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why are you a women's basketball fan?
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Sass



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: 07/18/08 2:09 pm    ::: why are you a women's basketball fan? Reply Reply with quote

I'm going to do some research, and I think a good way to begin it will be to ask this question of you all.

I'm wondering why and what makes each one of you a fan of the women's game, because the populations of women's and men's basketball fans are very different. For one thing, women's hoop fans seem to get more personally and/or emotionally attached to their favorite players. (Not saying this is good or bad - just saying).

"Fans" of anything tend to identify with that person/genre of which they are a fan. What is it about these women, whether in the W or in college, that you identify with? What do you like about them and their game? What keeps you coming back to the game, year after year? What makes you a fan of women's basketball as opposed to, say, ballet?

These are just a few suggestions on how to answer the question. It can be answered in any way. But I'm genuinely interested in what your love of this game is all about. The more detailed and comprehensive the replies, the better, and if you have any links to other forums where answers to this question are provided, please send them to me. Also, if you'd rather not answer in a public forum, you can PM me. All info will be kept confidential.

Women's basketball fans are somewhat of a specialized group - not the biggest in the world, but some of the most interesting. I hope you can all englighten me with your own reasons and stories for your passion and knowledge.



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RedEqualsLuck



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 2:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

You're going to get a lot of anecdotal stuff -- which is cool. You might also want to check out the Taylor Groups research for the NCAA
http://www.ncaa.org/bbp/basketball_marketing/research/index.html

A general overview of the findings touched on these main topics:

Overall measures of fan interest in college basketball, both in absolute terms and relative to interest in other sports


Some really interesting stuff...



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HistoryWomensBasketball



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 2:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I was tired of the big ego of mens sports. So much of it was "ME" related and i gave up on pretty much all of it. When I saw baseball players getting paid for autographs and coming across like they were better than others, off went the tv

Then someone said we should watch a Uconn womens game (November of 1994). It was more how i remember sports when i was a kid. Passing, teamwork, not so much damn showboating. We were hooked.

Then with the ABL and the Blizzard, it just got us more. I remember my son going up to Olympian Carolyn (CJ) Jones for an autograph. When she found out that his name was CJ, she looked at him and said "thats cool, I hope I dont disappoint you". I was so impressed....CJ became a good family friend of ours and would come over our house.

This got me into wondering how did the game get to where it is today. My grandmother played in the 1930s for a Soap Factory. At that point there was so little online. No WBHOF, and I dont think Helen had her site up there either at that point. So I started researching, collecting, networking, doing exhibits.

I am a fan of todays game, but more from an entertainment venue. So many of you know more of all of the players than I do. I enjoy going back into the past, meeting former players, talking to them about their stories and what they think of todays game.

When I hear of the outdoor game. Even if it was the Sun playing, I wouldnt care so much to who won, rather, was it a benefit to the overall WNBA and game itself.

Guess it takes all different types of us fans. I enjoy reading many posts on this site. We are very different, but share a common thread and all want to see it continue to grow.



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jaye



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 2:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

i was getting disillusioned with the mens' game....due to the influx of young spoiled players with the gangster wannabe mentalities..... and i've always been a supporter of womens' rights or anyone else that suffers from bias....i thought it criminal the way womens' sports were treated as it they were second class....

so when the abl first started....i took to it as a way of showing my support for women and their endeavors in general.....when i started watching the games i saw that ....damn.....these women can play....and the game was pure....they played hard...and they played with emotion....they didn't play with an eye towards their agents and with thier endorsement deals in mind....

i was a pretty good fan...but i'll tell you what made me a fanatic.....it was when lisa leslie elbowed tina thompson..... and little while later on the other end....tina elbowed her back....an elbow that knocked lisa down....where upon tina stepped over her and just ran back down court....i was hooked....

i've been a fanatic ever since....

just in case you're gathering demographics and statistics.....

born in newark nj
raised in newark nj and the bronx ny
58 years old
black
male
divorced
two kids....one living with me
no political affiliation.....

Smile



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EC Basketball



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Basketball is Basketball

Womens, Mens, Boys, Girls, Old, Young, High School, College, Pro, International, AAU, etc...

Love the game

There is no difference

It brings us all together


HistoryWomensBasketball



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:03 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

P.S.....and probably in a great minority here.

I enjoy the game below the rim.

I realize the dunk is the way things are going and evolving. Its here to stay.

However, when it comes to a couple of great passes to a layup vs a dunk.
I still prefer the prior.



