Over the past year women have been infiltrating competitions historically reserved for men at an ever increasing rate. We all wanted to see Danica Patrick win the Indy 500 recently, unless we were one of the men in the other cars. If Wie would have won the tournament she would have competed at the Ol' Boys Club at Augusta, where a woman playing in the most hallowed of American golf tournaments is considered blasphemous to some.
While watching Ogden's plight we were reminded why men and women don't normally compete against each other in sports. (With that line the temperature of every female reading this column just rose to a boiling point in preparation for a sexist comment.) It has nothing to do with whether women can perform at the same level as men, but is more chauvinistically motivated. Genders are segregated to protect boys, men, whoever from getting worked over in sports that they are "supposed" to be far superior in than women.
I don't have a problem with women competing against men in the same arenas; I just feel for the next Bobby Riggs who is set up for a fall. We don't want to see men beat the women, because that proves nothing. It would be a much more compelling story if Wie had beat Ogden and went on to win the tournament, but she didn't. Ogden played two more matches after his quarterfinal victory over Wie, but neither of them reached Sportscenter.
Although a lot more was at stake (a berth in next year's Master's to be exact), Ogden was made to feel like the boy fourth grader who gets matched up with a girl in tether ball. Lose, and you'll never recover socially. Get ultra aggressive trying to win and you may commit social suicide with as many dating opportunities as Screech Powers. Besides, as a student at BYU, isn't it somehow against the Honor Code for Ogden to be singled out in match play against a 15-year-old girl?
As instances of women playing at or above the levels of the best men in their respective sports continues to increase, we will get used to it, and it won't captivate our attention. This day is soon coming and could arrive before Wie hits legal voting age.
Some sports such as football, baseball and basketball will never see a woman compete professionally, but most collegiate softball or basketball players can hold their own otherwise.
Softball pitcher Jennie Finch whiffed Cardinal great Albert Pujols in a charity event, something he hardly does against major league pitching, but if she had been throwing a baseball, she might be digesting her teeth still.
Ogden did himself well by winning against Wie, but was it really cause to rejoice that he proved he could beat a girl not old enough to drive?
It was cause to jump for joy when he shut down any skeptics by winning his next two rounds, but did anyone outside of Utah pay attention once Wie was bounced?
Absolutely not. The only way we pay attention to women's sports where they wear anything but tennis skirts or soccer shorts is if they compete against men. And the only way we pay attention to amateur golf tournaments is if Michelle Wie is involved.
For the men forced to compete against women in these events, whether they win or lose, they don't come out looking any better.
Comments? Feedback? Send your suggestions to Ben De Voe at news@davisclipper.