"I think what they did was terrific," Loverro began. "I think what the women did was inspirational. It should be celebrated. They should have a parade. And if the money should be more equitable, then I'm all in favor of it."
"What I don't like is being lectured to about now I have a responsibility to support women's soccer," he said. "If I happened to have watched the women's World Cup and cheered for them, I made some kind of commitment that I wasn't aware of that I have to now start showing up at women's soccer games."
"Look. You have to recognize the interest in the women's World Cup for what it is," Loverro returned. "First of all, people get interested in the World Cup because people are interested in the World Cup."
"Because it's a big national event," Pollin chimed.
"Yeah. It's a national event," Loverro agreed. "I mean, their friends talk about it. They talk about it. There's a segment of the population that could care less about soccer that watches the World Cup. And then there's a bigger segment of the population that might care a little bit about soccer, that isn't particularly interested in watching women's professional soccer. I mean, to connect the two is foolhardy.
"Budweiser, apparently, when they announced that they are gonna be a sponsor for the national women's soccer league, they took out a full-page ad in the New York Times that said, 'The world will watch them play today. Who will watch them play tomorrow?' Now, the problem is, who watched them play yesterday? No one."
Loverro continued from the NYT: 'Tomorrow, the women of the U.S. National Team will return to their club teams in the National Women's Soccer League and many don't realize they play these games in front of empty stadiums. It's the best women's soccer league, it's in our own back yard, yet we let it go unwatched. How can we support the U.S. Women's National Team if we don't support the women's game?'"
"You see?" Loverro said. "You shouldn't have been watching that women's World Cup if you're not gonna show up at Washington Spirit games and cheer on the Washington Spirit."
"Yes," Loverro said. "This is the familiar refrain we hear about women's sports: They're not covered enough; they're not featured enough; they're not supported enough.
"As if there's some sort of moral obligation by private companies, who are in the business to make money – like this radio station, like newspapers, like others – there's some kind of moral obligation to cover sports that most of their readers won't care about, or most of their listeners won't care about."
"Look. There's a segment of the population that loves golf, but golf participation has fallen off. Courses that were open have closed," Pollin said. "Does the country have an obligation to start playing golf to prevent this? No. We're in a world of supply-and-demand. There's not a lot of demand for people to go see women's soccer.
"And, off the excitement of Brandi Chastain taking off her shirt – 20 years ago today, by the way – that there was this unbelievable outpouring of love for women's soccer, to the point where they said, 'Oh, everybody wants to watch it now. We've got to launch a league.' And they did, and initially there was a bump."
"Mia Hamm played for the D.C. team," Pollin went on. "The first game at RFK Stadium, they drew 35,000 fans. By the fifth or sixth game, they're playing in front of four- and five-thousand people, and that's where the core was.
"Do we have that obligation for other women's sports?" Loverro went on to say. "Should we start going to WNBA games, too? The WNBA needs your help. I mean, average per-game WNBA attendance was down last year, and it's been dropping since 2010. So do we take our WNBA money and move it to women's soccer? I'm not sure how we do this now."