by Brian A. Wilkins
April 5, 2023 (updated April 6, 2023 – 9:25 a.m.Pacific)
This article is prefaced with the fact that I was absolutely heartbroken after watching the Iowa Hawkeyes lose in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Game on Sunday. As most of you know, I was a sports reporter for many years, and was born and raised in the great state of Iowa. I will always find excuses to write about sports on The COVID Blog®. But this story is very important, beyond the basketball court.
Ms. Caitlin Clark, Ms. Monika Czinano, and the Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s Basketball team of 2022-23 gave our entire state something to rally around for the first time in a LONG time. There are no major professional sports franchises in Iowa. So all we have is our college teams (though a lot of Iowans are Chicago Bears [NFL], Chicago Cubs [MLB] and Minnesota Vikings [NFL] fans).
The Iowa State University (ISU) Cyclones football teams have been terrible for decades, with a few decent seasons sprinkled in here and there. ISU men’s basketball is occasionally good for an exciting run in the NCAA Tournament. Their Elite Eight run in 1999-2000, led by Head Coach Larry Eustachy and the trio of Marcus Fizer (yes, that’s his real name), point guard Jamaal Tinsley, and sharp-shooter Michael Nurse, had the state buzzing for an entire season. The Cyclones got robbed by the way in that Elite Eight game.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are a national brand. Die-hard Hawkeye fans are somewhat annoying because of their superiority complexes over Iowa State and its fans. Bar fights are common when Iowa and Iowa State square off in their annual football game. For the record, I am an Iowa State fan when they are playing against the Hawkeyes. But when the opponent is anyone else, I am equally a fan of the Cyclones and Hawkeyes, which is abnormal in Iowa. Our state is too small for the kind of hatred that exists between Iowa and Iowa State fans. But I digress.
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The Hawkeyes are, if nothing else, consistent on the football field. There have been only two head coaches of the program (Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz) since 1979. The 1985 Rose Bowl, the 2002 Orange Bowl, and the 2009 Orange Bowl are the biggest games the Hawkeyes have played in since I was born. They are 1-2 in those games. Iowa started the 2015 season 12-0, only to lose in the Big Ten Championship Game and then got crushed by Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Iowa Men’s Basketball has had slightly more success than the ISU men. The Hawkeyes advanced to the Final Four under Head Coach Lute Olson in the 1979-80 NCAA season. They lost to Louisville 80-72. The Hawkeyes have made a lot of NCAA Tournament appearances since that time. But since 1993, Iowa has made it to the Sweet 16 (Regional Semifinals) only once.
Drake University (Des Moines) and the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) have also provided Iowans episodic excitement during March Madness. Iowa and Iowa State, along with Oklahoma State, essentially own NCAA wrestling. There was a stretch from 1968 to 1988 that Iowa or Iowa State was either the National Champion or runner-up, except for one season.
Iowa won nine NCAA team wrestling titles from 1990 to 2000, with Iowa State as runner-up in two of those seasons. Penn State is the new kid on the block for NCAA wrestling, with head coach and former Iowa State Cyclone All-American wrestler Cael Sanderson leading them. Other than wrestling, there’s always been one other sports constant in the state of Iowa in my lifetime – women’s basketball.
Origins of NCAA Women’s sports
The very first official NCAA Women’s Basketball game was played in 1896 between Stanford and Cal-Berkeley. At the time, administrators wanted to provide women the opportunity to play sports, while also maintaining their femininity and integrity. Men were not allowed to watch these early games due to some observers believing that the women were too scantily-clad.
The U.S. Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) began women’s basketball championships in 1929. The first major international women’s basketball competition started in 1953, with the Basketball World Championships for women. The U.S. women beat Chile, 49-36, in the inaugural championship game. That team featured two players from Iowa Wesleyan College – Ms. Betty Clark and Ms. Janet Thompson.
The Education Amendments of 1972 were signed into law by President Richard Nixon. Title IX (Title 9) of said legislation is what created women’s NCAA sports. The law is only 37 words long. But it changed college sports forever:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
The International Olympic Committee added women’s basketball as a sport in 1976. The Soviet Union beat the U.S. Women, 112-77, and won the gold medal at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal.
Women’s basketball wasn’t near as popular in the U.S. as it was abroad at the time. The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) organized women’s college basketball and other amateur competitions for women throughout the 1970s. It was essentially a “separate but equal” type arrangement for women’s sports. It took ten years after Title IX for the NCAA to create a women’s basketball tournament (1981-82).
There were mixed feelings about incorporating women’s sports into the NCAA. The AIAW sued the NCAA, essentially arguing that the NCAA used its power to destroy the AIAW and usurp women’s sports altogether. Dr. Christine Grant, a University of Iowa alum, was President of the AIAW during this time – 1979 to 1982.
I wrote about this same topic in 2009, as it related to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and how integration destroyed said schools’ sports programs and the nuclear Black family structure. Despite the Civil Rights Act being passed in 1964, most historically White universities did not start recruiting Black male athletes until the late 1970s and early 1980s.
