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Women's Basketball Gets Literal with March Madness

Women's Basketball Gets Literal with March Madness

They call it March Madness for a reason, but this probably isn’t the one they usually allude to. In the green corner meet Baylor basketball player, Brittney Griner. In the red corner meet Texas Tech player, Jordan Barncastle. Throws, blows and broken noses ensue. Welcome to full contact, end of the season basketball.

They call it March Madness for a reason, but this probably isn’t the one they usually allude to. In the green corner meet Baylor basketball player, Brittney Griner. In the red corner meet Texas Tech player, Jordan Barncastle. Throws, blows and broken noses ensue. Welcome to full contact, end of the season basketball.

Now that I have your attention let’s talk about the incident. Barncastle hooked Griner and slung her off. Griner came back with a punch to the face. What do I see? Just another example of a women’s contact sport getting attention because of rough behavior--cue the Elizabeth Lambert soccer hair pull. My question to you is this:

Is bad press better than no press at all?

My answer is yes. This will get more people tuning in to women’s hoops. Sponsors will see that as profitable and there will be a snowball effect for the good players as well as the bad. Don’t think me insensitive…like Elizabeth Lambert, I think that penalties should apply, but what should also apply is that Griner and Barncastle are athletes and follow those rules--not women following different ones.

I believe the NCAA rule here is throw a punch, get suspended a game. Candace Parker threw a punch way back when and she’s one of the most recognizable figures in the sport. Griner, recently spotlighted as a double dunker, is poised to do the same—it’s up to her to decide if she wants to play the villain or the hero.

Some are calling this a black eye for Baylor women’s basketball, but aren’t you going to tune in to see Baylor play? Sure. Everyone slows down to see the car wreck; it’s human nature. Many times I’ve heard the analogy that athletes are our modern gladiators. Maybe the women are finally getting their chance to fight it out in the ring. So be it…I’ll watch.

 

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Helen Wortham