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Archive for June, 2010

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Worst Writer-Award Winner Disgusts With Sexy Rodent Metaphor

It’s a writing award that most authors would want to avoid. However, novelist Molly Ringle found a silver lining in being the 28th annual recipient of the Bulwer-Lytton prize for the worst opening sentence of a novel.

Oooh, if only they added a “sports blog” category. I’m sure I’d be a shoe-in.

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It might be because you’re watching Tina Charles.

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From my fellow educator in LA: Kathy Goodman: Focus and effort

The last time I played basketball — the only time, really — I was in eighth grade and my U.S. History teacher, who coached the eighth-grade team, asked me to join because I was tall. I knew the rules of basketball — I had played it in gym class — but had no actual basketball skills. But I liked my history teacher, so I joined the team.  It became apparent pretty early in the process that I had no actual skills.  I couldn’t dribble; I couldn’t pass; I couldn’t shoot.  My coach still played me, though, because the one thing I could do was rebound.  It didn’t require great athleticism or years of practice.  It required focus and effort.  I was reminded of that often during the Sparks’ 80-68 loss to the New York Liberty on Tuesday night.

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From Sports, Media and Society: Sports blogging: Don’t look for big payoff

Damn. Well, there go my retirement plans!

But, more to the point:

As the Ad Age article makes clear, though, there are plenty of Brinings out there, willing to write about sports and a host of other topics — for free. The result may be a business model that discourages organizations from paying for quality reporting and writing. In other words,the free-content trend drags down the entire sports-reporting enterprise.

My highlight – and I’d add, the current business model discourages readers from expecting to pay for quality reporting and writing….

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Top 10 Fan Favorites Announced for 2010 WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Balloting Presented by T-Mobile

**sits back an awaits the, “OMIGOD THIS PROCESS IS SO FLAWED” posts and articles.**

Congrats to San Antonio and their fans for getting the vote out. You got yourself some publicity (and, I believe, your players a little extra cash).

As for the other teams: Look and learn, y’all.

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An interesting article in light of the ACLs that plague women athletes: Phys Ed: What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About Women
After his original work was completed, Dr. Rowlands says, “we received inquiries from female cyclists,” asking to be part of any further research. So, almost as an afterthought, Dr. Rowlands and his colleagues repeated the entire experiment with experienced female riders.

This time, though, the results were quite different.

WHB’s emphasis

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Interesting: I.O.C. to Seek Gender Equality

The International Olympic Committee says it will be promoting the U.N. goal of equality for women and will be pressing Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei to send female athletes to the 2012 Olympic games for the first time.

The question I have is will those women be allowed to ski jump or play softball?

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They may not have many players, but Oregon State has found a new coach who will try to lead the program out of their current mess. Scott Rueck is leaving DIII George Fox to be the new head coach at his Alma Mater.

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Geez, how many shoes are the Beavers wearing? ’cause they keep on dropping.

From Lindsay Schnell: Oregon State women’s basketball program loses Haiden Palmer to Gonzaga

Haiden Palmer confirmed to The Oregonian today that she is leaving the Oregon State basketball program, a move that leaves the Beavers at risk of having too few players to field a team unless it takes drastic measures.

It’s impressive that athletic director Bob De Carolis had no idea what was going on….

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Those of us who remember Michelle Agins from her time photographing the Liberty might enjoy checking out some of her latest work for the Times. There’s more here.

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From Donald Barnat at SportsPageMagazine: As Losses Pile Up, Sparks Owner Digs In

The first thing that hits you is the exuberance in her radio-ready voice. Los Angeles Sparks co-owner Kathy Goodman speaks with a hard-charging positivity that’s so impervious to bad news it makes one wonder what it would really take to get her off message.

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Mechelle talks about The Donna’s old stomping ground (edit: as in pro golf): The LPGA Championship: Past, present and future

So there was this important women’s golf tournament this past weekend. Got big crowds and terrific local media coverage, and since it’s a major championship, you surely must have heard all about it, right?

Unfortunately, probably not. Unless you’re a committed fan of women’s golf, it was easy to miss it entirely. The LPGA Championship – which dates back to 1955 – was contested in Pittsford, N.Y., in the greater Rochester area. American Cristie Kerr torched the field for the second major championship of her career.

Actually, I did hear about it — probably because Kerr’s an American and that made it “news worthy.”

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From Jeremy Rosenthal: Team Chemistry Key to Fever Success

Rookie Jené Morris realized the strength of the team bond before she even practiced with her new teammates.

It was the day of the WNBA Draft and after being selected, nearly every Fever player called or e-mailed Morris to welcome her to the team.

