U.S. Soccer doing much better with women's side coverage

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By now you know my gripe -- that the US Soccer organization short-changes coverage of its women's side day after day after day.

On any given day over the past year, I've noticed there are 23 or so stories in all on the main US Soccer site, and only 3 or 4 about the women's teams.

Well, good news.

That's changing.

Big time.

I looked this morning after the women's teams horrible victory* in England, and saw this:

22 stories.

14 about the women's teams.

A. Freaking. Men.

As I mentioned earlier after my phone call with the head of US Soccer communications, I don't need one side or the other to have unequal coverage. There are going to be times, to be sure, when one team merits more stories. World Cup years, for instance.

But day in and day out, the coverage should be equal. The US Soccer site is there to boost all squads, and I'm pleased to see they're getting the message.

*Now as for that horrible victory ... I'm frightened. Yes, the USA won 1-0 on an excellent Alex Morgan header. There was so, so much to love about the lead up to that goal -- the way Morgan Brian so perfectly lured in defenders and then passed to Lauren Holiday, who then sent in a perfect cross. Everything about that set-up was amazing.

And yet ...

The play overall seemed to lack an intensity so needed in the run up to the World Cup. You'd think after a 2-0 loss to France that the USA would have turned this into a statement game. But they weren't just flummoxed by England. They were flummoxed by first touches that were easily lost. They couldn't penetrate with anything except long passes in to strikers who just weren't there or couldn't keep up. In the 85th minute, high on new subs, England finally brought an intensity that had been lacking in both teams. Given a few more minutes, that game would have been tied, or even possibly 2-1 England. (England got robbed on a beautiful goal with an offsides call that was most definitely not offsides. Should have been a 1-1 tie, and deservedly so after those final minutes.)

It's weird. USA lost to France last Sunday 2-0 but actually played so much better in that game. More chances that just didn't quite make it into the net, and an intensity that was lacking in the England game.

At this point, with only 8 games left before the Cup begins ... I don't know what to make of this squad. To be sure, injuries have plagued us over the past year and continue to do so. Our solid starters are out or just returning. We're not quite sure yet what our starting 11 will look like. Let's hope they get at least 4 or 5 of the remaining 8 games as a tight-knit, starting 11 squad to figure it out ...

Because at this point, it's looking like France's World Cup to lose.

Dark chocolate (basically meth candy) healthy bites

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I saw this chocolate "detox" recipe on a web site yesterday and immediately had to make it.

It's supposed to be goodish for you, as dark chocolate is supposed to be good for the heart, and basically any study that says dark chocolate is good for you is bookmarked on my computer. Add in some nuts, chia seeds, dried fruits and then some seeds and these are heart healthy protein-potassium bombs.

Only problem is you're probably only supposed to eat one or two.

I gobbled up an entire plate.

Yes, I felt bad about myself. But I also ran super, super fast, and then cleaned the entire kitchen and finally got around the mailing Christmas thank you cards that Emme had written before New Years and that I have slacked off on addressing. Well, no more! Dark chocolate for the win!

I'm putting this in the do-again category. This is a great treat to make with kids. Super, super easy. Just melted chocolate in the microwave, spooned onto parchment paper to make discs and then inserted all the dried crap we have in the pantry. I've always been afraid of working with chocolate, but this was great. I'll be making again for sure.

But now I need to go organize every closet in the house and run to the store and do some burpees.

Adventures of Baby Frog

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I talked with NPR this morning about the possibility of a fun new project, and I suddenly recalled one of the essays I recorded for the radio a few years back.

It's still one of my favorites.

All these years later, I now wish I could find Baby Frog. I'm positive I buried him somewhere. But now there's an indescribable longing, hearing this again. I can only imagine that today's enemies will create that same feeling in 8 more years. Good to remember.

Here it is: Baby Frog.

Enjoy.