|espnW.com: Title IX|
My all-time favorite moment in women's college athletics happened in my living room. And no women were there.
It was March 2009 and "March Madness" was in full swing. I was on the road covering the women's NCAA tournament and my husband was home with our three young children -- Siobhan (age 4), Maeve (age 2) and Thomas (5 months). My kids were used to seeing me "talk ballgame" on television and they were not particularly interested in watching me. As one of them said when their father asked to change the channel from Nick Jr. to a basketball game I was covering: "I don't wanna see mommy on the television. I see her all the time not on the television." So "Dora the Explorer" it was.
Occasionally that March my husband was able to watch some basketball. One afternoon the UConn men's team was playing on TV. My 4-year-old walked into the living room, glanced at the television and said to my husband, "Are those boys playing basketball?" Anticipating a channel change request, my husband told her that, yes, those were indeed boys. My 4-year-old's response? "I didn't know boys played basketball, too!"
What a different world my kids will grow up in. I now have four children -- three of them girls. They like sports and have opportunities to play a wide variety of them. They can turn on ESPN or ESPN3 and watch female college athletes play the same sports that they are learning through our town's parks and rec department. They don't yet know about Title IX, but they feel its impact each day. They see a world where women have as many opportunities as men, where girls have as many opportunities as boys. A world where -- at least when the channel is allowed to be turned from "Dora the Explorer" -- boys play basketball, too.