Archive for December, 2010

busy watching games (Va Tech over Vandy) and forming an opinion as to who the Sportsman of the Year should be.

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Sidelined Delle Donne to see spine specialist

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Speaking of streaks,

from the Geneva Patch’s end-of-the-year list: No. 2 of 2010 Sports: Girls Basketball Streak Reaches 57

Editor’s note: Craig Brueske’s No. 2 pick for Top 10 Sports Moments of 2010 is another heart-tugger. Geneva coach Gina Nolan is battling breast cancer even as she coaches this season. She is one heck of a basketball coach and human being.


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Oh, gosh, it sure is. I mean, just check out the ratings for the Stanford-UConn game: Streak Ending UConn-Stanford Nets Highest-Rated Regular-Season Women’s Basketball Rating Ever

Next time someone mouths that silly comment, I’m just going to tell’em to stuff it.

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found this blog:

what was the betting line on december 30, 2010 between uconn and stanford ncaa womens basketball?


lady huskies loose string

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Kelly Kallina at Full Court Press: They’re Number One: Brea Olinda High Takes Nike Tournament of Champions Title

The basketball was as good as it gets in high school Wednesday night in the packed Hamilton High gym in Chandler, Arizona, that hosted the finals of the 15th Annual Nike Tournament of Champions, one of the most prestigious events in girls’ high school basketball. Two Southern California teams, Brea Olinda High School and Long Beach Poly, had spent the past three days duking it out with some of the best teams in the sport, drawn from across the country, for the right to compete in the title game.

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End of the 2010 stuff

from the collectors at Women Talk Sports.

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WNBA.com does a horrible job on history

and stats. Thank goodness for pilight and his WNBA site.

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(And I typed that before I read Jim’s headline) Now, to Jim’s headline: Ohio State’s free fall is picking up speed.

Ohio State was schooled by Michigan, who snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Looks like things got a little cranky during the game. Prahalis (1-13, no assists) got called for an intentional and a double-T was called later.

Speaking of cranky, C Viv is (somewhat confusedly) cranky because Tennessee wouldn’t reschedule last night’s game (Tennessee stomped all over the Knights):

“They never saw a tape [of Tennessee] or anything,” Stringer said of her team. “I tell you we could have had far better representation of ourselves. It could have been worth the money, worth the time to come here if we’d had a little bit more [time].”

If anyone is paying attention, Baylor’s won 10-straight and Duke is still undefeated (though you’ve got to believe that Temple’s pleased to have kept the game to single digits – especially in Durham.)

I’ve said before that I’m glad to be able to cheer for Penn State again (And players nicknamed Zha Zha). It’s said that it can take a new coach five years to rebuild a program. In her fourth year, Coquese Washington has had to battle the Portland-excusers and a program that was struggling with its reputation. So, nice to see Co get a big win for (at home), as the Lions took down #13 Iowa, 68-59.

“We made the big shots when we needed them down the stretch,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. “Zha Zha made some huge shots down the stretch. Alex made a really big basket driving to the basket.”

Oh, and there some records you just don’t want.

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That was the sound of Jeanette Pholen aka the Stanford Cardinal saying “No mas.

A great win for the Tara and crew, in front of a packed house and on national television, reminding everyone that it ain’t all about the UConn’s national blue. Lots of great writing on the game:

From John Reid: Pohlen’s Wiggins-esque performance puts kibosh on UConn streak

The final rebound fittingly ended up in Jeanette Pohlen’s hands. It had to be Pohlen, the senior guard who personally wrecked visiting UConn with a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists, playing all 40 minutes.

In one of the greatest women’s basketball games ever played at Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal defeated the Huskies 71-59 Thursday evening in front of 7,329 mostly red-clad fanatics. Stanford’s victory halted the Huskies’ record win streak at 90 games and the 6-foot terror, Pohlen, had an awful lot to do with it.

Really? The LA Times borrows CT’s John Altavilla? Really? Stanford ends Connecticut’s winning streak at 90

Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma has said that winning 90 consecutive games was exciting. But it wasn’t so enthralling that he ever believed the Huskies were invincible.

Once the streak got rolling Nov. 16, 2008, against Georgia Tech, it just kept going, taking on a life of its own, picking up steam, two national championships and two undefeated seasons on its way to Maples Pavilion.

