There are worse ways to promote women’s athletics

There’s been some discussion and consternation on the radio shows today about the U.S. women’s hockey team taking on the Warroad High School boys team last night — and losing. Some callers thought it was great for the game, others thought it was an embarrassment and a no-win situation for both teams.

Frankly, I would have paid to watch the game if it had been in the Twin Cities. I’ve watched women’s hockey on several occasions – including going out with some friends a few years ago specifically to watch a little 8th grade girl named Natalie Darwitz play – and I’ve wondered how an elite team such as the Gophers or the Olympic team would fare against different levels of men’s teams. It sounds like it was a good, close game (2-1 final), and my guess is that in a five or seven game series the Olympic team could prevail.

I suppose it was a bit of a promotional stunt, but at least it was done as a legitimate competition, and it was a case of women athletes calling attention to their sport by actually playing the game and not by taking their clothes off like so many teams and athletes around the world are doing now — even curlers (not the hair-variety)!

Yes, the less inhibited say they’re doing it to raise money for their chronically underfunded sports or to show off the beauty of a classic form. I suppose it’s a few degrees better if they’re exploiting themselves instead of leaving it to others, and you could say it’s just savvy capitalism (kind of an “all the market will bare” approach) and simply another way to “go for the gold.” Whatever.

I say if the women’s hockey team wants to play the boys, let ‘em. Just so long as they keep their breezers on.

3 thoughts on “There are worse ways to promote women’s athletics

  1. No offense but I just can’t watch women’s hockey. Mostly because in almost every league there is no checking, no rough contact. Basically all the things that seperates hockey from…..say, the icecapades.

    I didn’t see this game. I’m assuming they let them check when they play the boys?

  2. How sad, and yet glorious in that it’s one other blow to the feminist ideology. I, for one, don’t think I could have stood (or sat) to watch that.

  3. Kevin, I agree that women’s hockey can be unwatchable, especially at the lower amateur levels. It has gotten better, though, the more they play. At the high school level it’s gone from a good team having one good line and a goalie who could move to teams like South St. Paul high school that are good skaters throughout (thanks to the girls starting young in the feeder system now). Yeah, I miss the explosive checking when I watch (no checking allowed in the Warroad game) but the overall play is fast.

    I would have liked to see the women/boys game in person to see how closely the skills compared, and to see if the ladies had an answer for a guy planting himself in front of the net. There’s supposedly at least one more Olympic team vs. high school boys matchup scheduled and I hope it’s somewhere I can see it.

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