Over the past week or two, my conversation with other people has generally turned to sports – specifically, to the NCAA tournament. But in joining in the fun, our President has received criticism from USA Today’s Christine Brennan. Brennan complains that Barack Obama’s bracket is sexist because he ignored the women’s basketball tournament altogether.
There’s a reason for that: the men’s tournament is many times more popular than the women’s tournament. For one thing, the ratings for the first rounds of the men’s tournament – featuring all 64 teams and plenty of top-seeded teams blowing out the ones who earned automatic bids – dwarf the ratings of the women’s championship game.
Though women’s basketball enjoys niche interest that has been building for a decade and a half, the interest is simply not there. The WNBA has contracted a team and is trimming its rosters.
That’s not to de-value women’s sports – sports teach teamwork and all that stuff regardless of who is playing. It just isn’t compelling spectator television programming. And President Obama didn’t fill out a bracket for the World Baseball Classic, either.
All that said, I’ll put $5 down that there’s a women’s bracket next year…