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The AIAW lost in court; and the first NCAA Women’s basketball Tournament was played in 1981-82. The 32-team tournament was won by Louisiana Tech on March 28, 1982 in Norfolk, Virginia. They beat Cheyney State, coached by C. Vivian Stringer, 76-62. More on her in a second.
The title game was broadcast on CBS, and garnered a 7.3 rating. For comparison sake, television drama Dallas was the top-rated show that week, with a 28 rating.
The NFC (NFL) Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on January 10, 1982 was the highest-rated show of the year (41 rating).
Rutgers University won the final AIAW Championship that year, 83-77, over Texas. The 7.3 rating for the women’s NCAA championship game would be the highest for the next 10 years. In other words, popularity of the women’s NCAA basketball tournament steadily declined over the first decade of its existence. It took a few powerhouse teams and pretty faces to change all that in the 1990s. But women’s college basketball has always been popular in Iowa.
C. Vivian Stringer, UConn and Women’s basketball explodes in popularity in 1990s
Again, Iowa has no major professional sports team. So we cling to our college sports. Women’s basketball is no exception. Bill Fennelly has been the Iowa State Women’s Basketball coach since 1995. They’ve made it to the NCAA tournament in all but six of his 28 seasons in Ames (where ISU is located).
By 2012, Iowa State boasted the third-highest attendance for women’s college basketball, averaging north of 10,000 fans per game. There were only 300 fans at Coach Fennelly’s first game at Hilton Coliseum in 1995. The ISU women have made it to the Sweet 16 several times under Fennelly. But that’s the extent of the success therein. The Iowa Hawkeyes have an even more storied history for women’s basketball.
C. Vivian Stringer as Iowa women’s head coach
The aforementioned Coach Stringer left Cheyney State in 1983 and became the Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s Basketball head coach. She epitomized everything Iowa – a hard worker, family woman, etc. Coach Stringer has always given her late husband Bill, who died of a heart attack in 1992 at age 47, a lot of credit for her success.
He put off his own career in exercise physiology so Mrs. Stringer could pursue her coaching career while he took care of the kids and household. The Stringers chose Iowa because their daughter Janine has spinal meningitis; and the University of Iowa Hospital took care of Janine while Mrs. Stringer coached.
Most women’s basketball coaching jobs paid zero to little money prior to 1980. Men rarely (if ever) took women’s basketball coaching jobs prior to 1980 because said jobs didn’t pay. Only dedicated women who loved basketball took those jobs. Stringer coached at Cheyney State throughout the 1970s, and got paid nothing. She was a volunteer coach.
Stringer was offered a good salary at Iowa. She was the eighth-highest paid women’s basketball coach in the country in 2022 at Rutgers University before she retired after that season.
Coach Stringer compiled a 269-84 record in 12 seasons at Iowa (1983 to 1995). She took the Hawkeyes to the Elite Eight twice, and to the Final Four in the 1992-93 season. The Iowa women’s basketball team was perhaps the second-most popular sports team in the state after Hawkeyes football during those years. They were really that good and intriguing, thanks to Coach Stringer.
But NCAA women’s basketball still lagged, until UConn
Despite some exciting games in NCAA women’s basketball, the sport in general simply did not move the collective meter in the early 1990s. It was a niche sport, and nothing more…that is until 1994. University of Connecticut (“UConn”) Huskies women’s basketball was horrible when Head Coach Geno Auriemma arrived in 1985. His teams steadily got better over the next five years.
Both UConn and women’s basketball changed forever when the Huskies landed 6’4 center Rebecca Lobo in 1991. She chose UConn out of more than 100 schools that recruited her. UConn made it to its first Elite Eight in school history in the 1993-94 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. They got beat by eventual champion North Carolina, 81-69, on March 23, 1994 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The 1994 Championship Game between North Carolina and Louisiana Tech was also a major event that grew women’s basketball popularity. It was the longest 00.7 seconds I’ve ever seen (the clock started way late). But after North Carolina forward Charlotte Smith drained that game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer – her first made 3-pointer of the season – sports fan started viewing women’s basketball as legit, as exciting, as fun.
The greatest moment in that game besides the shot was North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell forgetting for a few seconds that she was the adult head coach on the sideline. That scene of Coach Hatchell, who was 42 years old at the time, celebrating like a teenager (then quickly trying to compose herself) will always be one of my favorite moments in sports history.
And on the other side, you see Louisiana Tech Head Coach Leon Barmore and the utter, crushing disappointment. That is what sports is all about – captured in less than 30 seconds. It all starts at about the 1:23 mark in the video below.
The allegations that forced Coach Hatchell to resign as North Carolina head coach in 2019 were disappointing. But I’ve always given her the benefit of the doubt.
Let’s be honest – attractive women attract audiences
Personally I was interested to see this UConn team and that attractive, “6’4 Rebecca chick” play again in 1994-95. UConn added freshman forward Nykesha Sales to that squad, along with Lobo and point guard Jen Rizzotti. That team went wire-to-wire undefeated (35-0) in the 1994-95 season, and won the school’s first of many championships.