From the San Fransisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick: 90 and done – Cardinal end Huskies’ record winning streak

Finally, after 90 games and more than 32 months of non-stop winning, top-ranked Connecticut lost Thursday night. Jeanette Pohlen scored 31 points as Stanford jumped ahead early and rolled merrily away to win 71-59 before a raucous capacity crowd at Maples Pavilion.
From Elliott Almond at the Santa Cruz Sentinel: Stanford ends Connecticut’s 90-game winning streak

Like the last time it lost — 82-73 in the NCAA semifinals in Tampa, Fla. — Connecticut seemed overwhelmed by coach Tara VanDerveer’s methodical triangle offense.

As a result, the Cardinal (9-2) won its 52nd in a row at home with senior guard Jeanette Pohlen getting a career-high 31 points and adding nine rebounds and six assists. It was Pohlen who looked like America’s best guard while Moore got frustrated by Stanford’s towering defense.

From Mechelle: Stanford snaps UConn’s win streak – Pohlen nets 31 points as Cardinal slow down game, dominate Huskies throughout

Stanford wasn’t really thinking all that much about the history, either its own against UConn or that of women’s basketball in general.

This was more about the chalkboard and video and practice and repetition, the stuff Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer so dearly loves. It was about facing a great program but knowing there were things to expose — and then actually doing that.

From C&R: Ding Dong, the Streak is Dead!

The first, the last, and UConn was everything in between. C and R are of course talking about the amazing UConn Huskies women’s basketball streak of consecutive wins and Stanford’s small part in it. Stanford was the last team to beat them in March 2008, and the first team to beat them since they got the all-time men’s or women’s streak record of 89, stopping them at 90.

This win was so great; let’s savor it minute by minute, shall we?

Mel says the Huskies were dooooomed:

In most situations over the years, the arrival of Connecticut in an opponent gym would somehow cause the other team that was a serious challenger to be unable to handle the extra distractions caused by increases of its home crowd and media attention.

The week long hype involving the 1-2 game at Duke during the Diana Taurasi era several years ago comes to mind as an example. That’s when Auriemma pushed the buttons of the enemy student fans during a teleconference mentioning how he was aware of many Blue Devils graduates these days working in restaurants while discussing a player who had chosen Duke over the Huskies for the sake of a better diploma.

Though an underdog in that particular matchup, UConn established a deep one-sided lead early in the contest that was enough to withstand Duke after the Blue Devils regained their footing down the stretch.

Stanford was not in danger of suffering a similar collapse under the weight of the so-called Connecticut circus for several reasons.

From Q at Swish Appeal: Stanford Beats UConn 71-59 To End Streak At 90: Crushing Xavier Was A Blueprint For Beating UConn

When we look back on Stanford’s 71-59 win tonight at Maples Pavilion that ended UConn’s streak at 90 wins, Xavier should probably be considered as an important part of the narrative.

And not necessarily for the reason presented by Xavier point guard Special Jennings on Twitter. (Ya gotta click to check out the tweet)

From Rob Gloster at Bloomberg: Connecticut’s 90-Game Winning Streak Ends With 71-59 Loss at Stanford

The longest winning run in major- college basketball history is over, and it ended just as a similar streak did four decades ago.

From the Stanford Daily: Stanford topples No. 1 UConn

From Andy Hutchins at SBNation: UConn’s Winning Streak Ends At 90 Games: What Did We Learn From Stanford’s Victory?

UConn’s streak came to an end last night: Stanford’s 71-59 win at Maples Pavilion halted the Huskies’ run at an NCAA record 90 consecutive wins.

But the really intriguing part of the women’s basketball season has just begun. UConn losing opens up the field, and there are a few titans waiting in the wings to make this year’s run toward an NCAA championship one of the most contentious in years. What did we learn last night?

Lisa Olson at Fanhouse (ignores facts with her headline): End of UConn’s Streak Restores Competition to Women’s Basketball

There were two minutes and change left in the life of a 90-game winning streak, and the best female player on these shores ducked her head, a move equivalent to waving a white flag. Maya Moore had been erratic all night, an obvious sign something was definitely amiss, but when she missed another jumper from the top of the key and let Chiney Ogwumike sneak by to score an easy, uncontested basket, it was a seismic, karmic shift.

Michelle Smith’s also writing at Fanhouse: Stanford Ends UConn Women’s Record 90-Game Winning Streak

Connecticut (12-1) lost its first game since April 6, 2008 to a Stanford team that was experienced, motivated and well-prepared for this matchup, the sixth between the two programs since December 2007.

“The streak was for them and what they did. We’re about Stanford and what we want to do,” said Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer. “We didn’t play a perfect game, but I thought we played very well.”

