No Fancy Name
Saturday, March 26, 2005
the L-word
No, not the TV show. The ACTUAL WORD.

Mechelle Voepel, one of the only sports columnists whose stuff I read and whose opinions I respect, wrote a really good piece for ESPN yesterday, about Liberty University (aka Jerry Falwell's university) and their multiple wins in the NCAA tournament. Actually, it wasn't really about the wins, it was about "the pairing of women's basketball and Jerry Falwell."

As she says:
I can think of only a few things more closely linked. Maybe ... Gloria Steinem and Saudi Arabia. PETA and the NRA. Exxon and Greenpeace. Molly Ivins and Ann Coulter. Mercury and Pluto.

Who'd have guessed the "L-Word" for the NCAA Tournament would be Liberty?
But what really got to me was the next bit:
It would be completely ignoring the obvious to not acknowledge that many women's hoops fans, who normally would be quite pleased with such an underdog's success, are feeling ambivalent about this one.
Yes, it would be completely ignoring the obvious, but Voepel is THE ONLY ONE WHO DIDN'T. That's why I like her stuff. Not a peep out of the others, and lest you think that the L-word doesn't apply to some of the other columnists on the ESPN payroll, it does.

She goes on to say:
This surprise Sweet 16 team does warrant discussion about some fascinating but not often openly acknowledged sociological aspects about women's basketball. Including the diversity of the fan base.

At almost any game anywhere, you could have a lesbian (constantly speculating on who might be "with" whom) cheering wildly right alongside a grandmother (who wants a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage).

You have fans who know somebody, who knows somebody, who KNOWS high-fiving other fans whose mind-set is, "Don't ask, don't tell, don't think about it. They're just sharing expenses, like they did on 'Kate and Allie.'"
Ok, raise your hand if you laughed out loud at the last bit. [raises hand.]

Her column is short, but it does raise some issues which, like the column itself, was quickly covered up by other things. I guess since Liberty was on its way to being trounced by LSU (which did happen), people figured we wouldn't have to discuss it any longer.


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