Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Women's Final Four? In Boston? Really?

Okay, now, call me sexist, call me ignorant, hell, call me Bill Simmons . The fact is, I can’t stand idly by and pretend it’s okay anymore. Events recently took place this past weekend that made me question the validity of women’s basketball as a genuine sport, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Let me explain.

Now, you have to understand, I am a pretty big sports fan. I am a Celtics Season-ticket holder. I was at Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS for Dave Roberts stolen base. I was at Game 2 of the 2004 World Series for Schilling’s bloody sock. I write for a sports blog. I have 6 fantasy baseball teams. I participated in 3 NCAA Men’s Tournament pools this year (all with the same bracket, because as we know, only indecisive losers fill out multiple brackets), and I even won one of them. I run the football pool at work. I play on a rec league basketball team. I read ESPN.com, Deadspin.com, Rotoauthority, and all the other links to your right with great regularity (my girlfriend would tell you too much regularity). The point is, I’m a big fan of all sports, especially basketball, and I consider myself very plugged in to the sports world, especially the Boston sports world. So what does this have to do with women’s basketball?

I had absolutely no idea this was taking place 3 blocks from my apartment. Literally, only a few blocks away the major sporting event in women’s college basketball was taking place, and I was completely unaware. How does that happen? Can you imagine living next to Ford Field and not knowing the Super Bowl was taking place? How about living next to Fenway Park and being unaware that a World Series game was taking place? It’s impossible. You’d know something was going on, or far more likely, would have heard something about it in advance. These are major events, right?

So how is it that we are expected to take women’s basketball seriously when a major sports fan (not to mention his friends, neighbors, and acquaintances) have no clue that the pinnacle of the sport is taking place in their backyard? Admittedly, this is anecdotal evidence, but it was pretty astonishing even to me that I was unaware of this happening. My only conclusion? It’s just not a big deal. At all. People don’t care.

Now, please, don’t let me be misunderstood. I know that these women work very hard and are great athletes. I know that, to them, it is a big deal. But by that same token, my rec league championship game is a big deal to me and the other people in my league, but I guarantee you won’t see a write up on it in Sports Illustrated or on ESPN.com (although you might in this blog). My point is just that if someone like me, an admitted sports-aholic, can have a “major” sporting event take place in not just my hometown, but only a few blocks from my home, can it really be considered a major sporting event? Or even a minor one? Isn’t it on the same level as, say, lacrosse? Or maybe skeet shooting? I’d venture that its popularity among most sports fans probably falls somewhere between the two.

So all I’m asking (and I’m talking to you ESPN) is that you don’t devote an entire web page worth of material to such an “event” and don’t waste my prime time viewing on it. After all, there’s finally baseball to be played!


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6:06 PM  

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