Bring on Awesome April
By Jason Whitlock
Page 2 columnist

This column is about the male nipple, its longing for attention and its inability to nurture.

Women need to understand the male nipple, how greedy and selfish and sneaky it is, how it stunts the growth of any woman who doesn't wean off it.

Alana Beard
Alana Beard is one of the best players in college hoops, and no one seems to know her.
Women's college basketball is foolishly and destructively attached to the nipple of men's college basketball. That's why the women's NCAA Tournament continues to be held under the debilitating shadow of Dick Vitale's Big Dance.

If the men and women running the NCAA were smart and free of sexism, they'd move the women's tournament to April.

Whenever I've publicly mentioned this in the past, a women's basketball-libber has told me it's important that the women remain a part of March Madness. Not wanting to be rude, I've never shared the accurate perspective that women have about as much to do with March being Mad as Ralph Wiley has to do with O.J. Simpson being glad.

When sports fans think of March, here's what crosses their minds: Keith Smart's baseline rainbow; Fred Brown's misguided pass; Jim Valvano's celebration; Tyus Edney's coast-to-coast game-winner against Missouri; and Paris McCurdy's three-point play that pimp-slapped Gary Payton's Oregon State Beavers and helped pave the way for the mother of all Sweet Sixteen showdowns -- Ball State-UNLV.

You don't think of the women. I'm sure they've had some great games. But all I have is a faint memory of sprinter Marion Jones playing in some big game for North Carolina. Didn't she play at UNC? I honestly can't remember.

The libbers who think the women's tourney is a vital part of March Madness are delusional. They keep sucking on the men's tournament's nipple and lying to themselves that they're getting a milky residual that benefits them. In reality, they're sentencing themselves to a few more centuries of second-class treatment, a couple of more decades of their selection show being an afterthought and another generation of being ignored by hoop junkies who, if properly exposed, would love the women's game ... even if they had to share courtside seats with Martha Burk.

You see, it's my opinion that it's people like Burk who prevent women's college basketball from reaching its full commercial potential. Instead of trying to shock and awe Augusta National into liberating its membership policies, Burk could do more for women's equality if she counseled women about self-empowerment and the benefits of spitting out men's nipples.

If the women's tournament stood on its own, the women's game would grow exponentially in popularity and as a pop-culture force. The women's tournament, if played entirely in April (start the regular season a month later), could quickly challenge the men's tourney as a TV product.

NBA defections have undermined men's college basketball. Its regular season doesn't have near the allure it once had. We know the tattoos, but we don't know the players. The best thing about the women's game is that it can still develop a four-year mega superstar. The best way to do that is for women to have the college basketball floor all to themselves for an entire month.

If their Big Dance was held in April, many of the top sportswriters and broadcasters would cover the women's tourney. Many of my colleagues, despite Tiger Woods' emergence and Martha Burk's mouth, find golf boring. There is no such thing as an important April baseball game. The NBA playoffs would still be a month away.

Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi and the Huskies would get more exposure in April.
The women's tourney would have the sports-world spotlight, something it will never get as long as it is played alongside the men's tourney. The ladies would shine brightly. They don't dunk or play above the rim. But the women's college game is entertaining, more enjoyable than the WNBA, and it can be wagered on just as easily as the men's games.

Move the women's tournament to April, and I bet the amount of money wagered on its games would quadruple, which would drive TV ratings. I'm not a gambler. But I'm not na´ve. I've watched too many sporting events from too many different venues not to be aware of what drives the passion -- Vegas, offshore and local-bookie betting lines.

I digress. This suggestion to move the tournament has a noble foundation. It can serve as a lesson for all women, especially Martha Burk.

The Burk crowd keeps trying to send the women's equality movement down the tattered, misguided path taken by black folk in the 1960s .... Segregation must end ... Women would be better served following the self-powered path blazed by Jewish folk since the Holocaust ... That's nice, but we'd rather have our own.

Burk should rally her troops to build Ms. Augusta's National Golf Course, where fat, wealthy, snobby white women can gather to lie, drink and gamble on the women's NCAA Tournament games during Awesome April.

Jason Whitlock is a regular columnist for the Kansas City Star (kcstar.com), the host of a morning-drive talk show, "Jason Whitlock's Neighborhood" on Sports Radio 810 WHB (810whb.com) and a regular contributor on ESPN The Magazine's Sunday morning edition of The Sports Reporters. He can be reached at ballstate0@aol.com.





AWESOME APRIL

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