Friday, January 7, 2011

The University Of Connecticut Woman's Basketball Team

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post with a late breaking major league rant.

As most of you are no doubt aware of, I rarely show bitter contempt for things I don't like. I bloviate, I dissect, I wax philosophically and I even talk analytically about the item in question. But I usually don't show bitter contempt for something I don't like.

Until now.

Unless you've been comatose in a hospital room tripping the light fantastic in your head with whatever people you fondly remember in your life, chances are that you were seeing/watching/listening/growing physically ill about TUoCWBT (I refuse to call them by what they're known as, so an acronym is the best you're gonna get out of me) "phenomenal" winning streak. You know the one I'm talking about, the one that finished up as being longer than the fabled UCLA Bruins of the 1970's.

Thursday night, December 30th to be exact, the last team that beat them in 2008 (Stanford in the NCAA's) beat them again to close out 2010.

All I can say is, 'bout F'n time.

For those of you who don't follow women's hoops, there are glaring differences for the various levels of competition. In spite of what you may read in a top 25 poll, woman's hoops has at the most, one fantastic team, and everyone else is cannon fodder.

No, really. If you ever read what the typical 64 team bracket for the men's are, you'll see that there are about 40 or so teams who are high caliber, with everyone else being not cannon fodder for those high caliber teams. The woman's bracket is basically this: TUoCWBT and everyone else (except maybe Tennessee and now Stanford) is cannon fodder.

I repeat, cannon fodder. Or, if that phrase doesn't work for ya, how 'bout collateral damage?

As sure as the fact that this blog is written by a fat, bald 45 year old guy, Connecticut's obsession with TUoCWBT is by far the worse thing that you could ever experience. You name the sports team (local, state or national) and/or the rivalry, and I will put that up against TUoCWBT plus our collective state budget any day of the week, and make you look like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum.

The newspapers here, both the largest state daily and the smaller dailies, go off the deep end whenever TUoCWBT loses more than 3 games in a season. Seriously. I've read a week's worth of overwrought and overemotional hyperbole that basically said the world was coming to an end because they lost a game.

Please. Give. Me. A. Break.

In case you're wondering why I have such an intense hatred and dislike for TUoCWBT, it can be directly traced to an incident back in the late 90's that solidified my opinion that Geno Auriemma was the most arrogant non-player to ever step on a hardwood floor.

Back in the late 90's, TUoCWBT had a good player by the name of Nykesha Sales. In her last season (97-98) she was closing in on the all time scoring record held by Kerry Bascom, when she came down with an injury that ended her collegiate career (blown achilles, I believe). Geno Auriemma felt sorry about the fact that she was going to fall one point short of the record. In the last game of her career (against Villanova), she was allowed to hobble down the court and score an uncontested layup to become the all time leading scorer (if you read the college section of her Wikipedia entry, it covers this incident in greater detail).

Yeah, fixing a game is a great way to earn my respect for a team and a player.

Not.

Anyways, I'm proud about the fact that TUoCWBT finally lost a basketball game, because now they'll be concentrating on blowing out the teams in their remaining games by 60 or 70 points (they are notorious for running up the score because in their world, there is no such thing as garbage minutes for players on the bench).

Oh, and the reason why everyone is considered cannon fodder to begin with? Because when you a professional team masquerading as amateurs, they do have a tendency to make all the other teams, whether they're at the top of their division/conference in first place or in the top five of their division/conference, look like the Washington Generals.

And what player wants to be remembered as playing for the Washington Generals?

I thought so.

And coming soon to a theater near you, a rant about another women's basketball related endeavor called, "The WNBA". Until then, have a fantabulous Friday!

19 comments:

  1. I care so little for basketball that I had not heard of this at all. :) But I quite enjoyed your fun rant about that team.

    You know I don't belong at a basketball game when the most fun I had at an Atlanta Hawks game was at the end when they won and then played "Hit the Road Jack" on the loudspeakers. I was delightedly amused by that, but could see how that might seem somewhat unsportsmanlike to the losing team. That guy never took me back to a game with him. :)

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  2. Sport is good for your athletism, and agility, and to remain supple!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

    You wrote this piece wonderfully accurately, with a prose pose of worldly grows! Ha.

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  3. George

    Perfect analysis. 1 great team and the rest role players. No parity in women's hoops. Every other NCAA sport has a relatively even playing field. Central CT St will never beat UConn in women's hoops. EVER

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  4. Central will never, ever beat UConn in women's hoops. It's the only college sport with little to no parity. Joke.

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  5. The Nykesha Sales story really seems unethical. I feel sorry for the player whose record she took away.

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  6. Never actually watched a woman's basketball game on TV. I've seen the Xavier women play.

