I was chatting with the other Ladies… this morning about how I was ready to post tonight on Don Cherry’s Saturday night rant about how women reporters don’t belong in the locker room. Then Jason Collins happened, we all got weepy at our workplaces, and I decided it would be more fun to reflect on the progress of the human race then a loudmouthed former coach defending the likes of Duncan Keith with a patronizing attitude towards women.
I meant to post this last week, but it’s better late then never.
We’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning around the house, and I was crawling around the attic and stumbled across this copy of Sports Illustrated from March 3, 1980. It was randomly sitting on top of a few boxes, calling my name from across the room.
My dad has been collecting SI since the 70s, and every issue of the magazine since then is somewhere in my house. After finding this issue, I’ve decided to search for some iconic issues and start framing them. Wish me luck!
What I love about the cover is how simple it is. No headlines, no descriptions, no words. Just the pure joy of a couple amateur hockey players beating the best hockey team in the world.
Danica Patrick has been around, even in NASCAR driver form, for a while now, and if you are like me you’ve gotten used to rolling your eyes at whatever dumb thing the 13 year old boys who run Go Daddy’s marketing department are making her do now and moving on. So unless you’re a diehard NASCAR fan, you might have missed that this week Danica became the first female driver to ever capture the Daytona 500 pole.
Unless you are a NFL junkie (and I mean a serious, I-am-dvring-the-scouting-combine-footage-on-NFL-Network junkie), you may have also missed that next weekend Lauren Silberman will become the first woman to attend an NFL regional scouting combine as a prospective draftee.
In the context of the wins-oriented sports world, these are not mind-blowing achievements. No one has won Daytona from the pole in over a decade, and anyone meeting the NFL’s general eligibility requirements (and ponying up the registration fee) can attend a regional level combine (it’s the Draft Combine, which is invitation only, that gets all the media coverage, usually).
But tell the little girls suddenly swarming Daytona that Danica’s pole doesn’t really matter. Tell the eleven year old in Philadelphia who still is being forbidden to play football solely because of her gender that the best football league in the world accepting a woman’s application to enter their scouting process as if she was any other player is no big deal. Just think for one minute about SportsCenter Sunday night ending with the traditional celebratory winner and what that looks like if it’s Danica amid the confetti. Think about watching Fox’s Game of the Week on Sunday, and hearing Joe Buck casually announce “Silberman out to attempt the field goal.” We may be a long way from that actually happening (particularly the latter), but the path to both of those endings just got a little bit smoother. And that’s something to celebrate.
Not to be such a negative Nancy on my first post back in quite some time, but really when you’re surrounded by the media treating this game like the joke that it is, I can’t really help it. Just from my initial evaluation from my own Facebook news feed (which I assure you is filled with plenty of sports fans), there were more people watching the SAG awards last night and mocking the Pro Bowl than actually watching it. Are we surprised? Has it always been such a joke? I decided to investigate…
How excited am I about this year’s US Open champions? Well, I’m posting two days early, for one thing. But I also had to engage in a serious internal debate about whether to post Serena’s picture or Andy’s first. Ultimately, I decided on Serena because …well, look at that picture. That woman had a life-threatening pulmonary embolism last year, and this year she won two Grand Slams and two Olympic gold medals. (Her victory celebration reportedly included a karaoke rendition of “I Will Survive.”)
First of all, many thanks to my friends (including Games Mistress and various members of Red Sox Nation) for pulling me out of my Pinstriped Spiral of Gloom last Friday morning after receiving word that Mariano Rivera suffered a season-and-possibly-career-ending torn ACL last Thursday while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Honestly, there is nothing like a devastating injury to a beloved future Hall of Famer to remind you who your truest friends in baseball are. Red Sox fans and I may be bitter frenemies when wins are on the line, but when something like this happens, we all feel for the biggest fans of the affected team and athlete. So thanks you guys – you are the best!
And what a difference a day made. It wasn’t long until Rivera’s competitive nature bounced back as he declared to reporters “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” So it won’t be long until you can go back to hating my kind again, Red Sox Nation (know that I say this with love). It’s been reported that three doctors at two hospitals examined his knee today, so hopefully surgery and rehab go smoothly enough to get him back on the mound in 2013. Until then, it’s the Soriano-Robertson Show from here on out. Continue reading
I have no particular attachment to Pat Summitt or Tennessee women’s basketball. I came of age after Title IX, where women’s sports, if not always culturally or popularly supported, at least had an acknowledged right of existence. The way I understood it during my childhood, Pat Summitt was like any other great coach in her chosen sport; famous, respected, and of course, the architect of teams you never wanted your favorite team to run into in the tournament.