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der alte



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:03 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

It's the game, not the sex that has me into the WNBA. It's the kind of game that I played in the forties and early fifties. "Dunk!!!"? we did that at the coffee shop and not the gym. It was pass, pass, pass until there was an open player who could make the basket. College basketball was altogether different. The phys Ed teacher was the coach..Today it's someone who signs a contract for several million. Times change, however I still prefer some of the older ways better.


eclair



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

There's sex in the WNBA? I must be buying tickets to a different section of the arena. Smile



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mabell3368



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I first got interested in women's basketball when I was in college. I went to a small, NAIA school, and the women's team was relatively more competitive than the men's. I started going to their games and eventually found I enjoyed the game on a more consistent basis as it was team-oriented and not so dependent on the talents of a single individual.

Then, when Tennessee opened their new arena (Thompson-Bowling) I started to pay attention to big time women's division I. The level of excellence and the atmosphere at the arean was infectious. Then in 1996, my wife and I attended our first women's Final Four. The excitment at that venue is unbelievable. We were hooked. We've now been to eight final fours.

My allegiance easily transferred to the professional game. While I have never been able to attend a game live, I still harbor hopes that someone will bring a franchise to Dallas someday. I watch what I can on TV or on-line, and follow the teams here and on WNBA.com.

Lastly, I enjoy the asthetic nature of the game as well. Nothing is so beautiful as a big, athletically fit woman playing her heart out on the court. And contrary to a less complimentary recent thread, I think the women in the league clean up pretty well. I love it that they can be a monster on the court and a babe off it.

And for the record, I enjoy ballet (well modern dance, anyway) too!



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moleman



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:55 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

LOL Laughing Great question!

I have to admit that i love much more men's basketball than women's basketball...but by two years ago, i appreciate women's basketball too much.
My first contact with this league happened by chance becuase i'm a tipster (worst tipster in the world, probably! Laughing Laughing Laughing ) and i begun to bet on this league becuase in summer there are too few leagues on which we can bet Very Happy
Then, last year i started to see NBA with much more interest and to love basketball. So WNBA shows me some good matches with big intensity, good technic and amazing rally (i don't know if this is the right word to express the situation when a team win after it's been in a big disadvantage).

The only thing that i miss is the fact that women don't dunk. But, as someone has told before, the attention to the entertainment is a good thing that makes more interest above wnba. To permit to watch free some matches throught wnba league pass is a good incentive to see this league. If European Leagues also do this one, i'll see them too

Some sports have some difference between women and men but i think basketball, tennis and softball are as interesting as men. But this is my opinion: someone could have a different idea Wink


TonyL222



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

You might want to gather the demographics of respondents. You may see themes or patterns associated with those demographics.

I love WNBA (I also love NBA and men's college ball)
I find women's college BBall mostly painful to watch (kind like the Mystics right now).
The WNBA players and mgt are not as "distant" as the men's game. I know players, family, and team officials personally. That would be a reach for the NBA.

As a hetro male, I gotta admit there's somewhat of a turn on seeing a tall, athletic, sweaty female in shorts. I'm just sayin'...... Laughing



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psheehy



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 3:59 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I am a basketball fan.

My brother went to ODU during the Donovan and Lieberman days, so I had some early exposure, but I didn't become a fan until I went to my first Storm game in 2001. For me, it was the crowd that made the game a blast. I had a blast at Key Arena with all the passionate Storm fans. I was a season ticket holder for the Sonics and they gave me free tickets to a Storm game. I fell for the players and the sport later as my appreciation for the game deepened. Admittedly, it took a few years, but by 2007 the Storm were more important to me on a personal level than the Sonics.

I like the atmosphere of the games. I can bring my kids and not worry about some intoxicated 20 something boy swearing or throwing stuff which happened at Sonics games.

I like the connection between the players and the fans. The NBA has moved, more and more to separate the fans from the game, but the WNBA draws them in closer.

I remember feeling emotional when Gary Payton played his first game at Key Arena in a Laker uniform. I balled like a baby when Simone Edwards retired, though. I felt like I knew her, not just knew of her like I did about GP.



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der alte



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:01 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

eclair wrote:
There's sex in the WNBA? I must be buying tickets to a different section of the arena. Smile


Gee thanks! But when you're my age, when we say "sex" it's not exactly the same as when you say "sex." Come to my section of the arena, and you'll understand most completely.


