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Original Issue

Fans' Notes Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio, like millions of other Americans, wore his heart on his sleeve

Millions of Americans have their own stories from the '99
Women's World Cup. People like David Knies of Scituate, Mass.,
who was on a plane from San Francisco to Taipei during the
U.S.-China final, roaring with his countrymen, amid the Chinese
passengers' stunned silence, when the pilot announced the
Americans' victory; Jerry Acciaioli of Rochester Hills, Mich.,
who huddled around a transistor radio with two dozen strangers
on California's Venice Beach, cheering the winning penalty kick;
and the Reverend Bob Disher of Burlington, N.C., who instructed
his parishioners at a Saturday service to please, please not
tell him the score of the final, because he was taping the game
at home.

The four vignettes that follow give us a glimpse into the
emotions stirred by the U.S. team. They offer one more
unshakable argument for naming the players SI's Sportswomen of
the Year.

It was a simple gesture, really, nothing more than the choice of
white nylon instead of flannel or a tie-dyed T-shirt. But when
Trey Anastasio, the lead singer of Phish--a latter-day version
of the Grateful Dead--wore a Mia Hamm number 9 jersey onstage at
a concert in Atlanta on July 3, the implication was clear: The
U.S. women hadn't just won over mainstream American culture;
they had won over the counterculture, too.

"We did a three-night stand in Barcelona during the men's World
Cup [in '98], and we got pretty caught up in that, so we started
watching the women's games backstage," Anastasio explains. "For
the final we made sure there was a big-screen TV in the crew
lounge. The room [in Camden, N.J.] kept filling up as the game
went on. Let me tell you, there was a pretty big whoop when
[Briana] Scurry made the save."

Understand, this wasn't Hootie & the Blowfish cozying up to Dan
Marino just to land him as a guest in their next video. No, this
was the male leader of a posthippie, anticommercial band donning
a women's soccer jersey. "There was a lot of pride in seeing the
American women compete like that," Anastasio says. "I have two
daughters [Eliza, left, and Isabella], and it makes me happy
that this is the world they're growing up in, you know?"

--Grant Wahl