I’ve been known to utter the word dame. The word skirts has, in the past, been firm in my lexicon.
But that was in a past life — I’m not nearly as sexist since I stopped bootlegging liquor for Al Capone.
But I suppose I still have a few beliefs that some might consider sexist, and for that I’m sorry … but apparently not sorry enough to prevent me from publishing them in a newspaper to be read by thousands.
I’m not going to blow more hot air about how the WNBA is less entertaining because women can’t dunk. I think that’s received enough attention and is accepted as fact by anyone who’s ass is not plugged by their head.
Instead, let’s look at women’s golf and tennis. (Hate-mail can be sent to the address at the bottom of the column.)
Last month, in an attempt to solicit more sponsorship, the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association strongly considered making the English language mandatory for its athletes.
The simpletons at the LPGA thought English-speaking athletes would have greater appeal for the large North American markets. Amid human rights protests, the rule was overturned shortly after it was passed.
The LPGA execs didn’t get it.
It’s not about translated interviews, people.
The lack of interest stems from the fact that women don’t play as well as the guys.
Fans want to see the best there is. That’s why the best athletes are paid big money and the mediocre ones play in community league
Sure, the beauty of the game is just as present in the LPGA. But who would choose to watch Karin Sjodin hit a ball 270 yards over Ernie Els driving one 420? Anyone?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily become a Scientologist, or join any other wacky cult if it promised me 270-yard drives … oh, and salvation, etcetera.
But to see a PGA player drive a ball more than 400 yards is beyond mind blowing — it almost smells of witchcraft … er, sorcery.
Tennis, on the other hand, is an exception.
Women’s tennis is often more entertaining than the men’s.
It still has some of the classic esthetics of the game, in which strategy goes beyond hitting the crap out of the ball.
Racquet technologies have hurt men’s tennis. Because of the power provided by the high-tech frames and strings, the average rally takes less time than a pistol duel between experienced marksmen. Bam! Bam! It’s over. Or, sometimes, just, Bam!
So if tournament organizers want to reverse the former pay spectrum, paying men less and women more, so be it. It’s a no brainer.
But what I have trouble supporting is women receiving the same prize money in the four Grand Slam opens.
It’s nothing complicated. In the big-four, men play the best-of five sets, while the women play the best-of three.
Equal pay for equal play, that’s all.
Many people don’t realize how big of a difference the extra sets make. Lump together a couple five-set matches (that each could extend past five hours in length), and that’ll leave a mark on even the fittest player. (In fact, that’s the best time to bet against him.)
If spectator sports were only about seeing the best, amateur sports would not have people in the bleachers and the Toronto Maple Leafs would not have sold out every home game over the last 40 years.
At the end of June I wrote a column about match fixing in professional tennis. Last week Nikolay Davydenko, who was in the foreground of the scandal and the target of my spleen, was found innocent of charges that he participated in match fixing.
So Nikolay, I’m sorry I said you are not the “sharpest tool in the shed,” and implied that you were a crybaby and a cheat.
I guess I just got caught up in your idiotic assumption that professional players have no reason to play fixed matches. (I’m still looking for some logic to fill the gaps.)
It is now clear to me that a perfectly reasonable person would talk out-loud with his wife about forfeiting a match while still playing in it. Because, after all, how could an opponent, or potential gamblers in the audience, use such information for profit?