There are several reasons I prefer women’s athletics to men’s. One reason is the simple fact that in post-game interviews, girls can generally form complete sentences. A little over a year ago, I interviewed a player for a game preview I was working on for the local paper. When asked what the team needed to work on, she replied, “We need to work on our defense and taking care of the ball. But we are getting there, progressively.”
Simply adding that word “progressively” changed that from a typical jock sentence into a prime example of what differentiates female athletes from men in most cases. I mean, when is the last time you heard a jock use any word that is more than two syllables? Much less, use it correctly.
Another reason I enjoy women’s athletic is because they are less like to showboat, show off, gloat or any of the other crap that ticks me off. I can’t stand all that extra curricular garbage that guys, for some reason, think makes them look cool. Their team may be down by 20 points, but if one of them dunks the ball they have to tug on their jersey, play to the crowd or make some sort of hand gesture that nobody understands as they perform their various renditions of the “look-at-me” dance.
I will admit that I have seen women do the same thing, but on a much lesser scale. And when women do it, it’s really stupid. But for the most part, the female athletes celebrate with simple high 5s for a teammate, or they just run back and play defense.
The same can be said for injuries. Guys always play it up, looking for sympathy. One of my biggest pet peeves is when an athlete supposedly gets hurt, wallows around on the floor like he is dying, takes an extended period of time getting up and then has to be helped off the floor only to return to the game after a few minutes. I literally told a high school athlete one day after witnessing such an incident that if I ever saw him do that I was going to personally kick his hind quarters. That young man went on to play basketball for Bob Knight at Texas Tech University and to the best my knowledge never did anything like that.
Female athletes typically don’t do that. Unfortunately, I have seen some serious injuries at which time the athlete is lying on the court in pain and has to be carried off. But those were legitimate injuries, not a jammed finger or ingrown toenail. For the most part, female athletes would prefer to get off the floor and deal with the minor injuries somewhere else.
Case in point: Last Saturday our women’s basketball team was playing against the No. 10 ranked team in the country. Our team has been struggling through conference play this year, but the young ladies valiantly took the court.
Midway through the second half, a sophomore guard who had just been reinserted into the game waved at the coaches to take her out. Not understanding why she had tired so quickly the coaches sent a player to check in for her. However, since there was no apparent rush, this player stayed in the game and continued to play hard for another trip down the court.
When the whistle finally blew to stop play, this young lady made her way over the bench, looking at her hand. The pinky finger on her left hand was sticking out sideways at an angle. She looked at her finger, looked at her coach and said, “I think it’s broken.”
On Tuesday, the young lady had surgery to repair the finger that had not only broken, but had twisted. Needless to say, she will miss several weeks while the finger heals. For some reason, healthy hands are key when playing basketball.
But as she played on with a broken finger and then came off the court, there was not a complaint, not a whimper, no wallowing around on the floor or jumping up and down at mid-court wanting everyone in the gymnasium to "look at her" … she just kept playing.
Tough kid, and that’s why I appreciate women’s athletics.