Jay Mohr Article on SI.com Deriding the WNBA

Well, it seems that Frank DeFord is neither the loudest nor the most vociferous when it comes to beating down women’s sports. I'll admit that I have yet to attend a Lynx game here in Minneapolis and have never watched a full WNBA game so I don't have experience to comment on the league, but Jay Mohr's comments were just a bit too much for me.

I agree that womens basketball is not as interesting for me to watch as the NBA. It moves slower and there are not the jaw dropping moments where you are amazed at how someone can do what you've just seen done. But I enjoy strategy and I enjoy watching good athletes. I loved the NCAA playoffs between the UofM and Connecticut. It was a great battle between excellent athletes with superior strategic ability to boot. Watching Diana Tuarasi and Lindsey Whalen was fun. They were superior guards who ran their offense with perfection, took good shots, and made their teammates better. Unfortunately the NBA is often lacking in that regard for most of the season due to ego and showmanship. Only once the pressure is on do the NBA players buckle down and execute the way they should.

I don't agree with these people who think a sport is only as good as the number of points on the board. How many points do you have to score before they get repetitive? I enjoy soccer for the strategy, athleticism, and skill. I also like it because with low scores it is almost always a close game. Soccer is played with precision and you can't make a mistake or the other team will capitalize. Basketball has a much higher tolerance for error because the number of scores is so much higher. It forgives the Kobe Bryants who just have to jack up that contested shot because their ego drives them too it. If they miss they are only down two points out of about a hundred.

As sports scores decrease the margin for error decreases and the importance of each score increases as well. That's why people get so excited about soccer goals, they mean something big. It is also why international soccer players have been castigated and censured by their governments for not playing well. I believe a few have even been killed after making mistakes in world cup matches by rabid fans and the like. So don't even start on low scoring being a huge problem. It is only a problem if you enjoy sports like a kid loves a videogame or you are only interested in the score for the scores sake and not the sport behind it. Unfortunately I think most Americans fall in both of those categories. But please do prove me wrong on that one, America.

On to what really made my skin crawl. The article was blatantly misogynistic. Calling the women fans lumberjacks and insinuating that they are ogling lesbians. Talking about feeling out of place because of the fans. Wanting tickets in the upper deck so that, "At least from up high I could avoid the icy stares from my fellow "fans", get loaded, squint real hard and imagine the people down on the floor were men. " He made it sound as though being a man in the arena was like being black in Selma during the 60’s. Get over it, get off the couch with your jock buddies, and go meet some women who aren’t reliving their cheerleading days in high school. It makes a lot of sense to me that the fans are mostly women. That tends to be the case in women’s sports. If you had a problem with the fans then call it like it is rather than painting the whole league with a big, “These people are man hating lesbians” brush.

The WNBA may make it, or it might not. But that doesn’t diminish the sport itself or the fans that currently watch it. Women are not men but there is plenty, in my opinion, to like about watching women’s basketball. I guess I’d rather it be judged on it’s merits as a game then be tarred and feathered with accusations about everything but the game itself. (One of the only times he talks about the game is to say something about 7foot Polish players with no skills. Tell that to Katie Smith or Lisa Leslie and watch them pound you into the ground.) And to end the piece with a disclaimer of, “* The opinions of Jay Mohr do not reflect those of SI.com, just the men who read it.” speaks volumes about the misogyny of the article. I am a man who reads SI.com and I do not agree.