Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12/22 Quickie: UConn's 89, More

I really am baffled when I see backlash to coverage of UConn's winning streak -- 89, as of last night. The comparisons to UCLA in the early 1970s get people particularly riled up.

Nevermind that I see UConn's streak as more impressive -- that's just my opinion, and I'm not insisting it be yours -- but why can't we just appreciate what UConn is doing for its own sake?

The irony is that I have a complicated relationship with sports-team dominance. By default, I'm not a fan of dynasties (despite the data that shows it increases interest in a sport).

And, yet, almost to a compulsive extent, I usually pick previous champs to repeat. I was was one of the first -- and remain one of the only -- to say that two titles in a row qualifies as a dynasty.

Despite my inclination to dislike dynasties, I love this UConn team, because it's not just your typical winning -- yes, it's The Streak. But it's also HOW they are winning: By destroying almost everyone.

I was glued to the game last night not just for the history, but because I couldn't believe what UConn was doing to a very good Florida State team. They made them look like JV.

I admire UConn women's hoops for their sustained success, yes, but just as much -- maybe more -- because they are merciless in their swath of destruction.

The entire program is built around optimizing the sport for winning -- and winning big.

Now, I'm sure that part of the reason I like/admire this is because it is women's hoops, a sport I follow only for its superlative moments, like UConn's streak or the Final Four.

If there was a team in the NBA or NFL or MLB or either major men's college sport like this -- and there never has been -- I'm sure I would loathe them.

But there is something about one team out there maintaining a standard of excellence that is so high that it can turn even dynasty-haters into fawning admirers.


So: Rex Ryan and his wife and the feet thing. I say: Live and let live. It is a detail that makes Ryan all the more complex and fascinating.

CFB Bowling Tonight: Utah vs. Boise State in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas. Ouch. Consider where we were two months ago with these two teams. Now look back at me. Now look at the tumble for Boise from BCS bowl to MAACO. Now back to me. This might be the best bowl match-up of the year, and we're getting it on Dec. 22. Um, enjoy?

No, Tiger Woods isn't injured.

Congrats to Charlie Strong and Louisville on their bowl win in the much-maligned Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.

No. 11 Kansas State losing to UNLV could be spotted a mile away -- or, however far away it is where KSU's starting backcourt got those improper benefits. (And, ouch: Tennesee.)

More later.

-- D.S.


Brian said...

penn states womens volleball streak is a little more impressive to me

at 109 and i believe losing 10 sets in those 109 games

which should puts them winning 327 sets out of 337 at a 97%

RiverBoatGambler said...

No one cares because it's women's sports. The backlash comes from mainstream media outlets attempting to shove this garbage down our throats. If we cared about women's basketball then we would watch. However, ESPN having 30 minutes of a 60 minute Sportscenter devoted to something that a vast majority of its audience does not care about, just makes people despise it even more. While the streak is impressive, women's basketball is very boring and not impressive. Mainstream sports media has been forcing this garbage on the viewers for years, and it's just not working.