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Posts Tagged ‘Billie Jean King’

Jennie Finch, Jessica Mendoza and the USA softball team will be at the Sports Museum in New York city this Monday.

They will be meeting sports fans and signing autographs from 11am-1pm. This is a unique opportunity, so if you’re in the area and have off on Columbus day (or even if you don’t) you should go check this out!

Also present will be Kym Hampton and John Starks of the New York Knicks; the duo will be meeting fans, signing autographs and holding a basketball clinic from 1pm-3pm.

I’ve never been to the Sports Museum, and unfortunately, I have to work on Monday.

However, I am definitely planning on making a trip up there because they are home to the first and only Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, built in partnership with Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation.

Can’t wait to see it!

If anyone goes to this event, please post how it was. I’m interested in hearing about it.

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When the passion strikes me, I will occasionally be providing you with a roundup of some of the dumbest things I see on sports blogs. Apparently, some men feel the need to make degrading comments about women online.

What’s even more entertaining (to me) is how much money they’re making off of content such as this. Some of these blogs are worth over $15 million.

Can you believe that?

So this is an effort to show these guys exactly how dumb they look, even online.

WARNING: Some of these sites get paid based upon how many comments are up on their sites, so use discretion when deciding whether or not to comment.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

1) Pat Gray, Your Eyes Will Bleed:

“There seems to be a big “girl-power” push going on now though. In yesterday’s USA Today, they devoted an entire section to women pioneers in sports. Like Billie Jean King’s 1973 tennis victory over Bobby Riggs. Big deal. She was 29, and at the height of her career. He was 55 years old, and only won a couple major tournaments in the 30’s and 40’s! If she HADN’T beaten him, THEN you’ve got a story.”

Actually Pat, the BIG DEAL is that Title IX passed just before that match. Title IX AND Billie Jean King sparked a revolution for women that continued in sports 35 years later. The “clue phone” is ringing. I think you should answer it.

2) Deadspin posted on Jaime Nared, who was recently kicked off her mixed-gender basketball team in Portland, Oregon. Comments include:

(Big Slim Shade) “A girl playing basketball? What will they think of next?”

(Afino) “Take it while you can get it now, girl, because it’s all downhill from here in terms of people who give a shit about women playing basketball!”

Laugh it up, guys. Good thing Deadspin gives you a place to poke fun among intellectuals. This girl would kick all of your a$$es if you played her. And she’s what? Only 14 years old?

3) Again, from Deadspin (are we noticing a pattern here?). This blogger posted on a women’s hockey game, where Slovakia beat Bulgaria, 82-0. They oh-so-thoughtfully provided video and commentary,

“Contrary to what you probably thought, the Bulgarians can actually skate. Although figuring out what those stick things are for seems to be another matter.”

Again, the comments were yet another example of how supportive these readers are of women’s sports.

“That’s really not very lady-like.” (the earl of weaver) and “The goalie would have been better off just lying prostrate across the ice.” (Dan Daoust)

4) Larry Brown from Larry Brown Sports posted on 9/19 about how the Los Angeles Kings are holding tryouts for ice hockey girls (think Laker girls for ice hockey). Anyway, he certainly had no filter when discussing this piece of news.

“You might be inclined to go with the Laker girls over the Kings ice girls at first reaction, but I might have to change my initial thought based on what I saw from the Kings tryouts that took place recently. I’m not exactly sure what role ice girls have at a hockey game, but I’m all for anything that brings extra skin to a sporting event. The Kings have said that they’re looking for girls that will help represent the team as well as possible. My advice for them: You can teach anyone to skate better, but you can’t teach hotness. Feel me? Check out some of the talent on the ice

Hey Larry, I bet these girls make more money that you do. Maybe they’re in better shape, too?

5) on 205th also discussed ice hockey girls, with some awesome commentary.

“Dallas + Ice Girls doesn’t really make much sense to me, you know since there is no ice in Dallas, except in drinks, but then again ice hockey in Tampa Bay doesn’t make sense either. Hey look, boobies!!”
(below this comment there was a picture of the cheerleaders on a boat at a lake)

Wow. Really cool. These girls make money off of you idiots.

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In today’s issue of USA Today, we earned an entire section of the paper. Its title: “Women in Sports.”

