The 35-year-old forward is retiring after a 15-year career in which she scored 184 international goals (most of any male or female), and won two Olympic gold medals and the World Cup.
DAN PATRICK:Is this an official retirement?
ABBY WAMBACH: It's not happening until Dec. 16, but, yes, I'm retiring. I still have a few more games to celebrate with my fans and teammates. It's been an awesome ride. I'm so happy to be able to celebrate with my family.
DP:Who did you tell first?
AW: My wife, Sarah. I told her two months ago, right after the World Cup. I talked to my mom and my dad about it. They were really instrumental in making sure I made the right decision and was not being impulsive. I gave myself a couple of months and sat with it. It's the best decision for me. I did everything I set out to do. I'm lucky that I get to go out on my terms and on top.
DP:Did you want someone to try to talk you out of it?
AW: No. I'm not one of those people who can be talked into or out of much. I follow my heart in almost everything I do.
DP:How many times have you been to the White House?
AW: Probably four times. A couple of times as a champion and other times as a guest. Yesterday's visit [when the U.S. team was being honored for the World Cup championship] was really special. Not only does President Obama love sports, but he also really understands women's sports and how impactful they can be. What he said [about our inspiring girls to dream bigger] yesterday will go down as one of the best moments of my career.
DP:Is it a must-laugh situation when around the President?
AW: I thought about that. It must kind of stink to be Obama because everybody laughs at your dumb jokes. It's the same thing with all celebrities. Everybody just laughs, but sometimes your jokes just aren't that funny.
DP:He's going to realize he's not that funny when he's no longer president.
AW: That's probably going to happen to me in the coming months. Nobody will be laughing at my jokes because I won't be a superstar soccer player anymore.
DP:You'd be a natural at broadcasting. Any chance acting is in your future, maybe a superhero role like Ronda Rousey?
AW: I don't know if acting is in my future. I'm not a great actress at all.
DP:But soccer players act like they're hurt all the time.
AW: Those are male soccer players. They always roll around as if they're injured.
DP:Why don't women flop?
AW: Probably the same reason women can have children. Like Obama said, we're all badass.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees told me that in his house, school spirit outweighs family loyalty: "My sons go to [Isidore] Newman School in New Orleans, which is where [the Giants'] Eli Manning and Odell Beckham went," Brees said. "[When we played New York on Nov. 1] the boys decided to cheer for them." ... Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell explained how careful his team is during practice with quarterback Carson Palmer, who has had two left ACL surgeries: "I've seen guys get cut for getting too close and accidentally grazing him. Get off the field; someone else is coming in." ... Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer had an unlikely tutor as a kid. "I like to say that Donovan McNabb was my first quarterback coach," Kizer said. "My dad would pull up YouTube videos and teach me to do whatever McNabb was doing."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
LARS BARON/FIFA/GETTY IMAGES (WAMBACH)
SLAVEN VLASIC/GETTY IMAGES (BREES)
MICHAEL BUCKNER/GETTY IMAGES FOR CELEBRITY FIGHT NIGHT (CAMPBELL)
JOHN MERSITS/CAL SPORT MEDIA/AP (KIZER)