To millions of men in America, ESPN is a television staple. While channel surfing, ESPN has got to be one of the first three channels you check, and late at night, probably every other man is woo’d to sleep by Scott Van Pelt making pop-culture references as the highlights of another Knicks loss floats across their screen.
March Madness should ESPN’s time to shine. What better network to cover the multitude of games going on at once than the world’s biggest sports network, owning multiple channels to allow us to watch any game we want live. Yet somehow ESPN missed out on acquiring the TV rights, which is bad enough, but then decide to try to remedy this by shoving Women’s NCAA basketball games down our throat all goddam day.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for women playing sports, competing, etc. That and US law kinda mandates this equality, so I won’t waste time arguing about Title IX or anything. But holy horsetits ESPN, you really feel the need to jam this crap down our throats?
The women’s NCAA tournament has got to be the worst thing ESPN has ever crapped out of Bristol, Conn. Yeah yeah, we get it that they’re all fired up and play hard and even dunk once or twice a year. Neat. Mediocre level boy’s high school basketball gives you the same package, but at least one of them might turn out to one day play in the NBA. Not here.
Let’s take a look at the box score for an opening round game that featured 9th-seeded St. Johns taking on 8th-seeded Texas Tech. 8-9 battles are usually a safe bet for entertainment in the men’s tournament, here, not so much. A 55-50 upset that featured THREE players with double digit point totals, 47 points scored in the second half and six people driven to suicide by waking up with this blaring on their television screen.
To be clear again, this is not an attack on women’s sports (Prof. Lindemann please read that part again), but an indictment on ESPN for forcing this sub-par entertainment onto us. Girls can play all the inter-collegiate basketball they’re terrifyingly large hearts desire, but please, for the love of slackers/drunks watching TV at noon on a weekday, stay off our biggest sports network, or at least stay on ESPN2.
What is particularly infuriating is how ESPN now feels the need to try to talk up the women’s tournament like it’s such an intense event. Listen, when the best program in women’s bball history can’t even get people to show up to their tournament games, clearly the product on the court is just not very entertaining. As Deadspin says in one of their latest articles, “…we’re talking about a competition in which a No. 2 seed reaching the Final Four is about as mad as March Madness gets around here.”
Finally, I don’t think I could bring up women’s college basketball without mentioning the biggest star, Brittney Griner. Griner, who uses all of her natural talent (she is 6’8) to set the women’s record for blocks in a tournament (she is 6’8), dominate in the paint (she is 6’8) and slam dunk a couple of times (she is 6’8), has been lavished with praise from talking heads all over ESPN, with some people even bringing up the question of if she could play in the NBA. Yeah uh, hold on a second there. According to Wikipedia, which is always right, she weighs 175lbs. So you’re trying to tell me that somebody who weighs 175lbs and is only 6’8 could play as a forward in the NBA? Yeah, I’m sure she’d be great at standing tall in the lane as Ama’re Stoudamire barrels through her. And I can see her blocking a Pau Gasol layup, roaring in his face afterwards with all the grace of the woman she is.
Nah. Listen, it’s easy to dominate basketball when you’re almost a foot taller than everyone else on the court. Two years ago I worked at a park and a group of 9th graders asked me to play in their pickup game with them. Guess what? I fucking dominated those idiots. You kidding me? It’s super easy when you’re 6’1 and they’re big man is 5’8. Miss a layup? No problem, just jump again and easily get your own rebound. And thats essentially what Brittney Griner does. Sure those Division I athletes she plays against might be a little bit better than the freshmen I dominated, but basketball sure is easy when you’re the tallest player on the court.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Thursday brings baseball, and with baseball comes Baseball Tonight, and things will be so very, very OK.