Monday, March 12, 2007

Say It Ain't So, Pokey . . .

I love women's basketball. And this is a beautiful time of year for someone like me: the tulips are peeking out of the ground, the birds are tweeting, the grass is turning green, the NCAA women's tournament bracket was just announced this evening on ESPN, and the games start this Saturday.

So what is everyone talking about? Wait, I said "everyone" like I'm not the only person you all know who actually watched the hour-long special on ESPN this evening to find out how the bracket would shake out . . . Let me rephrase: What is everyone who cares about women's basketball talking about? Two words: Pokey Chatman.

Pokey was the very successful head coach for the LSU women's program for the past 4 years running. She was pulling down a $400,000 salary, and all signs pointed to a very strong showing at this year's tournament. She took over for the great and beloved Sue Gunter during the 2003-04 season when Gunter fell ill and passed away. Pokey had been Gunter's assistant coach for a decade. Before that, Pokey was an all-star point guard for LSU.

On Thursday, Pokey suddenly and without warning resigned from LSU, announcing that she would not coach the team through the tourney. News quickly came down saying that her sudden departure was because of an inappropriate relationship between Pokey and a player. Tiny nuggets of the story have since come out -- the relationship was brought to light by one of Pokey's assistants; the player involved is not on the current team roster; Pokey isn't talking.

Part of me wants to write to Pokey and ask her just what the fuck she was thinking. Part of me wants to say, "so what -- we're talking about a former player." Part of finds it VERY curious that this story broke 4 days before the brackets were announced. Part of me thinks that Pokey should absolutely have been fired immediately. The biggest part of me -- the part that's been a Pokey fan for a long, long time -- wants to get Pokey's back and encourage everyone to wait for the facts.

For me, at least right now, the bottom line in this story is that this is just another example of women's sport in general, and women's basketball in particular, failing to acknowledge the big fat purple girl elephant who's making out with the other big fat purple girl elephant sitting in the middle of the fucking room. I mean, does anyone really think that it's shocking that there are dykes involved in athletics? Whether this story is true or not will eventually come to light. I believe that Pokey will talk about what really happened after the tournament is over. No matter what the truth, though, Pokey has been outed, and her career has most likely been ruined.

Why, when everyone knows that women's basketball is loaded with dykes -- one might say chock full o' dykes -- did she need to live in the closet in the first place? I've read that parents won't send their daughters to LSU now, because the university allowed a lesbian to run their basketball program for 4 years (the side on which Pokey butters her toast was apparently common knowledge around the gym and athletic department). To that, I have two responses: One, your kid wants to play college basketball -- she might think Pokey is kinda hot; and Two, can't we finally just tell people who react in that kind of way to just fuck off? If your kid can't play for a lesbian, then maybe she shouldn't play.

Okay, I've ranted . . .


EssBee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
EssBee said...

Here is today's most vile piece on the story (you may have to copy and paste this into your browser -- I hit a hard return so it would fit in this window):