Monday, December 20, 2010

Basketball, volleyball, coaching, streaks, and some other things

Because Mechelle Voepel so adroitly wrote about the connection between Penn State's volleyball championship this weekend and UConn's streak-tying win over Ohio State yesterday, I thought I would attempt to talk about multiple, somewhat related, things in one Monday morning post.

In general, I have avoided this whole streak thing because it seems like a no-win situation. (Check out One Sports Voice for Dr. Lavoi's oh-so-precient thoughts on how this would be discussed.) But now that it's here... (I was so hoping Baylor would have prevented this moment. Alas, accept and move on.)
Regular readers--including the haters--of this blog might want to sit down. But I agree with (some of) what Auriemma has been saying.
First, on the issue of hyper-media coverage:
"There is way too much attention that is placed upon things and events that the average person, if you used common sense doesn’t really cares about. Do we really need an hour show to figure out where a guy is going to play? Do we need 5 hours on how a guy runs a slant pattern in the red zone? Do we need 5 guys discussing whether a guy is going to take a snap or not? Do we need 7 doctors what his ankle looks like? Really who cares? But that is the culture that we live in."

And on gender:
"I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record. The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it. [...]
All the women are happy as hell and they can't wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women's basketball are all excited, and all the miserable bastards that follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they're pissed."

So I've softened a little (I'll still be rooting for Stanford December 30). At least Auriemma has an awareness of the gendered implications of all this.

OK, I think I'll do a Part II about Penn State rather than smush it all in here.
Stay tuned.

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