I’m not a seasoned sportswriter. Back in college I wrote for the city’s newspaper as a high school sports reporter, but that was it. I am a sports lover (I watch football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, and track and field). I don’t know all of the athletes, but I enjoy watching sports.
Unless you have been in a cave or if you don’t follow college sports, this blog may not interest you. However, it might be entertaining because there are things I am going to say that may be inaccurate and I don’t care.
This time of year, Buffalo Wild Wings is gearing up for business; many places of employment are wondering if their workers will be live streaming some of the games instead of working.; March Madness brackets will be spreading across the Internet and in family homes and, again, in places of employment with nice prizes attached for the winners. Sports America is gearing up to watch young men play basketball daily.
And that’s great.
But, there is also a March Madness for the women’s basketball teams as well, but they do not get as much attention as the men. And do you want to know why?
It’s because they’re women.
Everyone is excited to see Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett from Duke. I mean, the sportscasters are having bromances with Zion Williamson because he is a talented young man who is headed for a multi-million dollar career in the NBA in a few months when he is drafted.
Have you heard of Megan Gustafson the center from Iowa? She worked hard defensively and earned top honors for being such a powerful player in Division I basketball. She’s 6-3 and is dominant. Then, there’s Rhyne Howard, a freshman from Kentucky. She’s 6-2, a guard for the Wildcats, and has scored 68 3-pointers this season.
One of my students said the reason why sports fans are not focused on women’s sports is because men’s professional sports is a money-maker. He said that nobody really watches the WNBA and that the NBA makes more money than the NFL, but not as much as MLB. Although I want to say he’s wrong, I know that he isn’t.
Women sports, especially collegiately, are not popular. There are some talented women who compete season after season and are nameless. At the beginning of the WNBA, we were astonished to see women like Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, and Sue Bird display their talent on the court. At the college level, Pat Summit’s Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team was tremendously talented and swooped championship after championship until Gene Auriemmo of Connecticut coached his womens’ teams into numerous victories.
But that was the extent of it all.
I know here in Tucson, the U of A’s women’s softball team brought home championships, and Tucson rallied around these very athletic women; and, when Lute Olsen took our basketball boys to the Final Four and finally won a championship, Tucson became a basketball town (forget the softball team).
But, I am disturbed about the attention of men’s sports on different levels. Again, I do enjoy sports, and yes, I enjoy watching the Dallas Cowboys during football season, and I root for the Celtics and Rockets during the NBA season; but there’s a blur in the WNBA season. I see ads buying tickets for the Phoenix Mercury and then the next day, the season is over.
Like I said before, I am not a professional sportswriter. But, the conversation I had with my student incensed me. NCAA is a billion-dollar industry. He (my student) believes college athletes in the “money-making” sports should get paid.
That means females in college sports will not get paid. Men who play college golf, soccer, and other non-money-making sports will not get paid. So, no. College athletes should not get paid.
Before I end, I’m going to say something that I’ve always wanted to say since we’re talking about sports: the draft is nothing but a new slave auction.
Anyway, March is noted as Women’s History Month too.
Happy March Madness. May the best teams win!