Of course, I’m the kind of person who asks, “How’d they get her contact info so fast?” :-)

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To Lib fans…

…who frequent Cafe 31: Just found out that owner John is ill.

I’ll be putting together a “Get Better!” card for him and will bring it to 31 after the Chicago game on July 11th. (Maybe before, too, if I get down from the ASG in time.)

Please drop by and sign it, if you’d like.

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Ooooo! With a h/t to the Title IX blog, Dr. Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center, pulls a flip test:

“How would people react if the school cut a men’s sport like baseball or lacrosse and used those funds for a male cheerleading squad?”

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From the Title IX blog — another myth v. fact post: Cuts to Men’s Teams and the Shark Attack Phenomenon.

Myth: Coach of Qunnipiac’s former men’s track team: “Ever since the mid 90’s, however, far more men’s programs have been eliminated in the name of Title IX than have been created for women.”

Fact: Title IX Blog: “Both sides of this claim, that Title IX promotes cuts to men, rather than gains for women, are belied by the most recent government study of college athletic participation trends, which was published in 2007 and relies on data through the 2004-2005 school year.”

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Going Greene

From the NY Posts Lenn Robbins: Liberty turn to rookie Greene as closer

With all the changes the Liberty has made since last season, coach Anne Donovan had a rookie on the court in the decisive final two minutes of a 77-68 win over Connecticut on Sunday.

“It means she trusts me,” rookie Kalana Greene told The Post. “The last couple of games I haven’t added much of anything. But she trusted me, believed in me and in a game we absolutely needed going into this West Coast trip, she gave me a chance.”

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…on Debbie Yow’s departure: Yow Legacy Mostly Positive

Enter Yow, who was hired as Maryland’s athletic director in 1994, at a time when not much was going right for the department. Yow inherited a massive $51 million debt, a history of poor academic performance among athletes, fan apathy and a slew of unsuccessful varsity programs.

To say that Yow’s arrival was not well received among many in the school’s gentrified alumni and booster base would be an understatement. She’s originally from North Carolina, which immediately made some Maryland folks suspicious, because that state was home to the ACC power base that was perceived to look down on its northern-most (at the time) school. Fueling further skepticism was the fact that she was hired away from St. Louis, a Midwest school with no great history in athletics.

Topping it all off, however, was the fact that Yow is a woman. Maryland had never had a female athletic director, and some close-minded fans and boosters wished the school never did. There was a large segment of Terrapin Club members who never truly supported Yow and seized upon any misstep or problem as evidence that she was not qualified for the job.

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MV goes road trippin’

She who produces much copy was in OK for the Tulsa-Seattle game: Resilient Storm push past Shock – Bird out, LJ under the weather, but collective effort propels Storm to 13th win

Lauren Jackson looked ready to crawl into a semi-fetal position in the locker room. She just wanted to take a shower, fall asleep and begin to recuperate.

“The hardest thing in the world as an athlete is not having any energy and trying to play,” Jackson said. “Because your legs are so dead.”

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Tuesday Morning News

From the OANow.com site: AU ROUNDUP: Mixed bag for WNBA’s former Tigers

From Matt Stout at the Norwich Bulletin: Sun forge on, likely without 2 guards

From the AP: Storm’s Bird day-to-day with back spasms

Lynn Jacobsen at the Tulsa World writes: Charles, Sun are Shock’s next hurdle

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More on tired players…

So from Milton Kent, there’s more talk about “taking time off for recuperation.” I was intrigued by this quote from Milton’s piece:

While Beard did not play overseas this past offseason, a number of players have groused privately about having to work nearly a full calendar year without a reasonable amount of time off between their seasons. Taurasi is one of the few players to publicly express her concerns.

“Groused privately?”

Geez, children, grow up. Playing year ’round has been the reality of the W since Day 1. If you don’t want to play in the W, then don’t. While we fans may whine a bit, I don’t know that any would begrudge you the time off. As Diana herself noted in the article:

“The WNBA was here before me and it will be here after me,” said Taurasi. “This league isn’t based on one person. It never was and it never will be. There’s still going to be a lot of great players out there. The level of play will still be high.”

The summer season, the tight scheduling — it’s not a whim. Nor is the 11-player roster. It’s a business decision. You want to make suggestions on how to improve things (in this current economic climate), g’head.

How about we reduce the season 10%? How about we eliminate the All Star Game? How about we make players chose between playing in the W or playing for USA Basketball. (We know who wins THAT battle.) How about we ask the non-US leagues to alter their calendar? (Yah, like they give a whit about the W.)

And while I’m willing to listen to those who will argue that the 11-player roster has impacted the quality of play or resulted in more injuries or put quality players on unemployment, I’m still waiting for tangible proof.

