Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Perfect Voice of Cool

Although I don’t have casual, imaginary conversations with Abby Wambach like Allen does with Bogart in Play It Again, Sam, she is my voice of cool. Wambach is a forward for the United States women’s national soccer team. Not only do I idolize her as an athlete but also as a person.

I “discovered” Abby while watching my previous guide for cool, Mia Hamm, play in a WUSA game in 2003. Wambach’s style of play caught my eye because she plays exactly how I hope to one day. After watching her in interviews and on youtube videos, I realized she embodies exactly my version of cool; she’s an amazing athlete who’s funny, cute, and laid-back, yet determined and successful.

Abby embodies cool more than anyone else because she has all the ingredients of the ideal cool. Within the realm of soccer, Wambach is tough, fearless, determined, successful, competitive, and confident while still enjoying the game and achieving success. She is goofy and fun but still able to be serious and focused. Wambach’s passion for the game is unbelievable and her training routine is intense. She is currently the best women’s soccer player in the world, but you would never know it from watching her youtube videos; she is completely down-to-earth. Wambach hasn’t had an easy career, she has faced injuries, like most other athletes, and rebounded quickly and flawlessly. This year she broke both her tibia and fibula during a game which put her out of the Olympics, something she had been working her entire life for; yet, she was still able to collect herself after the injury and support her team. Also during the first World Cup game in 2007, Abby collided during a header and cut her forehead open; she went off the field had 10 stitches in her head and went back into the game. In my own soccer career, I’ve faced injuries and tried to act as cool as Wambach during recovery and post-recovery; she is an all around cool soccer player.

Even though her soccer skills are more than enough to make Abby my voice of cool, her personality makes her even more fit for my ideal model of cool. Wambach’s fun and outgoing personality mixed with her ability to focus and be serious, is cool. She is the one who initiates the funny, harmless pranks and jokes on her fellow teammates off the field then steps on the field and puts her game-face on. She keeps everyone smiling and laughing while keeping them focused at the same time. She is confident and dresses and carries herself consistent with my attitude of cool. Even in situations where she should be nervous or self conscious, she isn’t. Abby’s confidence and likeability give her a cool personality.

I listen to Wambach’s voice of cool for at least two hours every day while I train for soccer and sometimes more when I’m trying to emulate her behavior off the field. Abby is an amazing source of inspiration for me when I train, and my trainer, knowing this, asks me “what would Abby do?” whenever I need inspiration. There are also times when I should be nervous or self conscious off the field, and instead, I just think about the way Wambach would act in a particular instance.

Abby Wambach is my ideal version of cool, and she embodies that definition in all areas of her life.


  1. I'm glad someone chose a female athlete. Female athletes, almost by definition, are talented and unappreciated. You can look at most professional sports for women, see the difference in pay between those and those for men, and understand a lot about how minds in America work.

    Why do you think female athletes and sports are considered so "uncool?" They work just as hard and are just as good as their male counterparts, but are nearly completely written off. Why?

  2. Thank you. Female athletes shatter the general idea of a woman as weak and emotional. Last semester I wrote a paper on how female athletes are stereotyped as masculine. Many of the first lesbians to come out were athletes which caused controversy from the beginning.

    Men, who are normally the sports fanatics, are not interested in watching female athletes; therefore, the only fans in women's athletics are normally female athletes themselves.

    I wish there was more interest and hype surrounding women's sports, maybe someday...

  3. I think you're really on to something here with this idea of cool and female athletes. You are almost right in saying that men mostly do not watch female sports (aside from Foxy Boxing). The thing that I can't figure out is just why this is?

    While I am trying to avoid being too second-wave when I say this, I wonder what it has to do with being seen as sexy. Any ideas?