Thursday, April 07, 2011

What I've missed

How did the end of the week come so quickly? And how did all these things build up? It's not so much that I missed the following news/events, it's more that I haven't found a good moment to mention them.
On Tuesday night the Texas A&M Aggies beat Notre Dame in the championships of the Women's Final Four Tournament. Thankfully the score and the quality of play was indeed better than the men's game the night before. Or else I would still be blushing sheepishly and hanging my head.
Erin Whiteside at the Sports, Media, and Society blog (out of Penn State's Curley Center) notes the problematic way Twitter users were comparing the men's game (as it was ongoing and immediately afterwards) to the women's game. As in, even the women can do better than this kind of sentiments. I tried, in my own post about this issue, to note that the complaints about women's basketball never ever being able to be as interesting as men's basketball are false generalizations. I hope this came through.
Also, looks like Gary Blair is the new hip guy in women's basketball. Hope he sticks around for a bit. Nice to get a male perspective that does not come from Geno Auriemma.
In international sports news, the IOC has finally let women's ski jumping into the Olympics. It's anti-climatic but still anger-producing. The power struggle that emerged during this battle seemed to trump the equality issue. There was just no way the IOC was going to acquiesce to the demands of these athletes. They retained control the whole time and added the sport exactly when they wanted to. (Well maybe they didn't want to at all. But the addition certainly happened on their own schedule of meetings and talks and processes.)
Also added to the list of sports for Sochi 2014:
Ski halfpipe
Biathlon mixed relay
Team figure skating
Team luge
This is what Jacques Rogges said after the vote: “These are exciting, entertaining events that perfectly complement the existing events on the sports program, bring added appeal, and increase the number of women participating at the Games." Um, really? Increasing women's participation was a concern of yours? Because it hasn't seemed to be so the past few years. Also, it's not like the new events add that many women to the games. Ski halfpipe, mixed biathlon relay, team figure skating, and team luge are all open to men and women. And of course women's ski jumping with bring in previously banned female athletes. (Let's also note for the record that Nordic combined remains a men's only sport--the only one at the Winter Olympics.)
Of interest is Pat Griffin's latest blog about an ESPN Outside the Lines conversation about Kye Allums, the trans athlete who publicly came out this year, before starting his senior season on the Georgetown women's basketball team. Pat does a very thorough analysis of the segment and the issues and controversies it raised. Check it out!
Also in the women's sports blogosphere, Dr. Nicole LaVoi is expressing her concerns about the Lingerie Football League's decision to start a team in her city--Minneapolis--and especially the decision to usurp the name of a current women's rugby team in the area.
Phew. Shouldn't let these things build up. Lesson learned.

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