Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Nothing.
Now, I'm not expecting a parade, or a call from the governor (generally only death row inmates want the latter). I mean, this is just 8th grade. But some acknowledgement outside the team (and us proud parents) would be nice.
In the morning announcements, where they routinely read off scores from boys sports (basketball, baseball, jacks, team scrabble) and upcoming chess club matches, were the girls winning the state tournament even mentioned? Nope.
When the boys basketball team vanquished their arch rival, Lockjaw Middle School 34-32, Wingnut put up a banner the next morning and had a pep rally over lunch. The girls beat Lockjaw 63-40, and weren't even mentioned in the announcements. Or school paper. Or PTA bulletin. Or pretty much anything.
The boys finished the season 8-6, their first non-losing season in 8 years (though didn't make the playoffs), and this fact was announced several times on the school's Twitter account, with pictures. The girls were undefeated at 14-0, and then swept the division's playoffs 6-0. The only time the school mentioned them on the Twitter account all year was before the season even started, to show them trying on their newly redesigned jerseys (which the parents paid for).
The sad part is that the people responsible for this sexist ignorance don't even realize what they're doing. It's 3 secretaries and a vice-principal who write up the morning announcements and plan events. The Principal herself doesn't want to be bothered with such trivial things.
I called and complained yesterday, and was told that a banner about the championship would be hung in the gym "sometime over the summer, when maintenance gets a chance." When school isn't in session.
Of course, they're not alone.
A few times each summer I take Marie and drive the few hours to see the nearest WNBA team play. I think the games are great. Personally, I'd say they're as exciting and competitive as the NBA, with a lot more teamwork and fewer ego conflicts. If you enjoy basketball, and haven't seen a WNBA game, I'd go.
But the same issues are there. The arena is maybe half-full, in spite of the quality of the play. Maybe Americans, by nature, just don't care about women's sports. For a country that often tries to pride itself on equality, women's basketball is far more popular elsewhere. The vast majority of WNBA players work year-round, playing here in the Summer and overseas the rest of the year to earn a living.
Not to mention salaries. In the NBA, pretty much the league minimum is $900,000 per year. And that goes to the guy who rides the bench all season.
In the WNBA? One of the league's biggest stars, Diana Taurasi, makes... $107,000 a year. While certainly not a small amount, Ms. Taurasi is actually taking the 2015 season off from her WNBA team to play in Russia for $1.5 million. And who can blame her?
It's sad to see that, at age 13, my daughter is already learning how much the accomplishments of a talented group of young women can mean. Which is, apparently, not much.