Thursday, July 05, 2007

More football, more excuses

Sam Donnellon, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, seems to start his piece about the new football league for former college players who don't have NFL stuff complaining about the oversaturation of football on television between the aforementioned NFL, Arena Football, Canadian Football League, and NFL Europa. But really he uses the fact that all these are on television to suggest that men make up the viewership of sports, and despite 35 years of Title IX (not noting of course issues such as lack of enforcement and the fact that there is no requirement for equity on the part of media outlets) women's sports just are not that popular--even with women.
Donnellon tries to play it safe by using phrases such as "reverse injustice"--rather than reverse discrimination. And does not come out himself and say that Title IX is hurting men's sports but that the discontent is a sign of the times: "It comes in an age - as we say in pro football - of further review, the pluses of artificially propping up low-involvement and even lower-interest women's college sports argued against the injustices inflicted upon longer-standing and higher-interest men's sports."
And then he makes the big mistake of saying that JMU, Ohio University, and Rutgers slashed sports to become compliant. Only JMU has proffered Title IX as the reason for its cuts and most of us can see that it's a very weak excuse. Rutgers made cuts because the entire state of New Jersey is having budget problems and the rest of the university had already made cutbacks--the athletic department was just doing its share. And Ohio University's athletic department is running a large budget deficit.
And in the end Donnellon fails to understand the historical and cultural aspects of "interest" and fandom. Most women were 'protected' from the violent aspects of some sports and many more women did not have the leisure time to cultivate an interest. And today a woman who expresses interest in watching other women sweat and run around becomes suspected of being gay. And though many gay women are fans of men's sports, it is very easy for women to express hetersexual desire through their fandom--even making it central to their fandom.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I'm curious, are doing such a good job dismantling these "experts"' arguments. Are they finding their way to your blog, or are you sending them emails or doing comments on their blogs?