Kailapea



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:02 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

For me basketball something positive to focus on. But my love is not just of the women's game, I love the game. I am partial to women's basketball and college (men & women).

Being a woman, I have always supported the women's game. I think my love of it started when I played in HS and in college. At that point, it became almost an obsession. I played in several park leagues and summer leagues. After a couple of crappy injuries - knee and ankle - I couldn't play so I began officiating and coaching little girls. When I started working full time I gave up the active participation, and became a full time fan.



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Tiffany Jackson=future



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:06 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Well, for me, I'm a guy. Love the NBA. 20 years old, been a Knicks fan all my life. I remember in 97 when I was 9 going on 10, me and my mom was watching NBC I think it was and we saw LA vs NY, the inaugural game. I was hooked since then. Basketball is basketball is basketball for me. And the WNBA and Women's Basketball in general is very pure, the way it should be played. Not relying on athleticism, but rather on set plays to get shots off. It's a beautiful sport, just the way offensive sets are created and all.

Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.



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pilight



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

This is not directed at sass, but I hate this question. I like lots of different sports; NFL, college football, baseball, tennis, golf, NASCAR, etc. Women's basketball is the only one that I've ever been asked this question about. If I start talking baseball, it's just understood that it has appeal. If I do the same for the WNBA, I'm often forced to justify my fandom. It's an insidious bit of sexism that seems directed entirely at women's team sports.

As for...

Quote:
There's sex in the WNBA? I must be buying tickets to a different section of the arena.


One of the great unspoken truths about the league is that WNBA games are a great place to pick up women. Shocked



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jaye



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
This is not directed at sass, but I hate this question. I like lots of different sports; NFL, college football, baseball, tennis, golf, NASCAR, etc. Women's basketball is the only one that I've ever been asked this question about. If I start talking baseball, it's just understood that it has appeal. If I do the same for the WNBA, I'm often forced to justify my fandom. It's an insidious bit of sexism that seems directed entirely at women's team sports.

As for...

Quote:
There's sex in the WNBA? I must be buying tickets to a different section of the arena.


One of the great unspoken truths about the league is that WNBA games are a great place to pick up women. Shocked


that depends....and i'm not wanting to get into another drawn out argument about my sensitivity.... but it's a conversation killer to some women when you ask them early in the dance...."are you straight".....and at a wnba game it's a question that has to be addressed because there are a large amount of gay women there.....and you can't tell by looking because a huge amount of gay women are drop dead gorgeous.....

i'm a player from way back.... and have no problem expressing myself to women.....but asking a question like that will offend some.....make some laugh.....and give you an answer that you don't want to hear from others..... Confused



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QMcCall3



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
This is not directed at sass, but I hate this question. I like lots of different sports; NFL, college football, baseball, tennis, golf, NASCAR, etc. Women's basketball is the only one that I've ever been asked this question about. If I start talking baseball, it's just understood that it has appeal. If I do the same for the WNBA, I'm often forced to justify my fandom. It's an insidious bit of sexism that seems directed entirely at women's team sports.


I think this would be a good point to research with regard to this question, in terms of framing the warrant for asking it all.

I suppose whether it's fair to ask the question is less important to me than the fact that you're forced to answer it because so many people demean the game and its athletes.

People might just say baseball or NASCAR are boring... but there's a whole lot of other garbage that comes out of people's mouths about women's basketball.

Nevertheless, I agree with both you and Jaye -- I like women's basketball because I love basketball, I like the style of play, and because I do think it's worth supporting because it does represent a challenge to sexist social norms.

I also agree that seeing the increasing physicality of the game has really helped me stick with it.



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MH122



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


swoopesbabe



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:44 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The main reason i love woman sports is"LADIES,LADIES,LADIES" Razz Razz Razz Razz who doesn't love seeing gorgous women in an sports uniform with sweat on there hot bodies Razz Razz Razz

1.love {WNBA}
2.LOVE{WTA} Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil


QMcCall3



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...



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"Basketball is like poetry in motion. Just comin' down the court, you got a defender in your way. You take him to the left. You take him back to the right. And he's fallin' back, and you just "J" right in his face. And then you look at him, and then you say, "What?" - Jesus Shuttlesworth Smile
MH122



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

QMcCall3 wrote:
MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...


summer league is filled with mostly guys going to the d-league that you'll never hear from again. plus it's not televised


Str8_Butta



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 4:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

MH122 wrote:
QMcCall3 wrote:
MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...


summer league is filled with mostly guys going to the d-league that you'll never hear from again. plus it's not televised


If you have NBA TV it is... I watch it almost every day, just got finished watching the Knicks beat the Suns..



