Brandi is currently an advisor for the Capital One Cup that is awarded annually to each of the best men and women’s Division 1 athletic programs in the country.
Women Sport Report: We understand you are on tour for Capital One Cup. What are your responsibilities for COC?
Brandi Chastain: My responsibilities are being an ambassador for collegiate athletes. Capital One Cup shares the values and virtues of the athletes. What the athletes do on and off the field are very important and to have a healthy competition at Division 1 level among every University. It’s a wonderful way to showcase the athletes in the various sports they play: water polo, soccer, football, baseball, etc.
What I am most proud of in being an ambassador for Capital One is it not only showcases what the athletes do on the field but it also recognizes the academic side. At the end of the year, the University not only receives the Trophy but each winning school receives $200,000 that goes to the post-graduate scholarship
That speaks volumes for what Capital one sees in Division 1 Athletes on the collegiate level. Capital One Cup embodies the hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence that student athletes and teams display throughout their yearlong journey.
Women Sport Report: What is Capital One Cup about?
Brandi Chastain: Capital One Cup celebrates Division 1 sports. There is a Cup for men’s sports and also one for women’s sports so they are not competing against each other. They are in their own category, and that is awesome. There are two champions and two cups; there are two sets of academic scholarships so the number of athletes that will be impacted by the Capital One Cup is tremendous.
The idea that not only are the athletes getting an education on the playing field, but also they will have a chance to continue their education off the field once they graduate.
That is valuable, admirable and why Capital One recognizes the importance of their participation. It enables the students to continue their education because as we know, the majority of athletes will not turn professional upon graduation.
The Capital One cup is awarded annually to each of the best men and women’s Division 1 college athletics programs in the country. Points toward the Cup are earned and tracked throughout the year based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls. (a)
Women Sport Report: Can you tell our readers about the Cup or Trophy?
Brandi Chastain: The elements of the Trophy personify achievement at the highest level, and symbolize strength, perseverance and vision. The silver surface reflects the images of all those who carry it.
The Capital One Cup is an enduring symbol of the ultimate achievement in college sports.
Women Sport Report: Are you planning to tour the San Francisco Bay area in the near future?
Brandi Chastain: I live in the San Francisco area so the answer is yes.
Women Sport Report: Are you touring the country at this time?
Brandi Chastain: I will be going to the Women’s Soccer Championship taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, the first weekend of December. The final four teams will participate.
Women Sport Report: What does Capital One wish to achieve with this program? What is their objective?
Brandi Chastain: That’s a great question. I’ve asked that myself. Their objective is to showcase collegiate sports. The leaders at Capital One created the Capital One Cup to reveal how wonderful collegiate athletics is and is the rally point for tens of thousands of fans around the country that love to watch collegiate sports.
Not just the major sports fans see on television but to also give visibility to the sports fans do not usually see. I love this because as a soccer player and fan, soccer is not the first sport fans will see highlights on major sports shows.
The leaders at Capital One have made a decision to present all that is good in collegiate sports and they want to be a part of that.
Women Sport Report: How long have you been a board member?
Brandi Chastain: This is their second year so I am proud to say this is my second year. I am proud to have been here since the inception. Some changes have been made so I recommend fans go to their website: http:// www.capitalonecup.com to see all the sports and how the scoring is done.
The beauty of the Cup challenge is that collegiate sports fans can follow the challenge for the Cup through the seasons, starting with football in the fall to baseball and soccer in the spring.
An example of how exciting the race for the Cup is how last year, the University of Florida won the championship but they were in sixth place coming down to the wire. But their baseball team did so well, even though they did not win the championship, they jumped ahead of five other schools to win the Cup.
For the majority of student athletes who will not go on to professional sports, it gives them a chance to earn that scholarship and achieve the education they desire.
Women Sport Report: How can fans follow along during the season?
Brandi Chastain: There are three ways: (b) What I love about the Cup challenge is the fans have a chance to rally around their team, go on the social networks, share all the good things happening with their team, talk about upcoming events, games, upcoming tournaments and celebrate their own University sports
Women Sport Report: Who were the winners of the Cup in 2011?
Brandi Chastain: The University of Florida men’s athletics program was the winner of the inaugural Capital One Cup. The women’s Cup winner was Stanford University. The schools were formally honored at the ESPY Awards and were televised by ESPN on July 13th.
Each school received a $200.000 donation that helped fund student-athlete graduate-level scholarships.
Women Sport Report: When does the season end, when does the voting take place to determine which University has won the Cup?
Brandi Chastain: It is a cumulative championship so it will not be decided till the end of the baseball season in May 2012. All of that information can be obtained by going to the Capital One website.
Women Sport Report: Capital One Cup added several new sports this year. What are your thoughts on that?
Brandi Chastain: I love it. I am so excited that Capital One added additional sports. We all know the big sports but they added sports that do not get recognition such as water polo, fencing, rifle, ice hockey, skiing, volleyball and gymnastics. These are all sports that the athletes work just as hard; they prepare and train just as much as the big name sports athletes do.
I think it is wonderful for them to know and to recognize they too are part of the University Athletic program and to help their school win the Cup.
Women Sport Report: Are you still playing competitive soccer or are you retired?
Brandi Chastain: I am officially retired from professional International soccer but you can find me on the field in the spring and summer with all the collegiate students. I cannot help myself; I love playing the game so much.
Women Sport Report: We understand you were on Dancing With The Stars TV show. Are you still involved?
Brandi Chastain: I was in the running for the show and I think it would have been a lot of fun to do, but I am not involved now.
Women Sport Report: Would you encourage your son Jaden to play soccer?
Brandi Chastain: I would encourage my son to participate in sports, not just soccer. I played many sports and found it valuable in my development as a complete soccer player because I learned to play defensively. I played centerfield in baseball; I learned how to back up the other outfielder and move forward to catch the ball. That is similar to soccer.
The cross training in sports is important, learning the agility helps when he finally decides what sport to play.
(a) To follow standings and points, visit the Capital One Cup website.
(b) www.capitalonecup.com www.facebook.com/capitalonecup www.twitter.com/capitalonecup
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ADVISOR BRANDI CHASTAIN
Favorite books are “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”
The first thing she thinks about when she wakes up is how much fun she is going to have today
If she didn't play soccer she would have been a teacher or a surgeon
The greatest life lesson she received was from her grandfather. He gave her a dollar for every goal she scored and a dollar and fifty cents for every assist. It is better to give than receive!
Favorite place to visit is Algarve, Portugal
One piece of technology she cannot live without is her Sprint phone
Her favorite movies are those made by Pixar (thanks to her son Jaden)
She loves peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches
Off the field she loves to play golf and run
The day she signed up for soccer (at the age of six) she slept in her jersey
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Norm Coleman is a sports writer and actor. He lives in Half Moon Bay, CA