From (gasp!) the Boston Globe’s Damin Esper: UConn streak ends – Stanford never trails, ends Huskies’ run at 90 victories

Kelly Faris launched one more futile 3-point attempt, the basketball equivalent of spitting into the ocean. Of course, it drew iron — the 41st missed field goal on the night for Connecticut. Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen came down with the rebound, turned around, and hurled the basketball to the heavens.

From Jayda at Key Arena: Connecticut’s historic streak ends at 90 after loss to Stanford

From Lata Dar at Latest Sports Buzz: Stanford Beats Connecticut with Moore Missing on her Play Tactics

Relive the game with Yahoo’s Jeremy Stone’s game blog.

Surprising news from Bleacher Report’s Ross Benes: Geno Auriemma Fired after Loss to Stanford Breaks 90-Game Win Streak

NPR grabs the AP game article: UConn’s Win Streak Ends At 90 In Loss To Stanford

Stanford really does have UConn’s number.

Top-ranked Connecticut’s record 90-game winning streak in women’s basketball ended Thursday night when No. 9 Stanford outplayed the Huskies from the start in a 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion — where the Cardinal have their own streak going.

SI has an alternate AP story:

Maya Moore and everybody around UConn realized how much this meant to Stanford after several near misses against the mighty Huskies – one in the Final Four, another that cost the Cardinal the 2010 NCAA title.

No. 1 Connecticut’s remarkable run is over, a 90-game winning streak stopped by an inspired Stanford squad determined to protect its own impressive mark: 52 straight home wins at Maples Pavilion.

From Tim Kawakami at the Mercury News: Stanford plays the bully in taking down UConn

They ended the Streak with elbows flying, minds racing, voices bellowing and hearts pounding.

They did it with their arena rocking and rolling, their grand opponent crumbling and a nation watching.

TWO from Jere’! (I must send him some sort of thank you bribe): Stanford Beats UConn to Halt Streak at 90

“I think disappointment is the right word, but not disappointment that we lost,” UConn Coach Geno Auriemma said. “There’s a sense of disappointment that we didn’t play well. There’s been other times we didn’t play well; it’s just that we haven’t faced anybody as good as Stanford was tonight.”

In Defeat, UConn Sees Chance to Forge a New Identity

“I think in some ways, he’s probably relieved,” Tara VanDerveer, Stanford’s coach with 802 career victories and two national titles of her own, said later. “They got the streak. That’s great. Maybe it gives them a chance to move on. It gives this team a chance to establish its own identity.”

From SportsNation: Cheat Sheet: Question No. 2 – Has Connecticut found its new rival in women’s basketball?

From Avinash Kunnath at SB Nation: Stanford Cardinal Women’s Basketball Ends UConn Huskies 90 Game Winning Streak (Some fun photos, too.)

Kelli Anderson (is back!) at Sports Illustrated: UConn still the favorite for national title, minus an aura of invincibility

It didn’t end the way Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma had hoped — “I would have loved for it to been 98-97 in triple overtime and both teams play great,” he said. But it didn’t end with a whimper, either. Connecticut never led in its 71-59 loss to Stanford, before a raucous sellout crowd in Palo Alto on Thursday night, but the Huskies’ reputation for never losing is such that Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen wasn’t sure the game was in hand until “maybe the last 10 seconds.”
From Marcus Henry at Newsday: Stanford tops UConn women, stops streak

Before everyone starts popping the champagne corks, remember, it is only December. And Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, although pleased with the win, wasn’t ready to declare the season over.

“It’s not a national championship, but it’s something we’re very proud of,” said VanDerveer, who recently won her 800th career game.

From something ESPNish: Defense was focus for Stanford

From the Casino Gambling Web: Gamblers Finally Lose As Stanford’s Women’s Basketball Team Wins

From Alex Groberman at Opposing Views: Streak Ends at 90: UConn Women Lose to Stanford

The historical, record-breaking winning streak set by the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is officially over.

It took Stanford one game to dismantle a streak that took a UConn squad two years, and 90 victories to build.

From his direct employer, the Hartford Courant‘s John Altavilla writes: Stanford Ends UConn Women’s Streak At 90

UConn coach Geno Auriemma has said winning 90 straight games was exciting; let’s face it, no one has ever seen anything like it and may never again. But it wasn’t so enthralling that he ever began to believe his Huskies were invincible.

And finally, from NPR’s “The Takeaway,” quickly becoming THE source for women’s basketball news *grin*: UConn Huskies’ Winning Streak Broken By Stanford

P.S.: I’m throwing this up, even though it’s a pregame article, simply because I don’t know that the Christian Science Monitor & Ross has covered the women’s game since, oh, the Clinton administration. From Ross Atkin: Will Stanford end UConn’s women’s basketball winning streak? Hmmmm.