I almost jumped out of my chair when I started reading. Seven complete pages of content and photos of women who have completed milestones in sport.

The cover article is particularly interesting.

Heather Tucker published a groudbreaking article in the world of women’s sports. She discussed the heroines of milestones of the past, heroines of the present and obstacles that lie ahead for the future of female sports. If you haven’t done so already, please go check it out here.

She discussed Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the “Battle of the Sexes,” a day after Title IX was passed.

She said, “King, who accepted Riggs’ challenge to play a televised match at the Houston Astrodome, soundly defeated him in three sets and put a damper on critics’ voices that women could not compete with men.”

Awesome. Totally awesome. I wish I were alive for that moment. Even though I wasn’t I know that what she did affected my ability to compete and succeed in sports twenty years later.

Tucker then pointed to Candace Parker, calling her a hero of today’s image of women’s sports due to her ability to beat five male competitors in the 2004 McDonald’s All-American Game, including Josh Smith, who won the NBA dunk contest the nest year.

She also mentioned Danica Patrick’s milestone in her “breakthrough” Indy-car race in Japan in April, when she became the first woman to triumph in a national oval-track touring circuit (Indy Racing League or NASCAR).

Then, Tucker talked about perceptions, and how the above milestones have inspired and influenced young women to compete on the playing fields today.

She said, “Perceptions of what women are capable of and what they can offer have been elevated thanks in part to these stars.”

Then, she wrapped up by highlighting the challenges that lie ahead, such as coaching, managing and team ownership, areas of influence that women have yet to solidly break through in terms of a “glass ceiling” in sports.

This is an incredibly crafted article. In my opinion, it’s too short. A lot of names are missing from this list of heroines. It takes much more than three influencers to break barriers. It takes an army, and decades of time and struggle.

Hopefully one day we’ll get there. Until then, articles like these will help keep the spirit alive. Thanks USA Today.

Other stories include player profiles on Jackie Joyner Kersee, Pat Summit, Mary Lou Retton, Janet Guthrie, Anny Meyers Drysdale, Nancy Lopez, Leslie Visser, Dot Richardson, and Brandi Chastian.

A separate article discussed sports marketers and how their altering their pitches as more female fans tune into sports. That particular article along warrants another post from me. I’ll be back in just a moment with more. (so excited!)

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Tennis is one of the women’s sports (along with women’s golf) which has been able to attract a large amount of journalistic attention. Part of that, in my opinion, is due to the Williams’ sisters ability to perform, and perform well against each other. Wednesday night’s match between Serena and Venus did just that.

According to The New York Times, last night’s quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open went to Serena, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7), giving her a 9-8 lead in this series. However, Venus’s 125-mile-an-hour serve is definately something to watch. Can you imagine trying to hit that?

Do the sisters like playing against each other? The NY Times says,

Serena, a few weeks shy of 27, was on record as saying that it stinks to have to play Venus, just turned 28, so early, but the competition itself seems to have become business as usual, as the sisters play for themselves.

Because the Williams sisters played on the court named for Billie Jean-King, they discussed her opinion of the sisters, as well as her new book, Pressure Is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned From Life and the Battle of Sexes (LifeTime Media, Inc).

In the book, says the NY Times, King describes the thrill of watching Venus accept the champion’s check of $1.4 million at Wimbledon in 2007, and how Venus said live on the BBC, “No one loves tennis more than Billie Jean King.” And then Venus addressed King: “I love you. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.”

Whether the sports ability to draw attention is due to icons of the past like Billie Jean King or phenoms of the present like Serena and Venus, or the Open’s decision to hold a subsequent match between Nadal and Fish immediately after the Williams’ show, we’ll never know.

It should also be noted that another possible reason W.T.A. (Women’s Tennis Association) is able to draw so much attention is due to their innovative marketing skills and strategy. For instance, WTA just announced a new revenue sharing plan for players and a revamped ranking system to emphasize the important tournaments. Plus, the W.T.A. officially approved on-court coaching for next year – they’ll be wearing microphones to bring fans “closer to the game”.

But having bloggers from The New York Times following every serve, volley and replay of the U.S. Open, discussing women’s competition regularly and fairly, is truly an accomplishment for us in general. I hope other sports can soon follow in their footsteps.

To follow the action of the tournament, check out the U.S. Open site.

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