Thursday, April 7, 2016

Time to get off the stage

I have all these postseason topics to write about, to put some closure on what might be the best year of women's college basketball so far. Two columnists today (two who can write full time for a living) beat me to one of those ideas.

Philadelphia's Sam Donnellon asks, "Nothing against UConn, but where was the drama?" (in the Championship game).

He says blowouts are dull, and are a deflating letdown to a great tournament. I couldn't agree more. And every male ball player, coach or fan that I know who supports women's hoops expressed the same sentiments to me while apologetically explaining why they wouldn't be watching the title match up.

Speaking of viewership, New York's Ryan Chatelain says that though the Huskies are great, the ratings were low for the Championship game. Again, it's not fun when you already know the outcome. Villanova's surprise upset of North Carolina Monday night in the men's tournament - that was fun. Women's basketball fans have been hoping and hoping something similar would happen to UConn, but no dice.

Anyone who's dared to say they're tired of the Huskies the last few years has been dismissed with the tired "don't complain, just get better" line, which I addressed previously. But that's getting the issues confused.

I'll make it clear, UConn: all of us basketball fans, including the long-timers like myself, don't hate you. We don't think you're "bad for the game." We're just tired of you. You've been to the Final Four each of the last nine years, and have won six of the Championships during that time. You've kicked every team's ass in your conference(s) back to front, front to back. ESPN promotes you more than they promote their own selves; they might as well be named ESPConN.

It's no different than the 1950's, when my Dad's generation was sick of the New York Yankees, or the 1960's-1970's, when hoops fans were tiring of UCLA's dominance. And it's certainly nothing personal, so don't anyone fall into that modern-day trap of hypersensitivity.

Dear Huskies of greatness, thanks for everything, but it's time to get off the stage. Let's see some more upsets - of YOU.

19 comments:

WmnsHoopsFan said...

Just like Villanova made it a game and took down UNC, another team needs to do the same to UConn....and not by default. Youre suppose to figure out ways to beat a team, not write about their dominance and how is boring. I wonder if Geno complained about how PS was bad for the game when she was on top, alone? When Tenn., was running thru teams and was the standard/face of wmn hoops? Probably not. Wew endured beatings after beatings until he assembled a teams that can challenge anyone.

Utltimately leading to impressive, undefeated seasons and multiple Championships. Plus, records that wont EVER be touched.Stop complaining and go to your local/favorite College and tell the Coaching Staff to attend a Conn., practice and ask questions. Until then. Sit back and shutup.

dtank77 said...

If you are a basketball lover as you say how do you not enjoy a team who works hard and plays hard and plays for each other.Go watch Geno run a practice and then you might understand.

Sue Favor said...

Even more predictable than rain in Seattle and Donald Trump acting like a jackass? Something that isn't kissing UConn ass posted on the Boneyard, and a few from there coming here to roll out the same tired ass comments that I already referenced in the original piece.

When your empire falls - and it eventually will - I will come over to the Boneyard to talk about it with you.

terps_guy said...

And the reason that the men's tourney was down 37% ???

Sue Favor said...

No idea, Terps guy.

But I will add this: some UConn fans have no idea how much fans are sick of the Huskies. It is nationwide at this point.

suggie said...

I am a UCONN womans fan from Western Pa....not from Conn.,not a UCONN grad...but a true UCONN womans basketball fan...They play great BASKETBALL...not the dunk...dunk...dunk..mens brand..basketball was never meant to be that type game. UCONN womans basketball is outstanding.....Their passing alone reminds me of the great West Philly H.S. teams.....BUT....BUT...I can't always agree with Geno's Coaching even if he is the greatest,....and he is the greatest...The UCONN fans on the Boneyard forum are spoiled rotten and the most KNOW IT ALL PEOPLE I HAVE EVER READ....If its basketball they are the only ones that know anything...a SAD BUNCH on the boneyard....If you disagree off you go...banned. And I thought Tenn fans were tough...they don't hold sa candle to the spoiled Boneyard bunch of know it alls.

Sue Favor said...

Hey Suggie, it's nice to know balanced Connecticut fans do exist. I agree with you that for the most part, it's hard to find people like yourself around. UConn fans post the most vitriolic stuff I've ever seen from fans. Even on a post like this one, which was complimentary of the program and made a point of saying "it's not personal." Sucks to be the Boneyard.

Brian H said...

It's funny, my ol' Dad (who's a pretty big women's hoops fan, but mostly just of the local team) actually convinced me to watch the whole final, and he was into it primarily because of the "holy crap, Stewie and Jefferson are good, also I want to watch Pulido score a basket" factor (when she did it was honestly pretty cool). So I do wonder how many semi-serious fans who nevertheless *haven't* seen UConn play 30 already times watched, because I can see the appeal there.

That said, 100% agree. The great thing about having a dominant team for non-fans is how fun it is when they finally, unexpectedly lose, and if that never happens... well, I'll be honest, the reason I really started watching the WNBA is because I wanted to see some women's basketball where the top 2-3 teams weren't completely and utterly obvious every season. (Although the Lynx and Dream did do their best to ruin that too... ;) but seriously - the 2012 finals are what sports are *about* for me. That hasn't happened in a NCAA final for a long time. Earlier upsets, sure, especially this year. But it's not quite the same, is it?)

dtank77 said...

I do not post on the boneyard.I am a lifelong Knick fan and played ball all my life so don't confuse me with some 70 year old boneyard guy.Anybody, male or female has to respect what these kids have done.If you drew up a blueprint on how to coach and play this game look to the Spurs,the Warriors and the UConn women.If Sue Favor was an All American HS player and wanted to take her game to the next level on and off the court,there is only one program and that is why you see so many UConn women as champions and all stars in the WNBA and overseas.But you will get your wish next year Sue with Stewart,Tuck and Mo gone.Maybe 5 or 6 losses and an early exit in the tournament.Notre Dame,Baylor,Maryland,Texas and Louisville all have tremendous recruiting classes coming in.But will that translate into a title? It is not only their unselfishness on court but their character on and off the court that separates them from every other program and the only way for you to know that is to be involved in the program.

Willie Goldsmith said...

What happened to my previous comments?

Paul C said...

I love how certain people, in this case Sue Favor, think they can speak for all WBB fans "nationwide."

I have absolutely no ties, personal or otherwise, to the state of Connecticut or to UConn. I was born and raised in Texas, and I currently live on the West Coast. Yet I'm a huge fan of their program and their style of play.

Did Sue Favor ever go on record to kvetch about how "tired" she was of Tennessee's "empire"? And how about all fans "nationwide" were also tired of it? I doubt it.

Hypocrisy and jealousy combine to form a peculiar cocktail with a noxious stench all its own. Now excuse me while I roll up my windows.

Sienne Ransom said...

I'm a UConn fan and have been since I was about 12 years old. I'm not from Connecticut either but it was Diana Taurasi who really solidified my love for this team and how they play. But I totally understand where you and a lot of people are coming from. I'm not one of those ridiculous fans either. I'm not bias nor do I bash anyone who doesn't like UConn or Geno. I enjoy watching their brand of basketball but not always the butt kickings. I love the way they pass the ball and spread the floor and how tough they are on defense. I also coach basketball and often use ND and UConn footage to demonstrate to my players how I'd like things to be done even if I know they may never get there. I don't know how many games I have on DVD that I watch to try and learn from Geno. But with Stewie, Tuck and Mo leaving I do think fans will get what they want in UConn losing more frequently next season and seasons to come. I know Geno will always make a way and the players will always be good but I do think you will get what you're looking for. More uncertainty in the tournament. But they will still play beautiful basketball and it will always be fun to watch and I don't know if I will ever tire of it :)

Sue Favor said...

I made the case plainly, and took pains to point out that the desire for new blood isn't personal. Nor do I think Connecticut is "bad for the game," as I said. But sports is very emotional for sports fans, and the better the team and the players, the more passionately they come to their defense when they perceive an "attack."

Keep the dialogue going here, if you want. I will publish comments. All viewpoints are welcome.

I have said all I need to say on the matter.

Ray F said...

I think the women's game is very different than the men's game in one important way. The women stay 4 years thus building on chemistry and overall individual and team strength. That is not the case in the men's game...thus the parity in the men's game...the best mens teams change dynamic from year to year...but on the women's side, when you recruit 3-5 of the top players each year and they stay 4 years, at any given point in time, you have 10 of the top 25 players in the country all on one team...and the other 15 best players are all on separate teams...asking the other women's teams to get better or find a way to beat the ever stacked UConn teams is not as easy as it sounds...not sure what the answer is but as long as the top recruits all go to UConn, things will not change for awhile...much to all of our dismay

Sue Favor said...

Ray! Yours is the post of the day. You're right on the money.

Sienne Ransom said...

I totally agree with Ray! The fact that more women's players stay and build year after year and fully develop does differ majorly from the men's game. I really enjoy watching the development of each team and their chemistry etc. Definitely hit the nail on the head with that one!

Avi Morris said...

I'm UConn through and through. I understand why people are tired of UConn winning. But Ray is only partly right. Yes, players stay for four years - everywhere not just UConn. Chances are UConn will neither go unbeaten nor win the NC next year. But they probably won't be out of the discussion. The reason is coaching.

Please note that Baylor lost before the championship game when Griner was a senior and Sims a junior. That was the first year of UConn's current streak. Some viewed them the team most likely to give UConn a final four problem this year. They didn't get that far. Ditto Notre Dame. Now look at the rosters of programs like ND, Duke, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisville and Baylor and then decide if UConn has a corner on All Americans. Yes UConn often has a loaded roster, but they are not alone. Coaching makes a big difference. There is also no doubt that Auriemma welcomes being pushed, allows other coaches into practices and doesn't enjoy beating up every team they play. But he is correct that that's not his problem to fix. But next year should resemble the years when UConn did not have a Stewart, Taurasi or Moore and was merely one of the best.

Paul C said...

Sue, you keep repeating that it isn't "personal," but the tenor of your comments, and in particular the vulgarity with which you single out a particular team's fanbase scream loudly to the contrary.

If you purport to be a voice that rises above the parochial interests of a specific team's fanbase, may I suggest you choose your words, and your targets, accordingly.

suggie said...

Its sad how cocky and know it all the Boneyard is.And you dare not disagree with their thoughts.They know all there is to know about basketball......Then again miss-spell or typo or misuse a word on purpose or not and the know it all good old boys club will give you a nasty lecture. on spelling or English usage....like you are a grade school kid...Sad bunch the GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB over at the Boneyard.