On May 1, a pair of tennis-playing girls—sisters Karli and Tonya Timko—won the won the boys AA Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League doubles title.
Let me take that back: They didn't just win. They freakin' dominated. As singles players on the boys team, they rolled over their opponents all year, dropping only two sets between the two of them. When the season came to a close and titles were on the line, the sisters teamed up as double partners again and hammered their finals opponents, Tin Chu and Drew Gallatin of Thomas Jefferson High, by a total of 6-2, 6-1.
According to their own statements in the press, the sisters, who play for Chartiers-Houston high, have been playing on the boys' tennis team because there haven't been enough girls to field a girls' squad. That dismal state of affairs is a worthy enough topic for conversation, but let's save that for another time. What I want to take a look at is the media coverage of the sisters' victory.
This past week, sports-wise, we had a bit of a truth crisis.
We had Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance—about which he had previously lied. We had the release of a book on Alex Rodriguez—who also previously lied about his steroid use. The book was written by a woman who, while not a liar, plays dangerous games with what's true.
So, Selena Roberts' Alex Rodriguez book, A-rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez, hit the shelves yesterday—earlier than its original release date, due to the jib-jab ratcheted up by the recent reportage on leaked bits of the book. I would be remiss in not mentioning A-rod, but, really…I don't want to read it. God, please don't make me read it.
OK, I'm gonna hafta read it.
Last night I had the distinct pleasure of watching my Dallas Mavericks polish off the San Antonio Spurs in Round One of the Western Conference playoffs. The Mavs won the best-of-seven series pretty decisively, this last game on the strength of the performance of their star player, Dirk Nowitzki.
Most people, regardless of gender, are born with 206 bones. Experts say human beings have between 640 and 850 muscles (they’re so difficult to count, a precise tally is impossible). Boy, girl, and in-between, we all share the same number of eyes, appendages, nerve endings. We have the same instincts—if we touch a hot stove, we pull away; if something is thrown unexpectedly at us, we duck.
Hi there, sports fans. My name is Jonanna Widner, and for the next couple months I'm going to be doing the guest-blogging about the nexus of sports and feminism. Said guest blog will fall under the name "Jock Bitch."
To start, I thought I'd just sort of spell out my relationship to/with sports, which hopefully will explain why I think sports are a feminist subject, and serve as an introduction to the philosophy behind this Jock Bitch.
First off, I am a huge sports fan. I do not qualify as a sports nut, mind you, as that would entail endless hours of trolling web sites for obscure statistics about how many strikes C.C. Sabathia throws per inning when pitching at dusk when the wind is coming from the south, but let's just say ESPN is often the first TV station I turn to when the TV comes on. Let's also say I've been known to Tivo basketball games to save for later, and that I cry regularly due to some sports-related catharsis or other. Last minute heroics are always good: Show me a walk-off home run and say good-bye to the Kleenex. And that's only during the regular season.....