We Got ... Now

Think women have no game? You don't know what you're missing.

Updated: April 5, 2003, 10:18 PM ET
By By Eric Adelson, ESPN The Magazine
When the wake-up calls rang at 7:30 on the morning of the 1999 Women's World Cup final, not one player in the Pasadena Doubletree had any idea of what was coming. How could they? How could they have foreseen the Good Morning America appearance, the Wheaties box, the standing O at Madison Square Garden, the ride on Air Force Two with Hil and Chelsea? This was a group that, when they found themselves stuck in gridlock on the way to a first-round game at Giants Stadium, wondered aloud, "Where is everyone going?" A group whose oldest player once had to sew U, S and A on her own jersey. A group that teasingly called one of its defenders Hollywood because her love of the dramatic was too melodramatic for women's soccer.

Gathering for breakfast, the players muttered about Jennifer Lopez, whose pregame performance would keep them from warming up on the Rose Bowl field. A few hours later, they got loose by running in a poorly lit asphalt tunnel leading to the red-white-and-blue, chalk-outlined field of history.