Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Crocodile Tears: Lisa Leslie Cries For No Reason

When I saw Lisa Leslie cry after the girlfight between the LA Sparks and the Detroit Shock, I instinctively knew a couple of things.

One. Rick Mahorn would get suspended for longer than he deserved. He made contact with Lisa Leslie, but not with malice. But I knew Lisa's tearful whimpers would get him more punishment than he deserved.

Two. Lisa's tears weren't tantamount to general attention by the American public. Like a wife crying to her husband for the umpteenth time , "Oh, honey, you don't understand me..." Just another case of crocodile tears as far as most of us are concerned.

I'm not sure why Lisa was crying in the first place. A fight in the midst of sporting competition is not sad. The AIDS epidemic in Africa is sad. Mariah Carey's insistence on dressing like a 13 year old girl is sad. There's nothing sad about spontaneous physical combustion in the heat of battle. Contrary to what most analysts choose to proclaim, I, a sports fan, love a good fight.

Frankly, the WNBA blew a good opportunity.

From what I saw, the WNBA ladies fight better than they dunk. I legitimately held my breath as I prayed that no tracks got pulled out during the dust up. Nobody wants to see hair all over the court. But, still, I only saw the fight because the channel was left on Mike and Mike from the morning. That's the sad, sad attention threshold that the WNBA faces. Mike and Mike. The league needs to be honest about that.

Despite the fisticuffs and the singular attention the league got for a moment, the WNBA fight was replaced the very next day with a minor league baseball brawl. And very little columnist wordcount was devoted to the fight. In the coming days, women's sports will be mentioned, but the WNBA will have little to do with it. Instead the talk will be Olympic women's sports. Swimming, volleyball, even dressage. And as little attention as we pay to the WNBA, fight or no, dressage is barely a sport at all.

I'm not saying the WNBA should change it's name to UFC Femme, but they should have embraced a more sophisticated approach for keeping the girlfight story going. Tears and "we don't want that kind of attention" is not enough. Real talk. They league needs the attention. And, no, stunt casting with Nancy Lieberman making a comeback as a 50 year old is not better than attention from a fight.

WNBAers like Lisa Leslie and league president, Donna Orender, moaned that the league didn't want to be known for violence. The WNBA has their moral superiority and basketball fundamentals, but no audience.

Beggars can't be choosers.


Anonymous said...

Let the real men play ball:
Hoya Saxa!

peace2332000 said...

Could you have been more harsh? I admit, the WNBA isn't as exciting as the NBA, but at least those women still have heart.

I love the NBA as much as the next (wo)man, they are grossly over-paid and need a reality check. (no pun intended).

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