The UConn women destroyed every team they played that season. They beat Morgan State 107-27. UConn went to seven Final Fours and won five championships from 1994 to 2004. They won six more championships from 2008 to 2016 (and went to the Final Four in the other two years). Sue Bird (another attractive, extremely talented player), Diana Taurasi, Swin Cash, Maya Moore…that school churned out stars like a Japanese ninja. They were must-watch TV.
Only the University of Tennessee, and legendary Head Coach Pat Summit, were in the same stratosphere as UConn from 1992 to 2012.
Either UConn or Tennessee won the Women’s NCAA Basketball championship 19 of 30 times from 1986 to 2016. Tennessee and Summit won eight championships. Auriemma and UConn won 11 titles.
Stanford and Head Coach Tara VanDerveer have three championships (two during the aforementioned stretch). Louisiana State University (LSU) Head Coach Kim Mulkey has four titles as a coach (2005, 2012 and 2019 at Baylor, and now 2023 LSU), plus one title as a player at Louisiana Tech in the inaugural women’s NCAA basketball tournament in 1982.
Thus 23 of 30 titles in that 30-year span were won by four teams and four coaches. Yes, NCAA Women’s Basketball is top-heavy (no pun intended).
The past six years of NCAA Women’s Basketball has been dominated by the University of South Carolina and Head Coach Dawn Staley. You know you’re getting old when today’s coaches were players that you watched back in the day.
Mulkey and Staley have won four of the last six women’s titles. VanDerveer won her third title in 2021. One of the greatest names in coaching history, Muffet McGraw at Notre Dame, won the 2018 championship. Notre Dame and McGraw also won the 2001 NCAA Women’s Championship.
The 2022-23 Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s Basketball team beat undefeated South Carolina 77-73 in the Final Four to advance to the Championship game. Caitlin Clark scored a Final Four record 41 points in the game.
LSU’s Angel Reese, the most dominant inside player in the country, averaged a very impressive 23 points and 15 rebounds in the 2022-23 regular season. She led her team to a 79-72 comeback win over Virginia Tech in the Final Four. Reese had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the game, and became the first player in history with 100 points, 70 rebounds, 10 blocks and 10 steals in a single NCAA tournament. That brings us to Sunday’s showdown.
Greatest basketball game I’ve seen in years
The ladies were talking trash. The refs let them play. It was physical and borderline dirty basketball. Magnificent coaching, stellar play on the court…all of the foregoing is exactly what basketball is all about; and I miss this kind of ball so much.
LSU’s Jasmine Carson had one of the most incredible shooting displays in the first half that I’ve seen in a long time. She scored 21 points in the first half off the bench, on 7-on-7 shooting, including 5-of-5 from the 3-point line.
She was straight up on fire, and it was lovely basketball to watch.
For perspective, Carson scored 11 total points in the tournament up to that point, and hadn’t scored at all in LSU’s previous three games. LSU needed every point from Carson, as both teams got in foul trouble early. Frankly nothing else really mattered after Carson’s first half. The lead was too big and there was no way Iowa could have ever prepared for that onslaught. Ms. Carson was the MVP hands down.
The refs were balanced most of the time, despite all the chatter otherwise. That ticky-tack, modern NBA-like technical foul they called on Caitlin was B.S. They didn’t call a technical on Coach Mulkey when she actually shoved a referee. But the refs let the kids play, and didn’t call fouls on some pretty brutal elbows on both ends. It was old school, physical street ball throughout the game – fun stuff to watch. This game reminded me of the NBA from its inception through the 1990s.
LSU set the physical tone, and caught Iowa off-guard (i.e. punched them in the mouth). The Hawkeyes were down 59-42 at the half. They cut the lead to 65-57 at one point in the second half. Iowa center Monika Czinano answered the physical tone set by LSU. There was a lot of reciprocal roughhousing in the low post by both Reese and Czinano. It really hurt Iowa when Czinano, the team’s second-leading scorer on the season, fouled out. She was the heart of the team, especially in that game.
Caitlin did everything possible to will her team to victory. But her 30 points and 8 assists were not enough to overcome a dominant performance by LSU. Reese finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while LSU Alexis Morris had 21 and 9 assists.
The loss was very dejecting personally. Caitlin had been my escape from reality since late 2022. I watched several Iowa women’s games since late 2022, more basketball than I’ve watched in years. Caitlin led the Women’s NCAA this season in assists and 3-pointers made, and was second in the nation in scoring. She won the 2023 Wooden Award, which is given to the most outstanding college basketball player of the season. It was well deserved.
An Iowa victory in that game would have been the coolest sports moment of my life in many, many years. But ultimately LSU shot lights out in the first half, got out to a big lead, then got back to their bread-and-butter of physicality and dominating the glass.
Hats off to Coach Kim Mulkey, Ms. Carson, Ms. Reese, and the entire LSU squad. But it should be no surprise that U.S. tribal politics ruined the entire game and the aftermath.
