BOB LEY, HOST- June 30, 2002. Soccer is the world's game.
COBI JONES, MIDFIELDER, U.S. NATIONAL TEAM- The rest of the world feels that they should be better than the United States because we're the upstarts. We're just starting out in this game.
LEY- But this World Cup changed all that.
JACK EDWARDS, ESPN- The land of the free! The home of the brave! It's into the round of eight!
LEY- And not everyone is happy to see it.
PEDRO BASSAN, TV GLOBO (BRAZIL)- Well, sincerely, we don't think the United States can play very good soccer.
LANDON DONOVAN, SCORED TWO GOALS IN 2002 WORLD CUP - They don't want us to do well, they don't want us to succeed, and when we do, it's difficult for them.
LEY- And now, the prospect of the United States invading the world's game.
JEFF AGOOS, DEFENDER, U.S. NATIONAL TEAM - I think the world is very scared of that.
LEY- Jay Williams is a professional now, and like other star rookies, he makes sure to dress the part. If only because the downside can be huge.
CHRIS WILCOX, 8TH OVERALL DRAFT PICK- You don't want to make no fashion mistakes. Come on, now. That's a big night for you; you don't want to go out there looking stupid.
LEY- Today on Outside The Lines, dressing for success at the NBA draft, and the unease greeting the American success in the World Cup.
There's a competition at the NBA draft seemingly as fierce as the one for draft position and for dollars. It's the battle for style. Looking good for your peers and for posterity. It's now a professional imperative. Wednesday's draft was also memorable for the prominence of international players. Three of the first seven players drafted, and thirteen overall -- internationals, drafted at the expense of players from the United States. So, American fans might be wondering what's happening to our game?
Well, that's exactly what soccer fans overseas are saying. Some structure was restored to the soccer universe this morning when in the World Cup finals, just concluded, Brazil, behind the brilliance of Ronaldo, defeated Germany two goals to none for its fifth World Cup title. But the comfortable and usual order of the sport was disturbed this month, and among the chief reasons, the play of the United States national team.
The Americans' run to the quarterfinals not only opened sporting eyes, but around the globe, it aroused echoes of anti-American feelings and passions far from the playing field.
LEY- This wasn't supposed to happen.
EDWARDS- McBride's in the box. The hard cross, McBride scores! It's 3-0, United States! They're (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Portugal!
JOE BRODKIN, THE GUARDIAN (BRITAIN)- To be brutally honest, I thought the States would finish last.
BASSAN- Well, sincerely, we don't think that the United States can play a very good soccer.
LEY- But they did. To the consternation of much of the rest of the world.
EDWARDS- Lewis with a lot of speed turns the corner, down Donovan going middle. Deflected into Donovan in the middle! Score!!
DONOVAN- There's always just an arrogance you can see in other players in the dressing room before the game when you're walking out on the field. They're just laughing and thinking they're going to kill you.
AGOOS- The only thing that people have on America is soccer from the rest of the world. So, if they can be better than us in that, then they want to put us down and keep us down as much as possible. Because the other aspects of their life are not as good as what we have here in the States.
JONES- I think they love what the U.S. brings, you know, the democracy, the culture, the style -- all the fast foods and all that. If they didn't like it, it wouldn't be there. But then, there's the situation where people feel that they're getting overwhelmed by the U.S. culture, and I think there's a little bit of the hate in that aspect, a little bit of the jealousy that they want to keep their own cultures.
LEY- A large part of that culture is soccer. The World Cup, which can lift nations to a frenzy or drive them to tears, has been a chance to remind the United States who owns this sport.
CORRADO SANNUCCI, LA REPUBBLICA (ITALY)- You have to consider this, that soccer has been for one century a European game.
BRODKIN- And I suppose, to be honest, there might be almost a fear that if the States gets this right, because of the size of the country and the resources that it could have, that it could really start to dominate in a way that would take away from what Europe's been able to achieve.
AGOOS- So if you can imagine, you know, eleven Michael Jordan's, or what have you, playing soccer, I think the world is very scared of that.
DONOVAN- I think they've had a feeling forever that, you know, maybe in everything else the U.S. is better, but in soccer we kind of held them down. And now that we're kind of coming, it's&could be changing.
