Inspired by a discussion I had last night with another comic I have decided to dedicate each Friday to an over-the-top diatribe on things that annoy me. Other days will continue to be random thoughts when I think of them randomly.
I wanted to watch Pardon The Interruption yesterday evening on ESPN and instead was treated to Women’s softball. Per a discussion last night at my show at River Bar, which went well (and by “well” I mean it was the comedic equivalent of dying alone on a hospital bed with no family and no friends, writhing in pain) I believe it is time for ESPN to just develop ESPNW – a sports network dedicated to women’s sports so that I am not rudely surprised when I turn on the television looking for sports and instead find women’s sports (and it would probably knock off at least 23 cents on my cable bill). To make an analogy I have made several times before – turning on ESPN when looking for sports and finding women’s sports is like finding an episode of Real Sex on HBO and instead of it being a segment on nymphomaniac, attractive female strippers, it is about a nudist colony for chubby people over the age of 70. Disturbing and disappointing.
Now I am all for women and women’s equality. I was raised in a household led by a strong woman (if she were black she would have been a “strong, black woman,” but I don’t think the phrase “strong, white woman” is a actual acceptable phrase outside of police descriptions. I enjoy the company of women, both in relationships and naked on the Internet. But equality can only go so far. It is time to get women’s sports off of my television. Now sports like gymnastics (the closest a young girl can ever come to experiencing the life of an abused altar boy) and figure skating make sense being televised because there is a different capacity than men in those sports. They offer unique skills and outfits, except for the case of Johnny Weir. But any other sport – golf, basketball, softball/baseball, soccer, tennis, running, speed walking, push ups, jumping jacks, etc. are just better done by men.
This is not a shot against Title IX – I think parents of girls should have just as much chance as parents of boys to not have to pay for their kids’ college education if they can play sports, but at some point it is time to say – welcome to the real world. The same way I think it is important for strangers not to pretend to be impressed by every toddler they run into, just because that toddler’s parents are going “Can you say hello to the man?” and the kid mumbles something, so to is it important to not pretend that women’s professional sports have some intrinsic value. In both cases you are merely deluding the other party. It would be like if there were a television station dedicated to The Godfather films (even 3), but every 6 days they flood the station with The Last Don – CBS’ terrible original movie (also based on a Mario Puzo novel) starring Danny Aiello.
My Mom once said to me, when I was complaining about the WNBA, “If you had a daughter, wouldn’t you want them to be able to watch other women playing basketball really well?” And I thought about it and realized I was not Chinese and could not offer her to sterile, white Americans for cheap so I said “yes.” But I’d really prefer them to want to watch the NBA because it is 1000 times better and I would not have to cringe for 2 hours watching a bunch of women my height executing the fundamentals of the game at 1/3 the natural speed.
The truth is all televised sports are just vehicles for advertisers and corporate America to reach consumers, and I am not saying women’s pro sports should not exist. That is what YouTube is for – like those underground MMA fighters. They can still compete, but I just don’t want it interrupting real sports and real sports news.
Next Friday – RIP messages on Facebook & Twitter