The 99ers Premieres Tonight on ESPN

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by Melissa Silverstein
August 20, 2013 2:30 PM
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I am a product of Title IX.  I grew up playing soccer.  It was the late 70s and early 80s and pretty much everyone I knew played soccer so I thought all girls did.  It wasn't until high school that I realized that not every girl played soccer.  Then I grew up and realized that the world was a place full of inequities everywhere including in sports.

I was one of the people who had Women's World Cup fever in 1999.  I loved those women.  I loved everything about them.  I loved how they handled the interviews and the pressure.  I loved that they really loved each other and they gave a whole new meaning to the word team.  Going to the opening game of the World Cup at Giants Stadium was such a wonderful and uplifting moment.

When they won the World Cup I thought things were going to change.  I thought that women's sports was going to be the new big thing.  But now it is 14 years later and women's soccer is still a struggling.  We have the WNBA, which is awesome, but women's sports still haven't taken off in the way I expected.  

This is a terrific documentary that highlights the true friendships that these women created and asks an important question about whether what they accomplished was an anomaly or the beginning of something.  As Michelle Akers says it is both. These women were both.  They were anomalies AND the were also the beginning.  

The story of this team still resonates. And we see the legacy they left on the field when we watch today's national team play.  When we see Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach.  When we see all the girls running on the fields across the country who believe they can grow up and win the World Cup.

Watch the film tonight at 8pm on ESPN.



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