Well, the bubble has been popped, the seasons have been hastily reopened and now ended, and it’s now time, my friends, to analyze how the players did. Through their social media accounts, which we have relied on to keep up updated and amused through these Dark Days.
Héctor Bellerín, bless his beautiful heart, body and soul, kicked off our collective quarantines way back in March (remember March?) with a perfectly framed shot of his newly-shaved head and a post reminding everyone to stay at home. Heccy B has not kept his quarantine to training, either; he blessed our timelines with a new podcast, More Than A Footballer, where he has interviewed the likes of Serge Gnabry and DeAndre Yedlin about the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, and fellow Arsenal player Alex Scott on the challenges and triumphs of female football culture and punditry. And then, of course, he capped off his season and our hearts with a sneak peek from his Louis Viutton photo-shoot. This one-two punch of social action and hormonal awwww-ction is the kind of quality content we expect from the love of my life, and the yardstick by which we will measure everyone else (sorry, I don’t make the rules. Wait, actually I do. Not sorry).
Megan Rapinoe, bless her beautiful, heart, body and soul- I mean, you know where this is going, right? Pinoe may not have joined the NWSL’s Challenge Cup, but that doesn’t mean she slouched in the social media department- or any department, really. Megan and Sue Bird, everyone’s favorite couple (if they’re not your favorite couple, you’re wrong; I already told you I make the rules so stop arguing with me), saw our pandemic anxiety and blessed us with the gift of A Touch More, a podcast-cum-Instagram Live-cum-relationship-soap-opera, where they let us into their lives every week for a wine-fueled happy hour full of haircuts, photos, and wonderfully tipsy moments with friends. Pinoe’s Instagram and Twitter have continued to shine a spotlight on the issues she is passionate about, sharing the mic with Black queer abolitionist Fresco Steez and hosting an HBO special to “make politics cool.” If anyone can do it, Pinoe can.
Alexi Lalas’ social media is as terrible as he is and you shouldn’t follow him.
Alyssa Naeher’s COVID-era Instagram is the most Alyssa Naeher-worthy Instagram to ever Instagram. No frills, four posts, barely a smile to be found. She is as impervious on social media as she is in goal and we are lucky for her presence so stop complaining.
I am contractually obligated by Sonja Cori Missio to talk about Jozy Altidore. Luckily, the Red Bulls legend has given us as much to talk about on social media as he does on the pitch. Instead of joining the rest of us posting pictures of our sourdough starters and attempts to sew masks from an old jersey, two tube socks, and a bra strap (what, tell me you didn’t), Jozy has been showing everyone how to keep active at home while giving back. Annoying to those of us who consider “keeping active” walking from the couch-office to the bed-office, but whatevs. Former and possibly future Red Bulls star Jozy kicked us off with a virtual #HikeForHaiti challenge, then shared a video and link to the powerful and timely More Than A Vote initiative (I’ll wait while you click, sign up for info, and check your voter registration). For those of us still exhausted by feeding our sourdough starters, fear not; Jozy has also posted adorable photos of his baby and tweets about the NWSL Challenge Cup and Premier League finals.