On July 10, 2011, USA played Brazil in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. After an exciting first 90 minutes (including a few controversial calls), the score was tied 1-1. After scoring within two minutes of overtime by Marta (don’t forget to yell her name loud, reach to the sky and roll the “R”), Brazil holds on until the man-down USA team scores the tying goal with seconds remaining. USA wins in penalty kicks, and celebrations continue today. I must admit, their win still makes me smile.
As the game ended, and the commentators, coaches, fans, and players made their statements, everyone agreed: it would make a great script. Hero of the match, Abby Wambach, said “I don’t know if you can write a better script.” Many many many others agreed. So I sent it to my local script doctor, and here is his take:
I admit. It was a very good script, especially for an unscripted event. Good script, but not the perfect script. Good job team. But let me make a few suggestions:
1. The back-story needs some fixing. In the script it says the USA team beat Brazil in four of the last six tournaments. That stat should read “zero”. Brazil should be seen as an unstoppable force. Brazil is also listed as third in the world, while the USA team is first. That should be switched.
2. I like the Marta character. Can you make her more evil?
3. I’m not a fan of Brazil’s own goal in the beginning. Please nix. Plus the woman who made the mistake, Daiane, also missed a penalty kick at the end of the game. This would lead the audience to sympathize with her. Please replace her with Marta. Marta missing the kick is much more exciting. Make it the last kick. And make the final score 5-4. Perfect.
4. Make the match the final game, not a quarterfinal match. We need to see a trophy hoisted, otherwise what was the fight for? Bragging rights?
5. There are two characters with similar names: Christie Rampone and Megan Rapinoe. This will confuse the audience, please change Rapinoe to Megan Rogers.
6. I like how the crowd came to USA’s defense as they battled back, but wouldn’t it be even more fantastic if the game took place in Brazil? Just saying. Well okay, maybe Germany works. Or Iraq. Just throwing that out there.
7. If it has to take place in Dresden, change the coach of the USA team, Pia Sundhage, from Sweedish to German. As a child in World War II, she survived the allied bombing of Dresden. Adds another layer. She could have flashbacks throughout the match.
8. After the event, there needs to be at least one of these scenes:
proposal(s) of marriage
team returning 50 years later to the ruins of the stadium.
meeting with the president
settling the alien/predator conflict
9. Okay, one last thing: can one of the players be a man in drag? Maybe Megan Rogers.
Good luck with the script, “you’re almost there.”
-Pete the Script Doctor
If you got any other script changes needed, let me know in the comments section.
-Greg Cote’s match thoughts, and love for the “unscripted possibility of … anything” in sports.
-ESPN asking women sportswriters their thoughts on USA’s victory and its importance.
-The replay of the game on ESPN3.