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Str8_Butta



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'm a Basketball fan, I Love the NBA/WNBA and College Basketball.



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MH122



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Str8_Butta wrote:
MH122 wrote:
QMcCall3 wrote:
MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...


summer league is filled with mostly guys going to the d-league that you'll never hear from again. plus it's not televised


If you have NBA TV it is... I watch it almost every day, just got finished watching the Knicks beat the Suns..


nah dont have it...wouldnt pay extra for nba tv, nfl network or any of those


QMcCall3



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:06 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Str8_Butta wrote:


If you have NBA TV it is... I watch it almost every day, just got finished watching the Knicks beat the Suns..


Every single game is also on web cast... which means it's actually easier to watch an NBA summer league game than a WNBA regular season game... Confused

But to stay on topic, the WNBA just satisfies my basketball addiction way better than summer league...



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"Basketball is like poetry in motion. Just comin' down the court, you got a defender in your way. You take him to the left. You take him back to the right. And he's fallin' back, and you just "J" right in his face. And then you look at him, and then you say, "What?" - Jesus Shuttlesworth Smile
Sass



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:07 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

What a great bunch of responses so far. That's what I do love about this board, is the sheer number of fans and thus the variety in experiences and perspectives.

Red, I am going to send for that report - thanks for the link.

pilight, I hear where you're coming from. Just so you know, my question wasn't in the spirit of justifying our fanhood, but just asking what is it about this side of the game is more appealing than the men's side. Listening to men's bball fans talk about their teams and women's fans talk about theirs, I hear very different things. Just trying to get a better hold on what those differences are.

So far you all are far more egalitarian about the game than many men's basketball fans are. I still run into so much blatant bias against women's basketball - more than there should be for the late 00's, in my opinion.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Well, when I first started watching women's bball, I have to admit, I was repulsed. It wasn't an instantaneous love affair. This is why I have some sympathy, although fleeting, with people who express disgust with the women's game. That's just how I felt. To me it was slow and awkward, with lots of missed shots played by weird, misshapen, ugly looking women. Sorry to be so brutal, but that's how I felt.

Then for some reason, I watched a little more next year. My eyes must have gotten a little used to seeing really tall women cause they didn't look so bad. Then I noticed they were playing really hard. There was nothing delicate about it. That kind of amazed me. The sheer competitiveness intrigued me. Then I noticed that, at times, they could play really well. Over time, certain players grew on me and I kept coming back.

There is still way too much sloppy play for a professional league, it's a rare game that all four quarters are good, but at least part of that is due to exhaustion and scheduling. There aren't too many sports that the players don't get an off-season. With a sport as intense as bball, that's going have an effect. The first month of the WNBA season is actually what should be happening in training camp, if there was one. IMO, this is the most important thing they need to fix, the product itself, then you can figure out how to market it.

Ultimately, basketball is basketball and I've seen the play improve tremendously from the seven years ago I tuned in accidentally. For example, point guards have gone from being dribble machines that stay in the well defined role of setting up plays and that's it, to players that can set up other players, shoot a jumper, drive the lane, fake and pass out etc. A much more fluid and complicated role. Posts like Brunson are replacing the old posts that were slow, lumbering beasts. We're in another era of change now. Seeing incredible team chemistry combined with the increased athleticism and increased bball IQ is what keeps me excited. Dunking and the like is just the icing, not the cake.

BTW, I don't watch or care about college bball at all.


QMcCall3



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Sass wrote:

Listening to men's bball fans talk about their teams and women's fans talk about theirs, I hear very different things. Just trying to get a better hold on what those differences are.

So far you all are far more egalitarian about the game than many men's basketball fans are. I still run into so much blatant bias against women's basketball - more than there should be for the late 00's, in my opinion.


It's interesting that you frame it as "far more egalitarian"... how so?

Are men's fans expressing biases against the WNBA when you ask them a parallel question about the men's game?



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"Basketball is like poetry in motion. Just comin' down the court, you got a defender in your way. You take him to the left. You take him back to the right. And he's fallin' back, and you just "J" right in his face. And then you look at him, and then you say, "What?" - Jesus Shuttlesworth Smile
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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:19 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

[there are a large amount of gay women there.....and you can't tell by looking because a huge amount of gay women are drop dead gorgeous.....



wow, who knew?



