Falling Short One Goal | Crooked Media
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August 06, 2023
What A Day
Falling Short One Goal

In This Episode

  • The United States is officially out of the Women’s World Cup after a heartbreaking and dramatic loss to Sweden on Sunday. The loss marks the earliest tournament exit in the history of the team. Today, England faces Nigeria and Australia takes on Denmark.
  • On July 29th, O’Shae Sibley, a gay man and professional dancer, was fatally stabbed at a Brooklyn gas station while listening to Beyoncé and dancing with friends. A 17-year-old has now been charged with murder and a hate crime in the killing of Sibley, New York officials said Saturday.
  • And in headlines: at least 30 people were killed and 90 others injured after a train derailed in southern Pakistan on Sunday, survivors and victims’ families of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre have filed criminal complaints saying exits were blocked, and Simone Biles is back and better than ever.


Show notes:



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Juanita Tolliver: It’s Monday, August 7th. I’m Juanita Tolliver.


Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice. And this is What A Day where we are sorry to report that the Zuck v. Musk cage match will be livestreamed on X, the bird app we all formerly knew as Twitter. 


Juanita Tolliver: I hate every bit of this. I don’t want it. I want to send it back. Can we return this before it even happens, please? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. Whoever is controlling the simulation I would like to a do over. 


Juanita Tolliver: Wake me up now. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Wake me up now. Move me to another universe. Thank you. [music break] On today’s show, at least 30 people were killed and 90 others injured after a train derailed in southern Pakistan. Plus, Simone Biles is back and crushing it of course. 


Juanita Tolliver: She is next level and I– 


Josie Duffy Rice: She is. 


Juanita Tolliver: –love it for her. At four nine and 26 years old. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I know, it’s amazing. 


Juanita Tolliver: Period. But first, we are well into the Women’s World Cup round of 16 and some of our faves are getting knocked out one after the other. My personal favorites and style icons, the Banyana Banyana of South Africa lost two nil to the Netherlands. Switzerland was eliminated by Spain with a 5-1 score and Norway went down against Japan with a 3-1 score. But of course the international headline and key takeaway of the weekend is that the United States Women’s National Team was eliminated by Sweden in heartbreaking, dramatic fashion. I feel like nail biter doesn’t even aptly describe what went down, right, Josie? 


Josie Duffy Rice: No, it was devastating and it was a really intense match. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. And being glued to the screen. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. 


Juanita Tolliver: For that long. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. 


Juanita Tolliver: At that hour in the morning. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. 


Juanita Tolliver: Was intense. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Very intense. 


Juanita Tolliver: So after showing up in their best form thus far in the tournament and holding Sweden to a nil nil score, the match advanced to penalty kicks after two 15 minute periods of extra time. At this point, it’s critical to note that the US only allowed one shot on its goal the entire match. So defense was never a problem for this team. Then you have Sweden’s goalie who saved 11 shots throughout the course of the match. So intensity there too. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: The penalty kicks were going smoothly with the United States up 3 to 2 as Megan Rapinoe approached the ball for her kick. Then Rapinoe kicked the ball high over the bar, missing her penalty kick, which is atypical for the football star. Even she was in shock, smiling at the goal in complete disbelief at what just happened. And here’s what she said after the match. 


[clip of Megan Rapinoe] Yeah, it’s a tough one. And there’s just some some dark, dark comedy in me missing [laugh] a penalty in my last game ever, so. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Hmm. 


Juanita Tolliver: Oh, soul crushing. 


Josie Duffy Rice: So painful. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. And she talks about dark comedy. I hope she’s processing this okay, because that is really a sad way to go out. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it was really hard to watch. One of the best, if not the very best soccer player of our generation. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Okay. So then what happened next? 


