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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sportztyme! These Hoop Dreams Are A Nightmare

ESPN, please spare me.

I know that your network is the 5000 pound elephant when it comes to televised sports. You’re one of the main reasons NASCAR is so popular today, and have given outlets to sports and athletes that might not otherwise have never been noticed.

But PLEASE, if you’re listening: stop shoving women's basketball down my throat!

ESPN can't get the men's NCAA tournament because CBS has that sewn up for the foreseeable future. And I know alternative programming is what you go with when the opposition has something solid. But there's a reason we watch sports in the first place, and several reasons why most women's sports just aren't popular:

We can't hit a curveball 400 feet. But Mike Piazza can, so we watch baseball.

We can't hit a drive 325 yards. But Tiger Woods can, so we watch golf.

We can't drive 200 mph. But Jeff Gordon can, so we watch NASCAR.

We can't dunk and shoot threes, but these NCAA teams can, so we watch the tournament.

Guess what? Women can't dunk or play above the rim either. Why would you watch something on TV that you could see or better yet, take part in down at the local Y? But ESPN would have us believe that women's hoops is an event not to be missed.

It has a place and it has its fans. I'm not saying it's not important and that no one is watching, but to constantly overload us with promos touting these girls as athletes on the same level as the network’s other sports is just annoying.

On Wednesday night, Pat Summitt, the women's coach at the University of Tennessee won her 880th game, passing the overall NCAA record set by legendary North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith. It's an honorable achievement to be sure, but to compare the two marks as equal is to say that George Washington and Jimmy Carter were both pretty good presidents.

If you get your sponsors, and you get your ratings, more power to you: after all, making money is the bottom line. But don't expect me to be tuning in. I'll be at the gym working on my post move.

1 other geekspeak:

  • 1. Women's Basketball, just like most of the other filler ESPN airs is niche programming. Cable is a niche medium. Watch ESPNEWS instead, or whatever sports is not on ESPN.

    2. Tennesee named their court for Summit. Yes, the same court the men's team plays on. Will that hurt recruiting for their men's team? UNC has the Dean Dome. Duke has Coach K Court. Even St John's now has the Carnesecca Arena. So will these NCAA scholarship kids be enticed on playing in an arena named after a women's coach?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:13 PM  

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