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Archive for August, 2011

Attendance

as the playoffs approach and ESPN says ESPN2 Delivers Most Viewed WNBA Regular Season Since 2005

Teams at home with the playoff potential.

NY: 6,334 (Quietest 6,334 I’ve seen in a while, but that may have been because of how the Lib played the first three quarters.)

Atlanta: 6,467

SASS: 6,934

Minny: 8,065

LA: 9,023

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East clearing up as the Sky fall

It’s sad to see Chicago’s season go down in flames like that, but disappointingly apropos. They had to win this game, and for three-and-a-bit quarters they were pulling it off. But when New York raised their intensity level, there was nothing in the locker to respond with. They either tried desperately to force the ball to Big Syl and turned it over in the process, or stood around looking for Fowles, realised the shot clock was running out, and watched Prince fire up a jumper. I know Fowles is their main weapon, and should be their first option on every trip down the floor, but it would’ve been nice to see them look for something else at some point.

The Basket Cases on the Mystics-Lynx game:

About the only thing we enjoyed last night about the Minny game was that Alan Horton, the Minny announcer, repeatedly commented on how successful Angela and Julie were in Washington. Although Horton was off-camera, you could almost see him scratching his head in bewilderment, trying to make sense of why they are no longer with the Mystics. (In terms of bewilderment, Alan, you’re not alone.)

Jayda on Seattle v. Los Angeles:

The stat of the night? Neither team had a single fast break point, Seattle missing its lone attempt. The last time that happened? Oh, the embarrassing loss to Minnesota at home in June. You would think the Storm had improved since then, but Tuesday was definitely a disappointment. “This is a definitely a step back,” Agler said. “We didn’t give ourselves some opportunity.” The Storm gave the Sparks 20 points on 19 turnovers, another bugger stat in the game. “It seemed like right when we were making our run, we had a couple critical turnovers,” Agler said. True.

and

STARGAZING: It’s been a celebrity-filled trip to LA-LA land for Jackson. When the team landed at Los Angeles International Airport, she ran into NBA champion Paul Pierce (Boston), who posted on Twitter that she’s his idol. During her warmup about two-hours before game-time on Tuesday, Emmy-award winning actress Jane Lynch waltzed in with her family. Jackson freaked and ran over to give her a big hug, totally blushing. Lynch was just as excited to get smothered by the 6-foot-6 center, posing for a photo with Jackson and some teammates. Agler was the photographer. Lynch personally contacted that Sparks to get a ticket, telling me she just hadn’t been this year so it was time. Her daughter also plays hoops.

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Connecticut after-Shock?

San Antonio said, “We ain’t gonna lose seven in a row,” and the Sun said “Oh, man, we’re on the road again?” End result: SASS 78, Connecticut 66 and the playoffs are still in sight for San Antone and, oddly enough, clinched for the Sun. (Congrats on your 5000th pt., Becky!)

The Merc had no desire to be streaked or shocked or surprised, so they stomped a pooped Tulsa.

The Shock was playing its 11th game in 26 days and a sixth game in the last 10 days.

“I think we’re really tired,” coach Teresa Edwards said. “I think, in our minds, we wanted to play hard. We wanted to go out and do well again. But we just couldn’t do it. I kind of recognized that early in the game.”

Chicago practiced a little self-inflicted wounding. They were cruising in the fourth with a nice, comfortable lead, then Cappie decided to pull her “It’s time for my late game heroics.” The Sky then fumbled the ball over and over and New York walked in for the touchdown. From Queenie:

I have no idea what part of their ass they pulled this out of, and I neither care or regret my use of such language. I think “pulled it out of our ass” is the most accurate possible assessment of this game, and in the interest of journalistic integrity, I have to use the most accurate assessment.

And yes, that was Sue doing color. No, she’s not got a vocal style “made” for commentary, but hell, she’s so much better than Kym, who sounds about as professional as two teenagers texting at the mall….

Speaking of fumbling, when was the last time you saw Catch do that? Last night. Ouch. (And I’m not talking about the high school football that kept on jumping into my Live Mixed Access.) Indy and the Dream put on a (a second) rip roarin’ show for the Atlanta fans and Sancho put the cherry on top (to mix my metaphors or something). The clock winding down, game tied, Tamika with the ball in her hands, but she gets trapped. Panicked pass, turnover, Lyttle and swoops in for a lay-up. Dream win, Sancho breathes a sigh of relief,  and Indy is in the playoffs.

