Aim higher than espnW: Be a real worldwide leader


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor poses with members of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress on June 21 in D.C. Norman Chad says we need more Sonia Sotomayors, but not espnW. (JDRF)
July 24, 2011

One man’s progress is another man’s regress — jocks of all genders, I give you espnW.

All sports all the time for women, espnW started as a blog, turned into a Web site and might morph into a full-fledged ESPN network.

One small step for broadcasting, one giant leap for broads.

(ESPN begat ESPN2; espnW might beget espntheLword.)

But from where Couch Slouch is sitting — and, granted, I’m usually sitting alone, miles away from any feminist or, for that matter, any woman — this somewhat logical extension of the sports world and the equal rights movement feels, well, somewhat unnecessary.

House Speaker John Boehner wells up when talking about how he’s spent his whole life chasing the American dream, which — adjusted for inflation — seems to be a flat-screen TV, a smartphone and 24-hour sports/gambling/porn. But, frankly, this appears to be the American dream of men; women have long appeared to be smarter than men. Women traditionally have resisted temptation and titillation that most men capitulate to in a heartbeat.

Yet ESPN seems to want to put women to the test again with espnW.

As it turns out, about a quarter of ESPN’s audience is made upof women. I had no idea that many ladies hung on Andy Katz’s every word.

One of the reasons I’ve always liked women better than men is that they largely ignore sports.

(It’s one of the reasons, too, that I prefer dogs.)

None of my wives, to date, has been a sports fan.

Heck, if both you and your better half are screaming at the Sony about a bad call during a Duke-UNC game, how does this bode for the children?

Anyway, I have been trying to escape Sports Nation since I was, oh, 14 or 15 years old, but have not had the skill set or the willpower to wander elsewhere. So I have no choice but to be a slave to MLB and the NBA and the NFL; the fairer sex, on the other hand, can sleep snugly on mattresses not littered with unused Sports Illustrated subscription cards.

(This reminds me of that age-old joke: A man comes home early from work and finds his best friend in bed with his wife. “My goodness, Pete,” he says, “I have to, but you?”)

I just thought it might be nice, for the sake of our nation’s future, if half the population wasn’t engaged in sports around the clock. Sure, it’s not the best system in the world — women being maternal, men being Neanderthal — but it’s gotten us this far since 1776.

Women don’t need a sports Web site geared toward their sports interests; they need to bust down barriers in Washington and Hollywood and Wall Street.

We need more Ruth Bader Ginsburgs, Sonia Sotomayors and Elena Kagans, not another online poll about who the Cardinals’ fourth starter should be. We need more Oscar-winning directors like Kathryn Bigelow, not version five of a mock NFL draft.

Now, I have nothing against women’s soccer, but I just think the playing field is a lousy springboard; boardrooms smell a lot better than locker rooms.

And why would you want your own sports cable network? Women really should aim higher than espnW, Lifetime and WE. Why emulate the male model that has been skewing basic values for generations on end?

Yes, women should have equal rights everywhere. But not all equal rights are created equally, so I’m imploring women to ignore espnW like another bad pickup line.

That being said, I understand that — being a man, and barely one at that — there’s no reason for women to listen to me, and, to be truthful, as a rule women have never listened to me. Which means that it is likely espnW will grow and grow; thus, when espnW inevitably becomes a real cable network, I have these personnel and programming suggestions:

l All-male sideline reporters.

l It never hurts to have Oprah on board.

l Reverse sexual harassment.

l Out with “Big Monday,” in with “Sadie Hawkins Night.”

l “Pardon the Menstruation.”

Ask The Slouch

Q. I am sick and tired of people constantly criticizing your marital proficiency. The way I see it, you’re batting .333 and if you were a Yankee, you’d be making $25 million per year and be a sure bet for the Hall of Fame. (Terence Sanctis; Cranberry Township, Pa.)

A. Thanks, buddy — if I end up batting .250, I hope you stick by me.

Q. Why did Tiger Woods fire caddie Steve Williams? (Megan O’Connor; Albany, N.Y.)

A. Tiger’s never forgiven him for giving the wrong yardage on that fire hydrant.

Q. If a nuclear holocaust became a reality and you had Ace-9, would you go all in? (Jeff Clarke; Stratford, Ontario)

A. I appreciate your confidence in assuming I’d have any chips to go all in.

Q. Do you understand jai alai? (Christopher Brooks; Milwaukee)

A. Sure. You bet, you lose.

Q. Why do we continue to allow fans to select all-star teams? Could you believe some of the starters for the WNBA’s mid-summer classic? (William Murray; Chicago)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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