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Sass



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:27 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

QMcCall3 wrote:
Sass wrote:

Listening to men's bball fans talk about their teams and women's fans talk about theirs, I hear very different things. Just trying to get a better hold on what those differences are.

So far you all are far more egalitarian about the game than many men's basketball fans are. I still run into so much blatant bias against women's basketball - more than there should be for the late 00's, in my opinion.


It's interesting that you frame it as "far more egalitarian"... how so?

Are men's fans expressing biases against the WNBA when you ask them a parallel question about the men's game?


I'm seeing here a lot of people saying "basketball is basketball - I just love the game," which I've heard a lot from women's hoops fans over the years. You don't usually find NBA or college men's fans saying that, however.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Str8_Butta wrote:
MH122 wrote:
QMcCall3 wrote:
MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...


summer league is filled with mostly guys going to the d-league that you'll never hear from again. plus it's not televised


If you have NBA TV it is... I watch it almost every day, just got finished watching the Knicks beat the Suns..


Chandler's gonna be a problem.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:36 pm    ::: My Dad Reply Reply with quote

My Dad took me to both men and women's college games when I was younger and I learned early to appreciate both types of play. But the NBA has pretty much lost me as a fan. That whole Seattle Sonics debacle pretty much sealed the deal on how I feel about the NBA: The fans mean nothing to the NBA. It's all ego and money now.

In the WNBA the fans still matter.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Sass wrote:

I'm seeing here a lot of people saying "basketball is basketball - I just love the game," which I've heard a lot from women's hoops fans over the years. You don't usually find NBA or college men's fans saying that, however.


Thanks. And a good point.

An additional thought --

I wonder what the differences are in how men's fans, women's fans, or fans of both describe their favorite teams or players.

For example, most of my favorite NBA players are great shooters/team players. The reason I like the WNBA is because it's less of an individual skills showcase.

It would seem that NBA fans whose favorite players are the big, dunking type would be less likely to enjoy the women's game..

But I've also come across fans of men's college basketball who dislike the NBA as a "corrupt" style of basketball, yet don't appreciate the women's game..

A lot to tease out there perhaps...



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:
Str8_Butta wrote:
MH122 wrote:
QMcCall3 wrote:
MH122 wrote:
Tiffany Jackson=future wrote:


Plus. I need my basketball during the summer when there's no NBA ball.


co-sign


Well there's always summer league... but that basketball is barely watchable unless you want a preview of a top prospect... and even then... Rolling Eyes

You would think that guys fighting for a job would at least try to play good basketball...


summer league is filled with mostly guys going to the d-league that you'll never hear from again. plus it's not televised


If you have NBA TV it is... I watch it almost every day, just got finished watching the Knicks beat the Suns..


Chandler's gonna be a problem.


Yep!



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 5:45 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Having experienced women's basketball boom in Brazil in the early 90's and watching legends Paula and (Hall of Famer) Hortencia Marcari win Pan-Ams and World titles was all I needed to get hooked.
Also, being almost 6 feet tall and not very good at volleyball, I had to do something with my spare time (and height), so I picked up a basketball and learned how to play. Very Happy
The first I heard about the WNBA was when they toured Brazil in 1998 and I was interested at first, but only got into it in 2000 after attending my first ever Liberty game. I've always liked men's basketball, but watching the women play is somehow more fulfilling as a fan and former player.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 6:38 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

BCBG25 wrote:
Having experienced women's basketball boom in Brazil in the early 90's and watching legends Paula and (Hall of Famer) Hortencia Marcari win Pan-Ams and World titles was all I needed to get hooked.
Also, being almost 6 feet tall and not very good at volleyball, I had to do something with my spare time (and height), so I picked up a basketball and learned how to play. Very Happy
The first I heard about the WNBA was when they toured Brazil in 1998 and I was interested at first, but only got into it in 2000 after attending my first ever Liberty game. I've always liked men's basketball, but watching the women play is somehow more fulfilling as a fan and former player.


I'm a former women's bball player in junior college and college albeit in the mode of D-Train...(nose for rebounding but chippie challenged). However, after I beat BCBG25 in a basketball arcade game i was feeling much better about my game... Laughing

Kinda got hooked when started the league started...and the Liberty were doing so well in the late 90s and i began to trash talk on MSNBC board...



