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Archive for December, 2010

Over the Christmas weekend, I wrote a long, long entry reflecting more on the whole UConn streak/UCLA streak topic  … but realized (after writing it) that I’m very weary of that particular “debate” right now, and that you might be, too.

So I put that entry on the shelf. I may decide to post it later, or maybe it’s one of those blog entries that just never sees the light of day. (It would hardly be the first.) For now, let’s just move on completely from the Bruins and their record streak for men’s basketball, and instead talk about the next few days and where the spotlight will be for women’s hoops.
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Or did he just have a “convenient” memory lapse? Did he fudge on some records, figuring no one would recognize that?

In a recent WNBA.com Q and A, the New York Liberty’s new coach/general manager John Whisenant discussed various topics, including the final season of the Sacramento Monarchs.

Whisenant has his new opportunity in the Big Apple and a superstar player in Cappie Pondexter; life seems pretty good for him. So it’s hard to understand why he would feel the need to distort anything that happened at Sacramento.
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The rest of the women’s basketball world did not just shut down to watch UConn’s 89-in-a-row-and-counting locomotive take a trip over Florida State. In fact, some of the other games – yes, there really were other games – Tuesday night involved teams that are, or should be, part of the championship conversation this season.

Does that mean any of them will beat UConn? We won’t go so far as to predict anything like that. One’s already had its chance, and may get another in the NCAA tournament. But, overall, Tuesday was an interesting night to examine what was going on beyond the bright spotlight shining on Hartford.
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Expounding upon the value of mentors strikes me as a lot like talking about the necessity of good nutrition and getting enough sleep. It’s common sense, but it bears repeating endlessly.

The National Women’s Law Center is sponsoring a “Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports Day” today, Dec. 8, where they are asking bloggers to write about the value of girls’ and women’s sports and what that means to them.

I write most of the entries on this blog about women’s sports, so on this day, I want to focus on the value of mentors … and the value of appreciating them. And in doing so, I also get to tell you the rest of a story that I wrote recently.
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Back in 2009, I wrote a blog entry reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the famed ’99  Women’s World Cup, and a large chunk of it was about that being my first trip to New York/New Jersey. And how I managed to spend two hours trying to find an exit that I’d been told was 2 minutes away. And how I finally played the pathetic “I’m from Kansas!” card to get someone to literally lead me to where I needed to go but couldn’t figure out.

Such things are only hysterically funny in retrospect … or when they happen to someone else. One of my all-time favorite comedy films is “The Out-of-Towners” (the original!) because it is the quintessential Midwesterers-traveling-to-New-York nightmare. And because I love the late actress Sandy Dennis (a Nebraska native, by the way, who eventually settled in New York in real life. I was sure in that way she could relate to her character, Gwen Kellerman of Twin Oaks, Ohio.)

Anyway, my buddy and the world’s best sports writer, former KC Star columnist Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated, had one of those, “This can’t be happening” trips going from Kansas City to NYC on Wednesday.

Joe being Joe, he could make it hilarious very quickly. But I happen to know this was one of his busiest weeks in a schedule that is ridiculous all the time. He was in St. Louis on Monday for a sports panel that included the likes of Bill James and Bob Costas. Then it was back to KC and off to NYC.

Except his route ended up including the Pennsylvania Turnpike. (Which I can assure you is generally not something you experience in flying from Missouri to New York.)

At any rate, if you’ve ever had one of “those” days traveling – even if you’re not a Midwesterner – you will appreciate this.

Makes me glad that all I have to do today is drive from St. Louis to Lincoln, Neb. And I know all the exits.

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The Division I NCAA volleyball bracket came out Sunday, and I kept looking at it, thinking I had to be missing something.

“This can’t be as ridiculous as it seems,” I thought. “It can’t be. This is a joke.”

I rather quickly wrote a story for ESPN.com about the bracket, suggesting Penn State got what looked like an absurdly easy road to the Final Four, and that the Seattle region looked like it was really difficult.
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