Yep, I’m really doing it. I’m really writing a blog about women’s college basketball and you can hate on it all you want but I think it needs to be done. This is the time of year when idiot talking heads start spouting off about one certain basketball team being bad for their sport. No, it’s not the Golden State Warriors or the Duke Blue Devils, it’s the UConn Huskies women’s team.
All great teams are hated, but most of them come with some sort of understandable reason. They aren’t just disliked because of their success, there is always something else that bugs you about them. Whether you hate Tom Brady because he’s perfect, or you hate Kevin Durant because he has multiple Twitter accounts, or even if you hate Aaron Judge because the media loves him too much, there is always some reason besides how well they play.
With the UConn women’s team that reason is Geno Auriemma. He’s the greatest women’s basketball coach of all time and in my opinion, one of the best coaches ever in any sport at any level. I get that people don’t like him because he can give some smug answers and others will criticize him for not trying to coach men. But the morons that come out of the wood work every year and say he and his girls are ruining the sport of women’s basketball could not sound any dumber.
I’m a UConn fan admittedly. I’m with them because of family ties but also mainly stick to watching the men’s hoops. I guess you could say I support all of their programs though. The women’s basketball team is no different. I really enjoy watching them and that’s why they aren’t a bad thing. If you can get a guy to watch a women’s sport and enjoy it, that’s saying something. I’m not tuning in to look at the women, I’m tuning in to watch them play because they are impressive as hell. So in a world that seems to be all about gender equality and equal pay, how are we supposed to reconcile bashing this program because they are just head and shoulders above the rest. Women’s sports are not exactly a huge ratings monster and the reason that the WNBA and other professional leagues don’t do as well is because no one is interested in taking the time to appreciate what these athletes are bringing to the table.
If you get someone watching UConn, either as a fan or a hater, you’re getting them invested in a women’s game. Maybe that can show them that even though the game is played differently, it can be just as good if the talent is there. Now I’m not saying that I’m about to go check out a WNBA game, but I’m at least open to the idea that it could be entertaining. I’d be somewhat interested in seeing what certain players are doing once they get to that level and I’ve even started enjoying women’s Olympic basketball and other sports such as soccer. I credit the UConn women’s program for that because they expanded my horizons a bit.
So yea, they are blowing out teams and smashing records all over the place. It may seem like they are playing on “rookie mode” while everyone else is trying to get it done on “hall of famer.” But they are compelling as hell, in winning or losing. So save me the bullshit about how this is somehow bad for the sport, or women’s sports as a whole. I wouldn’t give a shit if not for them and how they play.
*If you don’t like Geno, that’s fine. Personally I love him, but I don’t blame you. Just take some time to listen to his podcast, or watch the HBO special that was done on the team last year. You’ll respect the hell outta the way he does things.