Side note: I’m sure Reeves will get it, but anyone think what MM has done to keep this Atlanta team together through the horrible opening of the season to this return to last year’s form is worth a vote or two in the COY race? (And why is the AJC using the AP report?)

Minnesota fiddled around for a bit in the first half, but then they got on track (not UNtracked) and put the pedal to the metal (not the petal to the medal) and took care of business. And the ‘stics.

Yup, looks like that wagon is gettin’ mighty big… Lynx winning hearts as victories pile up

We watch sports for the spectacle and the spectacular, and the Lynx provide enough of both, with fast-break baskets and reverse layups. We also watch sports to see cohesion and competitiveness, to see people who grew up in different climes and circumstances bonding together under pressure, and the Lynx are the best example of that on the local landscape.

“One thing I love is that before the game, Lindsay will come over and give me a high-five,” Leone said. “You can’t get that anywhere else. I’m a sucker for stuff like that. To have a professional team be so accessible … I’m a sucker for that. If you tell me you like me, you’ve got me.”

…and Adair’s 10pts points gives Tim Leighton a reason to write about her: Reserve center Jessica Adair blossoming into key contributor for Minnesota Lynx

Jessica Adair was heavy, out of shape and nearly out of hope when she was cut from the Minnesota Lynx’s training camp before the 2010 season. Deep within a 6-foot-4 frame that once carried 268 pounds, she found the courage to fight off the demons that threatened to end her dream of playing professional basketball.

Her transformation leaves her with a smile nowadays.

“It feels pretty good, but I have to stay humble about it,” Adair said Tuesday night.

No last second heroics this time. Parker (27pts) and the Sparks got some measure of revenge, taking down the Storm, 68-62.

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No really…

what the hell is up with the “Rate This” ass ads on ESPN?

When should I expect crotch shots of men with the invite, “Measure This!”

Maybe we should “Ask Kelly,” the ESPN ombudsman.

By the way, have you heard about this: ESPN partners with Poynter – Journalism institute expands the traditional role of network’s ombudsman

ESPN and The Poynter Institute have partnered for a new step in media transparency — The Poynter Review Project — in which a panel of Poynter faculty will review ESPN content across all platforms and publicly comment on ESPN’s efforts. This will include monthly essays and additional timely responses as issues arise. The group also will address fan concerns during its 18-month tenure.

“The Poynter Institute’s reputation in the field of journalism is unmatched, and we welcome the panel’s scrutiny in this new format,” said John A. Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor. “Our goal is to improve our content through increased accountability, transparency and timeliness. We believe The Review will take the traditional ombudsman role and advance it for the 21st-century media world.”

So, if you want a voice in what, who and how ESPN covers, speak up!

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Just walk it off?

by Nicole Powell

At one time or another, be it as an amateur, collegiate, or professional athlete, we’ve all had to endure and push through the threshold of pain, sacrificing our bodies for the sake of competition. To defy bodily ill with mental toughness is a sign of strength and can be categorized as courageous, even heroic at times. As a matter of course, athletes are frequently lauded for this type of achievement, the act of asserting their will and decreeing that their minds are master over their sometimes weakened bodies.

For us athletes, in other words, suck it up and don’t be a wuss might be the closest thing we have to an eleventh commandment.

Once the ACL is injured, the athlete has a decision to make. You can live with a torn ACL, but it will forever hinder your physical capabilities. Or you can surgically repair the ACL and go through months of intense rehabilitation.

Here is the story of two athletes who went through the surgery and rehab. Whitney Hand and Kendall Wallace are both basketball players who tore their ACL on the court. Being college athletes, their rehabilitation was done on campus, and it was aggressive.

But their story can answer the question many athletes have after a diagnosis: Now that I’ve torn my ACL, what’s next?

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some follow-up from the New York Times’ Lynn Zinser: Unfamiliar Path Unfolds at Tennessee

“My first thought was, Pat Summitt is our coach and always will be,” said Tennessee’s athletic director, Joan Cronan, who has worked with Summitt for 28 years. “But I had three things to do. I had to protect Pat, who is the most loved person at the University of Tennessee. I had to protect her legacy. And I had to protect the program she built.”

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Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese signs contract extension

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