Growing up in Jersey (what exit? Nine) my point of reference was alway New York and with apologies to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten island, when I say New York, I mean Manhattan. It was and remains the City of Lights for generations of Jersey kids, north of Trenton.
But when you're closer to Philly than NYC, as you are when you grew up in Delran Township, being a Lady Scarlet Knight is a big deal unless/until you win Olympic Gold in your sport, twice, and then on the biggest stage in women's soccer, the Federation of International Football Associations' World Cup held in Canada in the summer of 2016, you take your squad on your back and win the championship practically by yourself, a trip to NYC is part of the Big Wave Drill as your nation celebrates you and your teammates as you roll through the Canyon of Heroes.
Before you applaud Carli Lloyd's luck, maybe you should see the pluck she showed in preparing every day for years to be ready for the moment and the exclamation point she placed on it less than a fortnight ago. I guess that old saying is true, "the harder I work, the luckier I get."
So Friday, Carli Lloyd got to head eighty-three miles North by Northeast to New York City to join the USWNT for a well-deserved victory lap. Meanwhile, the sky-is-falling-or-will-soon-be experts across the country and around the world are looking at the 2019 World Cup and sizing up projected rosters of opponents and fretting about that fourth star on the US Women's national jerseys.
Four of this year's 23 member squad came from the Jersey Side. And with all due respect to the fine programs in Sweden, Germany and Japan, I have it on good authority that "nothing else matters in this whole wide world, when you're in love with a Jersey Girl."