LEY- There is fear, and there is loathing. From England, these observations- "The American team's one redeeming quality is that football (soccer) reduces them from superpower to ingenue."
"When nations gather for the World Cup, America brushes the crisps off its fat stomach and sneers. We don't want Americans to like football. We don't want their dumb, fat-ass opinion inflicted on us."
BRUCE ARENA, HEAD COACH, U.S. NATIONAL TEAM- We not only had to play against Korea that day, but we had to play against an entire nation. And that's the way the world has looked -- that the game is looked at around the world. And when we defeated Mexico, we not only defeated the Mexican national team, but we defeated the whole country.
LEY- That 2-0 U.S. victory over archrival Mexico stunned the World Cup, and wounded Mexican national pride, to the point there were disturbances on the Mexican side of the El Paso border crossing.
DONOVAN- They hate us. Mexico. I'm sure Mexico and the Mexicans don't like us right now. It's kind of devastating for them to lose to us. But that's the way it goes.
LEY- Cobi Jones remembers a Portuguese commentator in Korea before the U.S. met Portugal in the Americans' first match.
JONES- And he said to try to explain it to all the other commentators, all the other newscasters, you really shouldn't expect the U.S. to win. Portugal is going to beat them. Try to imagine, you know, a Portuguese basketball team trying to take on the Dream Team.
LEY- So while U.S. soccer works to harness this momentum, the rest of the world wonders what this will mean. And not just on the field, to the game they have confidently called their own.
Joining us this morning, Eric Wynalda. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for the U.S national team, with 34 career goals. He served as a studio analyst on the World Cup for ABC Sports, and he joins us this morning from our studios in Connecticut.
For more than a quarter-century, Seamus Malin has broadcast soccer all over the globe, including the World Cup championship match in both 1994 and 1998. He's in Boston this morning.
Andrei Markovits is a professor at the University of Michigan, and in his book, "Offside," he explores the curious relationship between soccer and American culture. He is in Ann Arbor. Good morning to all of you.
Eric, you played in Germany, you play a little bit in Mexico. What are the people on the streets -- not the soccer folks, not the coaches, the players -- what do you think the people on the streets have said to themselves and to each other after watching the U.S. team for three months?
ERIC WYNALDA, THREE-TIME WORLD CUP VETERAN- Well, I mean, obviously I think that the U.S. team has done a lot of good here. Coming off of the performance in 1998, a lot of people were almost like, OK, good, they finished last, let's keep them there, and, you know, I think in this country we've done a lot of great stuff to get ourselves rebuilt, to be able to take on some of the best teams in the world.
These people are almost like, oh, no, what does this mean? How is this going to affect what we're doing here? And, you know, anybody that watched that game against Germany knows that we outplayed them. We beat them, and we lost the game. And that puts a little bit of a fear factor in this for the European and South American people.
LEY- Well, Andrei, you're a European by birth, what do you think the unease is like on the continent now?
ANDREI MARKOVITS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN- I think this is a very problematic issue because it has in my view very little to do with soccer. It has everything to do with global politics, with a long sense on the part of Europeans -- and by the way, more so on the part of the Europeans than on the part of the Latin Americans -- that even though we might be politically mighty and economically mighty, we're actually culturally inferior.
And they always felt this, they will continue to feel it; it's now become even more so, a case even more so, probably because of the EU and so on. But above all I think we can't win. On the one hand, if you look at 1994, we were always laughed at for not playing the world's game, that we were outsiders and so on, and we couldn't do anything right by not being it. Now that we're joining, we seem to -- now they're worried about us being as good as they are.
LEY- Well, Seamus, is it really that pronounced, do you think?
SEAMUS MALIN, SOCCER ANALYST- I think it is very pronounced. Although I think there are subtle distinctions before you go. I remember in 1990, for instance, when I saw the United States lose to Italy, 1-0, and that was a very different team. Eric was there, of course, in that World Cup. But they'd lost, 1-0, but they played quite well against Italy.
