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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Campos View

Jason Campos

Jason Campos

Everyone knows that males dominate the American sports scene. Whether it’s baseball, football, basketball, or golf, the sports world and media are heavily focused on male individuals and male sports personalities. The major networks in this country pay billions of dollars for the right to broadcast the games of the NFL, Major League Baseball, and even major college basketball.

Women and women’s sports are relegated to the background most of the time. In fact, the only time I’ve seen Nielsen ratings of women’s sporting event that can be compared to, say, a NFL playoff game, is in the Olympics, where women’s gymnastics and women’s figure skating competitions dominate for a mere two weeks out of the sports calender year. And that’s once every two or four years.

So the question I ask myself is: Does the fandom of America ignore women’s sports because of a perceived difference in the competition to that of men’s sports? It’s well known that men have overall superior strength and physical attributes, but a contest between two teams of women athletes (as in basketball and soccer) or two individual female competitors (as in tennis and golf) is just as entertaining and exciting.

Here are some names that prove my point (and if you don’t recognize at least half of them, it’s a real shame): Carrie Webb, Anika Sorrenstam, Jennifer Capriati, and the sisters Williams, Venus and Serena, Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm, Leslie Sparks, and Sheryl Swoops. All entertaining and very talented athletes.

But it isn’t even necessary to turn on the TV to watch superb female athletes in action. Right here on campus, we have a bevy of talented and athletic women that excel on the field and court.

Kristina Sandelin of the women’s tennis team. I hear the word dominance thrown around a lot in the sports world, but I really think it applies here. Sandelin has been named Little East Conference Player of the Week twice this season and for good reasons. The junior has not lost a match in either singles or doubles play at all, posting a remarkable record of 20-0.

Laurel Smith of the women’s volleyball team. Although the volleyball team has absolutely no bench, each team member rallies around the versatility and effort put forth by Smith. Whether it’s blocking up near the net, spiking the ball for a kill, or making a dig to save a point, Smith’s relentless energy and play is one of the reasons the volleyball team has made an incredible turn around after an 0-9 start. The co-captain has posted some impressive numbers as she prepares her team for a post season run.

Kristen Bowes of the women’s soccer team. Bowes’ team did not post a victory all season, but it did not dampen the spirit of the charged Beacon. With a baseball cap on backwards, her play as goalkeeper and voice as tri-captain lifts the morale of the entire team. Her never say die attitude and feisty nature make her a worthy object of observation.

There are more names that deserve my praise. But instead of reading about these athletes in my column, go and watch them play the games that they love. You won’t be disappointed.

About the Contributor
Jason Campos served as The Mass Media staff for the following years and positions: Editor-in-Chief: 2003-2004; Managing Editor: 2002-2003; and Sports Editor: 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004 Disclaimer: Years served is based on online database and may not detail entire service.