For those of my readers who do not know, I actually have two blogs. The "mommy blog” is Connelly Confusion, and the sports blog is Gameday Goodness. GG has been terribly neglected since November but those of you in the blogosphere know how that can go.
Baseball season has arrived though, and I love baseball. The Gamecocks and Cougars are doing pretty well so far, and it’s awesome to see such great attendance for the games. My daughter has begun her softball season and so we’ve got cleats, bats, helmets, etc., strewn all around the house. It’s hard not to get into the spirit of the spring.
I skipped out of March Madness this year, because I really just haven’t been feeling it. Like I said, I’ve paid so little attention, it would be a total crapshoot anyway, so instead of throwing good money away, I just stayed focused on baseball.
I knew somewhere in the back of my head that the Lady Gamecocks had an excellent season, but had paid them no mind either. I actually had no idea until yesterday that they were playing Purdue for a spot in the Sweet 16, or had set a team points record in the game that got them to the field of 32. Anyway, as a fan of the school, I figured I should just check it out.
Y’all. Let me tell you. That game was fantastic. The very outsized Gamecocks had total and complete control of that game from start to finish. The pressure these women applied on defense was outstanding. The shooting was excellent and the scrappy, never say die, don’t give them an inch style of play did not let up even once. At one point during the game, I said to my husband, “If women’s sports were always this good, I’d probably watch more of them. You know, if there were more than fifty people there and this level of play.” Mental pause. To self: WHAAAAT???!!!
I couldn’t believe I said that. It’s not the Lady Gamecock’s fault that typically their turnout isn’t the same as the men’s. They are an outstanding team. Way more successful than the men’s team, actually. It isn’t the school’s fault either – the women’s basketball team is promoted too. Whose fault is it, you ask? It’s mine. And yours. And everyone else like us who doesn’t pay any attention to women’s sports.
After hearing those ridiculous words come out of my mouth, I began thinking back to the last time I watched a women’s team in person, other than my daughter’s. I had to go back to college, which was longer ago than I’d care to admit. Why did I go? I worked for the athletic department – I had to be there. I have a distinct memory of being at a CofC Lady Cougars softball game, and no one being there but the team, the school employees, and maybe a few family members, friends. Less than twenty people were in the stands. They were good too and no one knew, or cared, as far as I can recall.
My children have been to several collegiate sporting events. Were any of them the women’s teams? Nope. As a parent of a girl, I’m ashamed of myself. She plays softball, and I took her to see baseball. She played soccer and I took her to see football. As the parent of a boy, I’m ashamed of myself. Is his sport more important than his sister’s? I know I’m going further with this than the reality, but I’m trying to make a point. If I am the gender equality mom that I think I am, my daughter deserves to be exposed to sports played by people of her own gender, or what message does that send to her? My son needs to know that the women who play these sports are just as athletic, hardworking and talented as the men, or what message does that send to him?
I hope to change this, sooner rather than later. There are tons of opportunities locally to see collegiate women’s sports, and yours truly is definitely going to go buy tickets. For all of us.