I am pretty sure that most of the state of Connecticut was glued to their television last night. I personally could wait to watch the UConn Women’s Basketball team make history. National coverage on ESPN – bumping a previously scheduled men’s basketball game – is nothing to sneeze at!
How incredible are the UConn Huskies? 89 straight wins – an NCAA Basketball record. Pretty damn amazing. It is so frustrating to me that critics insist on diminishing their accomplishment instead of giving them the credit that they so richly deserve. I am just fine with the argument that the women’s record should speak for itself as should the UCLA record. I am ok with the argument that you shouldn’t necessarily compare the two. I am NOT ok with dismissing what the women have accomplished as part of the argument against giving them sole credit for the record.
As far as I am concerned if a group of people can win 89 croquet matches in a row – nearly half against “ranked” opponents – they deserve to be recognized for the accomplishment. Croquet, checkers (as Jim Calhoun mentioned), swim meets, tennis matches, basketball games — each of them would be remarkable.
If Greg Wooden, John Wooden’s grandson, could attend the game and talk about how much his grandfather would have loved to see what the UConn women accomplished why should anyone have the right to dismiss or diminish what they have done – the legacy they have built? In a great article on the EPSN website Greg Wooden even discusses how much his grandfather loved the UConn women’s game and their emphasis on teamwork. It is well worth checking out the link and reading the rest of Wooden’s comments.
This UConn team has not only won 89 straight games – they have won in spite of injuries, in spite of those rooting against them and in the never-ending national spotlight composed of equal parts supporters and detractors. They have won all of this season’s game with three starting freshman. They have won for three straight years without scandal. In the current college sports climate there is a new story daily on the ESPN bottom line about players taking inappropriate benefits, coaches breaking NCAA rules about recruitment, college students behaving like idiots – none of that happens to this team. Not only are they incredible basketball players but they are also talented students and most importantly good people. They are women that deserve respect, not criticism, and I hope that as they continue to make history that is what they get.