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

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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

COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER