Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Giving The Ladies Their Due
Tomorrow is one of those holidays in Nebraska that people in only a select few states ever bother to care about enjoy or celebrate. Spring practice starts for the University of Nebraska football team. You may yawn and say "so what" but trust me in these parts this qualifies as a big deal. Most years starting tomorrow the little cafe in Ainsworth will no longer be filled with little old men on medicare bitching about government ran health care but instead would be filled with little old men arguing whether or not Zac Lee's Holiday Bowl performance was enough to fight off Cody Green for the starting QB job in the fall. Not this year. This year for the first time in my life the talk will not be about the Start of spring football but about the basketball team. The Woman's basketball team of all things.
I am not a fan of Woman's basketball and that may be about as nice as I can put it. Even tonight as I watched Nebraska beat UCLA 83-70 and punch their ticket to the sweet 16 I couldn't help but comment on how um less than scintillating I thought the basketball I was watching was. I may be a "progressive" (I for one hate that term) but I have some old school thoughts about the excitement of watching women play basketball. I won't even get into the asinine practice of Major Universities passing laws that kill the very sport that pays for those Basketballs or softballs or tennis balls, and whatever else. It's kind of like passing something like a child's health care bill and then fund it with a product that you are working everyday to outlaw...but that too is an old bitch for a new day. Call me sexist on the subject of Woman's basketball but I am an honest one.
With all that being said It's time to give the 2009-2010 Nebraska Woman's basketball team the love and attention they deserve. In fact it's past time. When a team goes through their regular season undefeated and their only loss comes in the second round of the Big 12 tournament then they get a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and win their way into the sweet 16 they deserve the headlines. Also give them the entire front page. Don't get me wrong I am not one of the sudden 10,000 new people who flocked to Lincoln to see the women play Nor do I pretend this sport is something I have a longtime love for but even I, an old pig, can see these women are doing something damned special.
There will be plenty of time to discuss whether Cody Green with a recovering Zac Lee not participating in spring Practice can make a run at the starting job. Whether or not Nebraska will have Big 12 level receivers this year. If the defense can be as good despite losing Suh, Asante, Dillard, O'Hanlon and Turner. Hell we can discuss it tomorrow but for now put it on page 2.
Give page 1 to the Women. For 32-1. For a sweet 16 birth that nobody in Nebraska history, not the Men (hell they have never won a NCAA Tournament game) not the women has ever accomplished. It's fitting that It's our time has been their slogan all year because that is exactly what it is. With the 83-70 win tonight over a UCLA team that saw 4 of it's 8 loses come to Stanford and Tennessee ( 2 other #1 seeds) Nebraska's Woman's Basketball became legit nationally where before they were only a local phenomenon. Nebraska doesn't have the history err Herstory of UCONN, Tennessee or Stanford. So they were looked on as the #1 seed most vulnerable to an upset. The general reaction of ESPN and the national media has been yeah so far so good but will you do when you get here? This win tonight was proof positive.
I do not know how much further this team will go. Maybe they go to the elite 8. maybe final 4 or even the finals. One thing I do know even if you are an admitted old school pig like myself and woman's basketball isn't your thing let the women have the spotlight, actually they've taken the damn spotlight themselves, they've more than earned it even if it means looking for your daily football fix on page 2.