Juanita Tolliver: After Rapinoe’s miss, Sophia Smith and Kelly O’Hara also missed their penalty kicks. And then the ultimate heartbreak happened. Get ready for this, y’all. Sweden took the next penalty kick, and while the U.S. goalie initially blocked it, the ball bounced over her head and barely crossed the white goal line before she could get to it, the referee even had to consult a video replay to confirm it. But in an instant, the U.S. women’s national team’s hopes were dashed and they were eliminated from the World Cup. It was the earliest tournament exit in the history of the team, and it hurts, like I feel for them. I feel for Megan and her missed penalty kick in her final game. I feel for the goalie, Alyssa and everything she did to keep that ball out and it came down to literal millimeters in this loss. 


Josie Duffy Rice: It literally looked like a save. I mean, like she saved it. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: She just saved it. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Like a few millimeters in the goal. So if you’re watching, we all thought everything was fine um and that it was a save and we would keep going. And then just by, I mean like you said, millimeters. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. It’s so sad. Like I’d rather it have been a solid in like– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: Over her head. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Totally. Totally.


Juanita Tolliver: There was no chance. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: Because this just stings, doesn’t it? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. Absolutely. So what happens next here? Like what happens to the team? And also what other matches will you be keeping an eye on now that we’re out? 


Juanita Tolliver: Well, we should expect turnover and more retirements. For example, in a post-match interview, Julie Ertz announced her retirement, telling ESPN, quote, “Unfortunately, this is my last time in this crest.” 


Josie Duffy Rice: Heartbreaking. 


Juanita Tolliver: I know it’s devastating. Right? 


Josie Duffy Rice: It’s so devastating. 


Juanita Tolliver: But I think we’re going to see more of that in the coming weeks and months. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: As for the rest of the tournament today, England and Nigeria face off at 3:30 a.m. Eastern and Australia and Denmark will be playing at 6:30 a.m. Eastern tomorrow. Colombia takes on Jamaica and Morocco plays against France. So there are plenty of exciting matches to come and y’all listen. Listen closely. There is absolutely no shame in watching the replays. Please get some sleep, especially if you’ve been up most mornings thus far. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Definitely log on and keep track of what’s going on over there. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We are switching gears to a very, very, very sad story out of Brooklyn. On July 29th, O’Shae Sibley, a 28 year old gay man was stabbed to death at a Brooklyn gas station in yet another example of anti-gay violence. According to reports, O’Shae, who was a professional dancer, was listening to Beyoncé and dancing and voguing with his friends when a group of males approached them, yelling homophobic slurs, insisting that the men stop dancing. And when O’Shae and his friends refused. One of the people who approached them pulled out a knife and stopped him. 


Juanita Tolliver: When I tell you, I’ve been heartbroken over this for a week. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: O’Shae and his friends were just vibing. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: They were just existing and– 


Josie Duffy Rice: They really were. 


Juanita Tolliver: –that was a problem to these other individuals. And that, I think, strikes at the core of what is running rampant in our country, whether it’s toxic masculinity, whether it’s anti LGBTQ, like posture and ideology and policy. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: So it’s coming from multiple levels here. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it’s just like unfathomable, horrifying, devastating act of queer violence. And it has really, like you said, devastated so many of us since it happened over a week ago. And it’s a reminder that for so many queer people, like no place really, truly feels safe from persecution. This was in New York City. It’s considered to be one of the most progressive cities in America. Like Marjorie Taylor Greene comes and says it’s like [disgusted sound] a liberal hell. And even there being queer and having the audacity to dance at the gas station can get someone killed. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. And it makes me think of the mental and emotional trauma and anguish that LGBTQ people must be feeling, not just with this tragic loss and murder of O’Shae, but also any time we see news reports of LGBTQ people who have gone missing or whose bodies are recovered and what that process feels like when you’re just trying to live. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: Before we get to the aftermath of the incident, can you tell us a little bit about O’Shae? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. So lots of stories have been shared about him in the past few days, and it’s clear that he was an incredibly driven, talented, very loved person. Right. So as I mentioned, he was a dancer. He grew up in Philadelphia and apparently was one of 11 kids, according to The New York Times. And his family didn’t have a lot of extra money, but he got a full scholarship to the Philadelphia Dance School where he studied. And he really, really was driven to dance like this was his dream. This was his goal. For years, he’d been doing jobs on the side while continuing to practice and study and get gigs, and he’d moved to New York in 2020 with the intention of pursuing a real career as a dancer. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And he was actually planning on auditioning for The Lion King on Broadway in the upcoming months, and so had really kind of dedicated his time and effort in preparing for that audition. 


