Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who’s Fat?

I’ve been watching a lot of women’s basketball over the past few weeks. It’ is Final Four time, after all. Normally I love the games, love to listen to the commentators tell how players spend six hours every day in the gym practicing free throws or hearing how someone’s brother or dad played in the NFL. But watching the games on Sunday, I was tempted to hit the “mute” button because I was so sick of hearing how two players in particular lost 20 pounds each.

Jayne Appel, the Stanford Cardinal star center almost set a record the other day by scoring 46 points in a game. Yet, more times than the announcers talked about that, they brought up the fact that Jayne went on Weight Watchers and lost 20 pounds in the off-season.

Courtney and Ashley Paris (twins) both play for Oklahoma. Both are big girls at 6-3 and 6-4. I don’t know what they weigh because the NCAA, who lists heights and weights of male players, doesn’t do the same for female athletes. But one thing I do know, because the announcers went on about it ad nauseam, is that Ashley lost 20 pounds over the summer.

Courtney Paris is the only player to be voted an All-American all four years of college. She set records for most consecutive double doubles (112) and is the only player, male or female, in N.C.A.A. history to have 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocked shots in a season. The girl is an Amazon.

And although no one flat out said she should also lose weight, the girls that did sure were given props. 

So what if Courtney weighs 20 more pounds than her sister? Would she be a better athlete if she were thin? I highly doubt it! On the contrary, it’s her size that helps her get position in under the basket, muscle her way into 22 points per game and create space to grab 15 rebounds per game.

All this while sporting a belly! Instead of going on and on about how other players have lost weight, why don’t we hold Courtney Paris up as a role model for heavy girls out there? You CAN be an athlete even if you’re not stick thin. As a matter of fact, you can be one of the best athletes in the world. If you asked me, I'd say that extra few pound is probably WHY she's the best center in the nation.


Salty said...

Sounds like the commentators are on Weight Watchers payroll. Size does matter, because as you said, would she be as affective if she was physically smaller. When I was in high school, me and another girl in gym class were the tallest and not skinny but we were the best players. We could move, shoot and get rebounds better than the shorter/smaller girls. I agree, "heavy" girls need role models too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. I also noticed & couldn't believe how much it was brought up- and by the female announcers as much as the males. ugh. Courtney Paris can play (and how) & that should be that.

Sandy B. said...

Terrific post, Dip!

Dipstick said...

Did anyone watch the WNBA draft? Courtney Paris was picked 7th overall. Not bad, really, but I was surprised she didn't go sooner. (Ha- pun intended.)

Again, Nancy Lieberman and Carolyn Peck talked about how she needed to mold her body into better condition. I hope Courtney Paris speaks out. Is there some organization for women of size that can sign her up as spokesperson? God this pisses me off!

Anonymous said...

Revisiting this, Courtney Paris has done nothing at the professional level. Why do you think that is? Not only is she fat, she's also lazy. She's doing okay in Atlanta right now, but she's nowhere near the pro her supporters felt she would be. Appel, meanwhile, is not lighting the world on fire, but she's coming along nicely in San Antonio. Look at her teammate Danielle Adams, if you want a role model for fat broads, though. She's been fantastic.

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