With Hope Solo's saves, Abby Wambach's record-setting 122nd-minute equalizer and Ali Krieger's penalty shootout winner, the U.S.'s win over Brazil in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals is already being called an instant classic. ESPN, perhaps a bit too dizzy on the euphoria of the moment, named it the fifth most dramatic (American) sports moment of all time (over the 1999 WWC final, among many other things). But, it's New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit that is featured on this week's cover of Sports Illustrated and not the U.S. women's team.
Business Insider's Noah Davis asked SI editor Terry McDonnell why they did this. McDonnell's answer:
"We were very tempted to go with the women's soccer team, but they could have been eliminated by the time the issue reached subscribers," he told The Wire by phone on Tuesday afternoon. "Imagine the story you'd write if that happened." (The semifinal match against France is on Wednesday and the issue hits mailboxes on Thursday.)
So according to SI, because there's a possibility they won't beat France, that somehow makes their unbelievable display against Brazil unworthy of highlighting on this week's cover. Yet, the U.S. men's loss to Ghana last summer didn't really make Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria any less spectacular. Of course, the expectations of the women's team are far greater than for the men's considering past successes, but as an isolated event it's hard to argue how special it was for the whole country and not just fans of one particular club like, say, the Yankees.
And speaking of the Yankees, you have to wonder if the business decision of who would sell more magazines -- Derek Jeter or the U.S. Women's World Cup team -- was also a consideration.
McDonell holds out hope that the WWC final will provide an even better chance to feature the U.S. women, though, saying, "If they win on Sunday, in the end that would be the best case."
Here's video of a photoshoot the U.S. women's team did for SI in June...