Juanita Tolliver: When you mention it in that frame, it just highlights how much unrealized potential that is now gone. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: From O’Shae’s life, his family, like people who could have witnessed his talent like– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: All of us lose in this situation. Yeah. So tell us, what do we know so far about the person who stabbed him? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, that’s another really, really devastating part of this case to me, because the person who stabbed him was a kid, a 17 year old high school student. 


Juanita Tolliver: Wow. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And because he’s a minor, he’s not being named, but he has been arrested. He’s being charged with murder and a hate crime, which is really all we know right now. So really, all of this is just so tragic to me. The death of anyone is tragic, of course. But then to be killed for dancing and essentially for being gay and not presenting masculinity in the way that a random person approves of. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And it’s really just tragic to me how little we do to prevent this. Like, a man is dead, a child will probably spend their entire adult life in prison. And to me, all of this is really, really avoidable. Eric Adams said there would be justice for O’Shae, but I’ll be honest, there will not be justice for O’Shae. Because it’s impossible. 


Juanita Tolliver: At all. 


Josie Duffy Rice: It’s impossible. He’s dead and he shouldn’t be dead. Real justice is the freedom to dance in a parking lot and not be killed. The New York Times reported that one of the assailants allegedly said he was Muslim during the encounter. That’s according to a gas station employee’s recollection. While that has not been confirmed. I’ve already seen some like pretty Islamophobic tweets and stuff blaming this violence on the Muslim community. And, you know, as we know, like the truth is that violence against queer people is not particular to any religion or group. Like you said, like I have to do is look around right now. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Look at how anti queer rhetoric and policy and politics is literally everywhere. An entire political party is vilifying queer people explicitly right they’re outlawing them. In Tennessee basically, they’re outlawing drag. Regulating the way that people dress. They’re banning the ability for kids to learn about queer communities. They’re blaming basically all of America’s problems on queer people at this point. And they’ve really leaned into this. They’re ruining our children. They’re harming our children. What about our children– 


Juanita Tolliver: Oh my gosh. 


Josie Duffy Rice: –kind of narrative. They’re making LGBTQ people the villains. And I just think it’s worth noting, as you said, and as we’ve been talking about, like it’s just so particularly distressing to see that people like O’Shae are both forced to live in fear. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And are being villainized, constantly being told that they’re the problem. They’re the ones who should be feared. They’re the danger. And this is just someone who was trying to have a good time with his friends, like he’s trying to make it as a dancer. He’s trying to follow his dreams. And because he was queer and had the audacity to not hide it. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Josie Duffy Rice: To dance at a gas station. To be himself. He’s dead now. It’s just devastating. 


Juanita Tolliver: And sadly, it’s gonna keep happening until we see some type of shift. Not just in the rhetoric you described politically, but culturally. Our norms and standards around these notions of toxic masculinity or lack of tolerance for people who live and look differently from us. Like that’s what this stems from. And a phrase that people threw around casually a couple of years ago was like, can I live? 


Josie Duffy Rice: Mm hmm. 


Juanita Tolliver: But seriously, this is explicitly the question that we’re seeing at this moment in this scenario from LGBTQ individuals who want to dance, who want to be them full selves, who want to just exist. Can they live? And that’s a genuine question. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, absolutely. That is the latest for now. We will be back after some ads. [music break]. 




Josie Duffy Rice: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines. 