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 6:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I've always been a hoop junkie. I grew up listening to Johnny Most on the old Admiral desktop radio. Soon the addiction spread, to college and local HS hoops. Sometime in the late 80s, I pick up the paper just before the western Mass HS tournamnt begin, the Parade AAs have just been named. One of them is this kid I'd been reading about for a while, Travis Best at Central, so I decide I definitely have to get down to the tournament to check out Best. But the article also mentions a girl, a sophomore at the tiny little HS I graduated from, also a parade AA. I recognized her last name, had to be the kid sister of this guy who played at Southwick High a few years before, a 6-10 kid, so she came from a family with size. But Jason certainly wasn't on any AA lists, he wasn't even the best player on that SHS team, so I figured I'd go down to the tournament early to root for the Southwick girls and see why Jason Lobo's kid sister was a Parade AA. Uh, yeah. She in fact did have game. (Needless to say, so did Travis Best.) Anyway, after that tournament I made a point of getting to several Southwick gbb games the next two years. Here was someone that was going to put Southwick and SHS on the map, at my first love basketball, so who cares that she's a girl? It was natural to continue to follow her career after she went off to UConn, and this is where the cycle started to close for me. First I noticed that UConn played the kind of disciplined, fundamentally solid basketball I'd grown imagining in my head to Johnny Most's call, the kind of basktball Red Auerbach taught and that was conspicuously disappearing from the men's game in the era of the Detroit Bad Boys and Being Like Mike. Then I noticed it wasn't just UConn, but all the better wcbb programs played good sound fundamental bball, and my primary loyalty flipped at that point from mbb and the Celts to wbb andthe Huskies (though I admit this NBA season was a bit special, ahem). Along came the ABL, and the Blizzard played about 5 games a year at the Springfield Civic Center, which was about two blocks from where I lived at that time. Now I'm comfortably settled in as primarily a wbb fan, it fulfills my hoop junkie jonesing much better than the thoroughly kobefied NBA game ever can now.


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PostPosted: 07/18/08 6:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My parents went to UCONN and still live in Connecticut. They started watching the Lady Huskies on CPTV during the R. Lobo years. My mom kept on talking about her and the game. I watched the NCAA championship and the Olympic championship games.

The day of the first Liberty home game I was a little depressed, so my husband suggested we go to MSG and to see the game. (Those were still the days when Knicks tickets were hard to come by.) We stood in line for a really long time and got seats way up in the rafters. And I got hooked. (My husband only partially regrets taking me to the game.)

I love women's basketball because it is a team sport. I like the WNBA because it is small enough to know something about most of the players. I watch some NCAA ball and it is fun seeing players I watched when they were in college. And UCONN is my team since I went to a Division III school with an excellent academic reputation.

Although I want the WNBA to do well, I do hope that it doesn't get too big and becomes harder to follow.

So I guess you have figured out that I am a straight woman. I am 49, white, Jewish and childfree.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 7:01 pm    ::: Re: My Dad Reply Reply with quote

MuneravenMN wrote:
My Dad took me to both men and women's college games when I was younger and I learned early to appreciate both types of play. But the NBA has pretty much lost me as a fan. That whole Seattle Sonics debacle pretty much sealed the deal on how I feel about the NBA: The fans mean nothing to the NBA. It's all ego and money now.

In the WNBA the fans still matter
.


lol... ya if you threaten to take a team somewhere else in the W the fans all get together and buy you out!!! Wink



SASS;
I am 38 years old. A former PG, before injury. I have coached AAU as well as High school for many years. I am a fan of the W because I have watched these kids grow up playing ball. I even tape some games and use them as a tool to show my kids what (or what not) to do. As I coach young women, using the W is more effective in teaching lil girls the game. 1 of the many reasons I love the W is because I have seen a kid or two in my time, off playing by themselves and I'll go see if they want to join my team. when they answer no, usually because of something someone else has told them...like they are; too short, not big enough, a girl. To which I usually laugh and tell them to look at me, I'm 5'6" and 130lbs. Then I ask them if "they" want to play? if so I ask them if it would be OK to speak with their parents.... this conversation is actually a lot funnier, but basically I listen to all the reasons why the lil' girl can't play and then and only then do I tell them to watch something.... I grab a basketball and hand it to their kid and tell her to dribble the ball up turn and then chest pass it back to me, Then I look at their parents and say..." Is she Kobe? no! but yes she does have the ability, and I want her on my team. So... Please Mom and Dad (or who ever is there) will you allow her to play?"

Inevitably it's these same parents who come up to me crying at the end of the season and thank me with tears in their eye's - so proud of their kid.

