Ryen Russillo Credit: Ryen Russillo on YouTube

Ryen Russillo knows Iowa-LSU was the biggest story in sports on Monday night, but he turned off the game at halftime.

While he understands the hype around Caitlin Clark and expected a massive viewership number, The Ringer podcast host just couldn’t deal with the low level of hoops he was watching along with 12 million others.

“I changed the channel at halftime,” Russillo said. “It’s not for me. I just got frustrated. The same way I get frustrated when I watch the men’s game, where I watch certain games and I’m like, ‘Where are the shot creators? Where are the guys that are gonna get their own?'”

Russillo explained that college basketball is just not a good enough product for him, the presence of a sensation like Clark be damned.

“There were some things in the game last night where I was like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna watch Scoot Henderson try to get Jalen Suggs without a screen to hit the game-winner at Orlando,” Russillo said. “I’m not going to lie to you about what it meant to me, but it shouldn’t matter to you what it meant to me. The historic part of it is the most important part.”

So yes, Russillo prefers a 19-year-old NBA point guard shooting 38 percent from the field for a 19-56 Portland squad over what he admits is the biggest story in sports. To each his own.

But rather than leave it at that, Russillo attempted to tie in his personal distaste for the sport to some kind of progress. After discussing how the bias against women’s sports is crumbling and people are developing a sense of pride and fandom toward women’s sports team, Russillo made the final point of his monologue.

“I think the final phase of progress will be a man’s choice to just go, ‘I think it’s great you like it, but I’m not gonna watch the whole game because there was other stuff I wanted to watch,'” Russillo said. “The same way I didn’t watch any baseball or hockey this weekend, or I barely watched any NC State-Duke … And I think that’s OK. And you should think it’s OK, too.”

Solo sports radio and podcasts hosts work themselves into a pretzel all the time. Russillo clearly wanted to make a joke out of his own hoops snobbishness. But in doing so, he revealed the awful basketball he subbed in as a replacement and his own decision to check out of a massive sports story.

Only he couldn’t end the joke there. Russillo had to reverse it back on the 12 million people who did the silly thing he wouldn’t and actually watched the biggest sports event since the Super Bowl. Progress means the ability to be ignored?

Hold on. Being ignored by men in sports media is exactly where we were before Clark, the USWNT, Serena Williams and beyond. Where’s the progress, exactly?

From First Take to Undisputed to instant reaction videos on YouTube, sports media snapped into action to treat Monday night’s game as the massive story it was. There are dozens of angles on Clark, LSU or the tournament overall: legacy, betting, the evolution of the game, and more. Not Russillo.

Honestly, it would have been OK to just talk about that first half.

[Ryen Russillo on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.