They turned this into White Girls vs. the Black Girls tribal politics on social media
It’s just sad and embarrassing sometimes being an American. Yes, this country was founded on racism. If you were Black from 1500 to 1900, you were a slave or sharecropper 95% of the time. Jim Crow laws extended much of Antebellum law through the 1960s.
Native Americans were pushed off the land they inhabited for centuries, onto European-designated “reservations.” White Americans could do whatever they wanted, from traveling to the west for gold and silver, to owning other human beings. They could build generational wealth from the beginning (of course all of the foregoing is now called “critical race theory”). Race and racism are deeply ingrained in American culture, and always will be. But for heaven’s sake. Americans reached a new low this week for 21st century petulance, and that’s saying something.
It all started after Caitlin and the Hawkeyes beat undefeated South Carolina in the Final Four. It was a great win for Iowa, as South Carolina is the new UConn under Coach Staley. But only two of South Carolina’s 14 players are White. And that fuels hate in the simpleton class.
Staley commented on what she was reading and hearing about her team after the Iowa/South Carolina game.
Most of the simpletons commenting on Twitter, Facebook, etc. have never watched a women’s basketball game, or probably a sporting event at all in their lives. But the 4chan/right wing crowd decided to embrace Caitlin, Iowa and the nearly all-White Hawkeyes versus the Black “we’re better than you at sports because we’re Black” crowd. Again, it’s sad being an American sometimes.
I followed the chatter on Twitter for a few minutes during the game, before the nausea kicked in. While the MAGA loons led the way for the White side, it was radical liberal racist Keith Olbermann who set Twitter on fire with his garbage take. He criticized Ms. Reese for taunting Caitlin at the end of the game.
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The “white side” ran with this, calling Ms. Reese “classless” and every racist name you can imagine.
But when Caitlin did the exact same hand gesture to a Louisville player in the Elite Eight, she was complimented for her grit and toughness.
Iowans love Caitlin not just for her play. She’s also one of the best trash talkers in the country, and backs it up. It makes her that much more fun to watch. In that same game against Louisville, you can read Caitlin’s lips, telling an opposing player “you’re down by 15 points. Shut up.”
Trash talking is part of the game. But there was a clear double-standard herein.
Finally, ABC tried to ruin the broadcast by continually panning to that Biden woman, Jill. Jim Crow Joe’s wife insisted that both LSU and Iowa get invited to the White House to commemorate the event. Note that champions in nearly all U.S. sports are invited to the White House for photo ops and what not. This would have been an unprecedented, participation trophy, White House invite extended to the runner-up in any major sport.
Ms. Reese made her feelings known about the idea.
Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder also (diplomatically) pointed out the stupidity of the idea.
And now it’s being reported that LSU was so insulted by what Biden said, that they are refusing to visit the White House altogether.
At the end of the day, when you filter out all of the American tribal politics (and always mute the television when watching sports to avoid hearing the announcers and commercials), this was an event for the ages. Angel Reese said after the game that Caitlin Clark is “a hell of a player, for sure.” Caitlin not only disagreed with the absurd idea of inviting Iowa to the White House as runners-up, but also had nothing but good things to say about fellow trash-talker and competitor Angel Reese.
ESPN tried goading her into saying something stupid. But Caitlin knows how to handle the media.
The Iowa/LSU match was the highest-rated women’s NCAA Championship Game in history, and it wasn’t even close. On the flip side, the 2022-23 NCAA Men’s Championship between UConn and San Diego State on Monday drew historically low ratings.
Race plays a factor in pretty much everything in the U.S. It particularly, and sadly, drives sports.
U.S. track-and-field star Jesse Owens tore through the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, winning four gold medals. The U.S. won 12 total men’s track and field gold medals, angering Adolf Hitler and his “Aryan racial superiority” beliefs.
Speaking of Adolf, the all-Black Texas Western University men’s basketball team (and coach Don Haskins) beat the all-White University of Kentucky in the NCAA Championship, 72-65, in 1966. Kentucky was coached by Adolf Rupp, who told his team at halftime “you better beat these coons.” It wasn’t until after this game that historically White colleges started regularly recruiting Black players not because they wanted to, but because they knew they would lose if they didn’t.
The Larry Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney heavyweight championship fight in Las Vegas on June 11, 1982 wasn’t really that great of a fight in the grand scheme of the sport. But mainstream media billed Cooney as “The Great White Hope” and riled up dumb Americans with said campaign. The fight still holds the Nevada record for attendance – 29,214 spectators, which is nearly 13,000 more than the next fight. Holmes won via TKO in the 13th round.
Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) vs. Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) is what really made the NBA what it is today in the 1980s.
It is what it is. But in the end (except for Hitler and a few other genuine hatred situations), sports men and women always respect one another. Sadly the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship devolved into the 1936 Berlin Olympics all over again.
