Written by: Roy Shadmon and Emily Yao
Back in 2002, I first watched a Stanford women’s basketball game against the University of California Berkeley. When they won 79–52, I knew I wanted to witness every game the girls played. Because of that one game I believe that college basketball is the most inspirational sport in women’s athletics. This is a result of the intense competition teams have to face, the clash of rivalries and the success and the heartbreak that occurs during March Madness Tournament.
Along with competition, the National Collegiate Athletics Association Women’s Basketball is where, for the past four years, four teams have exclusively dominated: University of Connecticut (UConn), Baylor University, University of Notre Dame and Stanford University. Watching all four teams compete for last year’s national championship was amazing, but one performance by a Baylor Bear caught my eye. It was during this game when Brittney Griner dunked for the first time in her collegiate career and the second time in NCAA women’s basketball history. Nowadays, most of us don’t hear about six-foot-eight girls who dunk with such ferocity. For me, witnessing the moment was astonishing because such dunks are rare sightings in women’s basketball, and Griner’s dunk was not only exciting but also memorable for me as a collegiate fan.
Along with Griner, UConn’s superstar Maya Moore makes women’s basketball enjoyable to watch. Seeing Moore’s team top UCLA’s previous record of 88 straight wins with 90 straight wins in Division I basketball was so much more than memorable-it was history. Her statistics in the history books are also impressive, including her scoring records for UConn and the NCAA women’s basketball. I don’t think these records will be broken for a long while, especially her participation in UConn’s 90 straight games overall. Moore’s career record as a UConn Huskie is 150 wins to four losses. It’s hard to even imagine losing only four games in four years, and, at one point, winning 90 straight in a span of two years.
Although most “college fans” watch men’s basketball, the women’s basketball can’t be disregarded. From a guy’s perspective, I believe the women’s basketball is more interesting than the men’s basketball because of the underdog role it plays in sports. We don’t usually hear ESPN talk about women’s basketball or show highlights from games because it is overshadowed by men’s basketball, which is disappointing.
For those who did not watch Griner play last year, they missed out on the “jump out of your shoes craziness” of every poster dunk she made following her first. Although most guys missed watching Griner or the women’s basketball, they will have another opportunity to watch Baylor’s superstar compete this year, especially since Baylor is coming off a Division I National Championship while staying undefeated going 40–0. I, for one, will be watching and following the Baylor Bear’s season and I predict a NCAA Division I National Championship for Baylor University.
Every February I look forward to a very special day, the day when I am reunited with the love of my life during a nationwide, time honored tradition. Since Sept. 5, I constantly talk about it with others who are willing to listen to my rants, but my desire won’t be stasfied for another four long months. On Feb. 3, I can finally lie down on the couch, turn on my television and watch Super Bowl XLVII take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It might be a stretch to call football “the love of my life,” but ever since I can remember, football has been one of my favorite sports to watch. When I was nine, my father unexpectedly got me interested in football and the National Football League (NFL). Even though he thought the information would just go through one ear and out the other, he still explained all of the different positions, umpire signals, scoring methods and other basic information about football to me.
Since then, it has become a Sunday-evening tradition during football season to watch a football game with my father. While watching the games, I cherish the excitement when a touchdown is caught, someone snatches an interception or the underdogs make a comeback to defeat the frontrunners.
However, being able to express my excitement with football and sports in general has not been easy. On learning that I am not only one of the Sports Editors for The Oracle but also a sports reporter for Prep2Prep.com, people usually give me skeptical looks. I know what they’re thinking: how can a short, Asian girl possibly know the difference between a cornerback and a tight end, or who left the NFL to serve in the army?
At times, it frustrates me when people underestimate my knowledge of football because I am a girl. I will admit that I am neither up to date on every single detail of the NFL. But the amount of football I know was enough for me to describe my favorite moments of the Super Bowl XLVI showdown between the New York Giants, my favorite team, and the New England Patriots, in the February 2012 issue of The Oracle.
Furthermore, when asked to describe my favorite Super Bowl moments, the number of jaws dropping in amazement continues to increase as I talk about David Tyree’s “helmet catch” during the final drive of the Super Bowl XLII and wide receiver Mario Manningham’s seemingly impossible 38-yard catch that initiated the game-winning drive at Super Bowl XLV.
Even though football is considered “a man’s game,” this fact should not hold girls back from expressing their interests in a male-dominated sport. As more gender roles are being defied, we should take advantage of the freedom to explore our interests in different sports and forget about gender stereotypes that are holding us back. What do you say, guys-play ball?