And I had a cab driver the next day say to me, you know, you guys can play this game a little bit. But keep in mind two things about Italy. One, they did win the game so you can afford to be generous; and, second, if the Italians lose, their first reaction is not necessarily to worry about the Americans but to pillory the coach, the players and the referees as the source of all their woes, not so much the American growth.
LEY- What's really interesting that most people don't really recognize here in the States -- is the extent to which national pride is tied up in these matches.
MARKOVITS- Well, absolutely. The difference between American sports and soccer is that the American sports are, in fact, completely intra-country. In other words, they're local. The tremendous enthusiasm and pride that the city of Detroit felt winning the 10th Stanley Cup was every bit -- in terms of its emotion -- was every bit as strong as Europeans or Latin Americans do when they win in soccer, but it was, in fact, confined to Detroit.
So it's -- we don't have this national experience coming out of our history the way the Europeans and Latin Americans do with soccer, in terms of it being national in addition to the club level.
But I also would like to say that with the Italians, it's not only of course to blame the coach, but when you lose, very quickly you enter all kinds of conspiracy theories that, you know, it's this and that, which of course was rampant right after the loss to South Korea.
I think the -- I'm looking at some data at how the four minnows, the four outsiders, if you will, who were really the upsetters in this World Cup. South Korea, Turkey, Senegal and the United States. And how the European press has reacted to these.
And what I've found so far, and I wanted to analyze this in much greater detail in July and August, is that for the other three, this was seen as unequivocally wonderful and good. For the United States, certainly until the German game, this was seen as threatening and, in fact, completely gauche and wrong. The British press, especially the English press, was outrageous in terms of buffooning and kind of making fun of the Americans, and again, we can't --we're damned both ways.
LEY- You know, Seamus, what we've found in reporting the stories at face-to-face talking to folks in Seoul, our folks on the ground, very polite reaction to the American success. But then you pull the clips from "The Guardian," from "The Mirror," from "The Telegraph" in London, and in some of the things they had to report, and they're hilarious.
MALIN- Well, I know, I mean, the British really have a lot to answer for here, frankly. I find some of the most annoying people in the United States are some of the British expats, who echo this, there are some others who in fact are very dedicated to American soccer and have contributed a lot. But it goes a long way back.
You even find it in magazines in Britain, for instance, the total rubbish allegation that the word "soccer" is an American invention. When of course it is not. It's an English invention. I mean, there's just a total disconnect here based on this absolute...
WYNALDA- Guys, listen, don't you think we're kind of overanalyzing this? Just a little bit. I mean, it's good to be analytical about these kind of things, but if you break it down, simplify it; the fact of the matter is the United States has never really been a contender.
And to come back now and to say, look, we have to sell the sport to the Americans and we have to package this and make sure that we take advantage of the success that they've had, that is not the goal here. The goal is progress. And what we have now is a situation where the U.S. finally has an opportunity to take advantage of some of the assets that they actually have.
We have soccer people with experience who know that this sport needs to go forward. And it's a process. It's not about winning the rest of the world over overnight, or alienating the rest of the world overnight, or even worrying about what they think. It's really about us. And as a soccer nation, we're finally getting to the point where we can say, you know what? We're on the right track, let's keep going in the right direction.
MARKOVITS- Eric, I totally agree with you, but that was not the premise of the beginning of the show.
WYNALDA- I know, and my whole point is this, my whole point is this- If the rest of the world does not accept the Americans, my thing is, guess what? You're going to have to eventually.
MARKOVITS- Oh, I agree. I agree. I think it's completely independent of this. It's absolutely, I think it's a wonderful thing that the teams did so well. I think had we beaten Germany, which we could have, had it not been for the brilliance of Oliver Kahn, this would have been an even bigger boost for soccer, because the team would have been there for another week, even for the third-place game.
It would have had a phenomenal impact on -- in terms of the media -- and this is all good. That's -- but that's a different discussion. We should not care about what the Brits think or don't think, but the question was what, how has the world reacted to this? And I think it's very interesting that as opposed to Senegal -- and we were sort of a Senegal in the world of soccer but only in the world of soccer -- this was not welcome. When we defeated Mexico, the whole newsroom in South Korea was booing and really upset about this. I think this is telling.