Beauty is in the eye of the ticket holder
Women’s basketball has a very unique charm about it. The pony tails bouncing, the rainbow, set-shot 3-pointers, the finesse and precision passing, and (I’m male) gorgeous young ladies out there not giving a damn about their nails, makeup, etc., during the actual game.
Men typically drive the popularity of sports. If men don’t watch it, it won’t be successful. See the WNBA. Women don’t even like the WNBA, as the league continues catering specifically to homosexuals. More on that in a second.
Money, height and muscle attract women to men in the dating world, in that order. Men are attracted to looks and femininity in women. That’s how it works, whether you want to accept those truths or not. The same truths extend to sports for both sexes. Male professional athletes can have their choice of women because said men are tall, rich and in top physical shape. Women watch the NBA and NFL regularly because they like watching tall, rich, shapely men play sports. Meanwhile, women’s sports only gain popularity when attractive female athletes are at the forefront.
I never watched tennis until 1989, and a major crush on young phenom Jennifer Capriati. She and I are roughly the same age.
While I was getting my glimpses of Jennifer, I started appreciating the grace and talent of Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, et al. in those days. The looks drew me in. The talent kept me there. It’s safe to assume that a lot of men started watching women’s tennis only because of the attractive competitors.
Russian Anna Kournikova gave women’s tennis a huge boost in the late 1990s simply because of her looks.
Kournikova reportedly earned $10 million per year in endorsements in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and she sucked at tennis (although her and Martina Hingis were a formidable double’s team). Kournikova never won a single’s tournament in her short career.
Fair or not, femininity and beauty are the avenues to women’s sports gaining popularity. Former professional racecar driver Danica Patrick played in a men’s sport. She at least won an Indy Car race in 2008, and wasn’t just a pretty face and body like Kournikova.
Patrick helped grow her sport, while also being competitive.
Angel Reese is a swimsuit model and has endorsement deals with several major brands, including Calvin Klein.
These women are not stupid. They know that a finite window exists to capitalize on their fame and looks.
Women’s college basketball owes UConn, Rebecca Lobo and Pat Summit (Tennessee) a lot. Nobody would care about women’s NCAA basketball today without those intense Tennessee vs. UConn rivalry games beginning in the 1990s. It also doesn’t hurt to have attractive players to maintain the brand.
Allison Johnson and Ashley Foster (Georgia State University), Dorka Juhasz
(Ohio State University, transferred to UConn), and Ula Chamberlin (Weber State University).
All from 2020.
Give credit where its due. Some NCAA Women’s Basketball players are attractive. But if they had no skills on the basketball court, they’d have no platform to monetize their looks (outside of the Instagram crap shoot). Sure every now and then, generational talents like Serena Williams and Caitlin Clark come along and force people to watch greatness in women’s sports. But without looks, women’s basketball as a product would fail. The WNBA is the ultimate case in point.
The WNBA was fun to watch from its inaugural 1997 season until around 2001. The Phoenix Mercury were one of my first beats as a young sports reporter. But that league morphed into a homosexual, domestic violence, police blotter, groomer, poop show league thereafter.
In fact, the aforementioned Candace Parker was married to former NBA player Sheldon Williams for eight years. They had one child. But after eight years in the WNBA, she got divorced and is now with another woman. Sue Bird announced that she was homosexual in 2019, after 17 years in the WNBA. That league has been unwatchable for two decades, and literally makes the atmosphere unwelcoming for men.
The WNBA pays the players crap because nobody watches it. It’s in the best interest of female professional basketball players to play overseas, where they’ll earn up to 10 times more than they will in the WNBA – a league that, in my opinion, set women’s basketball back. Men do not want to watch a bunch of homosexual women. That may sound harsh. But the ratings do not lie.
NCAA Women’s Softball is still a pure game. Nobody outside of California cares much about women’s volleyball, but it’s still pure, along with NCAA women’s basketball. The USA Women’s Soccer Team creates excitement here and there. But all other women’s sports are tainted because of the movement of allowing men to play in women’s leagues.
Men should never be allowed in women’s sports; stop the madness now
NCAA Women’s swimming is now a complete joke because it allows male competitors. I’ll never again watch or support in any way women’s or men’s mixed martial arts. That “sport” allowed a man (“transgender”) named Fallon Fox to beat Tamikka Brents to a pulp, leaving her with a broken skull after a 2014 Capital City Cage Wars match in Springfield, Illinois. Brents also suffered a broken orbital bone, a concussion, and needed seven staples to close the wounds to her head.
But then again, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White slapped his wife three times on camera at a bar this past New Year’s Eve.
White suffered zero legal, professional, financial or otherwise consequences for the public assault on a woman. Now we understand why the Fallon Fox thing happened in said sport.
Apex mockery and “reap what you sow” in women’s sports took place at the Heroes Classic women’s power lifting tournament in Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) on March 25. Mr. Avi Silverberg is the head coach of Team Canada Powerlifting. He “suddenly and unexpectedly” started identifying as a woman, and registered for the women’s bench press competition.
