Christine Brennan's column today highlights the support some women's teams are getting from coaches of men's teams, and men more generally.
Brennan points out the support Rick Pitino, Louisville's men's head coach, threw behind the women's team who made the Final Four by upsetting Maryland even though his own team, a #1 seed, was ousted last week. [Note to Brennan, though, not all of us were unaware of the Cardinal women; I actually picked them (in the bracket in my mind) to upset UMD--sorry, Pat.]
Anyway, Pitino was all about getting behind the women and encouraging all the encouragement he could via his own high-powered position.
And Brennan notes other examples of men supporting the women's teams and how this all points to a more enlightened generation of men and male coaches specifically. And that's all good. I am not as Pollyanna-ish (a word I heard Brennan use to describe herself more than once during her talk at the Sport, Sexuality, and Culture conference in Ithaca) and also have seen multiple headlines about how boring the women's game is and, by extension, all women's sports. This time of year there is always a slate of articles and editorials that take one of two positions: the women's game rocks and is achieving parity and you should watch; or the women's game is slow, boring and the players are unskilled amateurs.
And so I do agree that these signs of men supporting--and being excited about--women's basketball is a good thing; growing the game, Brennan says, like Johnny Appleseed.
Careful, Christine. Remember Appleseed was growing all those apples not for some desire to infuse wholesome goodness in America, but to make alcohol. Not sure what that does to her metaphor...