Sports for the Girls: Jeanette Lee, Missy Giove, Venus Williams

Sports for the Girls: Jeanette Lee, Missy Giove, Venus Williams

Grab the Dramamine and fasten your seatbelts because this week I’m all over the place with all kinds of sports news. It’s my hope that you come away from this column with a little more sports knowledge to impress that cute girl standing over there by the pool table at the corner gay bar. What? Lesbians and pool…how stereotypical.

But let’s be honest, shall we? Sometimes stereotypes fit. Sometimes gay guys like disco and matching socks, and sometimes lesbians like Uhaul dates and playing pool. I personally would love to play pool with this woman, Jeanette Lee. Here’s a little background:

Born in Brooklyn, she was diagnosed with scoliosis at thirteen. While studying for a Bachelors in Childhood Development and Elementary Education she became obsessed with the game of pool. She practiced so much that she aggravated her spinal condition. According to one account, she played constantly for 37 hours and collapsed, having to be carried home by friends.

It has all paid off and her professional reputation has grown to legendary proportions. She’s now known as “The Black Widow” through her ability to overwhelm, almost devour, her opponents in combination with exclusively wearing black during her tournaments. 

This next story stays in New York and stays on a table. It only involves two words…Ping Pong. Seems that it’s becoming the hot thing to do for A-list celebrities, namely Susan Sarandon. She’s become an investor in SpiN, a New York Ping Pong parlor that just opened in Manhattan. In a recent People magazine interview, she admitted that George Clooney and Ed Norton are “fierce” competitors; Ed going so far as to train in China for an upcoming movie role with her and the game.

Funny, but this next story happened in New York also, but that’s the only thing that’s funny about it.

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One of the first female superstars of mountain-bike racing is Missy Giove. She made a name for herself in the 90s with her outlandish looks, her break-neck riding and being an out lesbian. She’s just made another name for herself though. The former world champion is facing serious jail time for marijuana distribution. What, you say? Not just possession…how much could there have been? Nearly 400 pounds and $1 million in cash. The result of adding up those numbers is a mandatory five years with a maximum of up to forty if convicted.

“Ass, gas, or grass…Missy the Missile won’t ride for free anymore.”


Moving right along…here is a Trifecta of Feminism. Women that have made names for themselves with a much better outcome.

1)    Justine Siegal became the first female coach in pro baseball. She has joined the Brockton (Masss.) Rox coaching team.

2)    Hannah Berner has won nearly every high school tennis match she has played…all against boys.

3)    Mackenzie Brown was the first girl in Bayonne Little League history to throw a perfect game. She retired all 18 boys.

(What’s great about these stories is the fact that major news outlets decided they were worthy of mention…even though they usually spend their time with men’s sports.)

2012 seems far away, but already the women’s boxing is looking like it will have a place in the Olympics in London. The IOC is in the midst of considering changes to existing sports and adding women to boxing is high among them. Apprehensions are that the IOC be “provided documents concerning the medical elements of the women’s discipline.”

Gee, when did Emily Dickinson start writing for the IOC? Need a translation?

“We’re worried that women will get punched in the boobs.”

Good thing guys have that cup…that’s completely stopped any injuries. But it does bring up the question of what to do. I know I wouldn’t like to get punched in the boobs? Tape them, like your hands? I don’t know. Feel free to give any suggestions…and women’s softball is still out. Sorry ladies.

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Here are two facts that have come together for a good cause. The original Olympics were played in the nude and the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit issue is always popular. ESPN The Magazine has kept that in mind for its Body Issue coming out in October.

The idea is to get not models, but athletes (male and female, amateur and pro) to pose artfully nude, using equipment and pads and bats and goalposts and soccer nets and pucks and helmets to obscure body.

So are we talking, like, John Daly and a putter, artistically done? Nothing could be less like the Swimsuit Issue…just pick it up in October and see for your self. 

Coming up on the horizon are the Women’s US Open in my home state of Pennsylvania, and Wimbledon started Monday. I leave you this week with the people I’m going to keep an eye on:

First off, is Venus Williams. If she wins this tennis tournament, it will be three in a row and will tie Billie Jean King’s record of six Wimbledon wins. Trouble will come from her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova.

The Women’s US Open starts Monday, July 6th. Look for these names on the leader board.

Christie Kerr: She leads the money board and will play well on this longer course.

Paula Creamer: She ranks first in greens hit and fifth in driving accuracy.

Yani Tseng: She won here at Saucon Valley, PA last year.

Suzann Petters: She won the Open back in 2007.

Lorena Ochoa: She hasn’t played in three weeks, with two wins and five top finishes, she can never be counted out.


Check out previous Sports for the Girls here!


Tags: Sports