By Laura Pappano
- Who says people don’t watch dominance? UConn’s NCAA Tournament run brought ESPN more viewers than in 2009. According to Nielsen, the final UConn-Stanford game drew 3.53 million viewers, up 32 percent from the 2009 final of UConn vs. Louisville. The Final Four averaged 3.16 viewers, up 22 percent from last year.
- The WNBA has scheduled its second outdoor game, between the LA Sparks and the Seattle Storm for June 5 – and they should plan even more. It’s a problem that the WNBA plays in the “off” season when sports media attention is not on basketball. (In HS, this would be a Title IX problem). Bringing the game outdoors gives the WNBA a playground hoops culture vibe and a twist the NBA lacks.
- When Doug Hastings, a writer for small Boston-area weeklies reported plans for a WNBA team, the “Tessies,” to land in sport-crazed Boston, it was – as he wrote at the end of his column – just an April Fool’s joke. “No, there will be no WNBA coming to the area, but enjoy April Fool’s Day.” Maybe Hasting’s editor can assign him a better story: Ask the Celtics why they don’t want a WNBA franchise in town?
- Mid-way through the Masters those rooting for Tiger Woods might have asked themselves what was compelling: Was this a story about redemption? Or Excellence? By Sunday evening it turned out to be about neither. In fact, it was more about fussing and whining (and even arrogance).
- It’s not just female athletes who sponsors love to sell as role models: Barclay’s wasted no time in taking out a full page ad in The New York Times today (page A5) to congratulate “Phil Mickelson and his family” on his Master’s win. The ad features a giant photo of Phil planting a kiss on wife Amy’s head. Copy reads: “Phil demonstrates why he is a great ambassador and role model for the game of golf. He personifies the game’s values of integrity, focus, and precision…” Message to Tiger: Character is huge.
- There is a serious and unfortunate pay gap in purses for men’s and women’s pro golf. How big? The current top male pay leader for 2010, Ernie Ells, has earned $1,406 per stroke while the top female, Yani Tseng, has been paid $409 for every time she has hit the ball.