As for the kid, All I gotta do is show them a tape of Shannon Bobbit winning a National Title, or Becky Hammon driving the lane, or my favorite... explain to these young kids how that amazing player they just saw go all out on D, diving for the ball then get up after she passes it off to except the pass under the basket for the score is Tamika Catchings, and she's deaf.
The kid's tend to not make excuses to me after that. hahaha... I love these women! Wink Twisted Evil Wink




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PostPosted: 07/18/08 7:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't really remember but my dad told me I was watchign a knicks game when I was about 4 years old. My dad told me that in a few months you would see girls playing basketball on tv just like the Knicks and I guess that was all I needed to hear.


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PostPosted: 07/18/08 8:15 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

24duzitall wrote:
[there are a large amount of gay women there.....and you can't tell by looking because a huge amount of gay women are drop dead gorgeous.....



wow, who knew?


i was simply making a statement....i wasn't trying to enlightenment you.... i should have left a space and labeled it smart ass comment here>>> cause i knew it was coming.....

one huge difference between the nba and the wnba is the fans....no offense....but some of you ladies are kinda catty....and tend to look for issues.....look inbetween the lines for things when the writer really didn't intend for anything to be there....

whereas when the men argue it's usually along the lines of who's better than who.....



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 8:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I just love the game of basketball. I can't stand to watch the NBA but absolutely love the college game and started to really follow that after Tenn. went back to back in the 90's (yes, Sass I was once a Tenn. fan). I needed something to fill the void in the Summer and found the WNBA, which I follow more than college ball sometimes.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 8:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I wasn't really into sports as a kid. I mean, I watched playoffs and shit- my earliest sports memories are of an interrupted Knicks game in 1994 and the Yankees-Mariners series on NBC at some point.

My mom, on the other hand... Rangers season tickets, tailgating at Giants Stadium, three generations of pinstripes- sports runs in her blood. And when she heard about the WNBA, it was something she wanted to support, both as a sport and as a cause. I was a hard sell. (Stop laughing.) She made me watch the first game in 1997. She brought me to the first game at the Garden. And the magic happened.

Maybe it was the fact that they won. Maybe it was Timmsy. Maybe it was the teamwork. Maybe it was the brunette Rebecca-never-Becky whose jersey I received as a gift ten years ago. But by 1999 I was following things enough to suggest matchups (I suggested two games to her, the Utah game where Venus Lacy bitchslapped Debbie Black [because I was sure Utah was going to get its act together with the talent they had picked up], and the Houston game where Coquese Washington came up big [because, hello, Houston]), and by 2000 we had season tickets.

And then I found a family of sorts. The Garden is my summer home; the Usual Suspects who hang around it are the cousins and distant relatives I never had. The WNBA, and then college ball (yeah, I went in reverse from the usual, discovering the college game because OMG I neeeeeeeeeeded a fix in the winter), brought me into new communities. It got me one of my best friends, and good friends all over the country and the world. It got me a boyfriend, because I'm one of those women who got picked up at a Liberty game.

Though I've only been on the court for fan events, and the jersey I wear has someone else's name on it, I consider myself a Libkid as much as the thirteen on the roster, because I've grown up with this team, and this league. And someday, whether it's a daughter of my own blood or a neighbor kid, I hope to raise a Libkid of my own and tell her the stories from the beginning.

Demo data: middle-class white female, college educated, New York born and raised, and, as it were, draft class of 2006.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 9:04 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My first game was Charlotte vs. NY in '97, about ten games into the season. I had a grad class and got to the game late. I've never been late to a game since. First thing I saw was Spoon taking the ball and going all the way with it. I was hooked right away. The thing that separates women's ball from men's ball in my opinion is the execution required to succeed. Yes, execution is required in any type of basketball, but the women need it even more because they are less likely to be able to create their own shots without the benefit of lots of teamwork. That's why I like it so much. Every possession is a chess match in women's basketball, especially the WNBA. The talent is more evenly dispersed than in college, and usually teams can put 4 or 5 players on the court capable of doing at least some scoring. It leads to a wide variety of decision making based on matchups and how to exploit them to your advantage.

Besides the cerebral part of it, there's also the connection. Especially with the Lib since their history has been primarily about teamwork and hard work. The Lib normally field high-character teams. They're really easy to like. Willis has even grown on me as a result of what has evidently been work that she has put into it. It sounds a little sappy the way I put it I guess, but it really is a special thing. The way the players sacrifice for each other. The way that the bench players regularly cheer on the starters at their actual positions. This connection is just missing from other sports. Hockey is my second favorite sport, and compared to the WNBA, it's a distant second. I was so crushed when the Lib lost to Detroit in the playoffs last year that I couldn't move off my couch for about 30 minutes. Not even so much that they lost....but that it meant there wouldn't be any more games for a year. It's so much more than just a game...at least to me.