[sung] Headlines. 


Josie Duffy Rice: A Texas judge on Friday ruled to temporarily lift a ban on abortions for dangerous or complicated pregnancies. But then just hours later, the Texas attorney general’s office filed an appeal with the state’s Supreme Court and in doing so, effectively blocked the judge’s temporary injunction. So basically, the ban on abortions for these pregnancies had been lifted, but it’s back. The temporary injunction issued by state District Judge Jessica Mangrum had prohibited the ban from being enforced against physicians who provide emergency medical abortions, quote, “in good faith judgment.” The judge’s decision comes after several women testified against the state’s abortion ban last month and described the impact of being denied abortions amid pregnancy complications. For now, the appeal from the attorney general has put a hold on Judge Mangrum’s ruling. And a decision is pending from the all Republican state Supreme Court. In response to the state’s appeal, a Center for Reproductive rights attorney leading the case told NPR, quote, “It’s never been clearer that the term pro-life is a complete misnomer. What our plaintiffs went through was pure torture, and the state is hell bent on making sure that kind of suffering continues.” These are the people who swore that they supported abortions in dangerous cases and cases where the life of the mother was at risk. They promised they didn’t want women to die and women are going to die here. These are lawmakers taking on the job of a doctor, telling a doctor that they can’t use the judgment that they’ve spent years developing as a professional because of politics. 


Juanita Tolliver: And honestly, everybody who told advocates that we were exaggerating or being alarmist. No, no, because not only did they reject the reality of medicine, they reject the stories of the women and pregnant people who testified throughout this trial about the threats to their life. Experiencing sepsis, experiencing trauma. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: After being forced to carry an unviable pregnancy like– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: That’s the part that shows who the true villain here is and the fact that they absolutely do not care about women and pregnant people. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. And these are women who it’s tragic for them to lose their child. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And now they’re going to lose their child and their lives. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. At least 30 people were killed and 90 others injured after a train derailed in southern Pakistan on Sunday. It happened when ten cars on the Hazara express train went off the tracks and some overturned, trapping passengers and leaving dozens dead or injured. Around 1000 passengers were aboard. The train was reportedly running at a relatively slow speed of 28 miles per hour when the crash happened. And officials say it could have happened as a result of a mechanical failure or due to sabotage. An investigation is currently underway. Train accidents happen often on Pakistan’s aging railways that lack funding and communications and signal systems on the railway tracks date way back to colonial times. Just two years ago, 65 people were killed in a train collision in the same province as Sunday’s derailment. There have been several other transportation failures globally over the last few months. Another bus crashed in Morocco on Sunday, where at least 24 people died when a minibus overturned at a curve while carrying passengers. The crash is one of the deadliest accidents in recent years in the country. That comes after a bus crash last August left 23 people dead when it overturned east of Casablanca. 


Josie Duffy Rice: More than two dozen survivors and relatives of victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre filed complaints with the Orlando Police Department last month. They’re seeking a criminal investigation into whether insufficient exits and unsafe structural upkeep of the building contributed to the deaths of 49 people that night. Questions about the building’s design, its renovations and code enforcements have come up over the years. And unsurprisingly, the club owner and city officials have maintained that it met all regulatory requirements. But the survivors pushing for this investigation say they have taken after the relatives of victims of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas who brought attention to many factors besides the shooter, including the delayed police response and sale of military style assault rifles. The owner of the Pulse nightclub said that the building had six exits, but The New York Times reported that two of those exits led to a closed off patio that had been added without a permit sometime after the opening and two others were blocked off by an eight foot fence. An officer had to punch a hole in that fence to rescue 20 people after the shooting. Many of the survivors and relatives emphasize that the point of their criminal complaints is not monetary, but to urge the city to closely examine what might have saved more lives that night. You know, I totally understand and feel for those families who are– 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: –trying to do what they can to prevent this. It just is so nuts to me that all they can kind of do is push them to have more exits, because really trying to address the problem, which is, by the way, assault rifles. 