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  7. I don't know anything about basketball and don't follow it all so I really can't contribute to your rant one way or another, G! :)

    Sorry!

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  8. I know nothing about Basketball. Full stop. :D

    Wait a minute..that's what Zac Efron plays in High School Musical isn't it?

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  9. I don't follow basketball, but I am impressed with your ability to write well about just about any subject. TGIF!

    BTW, my college color is purple and - I kid you not - the sports teams were named "the Violets" when I went there. Picture the headlines: "Violets wilt under pressure..." They've since (smartly) changed it to the Bobcats.

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  10. Gah! I'm torn on this one. The win streak is impressive, I've got to give them that. As a woman, I hate getting the feeling that the team's accomplishment is being downplayed because the supposedly untouchable record was broken by female athletes. On the other hand, as a woman AND a hoops fan, I have a hard time agreeing with those who argue that UConn faced the same caliber of competition as the '70s Bruins.

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  11. Lynn: I very rarely go off the deep end about things, and if you ever wanted to see act like one of those local yahoo's you see on late night television, talking about this particular team will do it. :D

    Glad you enjoyed the rant.

    Andrew: Thanks. I often can rather purply with my prose when I'm ranting about something.

    Ryan: I agree completely. CCSU is making great strides this year though: a new head coach (alumni at that) that has won state titles on the local level and has managage to translate that to the collegiate level.

    And absolutely no parity whatsoever.

    Joanne: That event actually prompted me to write a letter to the editor about it. Wish I saved it because it was best thing I ever wrote until I started blogging and writing serious in '08.

    Charles: I'm sure tha Xavier has a good women's team. Probably of the caliber of the CCSU women's, which is Division 1-A mid major conference.

    Talon: That's okay. Hopefully you enjoyed it just the same.

    Joe: I asked my wife about that, for she is a big High School Musical fan and she said, "Yes, he did."

    R: Thanks. And "The Violets"? Ouchies. In all seriousness, we have a school here (Quinnipiac) that wilted on PC/NCAA pressure and changed their nickname from "Braves" to "Bobcats".

    Mama Z: I can understand the conundrum you're going through. That team has not, in my opinion, faced any calibar of teams like UCLA did. They frequently blow teams out by 50+ points and people have actually complained when they win by less than 30.

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  12. I've never seen a woman's basketball game yet. But the daughter is on the way. But I'm not into sports and neither is the wife so I may never see one. However I support your rant, sir.

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  13. David: Thanks.

    Sometimes its a blessing in disguise not to be sports fan of any kind.

    I'm not even a fan of what my daughter does for a sport, which is ice skating, but I still support her just the same.

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  14. I'd seen something on the news last fall about that "undefeated" team, but didn't know how unfair the playing field was until you put it that way- I don't know how they decide the leagues are divided. Statistics tho- should be as true as possible!
    I always liked basebsll better...

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  15. Snaggle: The statistics are often skewered. Usually I never really believe what the stats say about them, because they so often blow out teams by margins that are at least my age.

    It is very much an unlevel and unbalanced playing field. In all honesty, I have never seen any other team whose games have such wide margins of victory.

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  16. I heard my boys talking about the UCONN streak, but I didn't know any specifics. G, thanks for keeping me in the loop so I'll sound somewhat informed when they boys talk sports with me. My guys are all excited about hockey around here. Big Capitols fans. I'm learning so much about refereeing body checks :)

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  17. Kelly: Hockey? I kind of stopped watching/listening to hockey about the time the NHL left CT. I used to listen/watch the AHL but when they switiched to a hi-def station and I switched cable companies and lost the regional network they were on, I gave up paying attention to hockey.

    But you are welcome for the info about that team.

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  18. When in TN for my wifes graduation, we were stuck in a place with the game turned to the Tennessee-your most despised team game.
    Holy bad basketball batman. It got so bad I started calling out the plays..."come down, hoist a contested trey that is nowehre close..." and after that play happened...again...and again...and again...I was also calling out after it, "oooohhhh....who saw that one coming? I sure didn't". It was laughably bad, like watching a 6th grade kids-that-got-cut scrimmage.

    While the couple at the table next to us kept gushing about what a great game between two great teams it was.

    Women's basketball; my surefire cure for insomnia. Actually makes me appreciate Cavalier games...

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  19. Darth: Women's hoops are on another playing field than men's and most women's hoops fans are about as rabid as they come.

    Games involving that team usually become a great cure for insomnia.

    Just to show you how rabid they are, front page story on the Hartford Courant website was that Diana Tursi was now cleared to play for the Olympics as the Turkish drug lab backed away from its previous claims of a positive test.

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Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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