Every so often I am reminded about what a “niche” sport women’s basketball truly is. For those of us imbedded in its vibrant world here in Connecticut, it is impossible to believe, what with the success of UConn and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.
But it is true. Hardly anyone outside of Connecticut cares. When the USA-Brazil women’s game began Monday (at 5:30), there were maybe 5,000 people in the Verizon Center. By the time the men’s game ended, the place was practically packed.
And among the more than 200 credentialed media for the doubleheader, not more than a dozen watched and charted the game with the intention of trying to professionally report on it, myself, Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register, Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press, Mel Greenberg, the Hall of Fame women’s writer, and a few others.
The rest took naps or had dinner.
Sad but true.
- Those of you who have ever been in a venue where the POTUS (President of the United States) is scheduled to appear understand the total disruption it brings to the syncopation of life for mere mortals within at least a mile of his presence.
Last night at the Verizon Center, nearly four hours before President Obama and his family arrived, the Secret Service and a very enthusiastic and bossy K9 officer had the area around the media entrance to the building in total lock down.
The worst part, for many of the journalists at the game, was that at one point late in the first half of the women’s game, the Secret Service shut off access to the media room.
Think about if this way: You order dinner at a restaurant and the Secret Service tells the chef he can’t walk into the kitchen.
Worse yet (Part II), the President didn’t show up until AFTER the women’s game, yet another validation to my point about the clear disinterest in what Geno and the women are trying to get done.
“He [Obama] told me he watched the game on his I-Phone,” said Diana Taurasi. “He said he has the APP.”
- The USA team is packed, more dominant at every position than the men’s team, once you factor in the comparative lack of competition the women will face until Australia or Russia show up. But the player I am most happy for is Lindsay Whalen, the former Connecticut Sun guard. From the heartland of the America, Minnesota, she’s always wanted to play for her country. Not only is she getting her chance, she may be a big component in its success.
- How does one describe Washington in the summertime? It’s so hot each tourist should carry around a pan to catch their own fat drippings as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.
- No Olympics for me, folks. I feel like Lindsay Whalen in 2008. But what can you do? Pass the popcorn.
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