THE MICHELLE AKERS COLUMN
STILL CRAZY AFTER THE WORLD CUP
I am STILL on the road and haven't been home since before the
Final. Things are still crazy. I am still looking at all the questions sent
in, and the next winner of my game shirts will be announced next. That
means there's still time to participate.
Like before, all you have to do is go to
and ask me a question.
This question can be about soccer, my career, or my personal life. The
winner will be the person, who in my opinion, submits the best question.
I will take into account your age so that everybody has a chance to win.
I will be home end of August and finish evaluating the questions.
Here is an interview I did with Tim Nash just after World Cup to give you
some insight into some of the events.
TN.Can you describe why you had to leave the final? The first report was
concussion and heat exhaustion, next they said just heat exhaustion. Did
you get punched/hit by Bri?
MA. Yeah, I got hit, but that wasn't what ultimately put me out of the
about the 70th minute, I was on my last legs (and brain cell) already (from
the wear and tear of the tourney, the game, heat exhaution, and CFIDS), so
when Bri boxed me, that was the end of that. It was just sort of the last
straw and I couldn't gather myself to get up one last time.
TN. What were you doing during overtime? Could you watch it on TV? Who was
with you in the locker room?
MA. Doc Adams took me into the training room where a medical team started
on me. They put IV's in both arms and wrapped ice towels on my body to try
to cool me down, get my hydrated, and stop the symptoms of the CFIDS/NMH from
knocking me out even further. It was pretty intense and I was pretty out of
it, so I really don't remember much. There was a tv in there with the game
going, but I wasn't coherent enough to plug into the fact we were in OT and
then PK's until Brandi stepped up and made hers. The room exploded (the med
team jumped up and down screaming and hollering) and that was what penetrated
TN. Everyone (Tony, Foudy, Lauren, Mia, etc.) said you seemed to get
stronger as the tournament wore on. Do you agree and why do you think you
were able to do it?
MA. In some ways, yes, I did get stronger, but in other ways I think I just
buckled down and played out of my mysterious tank of gas that only God fills
up for me. Many times, I came out of the half thinking there was no way I
would finish out the game, so it might have LOOKED like I was stronger, but
really I was playing one step at a time or one minute at a time and when the
game was over, I had literally given everything I had. It was not a easy
tournament for me and every game tested my will power not to quit or pack it
in early because of exhaustion, getting kicked in the head, etc.
TN. What was the low point (health-wise) during the tournament.
MA. The first game was pretty bad. I crashed hard afterward. And the last one
obviously. But, really EVERY GAME (even the one I sat out, thanks to that
one fan) I felt utterly exhausted. It was just a matter of gutting it out,
taking a step at a time, and hoping I would make it to the final whistle.
TN. How hard was it for you not to be able to be in the PK lineup at the
end. Those are the moments you live for.
MA.Not very. I was on another planet at the time the PK's were going on, so
someone could have told me I won the lottery and nothing would have
penetrated. In retrospect though, I have two thoughts. One is I was so out of
it, I don't know if I would have been the best choice. When I get that
exhausted, my brain isn't functioning on all cylinders, so my performance
suffers. Two, I did it in the Olympics in roughly the same condition, so I
probably would have done it again.
TN. Were you able to find your dad when you finally came out at the end? Was
he scared for you?
MA. Yep. I found them before the game. They had a big sign that said PIG
#10. A nice loving family, huh?? Ha. Sue, my step mom, told me they had the
binoculars on me and knew I was either knocked looney by Bri or was out of
gas and delirous from heat exhaustion and the CFIDS. They have seen it so
many times before, they knew if something extra serious was going on, they
would get a call from Doc Adams. As it was, they went to the reception and
waited for me to make my appearance and although, I looked (and felt) like a
truck ran me over 6 times, I was ok.
TN. Can you remember any special moments or comments from somebody during
the whole tournament that made you realize the impact you were having on
the whole country.
MA. In the Nigeria game I came out at the half and after getting stretched,
changed, etc, I entered the stadium during the first portion on the second
half. As I walked around the field to the bench, the fans stood up and
starting cheering and applauding me. Of course, I am used to that happening
as a team, but to have that happen in the middle of play and for me alone,
was pretty doggone special. I almost started crying. The same thing happened
after the final when I finally got onto the field with the team to celebrate.
The crowd started chanting Akers, Akers, and I just about lost it. Amazing.
TN. Germany game ... several times, I didn't think you were going to be able
to pull yourself off the ground -- at one point you were in so much pain,
you were kicking your feet as you laid on the turf -- how bad was it?
MA. It was bad. It still is bad. Very painful, but doc told me to play
the pain, and so that is what I did. Sometimes, after the initial jolt of
pain, you kind of get used to it, and can play through it and plus, I finally
learned how to fall to protect it, so it got 'better' as the game went on. I
will get back to rehab (again) when I get back to Orlando in Sept.
TN. Will you play in the Olympics?
MA. Don't know yet. I still haven't had a chance to look at the WC yet
have been too crazy), so I will let that settle in and then, start weighing
the cost vs. reward of playing another year, plus I will have to be chatting
with God about this to see exactly where I need to be in His eyes. Being
absolutely certain of my purpose is sometimes the only thing that pulls me
through the tough times, so I cannot be muddy or guessing at God's desire for
me to play or I won't make it. I am hoping to be able to make a decision my
mid to late fall.