This turned into a monster and I regret nothing.
1. Kentucky has an opportunity to go undefeated. They’re the first team since UNLV to reach the Final Four with an unblemished record, which is damn impressive. Let’s be honest – it’s much harder in the men’s game to go undefeated. Well, it’s hard to do it in the women’s game too, but we just make it look super easy. We run our practices like Marine Corps run their boot camps, so the games will always be simpler in comparison. There’s actually a lot of parity in the women’s game if you remove us from the equation.
2. That being said, I was definitely rooting for Notre Dame when they almost upset KU in the Elite Eight. Not because I have anything against Kentucky (although I despise the culture of “one and done”, but we’ll get to that in a minute) but because of the fact that I like watching David beat Goliath, and it would have been interesting to watch the entire country implode if Kentucky lost. As I groaned when the buzzer rang and UK gutted out the victory, I thought to myself, “Wow. This is how people feel when we lose, huh?”
3. Everything that my Dad said in that article that everyone is having a heart attack over? Have you seen a men’s game lately, with the exception of the big time programs that score a lot because they actively recruit scorers? They’re horrible, and most of it is due to the reason that nobody knows how to score, everyone tries to be a showboat playmaker, and the shot clock is 35 seconds when it should really be 30 or even 24. If there’s a reason to love the NBA (ugh), it’s because those dudes can score. Now, everyone who’s been commenting being like “Oh, he’s a women’s coach, he shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion”… A) Your biggest decision in life is probably deciding whether or not to pick the Cheetos residue out of your boxer shorts before you open a new bag, and B) You’re clearly watching the wrong women’s games. The women’s tournament has been incredibly exciting. Despite the fact that all number 1 seeds made the Final Four, that barely scratches the surface of the stories that have been happening. Princeton was amazing. Dayton nearly beat us, Gonzaga almost beat Tennessee, and Notre Dame is winning despite their best player not at her optimal performance level. Just because the players are woment doesn’t meant the game is less exciting, and it’s misogynist, reductive thinking to assume otherwise. We don’t appreciate women’s basketball because aside from the great coverage we get on ESPN (and believe me, I think Kara, Rebecca, and Kevin Neghandi are amazing and don’t get enough credit for being so great) we barely scratch the surface of the amount of respect we should be getting. Yes, we’re different from the men’s game. But we should be appreciated equally for what we are, even without the high-flying dunks or below the rim play. And don’t tell me it’s because perfection is boring – everyone from ESPN to Grantland is practically having When Harry Met Sally levels of orgasm over Kentucky, calling it the first time in college ball history that a team will go 40-0. Really? I’ve got a team from 2012 and a team from 2014 that would call BS on that.
And just remember this, Misogynist Internet Trolls – I read Dad some of your comments, and he laughed. Because he knows something you don’t – You’re watching him. Who watches you? Your mom to alert you the DVR has started recording Hot in Cleveland? Go back in your hole.
Addendum: Dad does love Wisconsin. WHO WOULDN’T? They’re obsessed with stenographers and get caught saying adorable things on hot mics. Plus their style of play is capable of high scoring. Love it.
4. I used to get really mad that Bill Simmons wouldn’t cover women’s basketball on Grantland, but then I remembered he’s a New England Patriots fan. He doesn’t have the best judgment when it comes to sports.
5.I wrote this before Maryland ended up beating Tennessee, but here we go: If we end up playing Tennessee I will barf into a garbage can. Not because I don’t want to play Tennessee (It would be kind of fun to revisit the many years of panic attacks I had when we played them in the Final Four), but because it will end up becoming a complete media circus. I’m unconcerned about us and Tennessee, I’m concerned about the other two talented teams already in the Final Four – South Carolina and Notre Dame – who will get screwed out of valuable media coverage due to every single journalist in America freaking out about us. That’s unfair to the Irish and the Gamecocks. I hope we never play Tennessee again, just to make those journalists mad. I don’t think it’s good for the game, at all, if we play in the Final Four.
6. Plus, all of the girls on the UT/UConn teams were barely toddlers (or not even alive) when the rivalry was at its full height. It’s not about the game at that point, it’s about the fans.
7. Apparently rumor has it that the 2016 Women’s Final Four will be moved out of Indianapolis if the religious freedom act is still signed into law at that point. If the Final Four is still held in Indiana next year, and the new Indiana law allowing private companies to discriminate against LGBT customers is still in effect, I won’t go. I doubt many other fans of the game will go, too. It’s no secret that the women’s game is highly supported and viewed by LGBT fans, and many LGBT athletes participate in Division 1 women’s basketball. I understand the need to have the Final Four in Indy because that’s where the NCAA is, but I don’t care that it would be Stewie’s last Final Four. I’m not going. I won’t support a state economy that has legalized hate. (On a side note – kudos to CT governor Dan Malloy, who has passed legislation severely curbing travel funds to Indiana in an attempt to boycott the state. And I know we have a law with similar language in CT, but Indiana doesn’t have anti-discrimination laws and we do.)
8. The “one and done” is a bad concept. Paying athletes, while in theory not a bad idea, would be horrendous in practice. Who gets paid? How much? Men would get paid more than women because the men’s game gets more revenue. Men’s basketball stars would get more than guys that ride the pine or walk-ons. Lacrosse players wouldn’t get anything whereas football players would get a ton. How fair is that? Logistically, it’s a black hole of legalese. It will never work. Now, does the NCAA need to change and get rid some of their antiquated rules? Of course. But paying the players wouldn’t work. Just get rid of the “one and done” and let the kids go straight to the NBA if they want to get paid to play. The other students will get their education if they want it and play their sport. Also, that’s why a lot of the lower seeds upset the higher seeds – the lower seeds normally have four-year athletes.
Man. Spitting truth is tiring.
And it’s really awesome to read comment after comment calling your Dad, the man who raised you to be a strong, independent, good person, names that you wouldn’t even call your most hated enemy. But then I remember something very, very important.
These people, who have nothing better to do than sit behind their computers and type – they have the entire world at their fingertips. They could do literally anything with that three seconds they sat at the computer composing that brilliant comment of “Douchebag”, and they choose to pronounce hate on someone they don’t even know.
I choose to do something different with the world at the end of my fingers.
The choosing is everything.