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Playing like girls

College softball players in action. Unsplash photo

Sports is huge in America and around the world. Is it time we start taking women’s sports seriously?

NCAA women’s softball is a great game. I wish it were more popular. It is in my top three sports, including men’s sports. I may be the only person I know who cares who won the college world series.

It felt strange last night not having any softball to watch. The NCAA women’s softball season is over. That is kind of sad, but it was a lot of fun to watch.

The season and the playoffs had enough drama to keep it interesting, and some of those women are just fun to watch cause … well, they are 20-ish year old fit young women.

The final tournament, called the women’s world series, is a double-elimination affair with the top two teams playing a best of three series. Unlike March Madness, you can afford to lose a game.

You have to see the above play to believe it. There’s no question this is real athleticism.

Florida State did lose a game, their first one, and they fought their way back and won it all. This has only been done once before in the history of the sport. They had to play two games a day, two days straight. That’s four games in 48 hours, and then start the best of three series. The other team in the finals, Washington, rolled through the tournament and had days off to rest and recover.

The difference I noticed was Florida State was loose, relaxed, having fun. They were laughing with each other in the dugout. They were smiling at the plate. When they did make a rare mistake, they shook it off and kept playing. They exceeded expectations by just getting there, so they had nothing to lose.

The day of the final game, the coach gave the players the early part of the day off to do whatever they wanted. In the world of top-level sports that is unheard of. Most teams would be watching film, taking batting practice, going over strategy. Florida State girls went to the zoo, or shopping, or swimming. Then they show up at the park and won the national championship. They have played around 60 games. What more could you possibly add at that point?

There were at least two other teams in the final eight more talented than Florida State. Washington was one of them. Talent doesn’t always win. There were some breaks that went Florida State’s way, but some breaks didn’t go their way too. Sometimes teams get into a “zone” or they get momentum. A hot team in its zone is hard to beat.

Pixabay photo

I don’t know why women’s fast pitch softball is not more popular than it is.

The game is much faster than baseball. The pitchers use an under-hand motion which is a more natural movement than what baseball pitchers use. As a result they can go much faster. The Florida State pitcher did that, and even went faster than most, and that threw Washington off a bit. But this is not slow-pitch. They are throwing the ball 75 miles per hour. It is not as far from the mound to the plate as it is in baseball. There is less time to react in softball. The best pitchers are throwing the equivalent of a 100 mph fastball.

I do take women seriously as athletes.

I also like looking at them and enjoying both aspects-athleticism and sex appeal. I can appreciate their athleticism and how they look. A fit young woman is a sight to appreciate no matter if she is making a great play or not. Them doing some great things athletically just adds to the overall picture.

Is it sexist?

In an earlier story, I was writing about whether it was “OK” to notice and comment on a woman’s sexiness while she was playing sports. One comment said it was demeaning to women to notice or comment on how they looked while playing sports. They said it took away from the athletic performance.

I really don’t agree with that. We should appreciate the whole person. If the athlete is appealing to look at, I don’t see any issue with noticing that in addition to the performance. I know some women do that when watching men’s sports, and that is the reason some women watch sports.

The daily writing whatever comes to mind, Let it Roll, series continues. I have lots of ideas going on. Hopefully I will get to some of them soon. Here are a couple related stories. See all my writing at www.jamesjordanstories.com



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James Jordan

Teller of tales, many of which are actually true. Award-winning journalist, and the William Allen White Award for reporting.