Two-Minute Warning: ‘And Still They Ball

By Lamont Germany
Updated: October 4, 2004


With apologies to Maya Angelo…

BALTIMORE, MD.—The WNBA playoffs are in full gear, and sometimes I feel as if I’m the only one who cares.

It’s playoff time, and sometimes I feel like the only one getting excited, getting pumped, getting wired, getting juiced.

It can be lonely being a WNBA fan in a slam-dunk world.

It’s the championship season, and sometimes I feel like the only one who actually cares who wins the WNBA championship.

I can always find somebody to argue with during the NBA playoffs, but during the WNBA playoffs I can’t find anybody who cares enough to pick a fight with me over my bold prediction that Seattle will win it all this year.

Half the folks I know didn’t even realize Seattle had a WNBA team.

I can’t wait to get into the Sacramento/Los Angeles series. I’m going to be glued to the Washington/Connecticut 1st round hook-up. But I’m desperately searching for someone, anyone to share my passion. The WNBA doesn’t seem to be must-see TV for most of God’s children. But this is one boy who can’t wait to see the ladies start ballin’.

The WNBA is fighting a tough fight.


Attendance is shaky…TV Ratings are inconsistent… Media Exposure is marginal…. Fan interest in many places is DOWN, and most importantly…REVENUE IS DOWN.


They aren’t household names. In the NBA, We know all about KOBE, SHAQ, IVERSON, KG, T-MAC, MELO, and LEBRON. We don’t even need to call them by their full names anymore.

But we don’t know squat about Chamique, Sheryl, Lisa, Alana or Diana. *I better list their last names, because many wouldn’t have a clue about the last names of some of the aforementioned WNBA superstars.

WNBA stars labor in relative obscurity, known in many cases by close friends and family only.

*For the record ya’ll it’s Holdsclaw, Swoops, Leslie, Beard, and Taurasi… And don’t you dare forget it.


Professional sports are a boys club, and it’s tough to break through if you aren’t one of the boys. The WNBA has always been an uphill enterprise, and in many ways the hill is getting steeper and steeper because fans have more and more choices, and many are choosing not to choose the WNBA.


They put a good product on the floor, an exciting, competitive product. But is anybody watching?

When you want to find a WNBA score, you have to leap to the last page of the sports section.


I’m hooked. I love their fire, their passion, and their commitment to make it work. The players, the coaches, the administrators are fighting a tough battle, as more and more the NBA gradually looks to part company with the WNBA.

Many folks claim to hate the NBA because of an alleged lack of fundamentals. I’m not sure if I buy that because, if it’s fundamentals you want, you should be beating down the door to get into a WNBA game. But that’s not happening. We don’t really want fundamentals. I repeat, we in a slam-dunk, highlight world; where the back door cut just doesn’t cut it.

Eventually the ladies are going to have to sink or swim on their own. I’m hoping they can weather the storm and make it for the long haul. But like any league, they have to gain and sustain fan loyalty to survive. If they don’t have enough paying customers, the league will have to pay the price.

There have been no less than 5 professional women’s sports leagues that have come and gone since the WNBA came on the scene in 1997. The WNBA is still with us, but now that the novelty has worn off the true test of its staying power begins.

Lots of folks in the boys club would love to see the league go straight down the toilet.

But they hang on, driven by Maya’s inspirational eloquence when she wrote

You may shoot me with your words

You may cut me with your eyes

You may kill me with your hatefulness

But still like air I rise….

Hey folks, it’s playoff time. At least give the ladies a peak. You might like what you see.

I’m Lamont Germany

That’s your two-minute warning