It's Waxing Off, the only weekly feature with a built-in GPS. This week's topic: Women's basketball, and why some actual women don't even seem to like it.
This is everything I knew about the WNBA before last night:
Lesbian rumors abound. And rebound. Someone named Sheryl Swoopes is somehow involved. There was a John Elway look-alike named Rebecca Lobo who, at one point, "got next." And thanks to Deadspin, I am now familiar with Candace Parker's new chest size. Or were they always C's? This is the first bit of WNBA "news" I have paid attention to in years. Girls are interested in other girl's breast sizes. We secretly think every other girl is lying.
So after some drunken WNBA research last night, I discovered a few goofy team names (the Silver Stars?) and the proper way to deface a Wikipedia page. I also enjoyed a good bit of time on a website for a team I had barely registered before, the illustrious "Phoenix Mercury." A few questions. How the hell do all the retired transplants waiting for transplants in PHOENIX support a WNBA team? And why does the logo look like something a Special Olympics team created (Hi Obama!)? And could they possibly have designed an uglier uniform? Straight from the Mercury website: "the ladies wear white, chartreuse and orange at home." Chartreuse is equivalent to puke green. So, somebody in that organization thought the colors white, puke green and orange sounded sweet to the pallet. Promotional masterpiece.
This same marketing retard also conjured up the "Hip Hop Squad." Instead of cheerleaders, the Mercury employs a bunch of little dancing heathens. Photographic evidence of this troupe exists on the website. Tryouts are now! Last year's squad is shown posing really hard in fedora hats and striped knee socks in front of this bizarre gray, urban warehouse backdrop in PHOENIX. It's probably a crematorium.
The problem with the WNBA is that it's one giant promotional flaw. In America, success is only achieved through hard work and sex tapes. And hard work in those sex tapes. I Googled every possible combination of "sex tape" and "scandal" and "affair" with the word "Mercury" that I could devise. Nothing. I tried a lot of worse things, but my mom reads this. Until somebody takes one for the team(s), and makes out with a mirror or another team member at half court, no one is really going to give a shit. Candace Parker, shows us your C's!
— Elway's Bitch has a message for Josh McDaniels: "Next time you want to perpetrate some sort of sneaky, wormy trade that makes absolutely no sense to anybody except maybe some naked, shivering Bellevue patient picking imaginary jelly beans off his scrotum during shower time, why don't you make sure the trade actually happens? You're an asshole."
As a newly recruited member of Team Unemployed USA, I've had the opportunity all week to bask in the warming glow of my roommate's newly purchased 60" LCD flat screen and absorb endless March Madness coverage and, as of yesterday, the tournament itself. These are hard times. Even though I grew up playing sports, specifically basketball, and grew up in the great state of Connecticut, where the only three activities worth pursuing are underage drinking/drug use, promiscuous sex, and UConn basketball fanship, I still won't be tuning in to the Lady Huskies systematic dismantling of any team that comes their way in their bid for a national championship and undefeated season. The reason why is simple:
Women's (team) sports are boring.
I've seen enough fast break underhand layups during my high school basketball tenure, thank you very much. I would probably rather watch an episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 than a women's basketball game — relatively the players are moving more slowly, but the overall action is faster. Plus Kate is the goddamn Pat Summitt of parenting. The level and pace of play just doesn't translate to a viewing audience during women's play like it does in men's. In addition, women's team play is unselfish, almost to a fault. Any sports fan would rather watch Kobe arrogantly launch a three from 26 feet with a hand in his face and three teammates open than the Lady Huskies' absurdly intuitive ball movement and pass play. I would call this an injustice, but at the end of the day Kobe is an accused rapist and generally giant prick.
I doubt that any women's sports will be watched and worshipped at such a level as that of men's unless, of course, it's the Lingerie Bowl. Apparently the UConn women's basketball team is doing something very, very wrong by being fully clothed during play. Or very, very right.
— Jess Mac lives in Boston and in this economy, is setting the over/under at time of procurement of employment at circa the NBA Championships. She is taking the over.
As a young girl, my mom and I would go see the WNBA's Washington Mystics play at the then-called MCI Center on most Saturdays. Fun times. Although I enjoyed that as a child (I think it was for the nachos), I always wanted to go see the Wizards play because I'm one of those chicks that can't watch women's sports. Believe me, I've tried. I would choose a community college basketball game over UConn-Tennessee any day of the week.
To this day, I don't know really why. For someone who was such a tomboy growing up, it would only make sense that I would gravitate towards watching, even playing, women's sports. That didn't happen. If I was going to play sports, it was going to be with the boys because in my mind, the competition is better. Blame it on my internal male-chauvinist but if you put the best men and women's sports teams on the same court or field, there's no question in my mind that the ones with the external genitalia are winning. No question, whatsoever.
For me growing up, it meant more to my ego when a dude would be in awe of my skills on the field than another female. I took some cold-hearted joy being better than every chick out there. To be picked first over a group of guys would be borderline orgasmic.
That's why my current stance on women's sports bothers me. As someone who loved being better at throwing a football or hitting a three, I will never give women a chance on the court. In reality, it's fucked up.
— Ciara fell in love with Louisville's Terrence Williams and let that control her bracket. Proof again that penis overrides logic.
I do occasionally watch women's basketball. I have even gone out to bars with friends to watch the finals of the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Mostly because I am a homer and Maryland's team tends to be really good. This year is no exception, with one of the most explosive offenses in women's NCAA basketball they could probably beat most of the men's Big Ten teams. Actually, I'd kind of like to see that, since I have a heartfelt belief the Big Ten is terrible overrated. And the Lady Terps definitely score more than you're average Big Ten team.
If there is a team that can beat Uconn this year, it's Maryland. The Lady Terps take a lot of crap for not playing a lot of defense and relying on their offense, which makes them like most men's teams. Apparently that makes them very beatable, as long as it's not your team playing them.
As for the whole women's equality thing. I guess we don't really have that far to go. I mean, they even let us women have our Friday afternoon feature on Deadspin now. I know we don't make nearly enough dick jokes and just won't send you our pictures so you can tell if we are hot enough to warrant reading, but think of this as a little Deadspin Affirmative Action. Sure, you might not like it, but whatever, as long as we get decent page views and keep sending in our mediocre posts written while severely hung over on Friday mornings, I think we're going to be here for a while. Just hope they don't take this too seriously and promote one of us.
— Meghan will be watching basketball and not reading the comments today. Feel free to skewer, slander and bemoan her writing there or at Girls Don't Know Sports.
If you would like to be on the Waxing Off writing staff, email me at Rick@Deadspin.com and state your case. And in response to your many requests, men who occasionally dress as women are not eligible.