Friday, July 15, 2011

Shopping for Women's World Cup Gear: A Fruitless Enterprise, At Least Locally

Took The Girl out yesterday in search of some Team USA Women’s World Cup gear. Given that last month I went on a special shopping expedition to pick up some Bruins stuff for The Youngest Boy when the Bruins were vying for the Stanley Cup (I've done lots of "special" things in honor of big Patriots, Celtics and, of course, Red Sox games), I wanted to try to treat the U.S. Women’s World Cup final similarly, as no less important.

Unfortunately, after driving around to five different stores -- including four sporting goods stores -- we found nothing, nada, zippo related to the Women’s World Cup. There was a lit bit of U.S. Men’s World Cup merchandise for sale at one store, but nothing for the superior U.S. women’s team.

Our last resort was to go to a party store -- which had lots of Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics stuff (even some stray Yankees stuff) -- and pick up some generic soccer merchandise (soccer ball plates, napkins & some soccer shaped chocolates) to enjoy while we watch the final game on Sunday afternoon with a couple of The Girl’s gal pals.

I tried to buck The Girl up and told her not to try not to read anything into the lack of availability of Team USA’s World Cup stuff in local stores, suggesting that we'll just go online. In the meantime, I think it’s insane that one sporting goods store would have, hanging among the posters of professional athletes, a giant image of Abby Wambach and nothing by way of merchandise representing the American team on which she plays.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to search online for Team USA soccer merchandise, even though many places are out of stock when it comes to the more affordable players' T-shirts. The VERY pricey jerseys are still for sale on many web sites though. (The Girl, whose birthday is coming up, will have to wait for her coveted Wambach jersey/birthday gift as there's no way it would get here in time for the game on Sunday.)

With the success of the women’s team and the popularity of soccer among girls in the area in which I live, I think my local retailers have blown a golden opportunity to capitalize on the excitement these role models bring. Maybe they'll wise up so that when I head back out to the stores next month to pick up gear for the new soccer season, I'll spy a Team USA shirt hanging on the racks. A gal can hope, can't she?

Image credit: ESPN Shop, Eurosport.

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