Oh...and...ear infection this week. Bad enough to barely make it out of bed Wednesday. But definitely nowhere near severe enough for me to even consider missing the game last night.


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PostPosted: 07/18/08 9:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

OK, there's identification, attachment, the love of team play. Great answers and great stories so far, y'all.

QMcCall3, there is a lot to tease out, isn't there.

Thanks to those who gave me their demographics. I will probably PM those of you who didn't and get that info from you in confidence.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 9:50 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

der alte wrote:
eclair wrote:
There's sex in the WNBA? I must be buying tickets to a different section of the arena. Smile


Gee thanks! But when you're my age, when we say "sex" it's not exactly the same as when you say "sex." Come to my section of the arena, and you'll understand most completely.


...just wondering how old you and I are? Do you think I'm young or old?

I'm with whoever said that basketball is basketball, and it's all wonderful. (Except for the bringing together part--this place seems mostly like a tool for fomenting division lately.)

And Sassy, I know plenty of men's bball fans whose prejudices don't get in the way of their love for basketball. They're mostly men under 25 who have grown up with women athletes, and men over 40 who have daughters who play.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 9:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My grandparents and father watch "the girls" (uconn) and I sat down and watched a game when I was 12...and I've been a fan ever since. (My first team I wated was the 2002 undefeated Uconn team) My favorite player at the time was Sue Bird, and so I followed her to the WNBA.

I watched women before I watched men, so I actually prefer "their game"



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 10:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

i used to play at junior college waaay back when. i wasn't a very good dribbler, but i could play the defense, i was one of those ankle-biter types. Smile

i went to one storm game in 2001, storm vs. sparks. omg, it was so bad, the sparks cleaned the floor with the storm led by a tall, lanky, brunette kid from australia. it was the only game i went to that year.

when sue bird was drafted in '02, i knew the name and her reputation, so i started going. i was amazed by what that young woman could do with a basketball! then to watch her and lj team up; it was phenomenal.

but, i must say, the one game that stood out for me that first year, was once again a sparks game. i bet sass and eclair can remember the situation. it was the mix-up between marciniak and byears. Smile

mm on the floor after getting stomped on by tot jumps up and just gets in her face and had to be restrained by her teammates. well, i was hooked from that moment on. the balls out intensity and guts of that wee girl from ut was addictive. here were women who just played with all their heart and soul. they truly were athletes. they were getting banged up, sweating profusely and they didn't care. they were doing what they loved. who could possibly resist that?

and, of course, over the years, i've had the pleasure of watching lj and sue grow and development their games. there have been plenty of ups and downs, but that's just part of the game.

last year my vacation was built around the storm's eastern swing. i saw some terrific basketball as well as meeting and hanging out with a number of the new york contingency. its been said before, but the community of women's bb is a welcoming place. we all share a common bond that allows us to have a safe place to start with each other; it makes a real difference and allows us to discover and open up to people who share our interests, no matter where we all live.

to sum up, i just enjoy all aspects of the women's game: the commraderie, the physicality, and the chess game that is basketball.

sorry, sass, didn't mean to be so long-winded.



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PostPosted: 07/18/08 10:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

scullyfu wrote:

but, i must say, the one game that stood out for me that first year, was once again a sparks game. i bet sass and eclair can remember the situation. it was the mix-up between marciniak and byears. Smile

mm on the floor after getting stomped on by tot jumps up and just gets in her face and had to be restrained by her teammates. well, i was hooked from that moment on. the balls out intensity and guts of that wee girl from ut was addictive. here were women who just played with all their heart and soul. they truly were athletes. they were getting banged up, sweating profusely and they didn't care. they were doing what they loved. who could possibly resist that?

...
its been said before, but the community of women's bb is a welcoming place. we all share a common bond that allows us to have a safe place to start with each other; it makes a real difference and allows us to discover and open up to people who share our interests, no matter where we all live.



Scully,

I remeber that.. When TOT threw the ball in MMM's face I had to be restrained Evil or Very Mad I havn't liked her since!!!!

The wbb community is a safe and welcoming place, I love it! thanks for the memories...


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