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to prepare for tonight’s game (thanks HuskyNan):

UConn women face rigid test in Stanford, Post
UConn women’s game day, Post
UConn vs Stanford: Two streaks on line, Courant
No. 1 UConn vs No. 9 Stanford, Courant
Stanford poses biggest threat to streak, Register

90 game streak on line at sold out Stanford arena, Day
Huskies have hands full tonight, Bulletin
Could this be the game?, Bulletin
Sun turn a profit, make history, Mike DiMauro, Day
Two streaks at stake in UConn-Stanford matchup, San Jose Mercury News

Winning streak on line, UConn steels for fight at Stanford, Fan House
Record 90-game victory streak on line as Connecticut women face Stanford, Bloomberg
A winning streak is a winning streak, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Something must give in UConn-Stanford matchup, USA Today

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Stanford’s Ogwumike sisters a powerful combination

When an AAU club in suburban Houston invited 11-year-old Nneka Ogwumike to play basketball, the coach told her mother some of the games would be out of town.

“Why do we have to go to Dallas?” Ify Ogwumike asked the coach, Albert Coleman. “Why can’t we just play in somebody’s driveway?”

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from Mechelle. I like this q/a, because it summarized my feelings about Gene’s article. (I expect more from him, honestly.)

Steve (NC): would you care to comment on Gene Wojo’s article? why do we have to compare mens and womens basketball? can’t they both just be appreciated for what they are?
Mechelle Voepel: I don’t really want to comment specifically on that story. I think the general idea is completely asinine. The same people who have gone apoplectic about comparing the UConn and UCLA streaks probably don’t have a problem with the term “best pound-for-pound” boxer _ even though by definition that compares boxers of completely different weight classes. Would the best flyweight have a chance against even a mediocre or worse heavyweight? No. And would it matter? No. The comparison of streaks was saying UConn did in women’s basketball what UCLA did in men’s basketball. It wasn’t saying UConn could beat UCLA. But there are some people who simply can’t look at anything women athletes do without saying, “Oh but men are better!” They need to apparently reassure themselves of this over and over. Gee, maybe I need to write a column wondering if anybody in the NBA will ever give birth to a baby *and* win a league championship. Because, you know, that happens with WNBA players.

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UConn – Stanford Game Sold Out!

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Chat Alert!

Michelle, 2pmEST.

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from Mel: St. Joseph’s Dials 700 Wins Capturing Own Tourney

On Jan. 17, 1974 two years after the Congressional passage of Title IX, St Joseph’s University took the floor against Immaculata, the UConn of its time in women’s collegiate competition, and promptly got smacked in its then-called Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse by the Cathy Rush-coached Mighty Macs 59-24.

Three days later on Jan. 20, showing the resiliency of its mantra “The Hawk Will Never Die,” the team returned for another home game and met another local rival, routing Manor 67-30.

“We were playing so well I went home at the half,” assistant athletic director Ellen Ryan joked Wednesday afternoon of her one-year coaching stint on Hawk Hill.

Ryan’s comments came an hour before Cindy Griffin, a St. Joseph’s star of the late 1980s-early 1990s, guided her own alma mater to an easy 75-40 win over Lafayette to capture the Hawk Classic and post the 700th victory in the history of the women’s program.

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(Sun turn a profit, make history), and The Day’s Mike DiMauro wonders…

I’m not sure why news of a team’s profitability isn’t plastered all over the WNBA.com. This is news that should be out there. But then, I’m just a little guy trying to make his way in a little city. A guy who can’t wait to see the next dope predict Armageddon for the longest running women’s sports league ever.

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has been (and will be) keeping track of the Tulane DoubleTree Classic

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NY Times sports editor Tom Jolly, but I hope it sticks.

Jere’ Longman writes: Stanford Poses A Challenge To UConn And Its Streak

There is reason for Stanford to feel buoyant about halting UConn’s 90-game winning streak. For starters, the Cardinal was the last team to defeat the Huskies, by 82-73 in the N.C.A.A. semifinals on April 6, 2008. Twice last season Stanford held a halftime lead over UConn, including in the national championship game. It is a bigger team, deeper, more balanced, healthier at the moment, playing at home, where it has won 51 in a row, fully understanding that UConn’s resolve persists for 40 minutes, not just for 20.

