Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Mon Aug 21




America Runs on Dunkin’: Settling for the WNBA

Having driven away the Sonics like a mistreated husband who will "be right back" with smokes, sports-sane Seattle has put its self-esteem into the Storm, a WNBA franchise that has just humped its second championship like the boyfriend on the side that it is. This estrogenocidal team has, ironically, brought a ray of sunshine not only to fans of passing, that most womanly of sports moves, but also local businesses like Microsoft, whose idea to emblazon "Bing" across the muscular chests of Storm players probably contributed 0.05% to its recent climb in market share.

As Zack Morris might say, "Timeout." Has Seattle really sunk that low?

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, shortly after moving to Seattle, bluntly told the city's gathered tech entrepreneurs that their ambitions were lower than Jamie Lee Curtis selling pooping yogurt. I think something similar is aheel in Seattle's Ellen-Portia romance with the Storm.

The WNBA is nice in its own way. Title IX empowered female basketball players like an "Expanding Your Horizons" assembly, redistributing the boys' resources so the girls could excel in funny-looking jump shots and dateability. Long-useless stadiums like Seattle's Key Arena finally have a purpose other than ethnic festivals and job fairs. And there's no denying the talent in players like the Storm's Sue Bird, who has statue-defecated like her surname all over other teams.

But come on. Watching women play basketball is like watching children perform a Scientology pageant - unintentionally hilarious.

They can't dunk, which gives the NBA (not the "MNBA") its whiff of homoerotic imperialism. They look like they tripped and spilled a bag of groceries whenever they shoot. And these double Xers dress like Muslim women in France looking for something to replace the veil in sexlessness.

Basketball negates the natural grace and curves in women that other sports flesh out, such as gymnastics and skating. Oddly, it embues grace in men who, hours later, are farting, gambling and auditing their cocaine supply. That's why I suggest...

Skintight WNBA uniforms. This is what we, straight and lesbian, really want to see. It's what originally got women into basketball and made the Laker Girls popular quite apart from the team's performance. Basketball is the only women's sport where you identify the gender based solely on ponytail and height (and Eastern European male players are even making this fuzzy).

I can already hear the chopped air from your wagging fingers that these uniforms will create all sorts of body-image issues in young basketball players, requiring another series of seminars at my alma mater. Female ballers aren't supposed to look like gymnasts, but rather Justin Long, they say.

But club owners, bleeding money enough that every player's boobs blare Bing, might be more receptive. The WNBA's biggest problem is its demographics - a shortage of adult men and their children who would otherwise booze up and pig out at a basketball game. From watching "The Wire," I know that lesbians can drink Jimmy McNulty under the table if they want, but a WNBA game simply isn't the place to do it. It's too ... nurturing.

Maybe the answer is an expansion team to test the concept. Does "Louisville Lycra" turn you on?

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