March 24, 2011

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 18 comments

Seems Geno Auriemma forgot that he was coaching women's basketball. Not so much that the fans are spoiled as the coach has been spoiled if you ask me.

posted by Demophon at 12:41 PM on March 24

Huh? Wanting fans to support his team is bad because why?

posted by bperk at 01:12 PM on March 24

I don't think Geno wants to admit that women's basketball simply isn't as exciting as men's basketball. That's why he has less fans. The only surprising thing is his indignation about women's basketball getting second class coverage and attention.

posted by insomnyuk at 02:12 PM on March 24

There's women's basketball?

*runs away*

posted by Drood at 02:19 PM on March 24

I don't think Geno wants to admit that women's basketball simply isn't as exciting as men's basketball.

I don't think you want to admit that not every other human being on the planet shares your tastes.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:52 PM on March 24

If women's basketball was as exciting as men's, there would be an equivalent fan turnout and media coverage.

posted by insomnyuk at 02:58 PM on March 24

If women's basketball was as exciting as men's, there would be an equivalent fan turnout and media coverage.

I don't see how attendance and excitement are in any way correlated. Isn't it far more likely how long something has existed correlates with attendance? Plenty of people would say baseball is boring, but it does well. Also, why is womens' basketball inherently less exciting? Because it doesn't feature the monotonous isolation plays of the men's game? A lack of TV timeouts? If you measure excitement solely on the basis of number of dunks, I don't think you're much of a basketball fan.

And if I were the coach of a team accomplishing historic feats, I'd be a little pissed as well. It's not unlike the Atlanta Braves fans who started staying away in droves during thew regular season after the team began making the playoffs every year.

posted by yerfatma at 03:26 PM on March 24

I don't believe anyone in this thread has actually watched women's basketball. Aside from a few top teams, there is little parity in the college basketball game and it is simply boring to watch most of the time. It's not much of a historic feat to win as many games in a row as UConn did when most of their competition are scrubs. They finally played a good team in Stanford and lost.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:41 PM on March 24

And if you don't think attendance and excitement are related, you have your head in the sand. Women's basketball is boring.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:42 PM on March 24

You are being ridiculous, insomnyuk. I stayed up late to watch my FSU team lose to Georgia the other night. It was exciting and heart-breaking. If my team makes me stay up late to watch them play, then they better win.

posted by bperk at 03:43 PM on March 24

Why did Murray Chass take up blogging? Because you don't need sources for it.

posted by yerfatma at 03:45 PM on March 24

The Braves analogy is a good one. In 1991, the Atlanta fans went out of their minds as the Braves went from worst to first. That manic excitement level carried right into the classic World Series that year.

Fast forward a few years and you have Jane Fonda caught on camera falling asleep in the stands with the game on the line.

I don't know why UConn fans wouldn't want to see Maya Moore as a collegiate player while they still can.

And it should be said, the overall athleticism and ball skills of female collegiate players have progressed well beyond where they were when UConn first became an elite program. Well worth watching, IMO.

Perhaps the women's game is too cordial and free of controversy. It might do better if there were more polarizing elements in the game. More Brittney Griner and Pat Summit types to stoke public opinion.

Hey Buddy Ryan - got any daughters?

posted by beaverboard at 04:01 PM on March 24

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow.

posted by tselson at 06:04 PM on March 24

Perhaps the women's game is too cordial and free of controversy. It might do better if there were more polarizing elements in the game. More Brittney Griner and Pat Summit types to stoke public opinion.

Or just get Geno and Pat Summit in the same room more often. Woohoo!

I think the main reason why women's basketball doesn't have more of a fan base in the United States -- and it is a US thing -- is due to two factors, one of which is saturation. Not all US sports fans are created equal. Most people who would be counted as "sports fans" if you were running the numbers, are kind of passive, really. They move in response to marketing and water cooler conversations. They wake up around and start noticing "their" baseball team around mid-August, if and only if it looks like said team might make a playoff run and it becomes a topic of conversation around the workplace. For every diehard who watches every game, who follows their team for twenty losing years, there are ten or twenty of these lightweights. They've got a minimal understanding of the sport and a short attention span, they need the appeal of what they're watching to be big and obvious -- they need you to break it down for them. They are going to be "fans" of the sports that have the biggest and best marketing machine, the ones that are easily accessible, the ones where you can buy the local gear in a dozen stores so that when you forget who you were cheering for, you can just look in the mirror and figure it out. That's the NBA. That's the NFL. That's MLB. That's NCAA football and men's basketball and not one single other sport, male or female. When you get to that point, the average "fan"'s attention span is used up and his wallet is exhausted. He has neither the cycles nor the money to become a "fan" of another sport. So, if you want to dismiss dozens (hundreds?) of sports that you've never watched as "not that exciting", okay, we get it -- you're the average "fan".

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:55 PM on March 24

I'll buy that.

Also there's the fashion trends, and sexism too. A lot of guys wouldn't dare give it a chance for fear their nuts will jump out of their pants and start screaming "He likes this! He really likes it! Judge him less manly as is the custom!"

Stupid talking balls.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:45 PM on March 24

Stupid talking balls. Just became my status message for the day

posted by Demophon at 10:14 PM on March 24

For once I agree with batty dont tell anyone pls.

posted by Folkways at 11:11 PM on March 24

After readon tselson's link the arguing about women's sports seems more than a little stupid.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:00 PM on March 25

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