Michelle Smith at LeftCoastHoops weighs in with 5 things that need to change for Stanford vs. UConn

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Duquesne Gives McConnell-Serio Some Revenge

The arrival of 2011 won’t become official until midnight Friday but plenty of fireworks lit the women’s basketball collegiate sky Tuesday with more to come after a return from the Christmas break except for delays of activity still being caused by Sunday’s winter blizzard along the Atlantic seaboard.

Suzie McConnell-Serio, the former Olympian, Penn State sensation, and WNBA All-Star, made a triumphant return to Ohio Tuesday where she once thrilled crowds along Lake Erie playing for the former Cleveland Rockers.

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A Chicago slice

The Chicago Sky held its first ever Pokey Holiday Pizza Party on Tuesday, December 28th at Gino’s East O’Hare to introduce new Chicago Sky General Manager and Head Coach Pokey Chatman to the Sky Riders. The Sky season ticket holders were treated to pizza, salad and soft drinks by Gino’s East and some great insight into what the 2011 season will hold for the Sky by Coach Chatman. Watch the video below to view a segment of Coach Chatman’s address.

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Ni hao, Swin

At SlamOnline: A ‘Firm’ Decision – Swin Cash on playing overseas in China

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All due respect to Duke’s coach K, but if I don’t start seeing and hearing the word “MEN’S” in relationship to his win record, I’m going to sic some Lady Vols fans on ESPN.

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St. John’s Red Storm Second Half Surge Puts Out Lady Flames and Power Play: Maryland Terrapin Posts Too Much to Handle

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Dishin & Swishin Counts Down the 10 “Biggest Moments in Women’s Hoops” for 2010 (Part 1)

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The sportsman of the year is a woman – UConn’s Maya Moore should be the hands-down winner of anybody’s award this year

It may be that hardly anybody reads this. It may be that fewer than 100 people comment in the conversation pages at the bottom of the column. It may be that it will not resonate anywhere beyond the 203/860/475 area codes.

No one else really seems to care.

It’s going to take some courage. Not the courage to say or write it, but the courage to see it. The courage to look past the “man” in “Sportsman” and acknowledge that this time, a woman did it better than any man.

Truth told: Maya Moore is the real 2010 Sportsman of the Year. But no one will admit it.

Scoop  et. all. – read the comments to your piece and learn a little about those who support and those who belittle.

And I encourage readers of the WHB to weigh in. So long as the misogynist ignoramuses of the world are louder than we are, our game won’t get the coverage and respect it deserves.

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I honestly thought that Baylor would stop the streak — and they probably should have, if BG suddenly hadn’t got a case of the free-throw yips.

So, maybe it’s the Cardinal’s turn. (Thursday, ESPN2 @ 9pmEST) Wise money has been looking at this game for a while with itchy palms. Both teams have come off of “important” moments (the streak, 800 wins), both teams have had a post-Xmas game to get back in the groove (Stanford in particular). Let’s hope for a game that was as much fun as the Bears/Huskies match up that launched this season with a bang.

From Mechelle (nice shot of two fabulous athletes on the ESPN.com front page, btw): Stage set for UConn-Stanford clash – Game we’ve all been waiting for finally arrives with both teams playing at high level

“It has become something you look forward to every year,” Auriemma said of UConn-Stanford matchups. “You know how that happens? It’s because you play them a lot of times in a short period of time.”

From The Olympian: Stanford women set stage for UConn showdown

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But demanding them off the court is even cooler. No guarantee player’s are going to attain either ’cause, well, ya know, they’re human. 18-21 year old humans.

But not asking for them sure as heck guarantees no one will try and reach’em.

From O.Kay Henderson at RadioIowa (in Crimes & Courts. Yikes) Iowa women’s basketball coach: my players want to be good role models

A suspended Iowa football player was picked up last night in Des Moines on marijuana possession charges.  Runningback Adam Robinson is the second Hawkeye football star to be arrested on drug charges this month. During an afternoon news conference in Iowa City, Hawkeye women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder was asked by a reporter how often she talks with her team about making the “right” decisions.

“It’s not just because of what’s happened in the news with the football team that we talk about those things. We honestly talk about those things all the time with our team,” Bluder said in reply. “It’s a general expectation of the team. Our first team meeting in the fall we begin with what our expectations are for our team and our values for our team are listed in our locker room and they see them every single day when they walk in.  We’ve even given them a quiz on, ‘What are the values of our team?’”

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(From SlamOnline): San Francisco!

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If Mel’s rumor mill is correct,

a shout out to Jeff House, one of the good guys. (Yup, it is.)

If the other rumor is correct, how ironic would it be to see Jenny patrolling the Lib sidelines?

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