Rachel Nichols ESPN

Commuting in California has converted me to a sports radio guy. ESPN is always good: Mike and Mike, then Colin Cowherd. The sports station is truly loaded with talent. And one of the more annoying sportscasters, Rachel Nichols, is leaving to go to CNN. Preachy Rachel, if you are not aware, is related to the director, Mike Nichols. Yes, of The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? fame.

Dancing With the Stars: Hope Solo Edition

Hope Solo, Maks C., Dancing with the Stars (sneaking on to ESPN)

Hope Solo, Maks C. Dancing With the Stars (now on ESPN?)

I am watching ESPN in my hotel room, packing for my return trip home to Sandy Eggo. NCAA Football season is upon us and Cincinnati just put a mean crushing on North Carolina State.

Then the channel flips to soccer, with the US Women’s Soccer Team playing Canada in an international friendly match set in Portland, Oregon.

Soccer, I can do soccer. After all, I played 7 years of it in California. It is a popular sport, although it can be dull when faced with two defensive teams.

Hope Solo, playing soccer on ESPN

The score is tied at the half and the talking heads come on with the usual meaningless half-time chat. Suddenly, the ESPN programming flicks from soccer warbling to dancing. I scratch my head, is that Dancing With the Stars? I stare at the screen in amazement, before remembering that Hope Solo, the US goalie, is a contestant on the show (that is haunting me.)

Hope and her partner Maks (super-long Russian last name that begins with a C) (Upon further review: Maksim Chmerkovskiy) are Viennese Waltzing around the stage. Was it good? Perhaps. I just hope Chaz Bono or Nancy Grace don’t make an appearance.

The waltzing ends and fortunately soccer returns. In the 62nd minute, Abby Wambach launches a monstrous left from the right side. It rattles the back of the net. And the United States is up 1-0. And then at the 69th minute, Abby does it again with a header. Lastly, in the final seconds, Alex Morgan taps one in to put the US up 3-0.

Chewy and Han Solo, not related to Hope

The game is over and I click off the television. I can’t risk further exposure to Dancing With the Stars. Hope is great, of course. But I have met my decade-ly quota of ballroom dancing.

Still, I am curious how she did on her waltz, so I google Solo and guess who turns up? Mr. Han Solo. Of Star Wars fame.

And then I think: are they related? Is Hope Solo a distant relative of Han? No, impossible.

Hmmm, try this for another possible scenario: Hope has some Wookie blood in her genes. Which would explain her ability to man the goal so fiercely. Of course, Wookies are not known for their ability to boogie, so this could be entirely off-track. More investigation to follow. . .