Mr. Silverberg, in full beard, and who weighs around 250 pounds, casually and without much exertion, benched 370 pounds at the competition. That shattered another dude’s record. More specifically, that shattered the previous women’s record of 270 pounds on the bench press that was set in 2022 by a man (“transgender”) named Anne Andres. The second-place woman benched 220 pounds in that competition.
Mr. Silverberg did what he did to deliberately mock this ridiculous world we live in.
The Canadian Powerlifting Union has a policy that states all contestants “should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify and not be subject to requirements for disclosure of personal information beyond those required of [other] athletes. Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery.”
Let’s put all this in perspective. Andres weighs 250 pounds. And “she” held the Alberta women’s record for bench pressing (270 pounds) for seven months. I weigh 170 pounds, and am 48 years old. I can easily rep 300 pounds on the bench press 2-3 times after warming up. I weigh 80 pounds less than Andres, and can out-bench him/”her” by at least 30 pounds. Andres is a physically weak man competing against physically strong women. It’s pathetic and sad that men who cannot compete against other men resort to these tactics just to win at something.
Andres called Mr. Silverberg “a coward and a bigot…with malicious intent” after he broke the “women’s” bench press record. Andres also said that since he “transitioned” 20 years ago, he’s a “real woman,” etc. He posted a 10-minute rant on Instagram about the whole situation, complaining about another man beating him at the same game he’s playing. Here’s a short clip from it.
Now let’s recognize Rae-Ann Miller, perhaps the true strongest woman in the world. She’s a 47-year-old American. Mrs. Miller, at 238 pounds, bench pressed 650 pounds on February 4.
And before anyone accuses her of being a man, Mrs. Miller birthed two children (one died at age 14), and she’s been married to a fellow power lifter for almost 30 years.
Mrs. Miller is an official freak of nature. But many (not me) are skeptical of her accomplishments. Mrs. Miller, on July 13, 2019, maxed out at 505 pounds on the bench when she weighed 218 pounds at age 43. She went from benching 505 pounds in 2019 at age 43 and 218 pounds, to 650 pounds on the bench in 2023 at age 47 and 238 pounds. Few humans get physically stronger as they age past 40. Make of that what you will.
Note that in the same year Ms. Miller benched 650 pounds at age 47 and 238 pounds, a man named John Dilvea, at 220 pounds, benched 750 pounds at age 21. The highest bench press that year was by Ryan Hamscher, who put up 805 pounds at age 42 and 308 pounds in personal weight. There were men in the 308+ pound class who benched over 900 pounds that year.
Regardless, this is what happens when society mocks women’s sports with all this transgender garbage. I’d bet that Caitlin Clark could average double-figures in today’s NBA. She can flat-out shoot the basketball with ridiculous range; and she has great handles and vision. The NBA, since the turn of the millennium, has removed defense and physical play from the game completely. They also started allowing zone defenses, which was a fixture in college and high school basketball, but never in the pros until that time.
It would have been a Fallon Fox-type crime to allow a woman on an NBA basketball court pre-2000. The following is a small sample of what players expected in the NBA prior to the turn of the millennium.
That’s also why it makes no sense to compare NBA players pre-2000 to NBA players since the turn of the millennium. Michael Jordan is the greatest because he (physically) got the crap beat out of him, and still looked graceful and dominated the game. NBA players today win championship on the path of least resistance. Jordan won six titles despite Bill Laimbeer, Charles Oakley, and other enforcers making him earn every point.
It’s the same as Miami Dolphins (NFL) quarterback Dan Marino passing for 5,000 yards in 1984. He did that when there were literally no rules on defense to protect players. The NFL changed many rules starting in 2004, particularly those silly illegal contact penalties.
They added the “Brady Rule” in 2009, basically prohibiting all hits on the quarterback. NFL quarterbacks have passed for 5,000-plus yards in a season 15 times in history. All of said seasons, except Marino’s, came in 2008 or later. That’s why Marino has the greatest single season for a quarterback in NFL history.
Nowadays, you can dribble all the way up the floor in the NBA, stop at the 3-point line, and shoot without anyone touching you. Caitlin Clark could do that in today’s NBA, and probably do it well. Her only disadvantage would be height. Further, the Iowa/LSU game was more physical than any NBA game I’ve watched (haven’t been many) in 15 years or so. If we’ve really reached the point of mocking sports, then give Caitlin a chance in the NBA. That would be fun.
NCAA Women’s Basketball has remained the same sport since 1982. All other major sports have changed how they actually play and administer the games. Even NCAA Men’s Basketball has changed. The Haywood v. National Basketball Association, 401 U.S. 1204 (1971) Supreme Court case first allowed players to enter the NBA straight out of high school. But few players actually took advantage of said ruling.
The NBA implemented the “one-and-done” rule in 2006. It forced high school players to go to college for one year and be at least 19 years old to become eligible for the NBA Draft. The rule severely watered down NCAA Men’s Basketball. Many top players went to college just to fulfill the requirement, and didn’t particularly care about college basketball.
Women’s NCAA Basketball remains the purest version of basketball in the United States today.
