What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
For those of you who don’t know (in my best Harry Doyle voice), and judging by the ratings that’s most of you, Geno Auriemma is the head coach of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team. Yesterday, the UConn Huskies won their 88th game in a row, tying the record for consecutive victories held by the UCLA mens team of the 1970’s. Then Auriemma invited all of you to kiss his ass.
For the previous 87 games, Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma toed the line as his Huskies racked up one win after another, saying simply that their lofty achievements were the product of hard work, perseverance and humility. But shortly after the Huskies on Sunday tied the 88 consecutive wins record held by UCLA’s men’s basketball team — a mark that has lasted for the past 36 years — Auriemma felt compelled to say what he likely has really wanted to for a long time.
Namely, his team may have been the target of critics who didn’t want a “girls” team tie or break a men’s record. In other words, gender haters.
“I just know there wouldn’t be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman’s record,” Auriemma said Sunday during his post-record-tying press conference. “The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men’s record, and everybody is all up in arms about it.”
I hate break this to you, Geno, but nobody gives a damn about the “record,” because nobody who is being intellectually honest compares your teams’ accomplishment to that of UCLA’s (I’ll come back to this in a bit). Rather, I am speaking for a lot of people who have been silent for fear of getting this exact sort of scatology from you or any other self-appointed defender of political correctness. The real question we have is: If you are such a great coach, why have you never moved up to where the money is?
A lot of the people in that room yesterday have had that very question in the back of their heads. Thankfully, you took the opportunity to answer that question; you’re a delusional crybaby. In order to say what you did in that press conference, Geno, you have to believe two things: 1) There is an equivalency between men’s and women’s basketball, and 2) you are a big-time coach.
First, let me debunk the “equivalency” myth. There are so many functional and stylistic differences that to say men’s and women’s basketball are the same is to say that college football and the NFL are the same. The women’s game has a smaller and lighter ball, as well as no backcourt rule and a closer three-point line. Those points alone make them fundamentally different.
Stylistically, one of the only things on which I ever disagreed with the late legend John Wooden was his belief the women’s game was more “fundamentally sound.” I never understood how he could say that. There’s very little about basketball more fundamental than free throws and lay-ups. Here’s a test: watch a men’s game and time how long it takes to see five missed free throws, then watch a women’s game and do the same with five missed lay-ups. Note which one almost ALWAYS happens first, even if you wait to start the clock until somebody is in the bonus.
Sadly, there are numerous apologists for the Auriemma’s of the world, but luckily, they offer such a great means of exposing the difference for what it really is.
Geno Auriemma made coaching history Sunday. Great, now would somebody please give him a real job? Not that coaching UConn women’s team isn’t legitimate employment. It’s just that no matter how many games Auriemma wins, they will come with a gender-biased asterisk.
See that? The guy says it himself, but then says we are all sexists for thinking exactly the same thing. Do you understand that our lack of respect for Auriemma and women’s basketball has nothing to do with women, rather the fact that the game is a plodding, low-talent version of what should be a fast-paced, high-athleticism sport?
I also think Auriemma is as good a coach as Mike Krzyzewski, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach or Dr. James Naismith.
Let’s just cut through the crap. Great coaches don’t come out in the middle of a press conference and detract from the accomplishment of their team by having a temper tantrum over gender bias. If the guy truly were a great coach, he’d be getting paid to be a great coach at the top level of his sport. Instead, he’s getting paid to be a coach at the level he can handle.
“You don’t stumble and bumble into history,” Auriemma said. If only all women’s basketball programs were as vibrant. Heck, if only four or five were as vibrant, it would be a lot harder to snicker when UConn’s streak is compared to UCLA’s. But it’s not Auriemma’s fault the competition is generally about three decades behind the Huskies.
Again, this guy is saying it for us, but then gets wrapped around his own axle. The quote is all about Auriemma’s need to be acknowledged as a great coach; he so wants mentioned in the same breath the true greats; again true greats don’t have to tell you how great they are. And…can we stop with the comparisons to UCLA? Don’t forget that the winning streak was only one accomplishment of Wooden’s Bruins; don’t forget about UCLA winning 10 championships in 11 years. Even if you want to buy the “equivalency” argument, then UConn and Auriemma need to win 8 more championships in the next nine years.
The bottom line is men’s basketball is a bigger money sport. Bigger money means bigger talent. The NCAA mandates an equivalent number of scholarships, but it can’t mandate an equivalent level of talent. We even have court rulings that say women may play on men’s teams. But they don’t, because they can’t. Just like Geno Auriemma is allowed coach a men’s team; but isn’t able. If he could, he would. Rather, he is hiding his lack of ability to be a truly great coach behind his player’s gender, which ironically shows his lack of ability to be a truly great coach.