To be frank, I’m not quite sure what’s up with this sudden (though familiar) focus on tired bodies. There are plenty of incompetence’s to focus on in the WNBA — their marketing, their inability to access the internet effectively, the seeming resistance to apply “Best Practices” across the board. Why don’t writers tackle those issues?

The brand could be so much stronger, but no one seems to be able to slap the W upside the head.

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From 5 Vinez Monkeys (in Atlanta)

WNBA: Not What You’d Expect (Review)

Everything about the game was amazing. From the moment we found out seats until the moment we found the exit, I was completely and utterly blown away. I’m already planning on taking Ashley and her friends to game soon. I know they’d love it, and you can’t beat the ticket prices!

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ESPN Chat time

On Tuesday, we’ll have Washington Mystics forward, and current WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Crystal Langhorne stopping by to chat.

Send in a question. Or two. Or three. Show ESPN that yes, we’re interested in them covering women’s basketball.

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Monday means no games, but

it does meant the next installment from Richard Cohen at SportsPageMagazine: This Week in the WNBA: Week Six – All Star Special

First things first: the ground rules. These are my picks for who I think ought to be there, not who I think the fans and then the coaches and Team USA will select. The picks are based on this season’s WNBA play and production, not established positions or performance in prior competitions. I’m assuming there’ll be 11 players on each roster, like a typical WNBA All-Star Game, even though Team USA is allowed 12 in any standard international contest. For the purposes of these picks, I’m also assuming that Maya Moore won’t be playing, despite being part of the Team USA pool. Oh, and I’m taking some liberties with positions, because there weren’t any restrictions on the ballot this year, so I can do what I like. Lauren Jackson won’t be playing any point guard in my theoretical lineups, but if the team works better with her at power forward rather than center, she’ll move.

That’s about it, so on to the picks. Up first, the Stars and Stripes.

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Rant update

Well, look who’s on the front page of ESPN.com!

I’m not sure if this is an example of “blog and effect,” but I’m taking what I can!

Oh, and as for this? A little bird suggests that the copywriters at MSG have some ‘plaining to do!

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The Magazine.

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WATN?

…with Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil. Coaching in Texas.

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Deja vu all over again

From an email from MSG that I get ’cause I’m a Liberty subscriber:

PRESALE AT NOON!
USA BASKETBALL: USA VS. FRANCE
PUERTO RICO VS. CHINA
Madison Square Garden
August 15 – 1PM
Don’t miss your chance to see the stars of USA Basketball take on France at The World’s Most Famous Arena! Plus, catch China take on Puerto Rico in this exciting International doubleheader. One ticket = two games!

As a Madison Square Garden Insider, you may purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. The presale begins today, Monday, June 28th at Noon and ends Tuesday, June 29th at 11:59pm.

Click here and be sure to use code USAHOOPS.

Get your tickets now — this is your only opportunity to see these national teams plays in the U.S. prior to the upcoming FIBA World Championships.

Okay, so I know I’m picking the same nits that I’m always picking, but what is so hard about including four letters and an apostrophe?

Tsk, tsk USA Basketball (’cause I KNOW them must have given the copy a once-over.) Please do your part to stop the marginalization of the women who play for USA Basketball.

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April in Indy…

So, you want to go the Final Four?

Ticket applications for the 2011 Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis are currently available online and being accepted through July 1.

The all-session ticket book price of $175 includes the national semifinals on Sunday, April 3, and the national championship game on Tuesday, April 5. All three games are at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Ticket applications are available online at www.ncaa.com. One properly submitted application per individual/household will be accepted for inclusion in the ticket selection process, with each such applicant eligible to request a maximum of six ticket books. About 5,000 ticket books will be allocated to the general public for the 2011 Women’s Final Four.

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Where’s the content, ESPN.com?

All due respect, those-in-charge at ESPN.com, but it’s June 28th and you’ve still got the U-18 story from June 25th up. Lindsay has written other pieces on the tourney. Why aren’t they on the front page? (Or linked on her original article.)

If you want people to come to the .com site, you need to get new content up in a timely manner, even if you have to borrow it from Hoopgurlz: Gold medal is step in Team USA’s plan

At the conclusion of the U18 FIBA Americas Championship gold medal game Sunday night between the U.S. and Brazil — another cakewalk win for the Americans — the U.S. team rose and politely applauded its 81-38 victory.
There was no big celebration, no whooping and hollering. After all, it ended just like everyone expected. In this hemisphere, the U.S. is first and Brazil a distant second.

“As a team, we made it our goal to win the gold,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “This was just us achieving another goal.”

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