Last night Sarah and I watched the Michigan State Spartans defeat the Indiana Hoosiers by 14 points. The game had a closer spread than I had anticipated. I was expecting the Hoosiers to get crimson-and-creamed, but they almost held their own. The game wasn't particularly exciting, but for most of the game, there was still a glimmer of hope for a possible rally.
If you follow NCAA basketball, you're probably double-checking the timestamp on this article for the date. Yep, it says 2011 January 21. And on 2011 January 20 the Indiana Hoosiers lost by 9 points to the Wisconsin Badgers.
Not only do schools have the same name and mascot across sports, but for most, if not all sports, many schools make the men's and women's teams share names and mascots. Okay, whatever. Who cares? Not me.
But I do care that sports are segregated by gender. When I was investigating the parking situation at Indiana University's Assembly Hall, I came across this front-page article in the Indiana Daily Student: Attendance at women’s basketball games continues to lag. The headline only surprised me by being portrayed as front-page news. I have never seen a well-attended women's basketball game. Even the WNBA struggles to attract attendees.
Sexist prejudices, I'm sure, are largely to blame. A quick glance through the comments at the bottom of the aforementioned IDS article supports that assertion. In sports, women are allegedly less interesting to watch and less competitive than men.
This allegation is bullshit. I hereby propose a solution: integrate sports. Men and women should play professional sports on the same field at the same time. Not a men-vs-women situation; women and men should be on teams together.
If women's sports are less interesting and competitive than men's sports, the real catalyst is likely motivation. If you are a competitive interesting woman, why would you want to play to stadiums that are only filled to half-a-percent of capacity?
If you put a competitive, interesting woman on a men's basketball team, though, you will sell out your season.
Integrate sports. Please.