I'm confused by Geno Auriemma and this entire concept of the UConn women's basketball team breaking the UCLA men's record streak of 88 consecutive victories. "I just know that there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a women's record," Auriemma said. Huh? I had no idea that was possible. So when I look in the record book tomorrow under longest winning streak in Division I men's basketball history, it will read "University of Connecticut (women)"? I don't even care that Geno is inventing reasons to be outraged- criticizing people who are in reality lavishing praise and coverage on his team- that's what he does. My issue is with the very idea that somehow a record is being broken, since the record referenced happened in a different division of competition. It's not that people don't WANT some women to break a men's record, it's that they actually CAN'T, so it's a moot point. It's an amazing accomplishment, and getting more consecutive victories than the UCLA men's team deserves getting coverage, but someone needs to tell Geno- and ESPN- that the women's team actually can't break a men's basketball record. There are a few at ESPN that have recognized this fact- one female columnist pointed out that the Penn State women's volleyball team is a better comparison- but many have completely missed this point. And this is what just kills me! At the same time ESPN is reporting on UConn's attempt to "break" the UCLA record, they are also endlessly reporting on Coach K tying Dean Smith for second on the all-time wins list with 879. What about women's coach Pat Summitt who has over 1,000 victories?? Apparently comparisons across divisions are only done when it makes for interesting stories, and the rest of the time they are rightly kept separate. My thought- these women should be praised, the streak should be noted as longer than what the UCLA men were able to do in their division...and then let this team stand on its own. Isn't that real equality? If you don't buy that, then I would like to inform you that Shaquille O'Neal has bested Wilt Chamberlain's mark by scoring 110 points in a game of NBA Live 95 I played last night. Boom...record!
|Shaq's record breaking stat line.|