our team looks far more likely to triumph in this World Cup than a scrappy, mixed blessings Australian team with one great player instead of, let's see, seven, no, eight!
But here's the thing: These American women are great. They are admirable. They all seem like people who are going to do well in life. The look like they'd make good Vice Presidents, heads of marketing divisions, Directors of College Athletics Departments, big time Head Coaches. They seem like young, successful people, jocks, crisp and apple pie and strong and lean and off into the upper middle classes and beyond.
And good for them.
But Sam Kerr is easy to picture working at our library, angrily shelving away the afternoon, irritated beyond reason about misfiled items, muttering "h8ers!" to herself. One can naturally see her kicking our automated check in bins to get them working. It is no stretch to envision her here in our back room, grousing to her co-workers about some unpleasant patron, or the indignities of management, inappropriately uttering "they can suck it" as everyone awkwardly wanders away.
Media reviews are mixed at best about Sam Kerr's intemperate remarks. There were plenty of commentators ready to call her classless or claim she was distracting her team. But you gotta expect that kind of noise from the h8ers. We at the library take no particular stand on Sam's rustic expression. That's not the point.
We simply recognize her somehow, for good or ill, as one of us.