Posted by StreetWise in SportsWise
Bill: Today we’re talking about women’s sports and how it’s evolved and where it’s going. Let me start because I’m an old person and I remember the day where women’s basketball was a lot like hockey where they had zones they played at. They had defensive players, mid players, and strikers—strikers are people who scored—and they couldn’t go over certain lines. And they played on the side; nobody ever watched they just played. And they didn’t play much softball; they played this silly basketball game, which was tailored because women were so “weak” and so “incapable of playing.” This was back in the 50s, 60s, even in the 70s. And then came the congressional act, Title 9 that said all college sports had to have an equal contribution of resources to women and to men. They had the rights to the same access and opportunities. So, all of a sudden men’s sports venues went down and women’s sports came up. So now we’re probably 20 years or so beyond Title 9 and were starting to see some really serious women’s sports. Not much different than the military really, women are serving different roles, we see women differently today, and they battle and score and fight. When I saw the Sky once, this woman’s eye was literally out of her socket on the side of her head and they pushed it back in and she went on and played, she went on and played! Now that’s kind of gruesome but that’s what is happening now. People aren’t going around and say, “Oh women can’t do this!” It’s totally changed. There was a time when it was very different. So, I just wanted to give that background.
Russell: You just lost me on that one. Okay…women’s sports. Lets give a shout-out to the girls. Give them a chance to shine for a while. I enjoy women’s sports: basketball, college basketball, and the WNBA. I also like tennis—it’s pretty interesting—I like all kinds of sports. My mom was a sports fan. She liked basketball, she got me started, and she beat me out. They’ve come a long way and I like their sports a lot. I’ll be home watching T.V. sometimes, you know the WNBA, and [my friends] will be like “oh you’re watching that women’s stuff!” No man, you don’t know what you’re missing man. It’s going on! You know, you’ve got the Chicago Sky, you got Elena Delle Donne coming out of College, 6’5, 190 lbs., 45 points a game. And the women’s Olympics; they’ve got the gold medal, undefeated, 80 games in a row…a man couldn’t do that. So yeah, I really enjoy women’s sports. I don’t discriminate. They’re just as good as men’s sports, maybe even better because they look better.
John: I don’t really get much into women’s sports except for perhaps tennis. I admit that tennis in women’s sports is better and more entertaining than men’s. There’s something about women’s tennis that’s very passionate I should say. They have so much more passion and they get so much more fever than men’s tennis. Now, as far as basketball’s concerned, I really don’t watch that as much but the games I do watch, they’re more fundamentally sound. It almost brings me back to the 50s where you couldn’t dunk a basketball but there were certain plays you had to run. Kind of like your Princeton-style offense, that’s how I describe women’s basketball. A lot of the women that play basketball have a more of an intelligent kind of level—not that men aren’t—but with this women’s basketball, they have to be fundamentally sound because they don’t have the height advantage as the men do. Usually, all women average around 6 feet tall. Like when you’re 6 feet or 5’11 it’s hard to go from the foul line and dunk a basketball as oppose to 7 feet like a lot of the guys are. But the women seem to be focused on the fundamentals and a lot of fans nowadays don’t appreciate it as much as they should.