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.