LEY- Seamus, is this a function of generations that may be the younger generation, more exposed to American culture, might be more accepting of this tectonic shift in soccer fortunes?
MALIN- I think there might be something to that, Bob. I think you will find the younger people in the street, particularly the ones who are fans going to the stadium, they tend to be more welcoming, they tend to be a little bit more embracing of whoever the opponent is and kind of "welcome to the league."
But I think the thing that's disheartening for soccer people in this country is that we have spent so much time trying to win over our own journalists, our own people, and having made progress there to suddenly find the rest of the world turning its back on us is almost a galling feature.
And Eric is right, you know, they're just going to have to wake up and deal. And the thing that really disturbed me more than anything else was the piece in the "International Herald Tribune" by an American abroad named Vinocur saying, oh, please, please, you know, we have enough troubles here, I don't want to see the Americans now competing." Well, I'm sorry I feel your pain living in Paris. You know, this must be such a struggle, but you're going to have to get used to this, because America has arrived and deal.
WYNALDA- But they have. And you know what, Seamus, you're right. And the other thing that you have to touch on as well is, you know what, if soccer is ever cool to our kids, if it ever gets to that point where it's cool, it'll explode. And that little piece of it -- I was watching earlier today with Mike Lupica talking about, you know, no, it's never going to happen, it's never going to happen, you're all wrong, and you know what?
LEY- We'll see.
LEY- Guys, I wish we could talk soccer all day long, you know I stand accused of that anyway, but thanks to Eric Wynalda, hope you're playing again, Seamus Malin and Andrei Markovits. Thanks guys for joining us.
Next up, we'll take you behind the curtain of the NBA draft where rookies in waiting such as Jay Williams know that looking the part is as important as being a first-round pick.
WILLIAMS- I think it's a very classy occasion, and I've been waiting for it my whole life, and it's a dream of mine, so that's the only way I know how to dress on an occasion like that is just to try to dress your best.
LEY- This week at a Hollywood movie premier, NBA players were on the red carpet dressed for the event and talking about it.
GARY PAYTON, SEATTLE SUPERSONICS GUARD- We got to keep our appearance up. You know, everybody say we don't have a good appearance, what are we doing? So, we got to keep ourselves up a little bit.
MICHAEL FINLEY, DALLAS MAVERICKS GUARD/FORWARD- I always wear Willie Scott out of Chicago, Brand Jordan --I mean, I'm always in those two if you see me.
LEY- Gary Payton and Michael Finley on the red carpet.
Now, NBA veterans know that style is a major component of their public image, that beyond the rim-rattling highlights there are off-court pictures that can define them and their lifestyle. And as Shelley Smith shows us, it is a message that increasingly rookies understand, especially on the night of their coming out party.
WILLIAMS- This is -- I love the way these pants feel on me. Yeah, they drape too. It's so nice.
SHELLEY SMITH, ESPN CORRESPONDENT- It is the day before the NBA draft and Duke's Jay Williams is scouting the competition with designer Carey Mitchell.
CARY MITCHELL, DESIGNER- Dunleavy's dad called me last Friday. He's wearing one of those. Wilcox. And Quintel and the other guys have theirs. So.
SMITH- This year, Mitchell is making suits for projected first-round picks Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden, Chris Wilcox, Quintel Woods and others. All of his clients are expected to walk across the stage at Madison Square Garden as NBA first-round draft picks.
MITCHELL- It's in New York, the city of lights, Times Square right down the street; the whole thing has just blossomed into a huge spectacle to showcase or highlight the new guys that are coming into the league.
KEVIN STEWART, SAVOY MAGAZINE FASHION DIRECTOR - It's like your coming out party, it's the opposite of a debutante ball.
SMITH- Kevin Stewart is the fashion director at "Savoy" magazine. He says that prior to the NBA draft, many of these young athletes have only dressed casual.
STEWART- There are a lot of guys who have never worn a suit before. You know, and that's the moment where you really need to be in a suit. You know. This is your business. So, business attire is necessary.
DAVID STERN, NBA COMMISSIONER- The Indiana Pacers select Chuck Person of Auburn.
SMITH- The fashion faux pas. Just about everyone remembers what Jalen Rose and Gary Trent were wearing when they were drafted.
