Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Under the Weather

The writer of the "13 Teams, 1 Journey" has a new blog entry which deals with two subjects: his current bout of illness...and the abuse he's taken on YouTube for videoblogging about his goal to visit all 13 WNBA teams this year.

Mind you, I knew that even before I started my journey, I would get some negative reactions and posts from the WNBA haters out there. I’ve seen them on you tube and facebook. I tend to ignore them, as I think paying them attention is a waste of my time. But over the last few weeks they seemed to build, to a point where I just could not take it anymore. Why people take so much time to express negative and hateful words I will never know. But the sad thing is, it is nothing new.

He states that most WNBA criticisms come in three varieties:

a) the "automatic discount" ("The WNBA is crappy basketball because they're women. Girls can't play ball!")
b) the "double-standard" ("I saw someone turn over the ball during a game I caught briefly in 1999 while changing channels. Clearly, the WNBA cannot meet the august standards of NBA basketball.")
c) one I like to call the "social outlier" argument ("The only fans of the WNBA are (feminists, lesbians, freaks).")

My first comment is that he should never have opened up his YouTube comments. Trust me, YouTube comments are as Ben Kenobi might put it, "a wretched hive of scum and villany". I have a little YouTube account but trust me, I've never activated the commenting feature. The rule of commenting goes:

V = m*a*d

where V = value of comments
m = level of moderation of the forum
a = anonymity of forum users
d = difficulty in posting to the forum

This is just the statement of the rule that on the internet, it seems that everyone's an asshole. A unmoderated place that allows hit and run posting will attract assholes. It's not his fault that that happened..."It's Chinatown, Jake."

That being said, the fault clearly rests with the chavs and not with Alex C. I will not get on a soapbox and claim that my following the WNBA has made me a better, wiser, or even more sober human being. I will not claim that I understand the female psyche, or that this WNBA fandom has made me an expert on issues involving gay women, or black women, or any women in sports.

What I will say is this: after following the WNBA for a year and reading the comments that sportswriters and so called "experts" write about it: I finally understand what feminism was all about. I understood it on an intellectual basis, but never on a visceral one. Jesus, nobody should have to put up with that kind of shit on a daily basis. As men, we should all thank the first women we meet - not because of their contributions to history, but in sheer gratitude to the female gender for not killing every man within 15 miles.


Gregory Hunt said...

As much as I love following sports and communicating on the internet, it's ironic that I very rarely communicate about sports online. Trolls such as the ones you find on YouTube take way the fun for me. Furthermore, even on legitimate sports forums, the discourse rarely goes beyond, "Your team sucks and my team rules."

The only sports forum I ever truely enjoyed was the one that was on the official site of the Amercian Basketball League (1996-1998). It lacked the machismo that was so present in other sports forums, and the ABL Forum was more fun as a result. Even though I'm a man, I still don't "get" certain things about other men.

pt said...

I wish I could have been around for that ABL forum, which I've heard good things about. (I also wish I could have been around to follow the Xplosion and other teams as well.)