As of 1:00 p.m. on the front page of espn.com, there is nothing about the National Championship game that was played on Tuesday night.
If you got all of your sports news from espn.com, you would likely have missed the women’s NCAA National Championship game entirely last night.
I’m more than mad with what our media has done to help the cause of women’s basketball and women’s sports in general.
For the men’s NCAA National Championship game, days were spent giving credence to the two teams involved: Kansas and Memphis. Espn.com designed a whole new top to its front page, involving cutout pictures of players and coaches as a preview to Monday night’s game.
The next day, Tuesday, the day of the women’s NCAA National Championship game, a feature story on Tiger Woods’ caddie took up the main story spot nearly all day on the Web site. The women’s game preview didn’t show up prominently until about three hours before game time. No fancy headlines. No fancy cutout photos. No extra fanfare.
And now, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, there is not even one headline link to a story about last night’s game. That was not the case yesterday reporting on the men’s game.
The women’s game was shown on ESPN. The men’s game was shown on the CBS network. My parents, along with countless other people in the world, still don’t have cable or satellite and were barely aware the game was even going on.
I watched the game, and also watched all the promos for ESPN. The cable network actually split-screened for a moment, coming out of a timeout, to highlight Manny Ramirez as he ran the bases to score for the Red Sox on a Placido Polanco error.
Millions of people would have killed CBS had they split-screened to highlight a promo for the nightly news. But apparently since it’s a women’s game, it’s OK to show some disrespect.
Best plays of the day that night on ESPN’s highlights did not include a single play from the women’s championship game. Instead, we watched two highlights for foreign soccer.
And it’s not just this Web site that has me mad, it’s the whole media and pop culture surrounding the sport. It’s the people who still come at me saying they’d rather watch “paint dry” than a women’s or girls’ basketball game.
Sports Illustrated has a link for Tennessee’s title game, as the third in a list of the top stories. An NFL mock draft and NHL previews headline the top feature spot.
Do we have office pools fixed on the women’s bracket? Of course not.
Where is all the fanfare for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt’s eighth National Championship? She is only two away from tying John Wooden’s collection of 10 while at UCLA. The program is one of a handful that has won back-to-back titles.
I’m more than bitter. I’m mad. The disparity has gotten better with time, no doubt, and I applaud that. And when you think of other women’s sports that get no media coverage on any level, that bristles my feathers, too.
It starts with the fans, people. Start buying tickets and going to games. Please prove to the media that women’s basketball is something to get behind. Because when the people want it, the media generally responds.