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Too high a price to play

Updated: June 7, 2012, 1:59 AM ET
By Tom Farrey | ESPN

It was the unwritten story of the 2011 Women's World Cup, which had just about every other angle covered, so captivating was the U.S. national team, so pulse-raising its comebacks and penalty kicks, so compelling the ponytailed ambassadors of our culture and values.

President Barack Obama huddled by a TV to watch the final with the first lady and their girls, soccer players themselves. Twitter carried an unprecedented 7,196 tweets per second about the game. Even after the U.S. fell ...

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