Keeping Score: The WNBA is in the money

In case you missed the headlines on the front page of every major newspaper in America yesterday morning, let me sum up the news for you: Your money is still on fire, and if you are an American taxpayer, you’re about to win $700 billion worth of private debt. Yet here’s something to smile about: One of the few organizations experiencing growth in this plummeting economy is the WNBA.

WNBA.com traffic is up, attendance is up and TV ratings are up 20 percent. While everyone else is downsizing, the WNBA is actually growing.

Part of the league’s success can be attributed to the fact that eight teams are now independent of the NBA. (And, in my opinion, the more the WNBA can do to distance itself from the NBA, the better.) The Olympics exposure boosted public interest, leading to a record 46 sellouts. And this rookie class (Candice Wiggins, Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles) has certainly lived up to the hype.

The WNBA is even hoping to grow itself two more teams in the next five years.

Tonight, you can continue to boost the WNBA’s numbers by tuning in to ESPN2 to watch the conclusion of the conference semifinals. It’s the Fever and the Shock at 7 p.m. ET, and the Sparks and the Storm at 9 p.m.

I have been reluctant to write about the WNBA in Keeping Score thus far because I don’t really like to fight. I hate to perpetuate a lesbian stereotype here, but — good grief! — lesbians like to argue about the WNBA.

I know some of you will have to attack me now, but here’s my prediction: Fever over the Shock in the 7 p.m. game. And Sparks over the Storm in the 9 p.m. game. I also predict a N.Y. Liberty vs. L.A. Sparks final.

What do you think about tonight’s games, and who have you picked to go all the way?

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