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    Shooting Fish in a Barrel

    uconn_banner.gifI'm not one to write about women's basketball very often, but yesterday I stumbled across an ironic little juxtaposition in the Hartford mdbc.gifCourant that I thought merited a closer look. Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament, the UConn Lady Huskies trounced the University of Maryland-Baltimore County by a score of 82-33. That's not a misprint, folks, that a 49-pt margin!!! Then, if you flipped the Letters to the Editor on Page 2, there's a letter from a guy named Joe (no relation to me) stating that he's "tired of hearing people whining about what they can't get for free", meaning TV Coverage of the women's b-ball game, and that the fans should "stop your bellyaching, leave the house, and go to a game." This guy Joe goes on to say that "nearly everyone would be better off if Channels 3, 30, 8, or 61 (the major networks) had the contract instead of CPTV (Connecticut Public Television Network).

    OK, Joe, I'm not disagreeing with your position completely here, you do have a point. Just a few comments in rebuttal, however...

    1. A grown man who writes to the local newspaper about the TV coverage of women's baskeball has entirely too much time on his hands. (Bloggers are exempt from this observation.)
    2. I don't care how good the mutilation is, if I'm Julius Caesar and the score at the Coliseum is "Lions 82, Christians 33", I'm leaving at halftime to head down to the Forum and slam a few beers with Vesuvius. Sports is supposed to be about competition, and mismatching teams to such an extent doesn't do anyone any good. If I'm a UMBC player who just lost like that, I'm going to pop my basketball when I get home and turn it into a flower box. If I'm a fan at the game watching the carnage, and the She-men of UConn high-fiving and breast-thumping after every basket like it's the one that's going to send them to the Collegiate Hall of Fame, the next time there's a game I'm probably going to be more inclined to stay home and clip my toenails. If I'm a network executive with the contract to cover this sort of melee, I'd be sending out a resume for every time someone flipped the channel over to Jeff Foxworthy and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
    3. If there's that much separation between the elite teams and the rest of the schools, the NCAA should put them all in the same division and determine a national champion from that field. The lesser teams could also play for a Divison 2 championship. The way it works now, there's only a handful of teams that have a chance to win year after year, and that discourages interest and fandom. Geno Auriemma might like a slaughter but not many others do.

    So much for my 2 cents worth.  Enjoy the games--hopefully they get better!

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