Women Wednesday is a weekly MIKEDROPSPORTS column that puts the potlight on influential and important women in sports.
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History in the NFL
New Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Bruce Arians spoke Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting, when asked about recent assistant coaching hires Lori Locust and Maral Javadifar – “The fact that their gender’s different — who gives a shit?” They’re good coaches. … Now, if they can’t do it, they’ll get fired like everybody else.”
Locust and Javadifar are full-time female assistant coaches and the Bucs are the first team to employ more than one. Locust’s title will be assistant defensive line coach and Javadifar is an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Locust recently worked with the Birmingham Iron in the AAF as a defensive assistant coach and Javadifar has experience as a physical therapist, which certainly qualifies her to work with players on their strength and conditioning.
WWE puts on their biggest show of the year next Sunday April 7th with the well-known Wrestlemania. The 35th edition will be the first to end with a women’s match, as the company announced this week. The WWE Women’s Championship will be defended by Ronda Rousey against Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
Ronda Rousey is a well known UFC/MMA, and recently movie, star. Previously, I wrote about Rousey and her career accomplishments back in October, shortly after she won the Women’s Championship.
Charlotte Flair is the the daughter of “WOOOOOOOOOOO” the legendary Nature Boy Ric Flair. Flair has held the Women’s Championship a record 8 times and is actively the most accomplished superstar on the women’s side of the roster.
Becky Lynch doesn’t have the same well known background or name appeal as the other two. However, she is “the man”. That is the persona she has gone by on WWE TV since the summer, something that resembles a female Stone Cold Steve Austin. A combative rebel who doesn’t care what others thinks, she just wants to be successful.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, she has always been a wrestler her whole life. She tried school, she tried sports but none of it was for her. She first started training and wrestling in 2002. It wasn’t until 2013 that she signed her WWE contract and made her official TV debut in 2015. Since her debut, she is a 2x Women’s Champion.
In 2018, she received quite a few accolades for being the man
- WWE Female Superstar of the Year award
- CBS Sports Wrestler of the Year
- Sports Illustrated Women’s Wrestler of the Year
NCAA Tournament Update
Sweet 16 picks back up on Friday
- 1. Baylor vs 4. South Carolina and 2. Iowa vs 3. NC State
- 1. Mississippi State vs 5. Arizona State and 2. Oregon vs 6. South Dakota State
- 1. Notre Dame vs 4. Texas A&M and 2. Stanford vs 11. Missouri State
- 1. Louisville vs. 4. Oregon State and 2. UConn vs 6. UCLA
Here is what to know about the remaining 16 teams
- With 16 teams remaining, all four #1 and #2 seeds have survived, while only one #3 seed remains (Maryland, Syracuse, Iowa State all lost in round 2).
- The lowest remaining seed, Missouri State #11, is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001
- UConn has made 11 straight Final Fours, last missing it in 2007. For the first time since 2006, UConn is not a 1 seed (they are 2). Huskies haven’t won since 2016
- Last two National Champions remain (Notre Dame in 2018, South Carolina 2017)
- 10 of the 16 schools have not won a Championship
- 5 of the 16 schools have never made the Final Four (Missouri State, Arizona State, South Dakota State, Oregon, UCLA)
Players to know:
- Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon –She had a triple double in the Ducks’ second round win (18th of her career) and has averaged 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game as PAC-12 Player of the Year
- Asia Durr, Louisville – Named ACC Player of the Year for the second straight year, averaging 21 ppg on 44% shooting for Louisville.
- Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State – McGowan has been part of the Bulldogs’ last two teams, who were National Runner Ups in 2017 and 2018. She averaged 17.8 ppg and 13.5 rpg.
- Napheesa Collier, UConn – There’s a lot at stake for UConn, as noted above. Collier averaged 20.9 ppg and 10.5 rpg as the AAC Player of Year and Defensive POY
Much is made about the men’s bracket and how chalky it’s been, making for an exciting Sweet 16. Well, the women’s should be equally exciting!
Here are my picks for this weekend in the Elite 8
- Baylor over NC State
- Oregon over Mississippi State
- Notre Dame over Stanford (should be an outstanding game!)
- Oregon State over UConn
If there is a woman that you feel deserves to be recognized and put in the spotlight, you can let us know here and we would love to hear from you.
Make sure to check out our previous Women Wednesday articles.