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Archive for September, 2009

  Some semi-randomly connected thoughts after points-a-palooza:      

   *-So if you watched Tuesday’s first game of the WNBA finals, you may understand why such games can be difficult to write a good column about. Because they’re really so exhilarating to experience live that recounting them never seems to do them justice. 

  Plus, the Mercury’s 120-116 victory didn’t have that one or two players who were really the focus; so many people played well. Katie Douglas’ 30 points and the way she did so many clutch things right – save missing that last 3-pointer, where she had to create her own shot – was a key figure, but so was Ebony Hoffman for the Fever.

  And the Mercury really showed its versatility and depth; it was a team performance that wrapped up why Phoenix can be such a fun team to watch.  

  I’ll flat-out admit I was surprised that the Fever could score that many points. I feel I really underestimated Indy in that regard.
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   I overpack for every trip … yet still often manage not to bring something I need. This trip to Phoenix was, as I wrote Friday, a pleasant surprise, as I wasn’t expecting to travel until the WNBA finals started. So I was a little rushed in packing … meaning I only had like 24 hours to do it. 

 So I forget my toothbush, which I can’t even believe since it’s usually what I’m most obsessive about, but that’s remedied easily. However, I also forgot to bring my parka, and I’m not going to buy one here. I’ll just have to do without it.
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   Watched some of the Mercury’s shoot-around this morning here in Phoenix and how they were drilling to prevent the Sparks from getting deep in the lane the way they were able to in Game 2.

   LA and Phoenix have now played six times this season, so they all know everything about each other. Still, there were points that Mercury coach Corey Gaines went over and over to make sure everybody understood that all it takes is a half-step of indecision to be “too late.”

   After the shoot-around, I asked Phoenix’s “big three” – yes, even if she’s not starting, Penny Taylor is still one of them – about what had to be different tonight for the Mercury compared to Friday.
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   The folks at ESPN.com decided the various plot lines of the Western Conference finals were compelling enough to send me out to Phoenix, a development that thrilled me … and was pleasantly surprising.

  The economic disaster of the last year-plus has affected everybody, of course. And although I know some folks just assume that ESPN prints money, it doesn’t. ESPN and its affiliate ESPN.com have had to make hard decisions like any other business about what it can and can’t do.
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     images-2Last week, I did something I haven’t done in many, many years: Watched the “Guiding Light.” The soap opera had been on television since 1952, but the changing world did it in. Not so many people are home during the day anymore trying to get their fix of hot doctors hooking up when they’re not performing brain surgery … and besides, they can get that in more risque fashion at night anyway.

  There’s been an overall decline in soap opera viewership, and the wrecked economy has hurt all those shows.”GL,” though, was deemed no longer viable. So after 15,762 episodes, it ended Sept. 18.

  I wanted to watch the conclusion only for nostalgia reasons. A long time ago, I was addicted to “GL.” It feels ridiculous to say such a thing now, but it’s true. From about 1979 to 1983, in particular, it was utterly absurd. Whatever was going on in fictional “Springfield” was more important than anything actually going on in my life.
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  The first day of the WNBA playoffs is in the books, and I wrote for ESPN.com about the victories for Detroit and Los Angeles.

  Earlier in the day, I saw the news that Pacer/Fever co-owner Mel Simon had died, which of course raises more questions on the Fever’s future. Then in the afternoon, I saw more sad news from Indianapolis: NCAA president Myles Brand had passed away, too.
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  Time to make picks for the WNBA playoffs, that is. I will say it again: I loathe picking. But it’s one of the things ESPN.com requests that I do, so …

  Today, the first full day of the NFL season, I briefly watched the guys on CBS go through their picks. They each pushed a button in front of them, and then it came up with team’s logo to show what team everyone had picked. They seemed to be really enjoying it, of course. I think this is pretty much normal – that people like to “inject” themselves into competitions that they aren’t actually involved in so they have a chance to “win.”

  Which means I’m abnormal, because I don’t want to be part of the competition in any way.
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