MIKE DUNLEAVY JR., THIRD OVERALL PICK, NBA DRAFT- You wear something wrong to the draft you're going to hear about it for the next 10 to 15 years. They get over the mistakes on the court, but you wear something like Charles Barkley or Karl Malone had on, you're going to hear about it for the rest of your career.
SMITH- How embarrassing is it to make a fashion mistake?
STEWART- Well, it's something --it's a lasting impression. You know, you're photographed. The picture's going to run all over in every paper all over the country. And people are going to remember that. You know, so you want to tone it down that first time out the gate.
WILLIAMS- No pink, no red, no top hats, no -- just plain and simple. You're not going to see any gator shoes on me or anything like that.
WILLIAMS- This tie right here. This is it.
MITCHELL- That's it.
WILLIAMS- I want to do something different. I think it's much more of a classier occasion for me, so I ordered a tuxedo, but not just the old tuxedo, something new, something that's on the edge, and you know, I like that. It fits my personality. It's me.
MITCHELL- Looks like a lottery pick suit.
SMITH- Being the best dressed is almost as important to these players as being a lottery pick.
WILCOX- You know, I always wanted the pinstripes, you know, so I thought maybe I'd get a pinstripe, because a lot of people are not going to have a pinstripe. You know. You don't want to go to the draft and two other people got the same suit you got on. You be like, come on, man.
MITCHELL- I think it came out -- out of competition. You know, I want to look as sharp as -- I want my suit to look the best. I mean, I hear that from one or two guys every year.
SMITH- Mitchell, who outfits about 60 NBA players, has been doing so since 1989. His suits range from $1,100 to $1,400, and business comes by word of mouth. Mitchell says that Michael Jordan with his Armani suits and sophisticated style is the reason today's player dresses to impress.
MITCHELL- He never does an interview in the locker room in front of his locker with no clothes on, I mean, no shirt on or a T-shirt or whatever. His interview -- he's always fully dressed, at the table or whatever, doing the interview.
SMITH- Everybody still wants to be like Mike. Chris Wilcox wanted the Jordan pleat.
WILCOX- That's that Michael Jordan pleat, that little pleat.
SMITH- The feeling is, they needed someone like Mitchell to guide them. Probably growing up you didn't wear clothes like this?
DREW GOODEN, FOURTH OVERALL PICK- Not at all, not at all. I'm still trying to learn how to tie a tie, as a matter of fact. But it's just Cary's a guy that knows what people want, it's the style guys want.
SMITH- Former NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., called Mitchell in a panic a few weeks ago when his son declared for the draft.
DUNLEAVY JR.- Well sure, five, 10 years from now everybody's going to be laughing at what we're wearing. Right now, we think it's pretty hip, pretty modern, so we'll see.
LEY- ESPN.com "Page 2" columnist Dan Shanoff reviewed the fashion hits and misses of the NBA draft, and he wrote that Jay Williams stole the show, and he also noted that the corn rows that were worn by Chris Wilcox have been out of style for half a season. Thanks Dan for informing us of that.
Next up, in the wake of the NBA draft. An update on several high school players featured on recent editions of Outside The Lines.
LEY- And an update. High school player DeAngelo Collins, featured two weeks ago on Outside The Lines, not taken in Wednesday's draft. And neither was Lenny Cooke who was recently seen in our report on Christopher Robin Academy. Each of them awaiting invitations to summer league teams to pursue their NBA dreams.
Last week's examination of college football's impact on the Title IX equation and the elimination of men's athletic teams sparking a flurry of e-mails to our inbox.
From Forestville, Maryland- "The problem with Title IX is the basic assumption that women as a group are just as interested in sports as men. This mandate is about as silly as requiring cosmetology schools that receive federal funding to have as many men enrolled as women."
From Moore, Oklahoma- "The money needs to be spent on the general student population at the universities. The amount of money and time spent on the special needs of athletes is ridiculous by comparison."
Those opinions registered online, the key word- OTLweekly. We offer transcriptions and streaming video of our Sunday shows, and we look forward to your thoughts on U.S. soccer and the NBA fashion drive. Our e-mail address- firstname.lastname@example.org.