It is time to give women’s sports their due

Published 9:59 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday night’s television schedule was full of sports, but the best game was probably the one that the least amount of people where watching.

It wasn’t game five between the Dodgers and the Cubs where Chicago took control of the game and the series with a dominant eighth inning. It wasn’t the Thursday night football game between the Packers and the Bears (Chicago teams sure were busy) where Aaron Rodgers carried his team to victory. Nor was it the ACC matchup between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Tech Hokies, during which the Hurricanes are most definitely not “back” and that their history of falling apart post-FSU is alive and well.

No, the best game on Thursday evening was the decisive game five between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA finals. It had everything you could ask for: drama, controversy, stars stepping up in the biggest moments, raw emotion and a big comeback that fell just short.

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Not many people were likely tuned into ESPN 2 for the game with two football games and a playoff baseball game on, but they should have. Three of the best players in the league, Maya Moore of the Lynx and Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker of the Sparks, were at their very best as they battled for the title. If none of their names sound familiar to you, then I’m sorry. Moore is arguably the best women’s basketball player of all time and has dominated at every level from high school, to UCONN and now in the WNBA and international play. Ogwumike was a star at Stanford and was named MVP of the league this year. Parker was a star at Tennessee and led the Lady Vols to back-to-back titles in college before becoming a stud in WNBA (she can also dunk, which is awesome).

In the finals, the two teams traded blows as the Sparks won games one, three and five and the Lynx won games two and four. Maya Moore did her thing especially in game four when she willed her team to victory with 31 points.

Game five proved to be the best game of the series though, and one that should be remembered for its greatness. The two teams battled until the final second, until Ogwumike made a shot while falling backward with three seconds to go to give her team the 77-76 victory and the championship. It was an amazing shot with a defender in her face and her moment where she showed everyone why she was the MVP.

For much of the game she had let the elder statesman Parker lead the charge, she had 28 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

It was a great performance, but the best moment of all came after the game, when she was asked what it was like to win a championship and she battled tears as she answered “This is for Pat” meaning her former college coach Pat Summitt, who died earlier this year.

These are the types of games that make sports great and the worst part is not many people will even know it happened or care. Women’s sports don’t get the coverage. They don’t get the hype, but it is about time they do. Is the WNBA as high flying and fast paced as the NBA? Of course not, but the players are great and they battle and care and its about time they got their due.

About Brandon O'Connor


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