By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Veteran Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy has opened up an interesting debate about what we really want out of sports by claiming the extraordinary dominance of the UConn women’s basketball team is bad for the game.

The UConn women are well on their way to their 10th national championship in the last sixteen years. They don’t just win all the time, they bury their opponents.

READ MORE: Free At-Home COVID Tests Now Available Online Through Post Office

Dan Shaughnessy. (WBZ-TV)

Dan Shaughnessy. (WBZ-TV)

And after watching them eradicate Mississippi State in the tournament Sunday by 60 points, Shaughnessy wrote that while the UConn women are “better than any team in history…demonstrate great sportsmanship…[and even] get good grades…this kind of dominance is bad for the sport.”


If TV ratings are indeed driven by the closeness of the competition, and if TV ratings are all that matter, then I get Shaugnessy’s point.

READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments

But I don’t think that’s the case.

UConn’s 2014 title win drew a record rating for women’s college basketball. Their 2015 victory outdrew a marquee NBA game.

While women’s basketball may never be the ratings draw that the men’s game is, UConn’s consistent excellence has drawn unparalleled attention and respect to the women’s game. And sport is about far more than close games and diverse winners. Did the Yankee or Celtic dynasties kill baseball or basketball?

The proliferation of awards shows reflects how our culture honors excellence. And there is drama in the question of whether or not the UConn women can keep it up.

Shaugnessy is wrong.

MORE NEWS: Wednesday's Child: 13-Year-Old Serenity

They’re not bad for their sports; they’re the best thing that ever happened to it.

Jon Keller