‘Twitter Talk’- USA Women’s Hockey affecting youth girls participation / Marcus Smart situation

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USA_women_team_2013‘Twitter Talk’ is the Wednesday night episode of the “Red Light Sports Ramble” where Evan and Troy take topics from our Twitter followers and discuss them on the show.  Today, two topics were discussed on the show.  The first topic came from @katetscott who is the morning anchor on KNBR 680. As she was watching the USA Women’s Hockey team battle Canada, she tweeted this “Just thinking out loud, but if the US wins gold, could they be the new ’99ers? Hockey explosion among young girls? Lots of Buzz. We’ll see.”  She is referring to the 1999 USA Women’s Soccer Team that won the World Cup.  This was the last time the USA won the Woman’s World Cup (2nd Place in 2011, 3rd Place in 2003 and 2007).  After the tournament; there seemed to be a big explosion in the participation of youth girls in the sport of soccer.  Troy was the Director of Coaching for a soccer club at the time and he saw the participation nearly double with the girls’ teams in the following year.  The USA Women’s Hockey team has had prior success in the Olympics, but the popularity among youth girls has not seen that “huge” impact.  The sport of Woman’s Hockey is growing and becoming more popular than it has ever been.  The biggest difference between an explosion in soccer compared to hockey is the skill sets that are involved with both.  When a newcomer wants to participate for the first time, soccer would be the easier of the two.  With soccer; you can step on the field, run and learn the skills doing something natural.  With hockey; you must first learn how to skate, then include the stick handling, etc.  With the different skill sets, you might see more interest in the game but at the end of the day because of the skill set differences, the numbers may not grow exponentially in the upcoming year.

The second topic was discussing the pushing incident that occurred between Oklahoma State University player Marcus Smart and long time Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr.  Most sports fan are aware of this incident, but the boys discuss how they feel about what happened.  Marcus Smart had fallen near the seats and Jeff Orr apparently had called him a “piece of crap”, no one really knows what was said.  Once the comment was heard, Marcus Smart took offense, stepped into the stands and pushed Jeff Orr.  After the game Marcus Smart was suspended for 3 games for this incident.  The boys take a firm stand that a player should never be in contact with a fan, and he acted inappropriately.  However, the fans need to take some responsibility for their actions.  In an article from ESPN.com news services it states “A video from a Texas Tech game from 2010 appears to show Orr directing and obscene gesture at Texas A&M player Bryan Davis, but Beal said Sunday that the incident did not escalate.”  Jeff Orr has been a long time Texas Tech fan and it seems that his actions have been going on for years.  Again, the boys are not condoning Marcus Smart’s actions, but both parties need to be held responsible for what happened.

Listen to ‘Twitter Talk’ on the “Red Light Sports Ramble

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