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Sports for Girls: Michelle Wie, Candace Parker

Sports for Girls: Michelle Wie, Candace Parker

There's nothing like a couch bound lesbian weighing in on sports. This week it's all about football play-offs, Oscar De La Hoya's latest bout, the LPGA's Michelle Wie and those hot female dunkers like Candace Parker.

You know I have to say it! The Cardiac Cards are going to host their first playoff game in 41 years. Be still my heart! But, enough about the Cardinals let’s take a quick look at the playoff picture.

We are coming up on Week 15, and with only two more regular season weeks to go, the playoff picture is coming together. Arizona, Tennessee, and the New York Giants have clinched a playoff berth by demolishing their divisions. With the top three AFC East teams tied at 8-5, every upcoming game is a win or die. The Steelers and Broncos look to make the playoffs for the AFC, as well as the Panthers and Vikings for the NFC. With so many tight races to the end, the wild-card menagerie is yet to be decided.

Speaking of demolishing your opponent, old man De La Hoya has seen better days. I have always stood behind handsome La Hoya. It’s almost un-American to turn your back on such a legend. It would be like never playing Nintendo’s Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, punching those little red buttons until your thumbs went numb. I think the reason why my generation is addicted to text messaging and is so proficient at it is because our thumbs were trained for this day. (It was impossible to succeed at Contra without testing the speed of your thumbs by punching in the secret code.) It would be like never watching a Rocky movie, or not knowing where the statement “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” came from.

But, I digress. Thirty-five year old Oscar De La Hoya graced the ring with 29-year-old Manny Pacquiao. It was “David versus Goliath,” Pacquiao told the press. In this tale, however, David humiliated and destroyed Goliath and his golden career with a barrage of fists that could not be defended. “You’re right…I don’t have it anymore,” the Golden Boy told Pacquiao’s trainer after the massacre, which abruptly ended in the eighth round.

I feel bad for the Golden Boy. He’s definitely not a boy anymore, and should have taken his leave from the ring many years ago. But money speaks volumes, and as long as La Hoya is respected in the ring, which may be no longer, and draws a crowd, which is probably dwindling, he will promote his sport. Plus, no athlete goes out on the top of his game, as they all should. They stick around until they can’t walk, can’t throw a football, or make a basket, or take a punch. They always wear out their welcome and we are left with the distant memory of a legend turned loser. It’s depressing, so let me jump down from my soap box.

Speaking of legendary money makers, Michelle Wie earned her LPGA Players Card this week, assuring her a full-status spot on the 2009 Tour. While never becoming a solid staple on the LPGA Tour, Wie has won the admiration of sponsors such as Nike, Omega and Sony, and has the nearly limitless freedom of coming and going as she pleases. For seven years she has come and gone, not a card-carrying, dues-paying member, but not quite an outsider.

She brings in the money, which in the end is all that matters. Like Happy Gilmore Wie brings in more than just golf fans. She brings in curiosity. She’s young, beautiful, and unpredictable. Though she may never punch Bob Barker in the face -- her bodyguards might -- or mutter to a golf ball “are you too good for your home,” or win the respect of Annika Sorenstam, she continues to draw large crowds.

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Speaking of drawing a crowd, and money, and demolishing opponents, King James of the Cleveland Cavaliers schooled the Toronto Raptors with a 114-94 victory. James kept the crowd on their feet with dunk after dunk after dunk. Unfortunately, there were no shattered backboards or broken hoops, but the flight path of the King always makes jaws drop, much like the fluidity of Jordan’s airborne escapades, or the beauty of any female dunker. Yes, I said female dunker. These girls got big-time game. In a world where men rule the Air Up There, the ladies have made their mark many times.

Meet Britney Griner, is a 16-year-old with some serious hops. This high school junior is 6’8, and dunks like an NBA star.

But she’s not the only one. Sylvia Crawley won a women’s dunk competition driving to the hoop completely blindfolded in 2000, Candace Parker won the McDonald’s All-American slam dunk competition in ’04, and in ‘06 Michelle Snow showed the boys how to take it to the hoop in a WNBA game. Talk about legendary moments!
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