Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sellouts To Follow

Since the UO is the closest entity with sports teams to my residence I hear quite a bit about them. Most of the time I enjoy reading about the football team and athletic department politics. There are times though that I am bored to death by some of the stories. Call me a hater but women's basketball falls into this category. You see, where I grew up women's basketball was not the most popular sport around. The local area never really was itching for the women's basketball season to start up. Where the Ducks reside it is a little different. More than 15 people seem to get excited about women's basketball. I have never voluntarily been to a UO women's basketball game. The thought of countless turnovers and a plethora of missed shots never has interested me. Before I go on more of a tangent about a sport that could get me into trouble with the political correct police I will stop.

The main reason I feel compelled to discuss women's basketball is that I read in the local paper that the ticket prices for UO women's basketball have been reduced. (I do realize I linked to the UO Athletics website but I do believe it is the exact same thing that was in the paper.) You're to tell me they charge people to see the games? That was certainly news to me. The fact that this article was in the local paper less than 2 weeks before the season opening football game is appalling. As I understand it Pac-10 fans want their teams to be held in high regard nationally. When I see articles in the sports page this close to the football season about reduced women's basketball ticket prices I know why the Midwest and South think sissy football is played on the West Coast. Without doing any research I am confident none of the major football teams' local newspapers used column inches this week on women's basketball ticket prices. Yes, this bold statement includes Tennessee. I could be wrong but I seriously doubt it.

The other part of this article that got me thinking is, why are they lowering ticket prices? Again, without doing any research I contend that women's basketball is an event you either want to see or you don't. A couple dollars off of the ticket price is not going to make someone reconsider going to women's basketball. You either like to watch that type of basketball or you despise it. I understand that Eugene is not your typical American town but when it comes to having to pay for women's basketball games I think it is. Since the local paper finds it necessary to talk up women's hoops this close to the football season (and this far from the hoops season might I add) I want them to ask the powers-that-be what the reason for the reduction is. If it is to increase attendance I think they made a stupid decision. As I see it, the result will be the same or less, not more, number of people in attendance and even less money coming into the athletic department. I may keep an eye on attendance figures to see if my theory holds but I generally like dealing with large numbers so don't count on it.

Now, if you are talking about Oregon women's volleyball I will sing a different tune. They look to be very good this year and the sport is infinitely more entertaining to watch than women's basketball. The entertainment factor has nothing to do with attractiveness of players by the way. I have held that women's volleyball will surpass women's basketball at the UO. Given the early start to the volleyball season and the confidence of the coach, this just might be the year. The UO and Register-Guard should do a better job campaigning for women's volleyball. At least the team is good and fun to watch.

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