What's going on? How come this thing isn't being blown out? Here we are strongly entrenched in the game, but the ROI is depreciating returns. What am I talking about you ask?
The WNBA Finals-that's right. The "we got game" crew, who is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. the first game tips off with the Detroit Shock taking on the Sacramento Monarchs in Aurburn Hills, MI.
I want us to flash back to 1996, if you were anywhere in the U.S. and paying some kind of attention to the Olympic games being played that year down in Atlanta, GA you might be able to follow me: Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Ruthie Bolton, Rebecca Lobo, Nikki McCray, Catrina McClain, Katy Steading, Teresa Edwards, Jennifer Azzi, Venus Lacy and Carla McGhee. They had a SQUAD! Do you hear me!? If you are a true hoops fan, then you will never be deterred by league or sex, you'd never allow yourself to be pigeon holed into some small frame work for fulfilling your craving for true athletes playing the game.
Since then, not much has changed, there has been expansion and some re-shuffling, but for the most part attention has waned. Marketing efforts have allowed the game to expand from LifeTime network to ESPN and local cable programming. The proliferation of European athletes is one similarity which the WNBA takes from the big brother, but translating this into an appealing opportunity to gain access into primetime broadcasting spots has proved difficult.
The 5 game series is unfortunately sandwiched between Tiger Woods recently capturing his 12th career major, college football and NFL fantasy drafts. Hopefully, the eventual Champion will get the recognition they deserve, grace that Wheaties box and maybe even one day everyone else will hear them when they say, "we got game".