By Bill Tamburrino
I was recently called a male chauvinist pig by a lady who just met me. I replied, “Not bad! You got two out of three and you just met me.”
After reading this column, see if you can figure out which two she got correct.
March madness: Male college basketball players are bigger, stronger, and faster than female basketball players. However, in my opinion the lady hoopsters have better teams than their male counterparts. The women play better as teams because they remain teams longer. Every team in the Women’s NCAA tournament started seniors because the really good women basketball players stay in college for four years. The really good men are one and done. They go to the NBA and form entourages, spend money like they earned it, and end up broke after their brief career. They have no education to fall back on. The women, who have graduated, will interview them for jobs.
A coach, player, or parent can learn more from watching women’s college basketball teams than men’s. The ladies do things correctly. Their techniques are better. They have better form. They play better as a team. They run more sophisticated offenses and defenses. The reasons for this are many. They have to use correct techniques and form because they cannot rely on brute strength or steroid-aided testosterone. They get more coaching because they are in college longer. Their coaches have programs that develop their skills over a four- or five-year period of time. They go to class and graduate because that is why they are playing — to get an education. If you recruit a player who will leave your school before finals exams his second semester, you just let him play. You don’t worry about his grades because he is not there for an education.
John Wooden won 10 national championships. In today’s game he might not have won one. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabar) would have gone directly to the NBA or would have been one and done like many of Wooden’s players. Wooden’s 10 championships are the record. Pat Summit of Tennessee and Geno Auriemma of Connecticut have won eight apiece. Summit is retired, Auriemma is still coaching and has a chance to catch Wooden. The reason that those two women’s coaches have won so any NCAA titles compared to their male counterparts (Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has four and three other active coaches have two) is simple. They can build a team and a dynasty. Duke’s players stay longer in Raleigh than the players at their opponents’ schools and Coach K has reaped the benefits. Rumors have it that the athletes who attend Duke also attend classes and graduate. Has any male player ever graduated from UNLV?
Grammar: How come the female commentators have better grammar and diction than too many of their male counterparts? Could it be that they stayed in college longer? How come college players who supposedly passed the SAT or ACT can’t answer questions with correct English and have no idea about verb tenses? Maybe I was an English teacher for too long. Maybe it is because my editor insists that correct grammar and syntax is used. How many commentators know what syntax is? Maybe grammar is not important if you are only going to go to college for a semester.
Brittney Griner: Talk show hosts (idiots) and national commentators with too much time to fill during lulls in the action have brought up a ridiculous question. Can Brittney Griner play in the NBA? Brittney is 6’8” and wears a men’s size 17 or 18 shoe and has an 86 inch wing span (she cannot fly). However the key stat here is weight. Women do not list their weights. Men do. Brittney is slender at best. I would guess that she is at least 75 to 100 pounds lighter than the men she would be going up against if she played her current position as center. If she moved to forward she would still be giving away up to 75 pounds on most occasions. Brittney is a unique player, the most dominant center ever in women’s basketball. She could have made a boys high school basketball team and some small college men’s teams. She would get hurt playing with the big boys. Worse than that, if we let the very talented girls play with the men and boys that would hurt rest of the young women who play. Some genius administrator or commissioner would see a way to save money and cut female sports and say, “The girls have proven that they can compete with men so from now on all of our teams will be co-ed.” All would be lost.
Gender equity: Male teams and coaches still get a better deal than girls’ teams and coaches in most cases. Male coaches make more money. Even in high school the coaches of men’s teams get a better deal. They get the prime time every game night. They lobbied against male/female doubleheaders for years and when they came, they cried for more and still do. They get their pick of practice hours and they get to make money for themselves by running camps in the off season. These are observations that I have made as a journalist and as a female basketball coach who has traveled around the county and has seen gender inequity first hand at most institutions of learning. Make your own judgments. Hopefully a judge will not have to make one.
I hope that I have ruffled some feathers. I will know when I read the letters to the editor in the next edition of the
I am sure that some will think that my new female associate actually was three for three.
WWW.tamboclothing.com: I have been seen wearing shirts with a Tambo logo. People have asked if it is my company. No it isn’t. It is the company of Ryan Tamburrino a disabled Gulf War veteran trying to start a business. Ryan is my nephew.