There's a brouhaha on the Internet this week about girls' sports, primarily basketball. Apparently it all started when a Boston sportswriter tweeted that the current University of Connecticut women's basketball team started its run for the national championship this year. The U-Conn ladies have won all their games so far by double digits and that sportswriter said they were killing women's basketball. It was boring, he said, and this fourth straight run for a fourth straight championship was shutting down any interest that may have existed.
It's true that other sports, and that includes the men's equivalent, draw more TV viewers that women's sports. That might be true and I neither have nor am going to research it, but if it's true, an awful lot of people are missing some extremely exciting play.
I'll concede that U-Conn is now dominating the basketball scene, but it hasn't always done that. I still remember the SEC days of Pat Summit who had her teams equally as dominating in their times. I think the school was Tennessee.
I also don't recall those UCLA teams of times past getting the same kind of criticism as U-Conn is getting now. One team has dominated just about every sport at one time or another. Even on the professional level, we can think of the Yankees or Canadians or . . . you name it.
The U-Conn coach, Geno Auriemma, simply outcoaches and draws the best players right now. There are some super female athletes in other programs, too. If you think not, take the time next Sunday to watch some of the NCAA women's final four. I watched the games this weekend and Monday and saw some terrific basketball, better, I thought, than many of the men's games.
Perhaps Auriemma had it right when he compared the dominance of his women to Tiger Woods' dominance when he could play golf. No one said Tiger was killing golf, Auriemma said.
But this attempt to undermine the women is sort of typical of what's happening in sports today with the young learners. Instead of pointing to the stars of today and teaching how hard they work to get to the top and win, today's young people are taught that just to participate deserves a medal or ribbon or trophy or something. Some youth sports have even abandoned score keeping.
There are no winners today, therefore incentives to succeed are being destroyed. It'll be interesting to see how this generation works when it becomes the business and government leaders. I'll probably never know. But I do know I love watching the talent out there on the courts and in the playing fields today. Gee...I just thought of another growing "dynasty." The Florida Gator Gals are working for their third straight national softball championship. It won't be long before they're being torn down for killing their sport, too.
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