December 23, 2010

Ryan: Male Fans Devalue UConn Winning Streak: "Sometimes it's very embarrassing to be a male," writes Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan. "The University of Connecticut women's basketball team is in the midst of an extraordinary run that should be celebrated in song and story, with no qualifiers whatsoever. Yet we have been sidetracked into a male-generated debate, the purpose of which is to diminish the accomplishment."

posted by rcade to basketball at 01:08 PM - 4 comments

Any sports debate can be call male-generated. I don't think it is disrespectful of UConn to be having this discussion. I think it is exactly right. That's what people do when a record is being broken. If this achievement was ignored and not debated, that would be disrespectful.

posted by bperk at 01:32 PM on December 23, 2010

I have to agree that discussion of UConn's streak is not at all disrespectful, but actually contributes to recognition of just how impressive it really is. The only problem I have is with those who somehow it is inferior to UCLA's record because it is a women's record, and that the men's teams UCLA played were better. Bob Ryan accurately points out that you play what's out there. He did not say that UCLA played more than its share of weaker teams too, but you can bet they did. UConn has been willing to play any and all comers, and has not shied away from playing ranked schools.

On another note, I love Ryan's point about the women's game being closer to 'pure' basketball than the men's game. I would rather watch a game of ball movement and movement of the players without the ball that involves all 5 on the floor. It's more entertaining than watching isolation one-on-one with someone trying to pound a hole in the court with the ball.

posted by Howard_T at 04:58 PM on December 23, 2010

Like Howard said, the only thing I have a problem with is people who discredit the UConn women just because they play other women and couldn't beat UCLA head to head. When you talk about how impressive a certain feat is, you have to look at it relative to the league its played in (as long as the leagues are top level so you can't have a Div 1 caliber team dominating Div II teams and calling their records the best). Having the discussion is not disrespectful at all: just because UConn has the highest number doesn't automatically mean they are the most impressive.

posted by Andy1087 at 08:48 PM on December 23, 2010

Well, I agree with Ryan on one point. This is a male-generated debate. However the male who generated it was Geno Auriemma. It's all a straw man ploy to give his players, who clearly have no serious competition on the court, a enemy they must work even harder to overcome.

"They" don't respect you. "They" think you're just girls so it doesn't really count. We're gonna have to win 100, 120, before "they" take us seriously.

Only thing is, there ain't no "they" there. The fact is there are far fewer fans of women's basketball than men's, so there is less attention, but inattention is not the same as disrespect.

I think Geno and the young ladies he has coached have built a truly remarkable legacy. So does everyone else. We just don't care that much.

posted by gradioc at 07:21 PM on December 24, 2010

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