Bless Her Heart, She Must Be The Sickest Kid …

March 30

I got on the elliptical at the gym last night and was glad to see Stanford and Xavier on the flat-screen directly above me. The Sacramento Regional Final, winner to the Final Four, a little bonus Monday night March Madness. And then, I swear to you, I waited five minutes before anyone scored a basket.

Me sweating on an aerobic machine was easier on the eyes than last night’s game, and these are supposed to be two of the best teams in the land. Defense is one thing, but both teams s-t-r-uggled to get to 50 points. Then, it got even worse.

With a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, Xavier found Dee Dee Jernigan wide open for a layup. No good. They found her again. No good.

To paraphrase Vern Lundquist’s call of Jackie Smith’s dropped pass in the end zone during Super Bowl XIII, “bless her heart, she must be the sickest woman in America.”

Either Stanford’s defense dodged a bullet after failing to cover Jernigan TWICE, or they had Xavier right where they wanted them. Xavier’s defense went one better moments later — failing to stop the ball as Jeannette Pohlen went almost coast-to-coast for a buzzer-beating layup.

Great job by Pohlen. Thrilling ending. Painful to watch on a couple of levels. Especially for poor Dee Dee Jernigan. It might take all summer to console her.

Look, I am not on any crusade here. Women should play basketball, and there is something intrinsically good about any kind of competition. But I still have to be the kid who shouts that the Emperor has no clothes: that was bad basketball.

Apparently the public agreed. The upper level of ARCO Arena was covered. The lower bowl was not filled.

I’ll say it for the umpteenth time. I’m not opposed to Title IX, I’m not opposed to women’s sports, and I’m not anti-Stanford. If my daughter could play hoops I would be happy for her to play collegiately.

It’s just not a great product. Period. No matter how many games ESPN or other networks will air as filler. Last night was a perfect example.

Stanford is second in the land, but I saw no evidence they’ll be able to touch Connecticut, especially if Jayne Appel gets into foul trouble. Until proven otherwise, UConn is the gold standard. The winning streak should be 78 when this season is done.

Yet even watching the Huskies is like watching the men play in slow motion, and women have made great strides over the past couple of decades. I hope they continue to do so. That doesn’t mean I’ll be a regular viewer.

I will watch Stanford in the Final Four because after all, I skew local. It won’t be easy, but it’s part of the job. Please don’t hate me, I’m not a hater. Just an honest sports fan.

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One Response to “Bless Her Heart, She Must Be The Sickest Kid …”

  1. Playboy Magazine Says:

    I won’t watch because it’s Stanford. Stanford is the biggest collection of smug pricks on the planet. Sorry Hammer… it’s true.

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