Despite NBA, networks' effort, WNBA is unwatchable
Posted: Wednesday September 14, 2005 11:12AM; Updated: Thursday September 15, 2005 11:15AM
What get-up will these Sacramento Monarchs fans come up with for the WNBA Finals?
Rocky Widner/Getty Images
The WNBA finals began Wednesday, and if you listened very closely you heard that nobody cared. Apparently, the Sacramento Monarchs are playing the Connecticut Sun in a best-of-whatever series. The Monarchs earned their way into the finals by beating the Houston Comets. The Sun got in because they're owned and operated by a casino. Seriously, a casino owns the team. No conflict of interest there, right? I guess the NBA and whoever else desperately backs this debacle of a league finally found themselves an ownership group that can actually afford to hemorrhage cash.
Now, let me admit that all of these women ballers are far better athletes than I will ever be. That doesn't forgive the fact that the product is still unwatchable. Playing with a multi-colored ball that looks as if was stolen from Meadowlark Lemon's trunk, these women are capable of putting up 40, sometimes 50, points a night. I went to a New York Liberty game a couple of years ago and found myself, for the first time, in the minority at a sporting event. As my buddy and I sat courtside with other celebrities like, uh, um, well, I'm sure there was somebody else, we realized what a bizarre collection of souls made up the lower tier of the arena. Little girls and lumberjacks seemed to be the primary ticket holders. The little girls looked at the court in admiration of their heroes, and the lumberjacks looked at the court in a completely different type of admiration. Other than my buddy, I was the only guy in my row, so I was hesitant to stand up and move around. I was afraid of offending the brutes surrounding me. These people were large and in charge, loud and proud, and very capable of beating me to within an inch of my life.
Not feeling that uncomfortable since the "gangbangers versus non-gangbangers" era of the Raiders, I made sure to root for the home team, and root I did. When the giants next to me stood up to cheer, I stood up and cheered. When they booed, I booed. I didn't want them to think I was an outsider.
Sadly, when it comes to the WNBA, almost all of us are outsiders. Do you know anybody who has ever watched a game? Have you ever spoken about the WNBA at work? At home? Anywhere? The NBA and the networks that have aired the sport have tried in vain for far too long to prop up this league as entertainment. If you are entertained by 7-foot, 225-pound women from Poland who have less basketball skills than the worst NBA D-Leaguer then I guess you are one of the few people who cares.