So I guess I’m a sell-out and a “transphobe”
Sports are about territory. Caitlin Clark, Monika Czinano, and company are my girls, from my home state team. Caitlin was actually born and raised in West Des Moines, making her truly part of the fam. I am and was on the side of the Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s basketball team from the very start. But since I’m a Black American, I’m supposed to be on the side of LSU solely because they are “the Black girls,” according to petulant U.S. tribal politics. Sorry. Find someone else to play that puppet role.
I am going to enjoy NCAA Women’s basketball as long as possible. If there had been any men on the court this past Sunday, the game would have been completely tainted. It’s only a matter of time before the NCAA allows some dude to say he’s a woman, and suit up in NCAA women’s basketball games. This entire LSU/Iowa saga is an opportunity for Americans to learn a valuable lesson.
Homosexual and “transgender” are neither races nor ethnicities. They are degenerate, radical liberal ideologies. Black and White Americans at-large will never agree on race issues. But across racial spectrums, Americans agree that allowing men to play in women’s sports is evil and wrong. Liberals will continue their quest to equate homosexual culture with being Black American, to ride the coattails of Black American civil rights fights, while trying to normalize mental illness in the process. It’s not working and never will work.
Race will sadly be a factor in nearly all facets of U.S. society forever. Again, this country was founded on racism. Homosexual culture and the weirdness that comes with it, however, is a Johnny-come-lately social construct that controls the weak-minded and ill-willed. Americans are rewarded for participating in and defending said lifestyle.
The LGBT cult is essential to the overall depopulation agenda. That’s why it’s so heavily protected and promoted. But there comes a time when humanity, despite our differences, must take a stand against pure evil. If the Fallon Fox fight doesn’t convince LGBT apologists that men in women’s sports is absurd and sick, then nothing will.
Congratulations to LSU for winning the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. I didn’t see much of them until the Elite Eight this year. But they are a fun team to watch. Caitlin Clark is a junior and will be back for another season in 2023-24. Angel Reese is a sophomore, and has two more seasons. It’d be great to see a rematch on a similar stage next year.
Sadly, LSU has a vaccine mandate, and Iowa has a vaccine coercion policy. Both young ladies are likely vaxxed, leaving their lifespans in question. The powers-that-be know that sports will not exist anyway in the next 2-3 years because all of the athletes will be dead or crippled. Perhaps that’s why they are making such a mockery of our human pastimes with this trans agenda. Enjoy sports while you still can.
Thank you, Caitlin, for bringing me joy in 2022-23, during these very tough times. Stay vigilant and protect your friends and loved ones.
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Genesis 6:6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
@Brian, have to agree with you regarding the real “attraction” of women’s sports. Another great post. Great clip of pre-2000 basketball. Crazy how times have changed. I watched those games LIVE and don’t even remember how physical they actually were at the time. Snowflakes abound today.
Brian, you are the FURTHEST thing from a “sell-out.” You’ve angered far too many white people to be a sellout! LOL! But I’m sure black liberals will attack you for rooting for your hometown team.
This is a very good post. I can tell that you were a great sports writer. You really are passionate about sports and it shows. I admit that I never watch women’s basketball, and as a Black American woman, I fell into the social media trap of Caitlin vs. Angel. And I didn’t even watch the game. Please excuse us mere mortals! 🙂
Thank you for the history lesson and reality checks. You do that a lot on this blog.
I’m a white male but I may be part of the exception because I’m not angry at Brian I love this blog. He’s always very informative and passionate.
My schoolmate while growing up in Prievidza, Slovakia, Július Michálik, ended up playing basketball for the Iowa Cyclones. That was in the 90s.
Thank you for the informative article as always Brian. I do want to throw a couple more names in here. Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. Also Mia Hamm. Part of the reason I watched the olympics. Not going to lie they were easy on the eyes but they were also very talented.
I really don’t watch sports anymore. Most of the times it is a mock of the real sport or what competition is all about. Jill biden is a joke. wnba is a joke. And sorry ladies, the rabid feminist and leftists have proven in almost every case, a tranny can out play you. Sports now truly represent what the Clown World is all about. Brian, another great write up.
In 1990, I was at a bar and grill in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Final Game was on television: Duke versus UNLV. The ex and I migrated to the bar and started to cheer for UNLV (my father’s family lived in Vegas, my late father was a casino shift-boss back in his day). UNLV was kicking Duke’s ass in that game, so our cheers were met with disdain and disgust. A few of the guys sitting next to us finally turned our way and said, “What the F***?” I looked at him sweetly, and said, “I am from Las Vegas.”. “Oh, ok.”. We were left alone after that little chat. A few hours later, we finally left. UNLV had won by a landslide. Larry Johnson, Coach Tark the Shark, Stacey Augmon and the entire state of Nevada was in meltdown mode! So were we!!!
As we are driving back to our apartment, the ex turns to me and says, “Babe, it’s a good thing you are really young and pretty.”. I said, “Why?”. He said, “Because those men were looking for a fight!” “Over a game?” (I was gullible and naive as a very young person.) “Yep. Wars have been started for much less.”, he said with a grin plastered on his face. I think he was just happy he didn’t have to fight half the bar patrons outside!!
