COLUMN: Basketball teams are winning, show both the same respect
It doesn't really matter how you view sports, there is always one word that outweighs every reason you could make for your team to earn respect.
Quite frankly, that is for a good reason. Leaving victorious is the object at hand with every game. In life, you want to succeed. At your job, you want to be the best. In sports, you guessed it — you want to win.
So, with that being said, I'm left wondering why I'm still seeing and hearing things being said about the men's or women's basketball teams deserving more respect than the other one.
The CMU women's basketball team is leading the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 6-2 record in league play but is only one game ahead of Toledo. The men's unit is in second place of the same division at 5-4, just one game behind the 6-3 Rockets.
Both teams are in an intense race where every night it seems like any team in the conference can beat anyone. For example, in men's basketball, the MAC East Division-leading Bowling Green Falcons (7-1 MAC) lost to Miami (Ohio), which boats a 4-5 conference resume. In women's basketball, the RedHawks downed the Chippewas 70-67 at McGuirk Arena and just two games later fell to Toledo.
Coming into the season, women's basketball was picked to win the MAC West by the conference officials and men's basketball was picked to finish dead last. Halfway through the conference season, both are toward the top.
"I think there was a lot unknown about this team coming into this year," said men's basketball head coach Keno Davis. "With a lot of new players people didn't know, the word had to get out. I think now we have proved ourselves that we can be not just competitive but win our fair share of games."
Yes, in recent memory the women's basketball team has accomplished more than the men's team by making the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 and winning back-to-back regular season MAC West Division titles.
Again, winning changes the representation of a program.
However, just like life, sports also move to the next term. Right now, it is the 2018-19 campaign and both teams are doing more winning than losing.
As a fan, why wouldn't you support both the same way? Sure, Sue Guevara has built up a standard for the women's team. I respect those accomplishments, trust me. But, half of the players on the men's basketball team just transferred in before this season and haven't had a chance to leave marks in the record book.
I've been able to watch both of these teams play more than 10 games in person this year. I've seen them win games they were supposed to win and drop contests they probably shouldn't have. Regardless, when the stands have more people in them, both teams have fed off it and played better than when the crowd is weak.
Forget the past and focus on this season. For students and fans, you are lucky enough to have both teams playing at the top of its division right now.
Embrace that and show both teams your full support.
You'd be surprised how much a full stadium can help when the games get meaningful and the calendar flips to March.