A little bit of Magic can't hurt
Shhhhh. Hear that? Ah, the sounds of silence. Rather enjoyable. And proof of how millions of people can be utterly confident and patently wrong at the same time.
Because how, really, can they explain Magic Johnson? All the dim bulbs, in and out of the media, who take bewildering glee shoveling dirt on the WNBA, can go back to their selective ignorance of it today.
Because how do they explain Magic Johnson?
Magic, a man of means, investing his money into this entity that appears on more endangered species lists than black rhinos? You don't suppose ... nah. This must be Magic being magnanimous. You don't suppose ... nah. That maybe the league has this mysterious appeal, especially, if, you know, you give it a chance?
In case you missed it: Magic and his money team bought the Los Angeles Sparks last week, keeping the franchise in Los Angeles. Magic and his money team, the same group that just spent more than $200 million on Clayton Kershaw. Magic and his money team, who came upon their billions by perhaps knowing a sound business model when they see one.
This comes not long after another in the conga line of perilous prognostications. The Huffington Post, recently citing nothing terribly insightful other than David Stern's retirement as The Final Nail, predicted the W one of nine national business entities swirling the bowl.
And then along comes Magic, whose sister once played women's basketball, who has seen the Sparks play and who understands that it is only an obtuse media with a curious, systematic bias that doesn't believe in the longest running women's professional sports league in the history of the world.
As if corporate America's support - note the uniform fronts of several teams - is charity.
As if new NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants one of his first official acts to be taking down the longest running women's professional sports franchise in the history of the world.
As if Silver could, what with much of the WNBA in private ownership now. People Connecticut Sun president Mitchell Etess calls "all in."
But then why ruin the narrative, perpetuated by a national media that believes the same rumors, subscribes to the same theories and writes the same stories? Their only frame of reference to the league is what their colleagues espouse, which is some perverse resentment that a women's sport would dare clog their sports pages.
How ironic that Magic gave the league's credibility some adrenaline a few days after Fox Sports ignored the Seattle Storm's two WNBA titles in the 2000s. The Seattle Seahawks' triumph, Fox decreed during the Super Bowl, was the city's first professional sports championship since Downtown Fred Brown and the 1979 SuperSonics.
But then, facts aren't what they used to be. Bet if Fox, not ESPN, owned the WNBA television rights, such a mistake would have been avoided. Beyond that, though, Storm fans and officials weren't allowed to raise a complaint without being called whiny. Or dismissed.
Supporters called the diss of the Storm "sexist." Probably not the best word choice, even if it's true. "Sexist" unearths all the underground trolls from their caverns, prompting them to beat their chests and take to antisocial media in their crusade.
Things like sexism barely exist, you see, because it's never happened to them. How could it? They've never been a part of any minority in their life. And they haven't the humanity, nor the bandwidth, to process what it might be like. So they mock it.
Happily, though, the W has the last laugh. Again. Magic Johnson becomes the most high profile owner among a list of serious, earnest gazillionaires who believe this will work. Because it is. It's still the longest running women's professional sports league in the history of the world. It's a damn fun night out, as we've experienced here for the last 11 summers.
Meanwhile, we await the next proclamation of doom. Huff and puff all you want. My money's on Magic. Because his money is on the W.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.
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