There’s an old proverb that goes: “Tell me the facts, and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth, and I’ll believe. Tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever.”
In that context, March Madness contains some of the best stories that the world of sports has to tell. We can’t remember who was in the Final Four two years ago, but we do remember the upsets, the amazing people, and the characters who bring the experience and excitement into our lives.
We are obsessed with what basketball brings us this time of the year: raw emotion, passion in its purest form, excitement, heartbreak, history, banter and a buzz that you don’t feel any other month in the year.
As someone who is addicted to the madness, I also fangirl, with no shame, over the media members who tell the women’s basketball story in a way that no one else does. They are committed, authentic, passionate and always willing to do more.
You have the Mechelle Voepels of the world, who is as close to an encyclopedia of women’s hoops as it gets; Rebecca Lobo, a former star player who’s witty, playful, and always full of insight; LaChina Robinson, who’s engaging with hoops fans far and wide and committed to showcasing the entire female athlete experience; Graham Hays, Cara Lawson, Maria Taylor, Debbie Antonelli, Doug Feinberg, and the list luckily keeps growing.
To all of you and any others dedicated to telling the women’s basketball story, thank you.
To all of you broadcasters and reporters who don’t follow or care, please, for the love of all things holy, spare us your opinion. Your ‘coverage’ is unbearable and unsustainable. We get it: you don’t care. Nobody cares that you don’t care.
To Jason Lisk, who claims that the number of men in sports media is not the issue with women’s college basketball, you are dead wrong. Your condescending reasoning is not unfamiliar to us; We know it’s total garbage.
He says he enjoys watching “some” women’s basketball and that he has two daughters, including one who plays basketball. He says, “the truth is that a large segment of the sports-consuming public doesn’t care about women’s sports” and “he would gladly write a women’s bracketology column like I do for the men’s tournament if I thought anyone would read it.”
You, Mr. Lisk, are the bane of our existence. It is apathetic, pick-and-choose journalists like yourself that are ruining the story so many other journalists are working tirelessly to tell.
You, Mr. Lisk, like many other “journalists” who only comment on UCONN being bad for the game when you know very little about women’s college basketball to begin with, are the root of the problems. If you don’t write about women’s basketball because nobody reads it, then why are you taking the time to respond to David Berri about, weird, women’s basketball? How many clicks did your article get today?
Please, knock yourself out covering men’s basketball, or anything else you follow or like. We fully support you. But stop disrupting what is otherwise genuine, passionate and truthful coverage of women’s basketball by inserting your uninformed take, and try to justify it’s legit because you have daughters. We want better for girls and women.
We deserve to be celebrated and paid attention to, not constantly thrown into editorial catastrophes like your own. Contrary to popular opinion, the growth of women’s basketball is on the rise. If more than 10% of sports editors were female, media would probably do a slightly better job with it. And just in case, why don’t we try?
If there’s one thing we want you to know, it’s that we aren’t going away. We don’t want an apology or any other explanation about “what’s wrong” with women’s basketball. We will win this battle no matter how long it takes and no matter how many unfortunate columns pollute, and quite frankly diminish, the story we want to live on forever. Our story will live on.
Any story you can tell, we can tell better—don’t mind if we do.