Friday, February 17, 2017

Keeping It 100

On Tuesday night, four-time women's NCAA Division I basketball champion Connecticut defeated sixth-ranked South Carolina, 66-55, marking the Huskies' 100th consecutive victory. That's an amazing number. The excellent Sally Jenkins wrote a compelling piece on the victors' run, calling out John Feinstein by name under a headline that read, 'Bored by UConn women's dominance? You must not like basketball.'

I was amused by the rare public slap, and enjoyed the article's dissection of Geno Auriemma's exacting standards. But I didn't think much about the thesis until I got a direct message from a friend on Twitter, which read:

"As a keen and varied sports observer, father of daughters, and possessor of Y chromosome and all of its lunkhead qualities, curious about your take on UConn women and 100 in a row and where it rates on your spectrum."

I am, in fact, a keen and varied sports observer. I watch all kinds of athletic contests, male and female. I've watched more women's soccer over the last six months than I've watched NFL football. It is also true that I possess one or two lunkhead qualities. But I do have daughters, and I'm an unabashed lefty women's rights supporter. Hell, I've written multiple posts right here about Elena Delle Donne.

And after careful thought, I realized that I don't give much of a damn about the UConn streak. In fact, I kinda agree with the aforementioned Feinstein, who responded to his close friend Jenkins this morning. The nut of his thesis is basically this: I prefer men's basketball because I know it better, and because it's more competitive:
But, Sally my love, here’s the thing: I’m going to continue to watch the men because I know and understand the game and I know and understand the people. If you prefer the women’s game—or, for that matter—the NBA, I am 100 percent fine with that.

I would never criticize you for not finding Saturday’s game between UMBC and UMass-Lowell as interesting as I will find it.

And I’d never call you stupid for two reasons: 1: I know you are smart as hell. And 2: you’ll always be the sister I never had.
Geno Auriemma is a hell of a coach. Connecticut's accomplishment is stunning, incredible, and unlikely to be repeated. Unless they do it again, because as Feinstein points out, the rising tide of women's basketball has yet to lift all boats. UConn has yet to have an opponent come within 10 points during the current streak. That's impossible. Or at least impossible in a sport that's got any kind of real competitive balance.

But it's a crazy streak, regardless. It just doesn't move me.


zman said...

This is not the conclusion I expected.

rob said...

i contain multitudes, z

Whitney said...

So littering is now legal, right?

TR said...

Pour some out for George "The Animal" Steele.

rob said...

in a high school auditorium watching a dance competition. trump's america sucks.

TR said...

Could be worse, Rob. You could be this teacher:

rob said...