Geno Auriemma: Huskies Disliked for Gender
For the previous 87 games, Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma toed the line as his Huskies racked up one win after another, saying simply that their lofty achievements were the product of hard work, perseverance and humility.
But shortly after the Huskies on Sunday tied the 88 consecutive wins record held by UCLA's men's basketball team -- a mark that has lasted for the past 36 years -- Auriemma felt compelled to say what he likely has really wanted to for a long time.
Namely, his team may have been the target of critics who didn't want a "girls" team tie or break a men's record. In other words, gender haters.
"I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record," Auriemma said Sunday during his post-record-tying press conference. "The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it."
A story posted on ESPN.com that included information from ESPN.com's Graham Hays and additional information from The Associated Press, told of what Auriemma has really been holding in for so long, only to let it fly Sunday night after his No. 1 Huskies trounced Ohio State 81-50 in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
"All the women are happy as hell and they can't wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women's basketball are all excited, and all the miserable bastards that follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they're pissed," Auriemma said. "That's just the way it is.
"Because we're breaking a men's record, we've got a lot of people paying attention. If we were breaking a women's record, everybody would go, 'Aren't those girls nice, let's give them two paragraphs in USA Today, you know, give them one line on the bottom of ESPN and then let's send them back where they belong, in the kitchen.' "
UConn attempts to break UCLA's record -- and to become the undisputed wins king in all of college basketball, either on the men's or women's level -- Tuesday at home against Florida State.