Juanita Tolliver: Cough, cough. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. Like they can’t do anything about that. It’s impossible for them to make any dent on assault rifles. And so they have to kind of go after making sure police have enough exits. Sure. But– 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Josie Duffy Rice: That’s not going to be the thing that fixes this. 


Juanita Tolliver: It seems so clear and so logical to us at least. I just wish we could get some more Republicans on board because not happening in their minds. And finally, our girl, Simone Biles, is back and she is crushing it, y’all, just like we’ve been telling you. She soared to victory on Saturday night in the U.S. Classic after a two year break since she withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics. She was in her element and it was clear to anyone watching she’d only hopped back into serious training in April, making her all around score of 59.1 the best of the night. And I need to note that second place was a full five points behind her. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Unbelievable. 


Juanita Tolliver: Usually this is down to a few decimal points. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: Five whole points y’all. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Unbelievable. 


Juanita Tolliver: And so that makes it even more impressive. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: That’s higher than the score she received at the same meet back in 2018. The classic is considered a kind of a warm up competition, particularly with the U.S. championships later this month and the world championships in October. Of course, the media is anxious to know Biles’ plans for the Olympics, but Simone has emphasized that she’s focusing on the here and now. Bottom line, Biles is back. Just a few observations. One, she scored the highest vault score ever recorded in women’s gymnastics. 


Josie Duffy Rice: It’s unreal. 


Juanita Tolliver: With the yurchenko double pike, and she stuck it. So step one and two shout out to her for telling the press to back up like– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: –she’s like give me 50 feet. Relax. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m in therapy, I’m focusing on me and I’ll keep y’all posted. Like, keep that energy. Simone, we love this for you. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Totally. It’s also worth noting that Simone Biles is 26 years old. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Because essentially 80 years old in gymnastics, like. 


Juanita Tolliver: She does call herself a granny, though, like I have heard her call herself a grandma. [laughing]


Josie Duffy Rice: And she is doing whole new vaults. And by the way, she hasn’t competed in years. Like– 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Josie Duffy Rice: When I say that like she’s a superhuman athlete, like she is the best athlete, I think of our time. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Josie Duffy Rice: You know. She is the best athlete of our time truly.


Juanita Tolliver: I feel like anyone who loves her as much as us deserves– 


Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: Like a bedazzled goat on a jacket. Simone– 


Josie Duffy Rice: I know. 


Juanita Tolliver: If you’re listening. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right. 


Juanita Tolliver: We can send you the addresses. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Right right. 


Juanita Tolliver: But that’s what we need. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Please, right. 


Juanita Tolliver: And I just can’t wait to see her at the US championships because we know for this competition she didn’t do full out like her difficulty level. She pulled back on some of her elements. And so I want I can’t wait to see her full out doing her thing. We love you Simone. 


Josie Duffy Rice: We love you. 


Juanita Tolliver: Shout out to the goat. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I know. 


Juanita Tolliver: I agree with you 1,000%, Josie. And those are the headlines. 




Juanita Tolliver: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Tune into the Women’s World Cup and tell your friends to listen. 


Josie Duffy Rice: And if you are into reading and not just how to block all Musk Zuck content– 


Juanita Tolliver: Oh my God. 


Josie Duffy Rice: –like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter so check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Josie Duffy Rice. 


Juanita Tolliver: I’m Juanita Tolliver. 


[spoken together] And let’s go Simone Biles!


Juanita Tolliver: I love that Simone is winning in so many areas of her life right now. 


Josie Duffy Rice: I know. 


Juanita Tolliver: Like thrive. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Beautiful wedding. 


Juanita Tolliver: Thrive. 


Josie Duffy Rice: Beautiful life. I love it. [music break]


Juanita Tolliver: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers. Our intern is Ryan Cochran, and our senior producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.