Originally written on Fox Olympics  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Hope Solo may or may not have married an ex-NFL player with a long criminal history who may or may not have added to that rap sheet that same day by beating on Solo in a fight over where to live in wedded bliss. A radio report had them exchanging "I dos" late Tuesday. A police report has them sparring less than 24 hours earlier with words like stun guns and bloodied elbows being bandied about. To say the two-time gold medal-winning goalie for the U.S. National Soccer Team is a train wreck right now is an understatement. She is a certified hot mess. This hardly qualifies as shocking in the wide world of sports, where a trail of T.O. and Kobe, Tiger and Josh Hamilton have disabused us of the belief that athletes lead clean lives. We accept a little dirt around the edges, even relish that ugly, in our male sports superstars. We have no idea what to do when it shows up in the females. We like our female athletes squeaky clean, like Mia Hamm, or crazy hot like Anna Kournikova. We have trouble with somebody like Solo, who has a little bit of crazy in her, a little bit of jerkhole and, yes, a little bit of hot mess. She does not fit the paradigm. She is not necessarily whom we want our little daughters emulating. But Solo can't be dismissed because she is amazingly talented and infinitely interesting. She intrigues us, keeps us watching because she operates like one of the guys. One of her biggest controversies was born of her calling out her coach for starting Brianna Scurry in goal instead of her during the 2007 World Cup. The decision was all about worshipping at the altar of sacred cows in a sport that does way, way too much of this. Solo was right and did what Kobe, Tom Brady or just about any athlete with an ounce of competitiveness would do. For doing so, she was vilified, ostracized and finally vindicated. The thing about Solo is she always keeps it interesting and, as evidenced by this alleged marriage to former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, does not give a flip about what we think. And I find this refreshing. Why should she play by and be judged by a different set of rules? This is not to defend the relationship with Stevens. What Solo is doing with a guy like Stevens is beyond me. He reeks of scum bag thanks to a laundry list of accusations ranging from a savage beating of a fellow high schooler to rape in college. There are also countless reckless driving and marijuana busts. And while plea deals were usually reached or prosecutors declined to prosecute in the case of the alleged rape, what is obvious is Stevens always seems to be around trouble. That's why allegations of abuse with him are so eyebrow-raising. At the very least, a qualified marriage counselor might suggest that if, at any point leading up to the wedding, one of y'all is wearing an orange jumpsuit, arrested and charged with domestic violence, it could be time to reevaluate the relationship. In fairness, a judge later found no probable cause to hold Stevens and he was released with Solo quietly there in attendance. By all accounts, it was a fascinating pre-wedding party at The Kirkland Municipal Court on Tuesday with Seattle TV reporter Chris Daniels live-tweeting the festivities. @ChrisDaniels5 BREAKING: Jerramy Stevens in orange jumpsuit accused of domestic violence, involving Hope Solo. @ChrisDaniels5 BREAKING: Police report says Stevens and Solo were set to get married on Tuesday and argument was about whether they'd live in FL or WA. @ChrisDaniels5 BREAKING: Police report says Marcus Solo (Hope's brother) said there was altercation in house with unknown person, and involved a stun gun. @ChrisDaniels5 Court documents under "length of relationship" says Solo and Jerramy Stevens have been together 2 months. @ChrisDaniels5 Solo did not speak to media. There are multiple indications she will be marrying Jerramy Stevens tonight. Now there is one report saying she did. And while he would not have been my first choice in grooms for Solo, the outrage hits me as just a little bit sexist. It is time we stop expecting every female athlete to be role models and perfect team players, especially if we do not have these same standards for the guys. Yes, Hope Solo is a hot mess. She's just one of the guys.
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