April 05, 2009
If, like me, you accidentally stumbled upon the women's Final Four because you were trying to find the MLB opener on ESPN (only to discover that it was on ESPN2), you might have caught a glimpse of one of the ugliest court designs in history. Because St. Louis is hosting this year's womens's Final Four, somebody thought it'd be a good idea to put the city's most famous landmark, the Gateway Arch, onto the court. All over the court, that is:
As Tim Gunn might say, "It's hideous." It's been said that organizers decided to put the arch on the court in order to promote a positive image of the city to viewers at home and to possibly stimulate tourism. The only thing it really does, though, is suggest that St. Louis is home to some ugly basketball courts. (The arch looks even worse up close.)
Why couldn't they have put a small arch on the baseline? Why are there two colors for the arch? And isn't the arch already incorporated in the Final Four logo? Was there really need to put it on again?
This is the second straight year the women's Final Four has had a hideous court design, which begs the question, "WHY?!" The women's game always seems to be striving for legitimacy and respect from the general sporting public who tend to treat women's college basketball as a punchline. Going with garish, gimmicky court designs only reinforces that notion.
Next year the women's Final Four is in San Antonio, so we can only assume there will be a 90-foot drawing of Davey Crockett on the floor.