New Mexico roughhouser Elizabeth Lambert has done it all—she beat up a chick on television, became a national pariah, then a cautionary tale, and now has a soft-focus mea culpa in The New York Times. Next stop: Hollywood!
Lambert wisely chose the Times over say, Maxim or (worse) Newsweek, to give her first interview since being suspended over rough play against BYU. There were basically three messages she wanted to get across. One, rough play is a part of soccer life. Two, even though she temporarily lost her mind, she is not a she-devil. Three, you're all a bunch of sicko pervs.
She is absolutely right when she claims that the public reaction was mostly a result of her being a girl. Lambert says was most upset that people assumed that because she plays the game a little dirty, she must be some kind of bi-curious S&M freak. (No, she will not go on a date with you, anonymous loser.) It doesn't really help that the Times photographer turned her into a J. Crew model for a story that is essentially about sports, but as far as image rehabilitation projects go, I'd say this one is pretty successful.
Lambert—who only received two yellow cards in her career before the BYU game—was suspended indefinitely, but New Mexico's season is done anyway, so who knows how or if this will affect her senior year. I think that the sector of the population that is not a bunch of stuck-up worrywarts (or sexually frustrated trolls) is already on Team Elizabeth anyway, so I predict next year's Lobo home games to be the best attended matches ever.
Those Soccer Plays, in Context [New York Times]
A Soccer Mom's Response to Rough Play: 'This Is Appalling!' [Politics Daily]
The dirtiest players in football [Belfast Telegraph]