Of course, the next year, Duke went on to upset UNLV and prevented them from winning back-to-back NCAA titles. Darn those Dukies!!
“Men should never be allowed in women’s sports; stop the madness now”_______________________________
Respectfully disagree – when 70% of the admissions to Vet School & Marine Biology programs are WOMEN, life is f**ked.
This country, as with the Western World, has turned into giving ‘duh widdle girl’ everything she ‘deserves’ – i.e. Toxic Chilvery.
I don’t like the world as it is, but it doesn’t stop until the low functioning half-wits voting again everything Natural Law tells us everyday.
Until the idiots learn the reality of life, f##k them, they can learn the hard way, which for me, is eating shit and dying alone.
Welcome, ladies, this is your likely future as resources succumb to artificial scarcity.
I think that is because more women just naturally gravitate toward those programs. I don’t think it has anything to do with men being excluded from them. There are many professions that men and women gravitate toward in greater numbers than the opposite sex.
I am aure all this divide “white Versus Black Teams or vice versa” is created for the purpose to divide and ultimately women of all colors will lose as males take over – aka “trans” women. No biologica male no matter the therapy shpuld ever complete in women sports is toxic and is made by trans that hate women.
Many trans women don’t support this: trans women in sports as they know is not fair! Make a special cathegory for them and that’s it. We don’t see trans men in men sports, Why? We don’t hear trans men saying : men should be called different, don’t Say prostate or else we are offended. Say sperm donor not Father and other stupidity.
Biological men in sports and terms as “birthing person” etc are pushed by misogins that found a new opportunity to opress women. All women.
I am not saying all trans women are misogyns, but these ones that take their unfair advantage and want to opress and erase women and mothers.
How convenient: a trans woman in Tennessee – shot 3 girls age 9 and two women and a man by accident of course – his target were the Little girls and the women. In a Religious school. And mass media Say ooo 3 children! They were three girls killed by a man that calls ginseng a woman. And now they will call it a shooting made by a WOMAN????? That guy didn’t even cut his male genitalia.
This is absurd! And women of all colors should stand together and defend their rights according with their believes not color!
Thank you for another informative and engaging article. For me, it brought back fond memories of the 1998-99 basketball season. The Purdue Boilermakers were a fun team to watch. Stephanie White and Ukari Figgs were simply the best backcourt tandem in the country. They beat Tennessee once and Louisiana Tech twice on their way to the national championship. In close games, they just wore down their opponents and outlasted them.
Your mention of women’s volleyball also brought back memories of Purdue’s 1982 season. I was a student at Purdue that year, and attended several of their home matches. They, too, were a fun team to watch. They simply outclassed most of their opponents. Only Northwestern was on par with them in the Big Ten. If I recall correctly, they went unbeaten that season until they met up with USC in the NCAA tournament.
I too watched the championship game last weekend. It didn’t even occur to me that it was a mostly white team against a mostly black one; that’s how irrelevant that is to me. I rooted for Iowa, not because they’re white, but because I’m partial to Big Ten teams. I kept the sound muted most of the time. I miss a lot of BS that way, but I also miss some calls. I turned the sound on from time to time to find out what the heck just happened, especially after that silly technical foul call on Clark. And I didn’t care to hear what they were saying when they showed what’s-her-name Biden.
I’m just here as a 47-year-old man to say Brian’s bench press is goals.
I don’t understand why there aren’t more biological women transitioning to “men” in order to compete with biological men. Hmmmmm.
Well, I just know a damn thing about sports. Brian is well versed. My father played football for Ohio State in the 30’s. There is picture of him somewhere of him being led of the field injured. Great black and white shot and he was disappointed he had all girls interested in dolls and not sport.
I don’t know anything about it, but I do know that men should not be competing with women. Why do they want to be us? Why can’t they have their own games?
Because equal pay backfired.
A mediocre male athlete can transition, make millions in women’s sports, then de-transition.
They can, do, and will continue to do this. Feminism was designed from the beginning to lead to transexualism – it was designed that way at least 150 years ago. Feminists didn’t understand their own movement, and now they are paying the price.
Something bringing you joy is all that you can do in this life. On Easter Sunday my brother met his mother for the first time in 51 years, presumably since a few days after his birth. My Mom was thrilled that him and his girlfriend stayed for Easter dinner at the house! Life is short…
Thanks, Brian. I enjoyed this post very much, even though I no longer follow sports. I’m older than Brian (but way younger than Dr. Jill) and loved the mention of Magic and Bird—those were the golden days of the NBA when rivalries between players and teams made it more exciting! I like Michael Jordan, but to me Dr. J always will be the original skywalker. Magic said he called Doc when he was trying to decide whether to stay at Michigan State or go pro. To his surprise, Doc suggested he come stay at his house for the weekend, which he did. Seeing Doc’s house probably helped Magic decide.