A Bounteous Feast: Women's Sports Predictions for 2011

 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Holy Bible, Galatians 3:8

"More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development," Kofi Annan, Seventh secretary-general of the United Nations," 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Welcome to Token Female, and thanks for tuning in! A little about me: As a self-proclaimed pre-Title IX-era Tomboy for Life, I've looking for redemption ever since I was not allowed by a Chicago area west suburban park district (pre-Title IX) to play T-ball.  

Redemption for this societal oversight has been sweet. For nearly two years, I've been the "Token Female, " of the Weekend Sports Report every Saturday morning, from 7-8 am on WKRS-AM 1220/WKRS.com in Waukegan, where I match wits with Les Grobstein (yes, the Score's Grobber), easily one of the most knowledgeable sports brains on the planet, as well as Steve Leventhal and David Rusch of SRN Broadcasting. From what I understand,  I'm one of a very few women privileged to co-host a weekly radio talk show. My news/sports broadcasting and writing career that has spanned 20 years, off and on. I am grateful and humbled for the opportunities that have come my way.

I've been a lucky "token" in most of these instances. In June 2011, the Women's Sports Foundation will start a year-long 40th Anniversary celebration of Title IX, the US Supreme Court ruling that granted "equal access" to educational facilities and opportunities for women? An examination of the highlights and lowlights of the last year sheds some light on the status of women in sports today:

Appeteasers: The Highlights from 2010

The Big 89:

  • The UConn Lady Huskies eclipsed John Wooden's UCLA Bruins' 1971-74 NCAA record with their 89th consecutive victory on December 21 against Florida State, 92-63.. Critics called it "just" a women's record. Wooden's grandson, Greg, told the Associated Press and other publications that his grandfather would have been "thrilled."  According to Greg, in recent years, Wooden was also more impressed with the woman's game than the men's in recent years. Why? They were better on the fundamentals.

The Ice Ceiling Breaks: 

  • Two celebrated Olympic medialists were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Canadian center Angela James, a gold medalist center from Toronto, and Cammi Granato, a 39-year-old forward who was the captain of the United States team that won the gold medal at the Nagano Olympics in 1998.  At their induction ceremony, Granato told the New York Times she thought that playing in college would be the pinnacle of her career. Now she is going into the same Hall of Fame as the men's greats. "It's almost unfathomable as a woman," she said.

I say that women's sports have a place at the sports table, but right now, I'd say that the table has three separate sections--the men's table, the women's table and the kid's table. While we all have separate tables, we talk to the next table (loudly)

The Lowlights:

 

  • Lingerie League Football. Despite the success of the Chicago Bliss,  I simply can't condone the very nature of the "sport," which is exploitative.  

 

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