I didn’t know back then, that she started coaching Tennessee before the NCAA Women’s Tournament even existed, for a salary of $250 a month. I didn’t know that the women’s Olympic team she played on, in 1976, was the first ever women’s basketball event at the Olympics. (Seriously, go read her Wikipedia page, it’s like a primer in women’s sports history.) For someone my age, she was just always there, glaring over the court from the sidelines. The media fanfare over her retirement is remarkable because it’s not suprising, simply her due as a prominent figure in her field.
Best of luck, Pat. And thanks.
Your TV, radio and internets are being bombarded with Year In Review posts and specials as I type this. Well, guess what? It’s no different here at Ladies… We took a few moments this week to reflect on our favourite memories of this past year. Some will be hilariously obvious, others may surprise you. All of them will make you warm and fuzzy, like a delicious flute of champagne.
* in some cases, we wish.
1) Your World Series MVP David Freese
Ladies, we have a new favourite on the blog to swoon over, and it’s this guy – yes, GM, we’ll wrestle you for him. David Freese also won the NLCS MVP, hit .397 in the postseason, broke a bunch of records, and came through in the clutch. But it’s his humble nature that teammates like Pujols and gals like us love.
But wait, there’s more in our treat bags…
Game 7 is on! The Cup’s here, Games Mistress and Lady Bee are here, all that’s left is for you to join us by clicking here.
I don’t even know if this should be an Advent Calendar of Hotness post or what. I’m a Phillies fan and I still don’t know what just happened. All I know is that Cliff Lee turned down a whole shit-ton of money, and I know that the rotation is absolutely disgusting and I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS.
I went to my first baseball game in 1993 when the Phillies played the Rockies. Back then, the Phillies literally gave away tickets to games in packages of hot dogs. Seriously, I remember 14 year old Maggie negotiating with her dad that if we bought TWO packages of hot dogs, my siblings could come to the game, and if we bought THREE, Mom could come too.
I can’t even.
Look, I know the world hates the Phillies and everything because they’re the new Red Sox or Yankees or Patriots or whatever, but this is…mindblowing.
…Roy Halladay. Do I even need to say anything else?
HI EVERYONE ROY HALLADAY THREW A NO HITTER IN HIS FIRST POSTSEASON APPEARANCE AND I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO USE PUNCTUATION
PS IT WAS ONLY THE SECOND ONE IN A LITTLE THING WE LIKE TO CALL HISTORY
PS NUMBAH TWO: OH AND HE THREW A PERFECT GAME THIS YEAR ALREADY.
For real, I kind of think my husband would be okay if I left him for Roy. Actually, I kind of think he might leave me for Roy. I’m not sure I blame him.
It’s been a big week for firsts involving women, and you can be forgiven if the first one that comes to mind involves Australia’s new prime minister. This hockey fan, however, was thrilled to learn that the Hockey Hall of Fame has selected two outstanding female players: Cammi Granato and Angela James.
We at Ladies… say “It’s about damn time!” Continue reading
The Cincinnati Reds are rocking the NL Central, thanks in no small part to Bronson Arroyo. Having just pitched a complete game and having 2 RBIs of his own, I’m wondering if there isn’t something magical going on with Arroyo. Perhaps it’s that wonderful mound of business frontage, and party backage!
Allow me (again) to bask in a little national pride for a moment.
Canadians spend a lot of time navel gazing and musing over the fact that we don’t wear our hearts on our sleeves much. We’re afraid of coming on a little too strong, and when we do, we apologize profusely.
I’m so glad that for a change, we let our flag wave often and proudly. We sported the red and white. We sang our anthem spontaneously. We celebrated with beer! We even came off as a bit obnoxious.
For once, Canadians need not apologize.
(Exception: the closing ceremonies music. Let me make this clear: most Canadians don’t like Nickelback. Here‘s an example of a band we should have had close the Vancouver games, which also explains the mystery behind the title of this post.)
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games certainly had its ups and downs and fair share of criticism. There will be plenty of time for analysis in that regard. For now, let’s just bask in the glory of those record 14 gold medals, including one in…mens’ hockey!!
It finally happened!
Canada didn’t win gold in 1976 in Montreal. We didn’t win gold in Calgary in 1988, either.
But tonight, in Vancouver, it happened.
Alexandre Bilodeau of Quebec – a toddler when Canada last hosted the Winter Games – is the nation’s newest Olympic hero as he captured gold in the Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Moguls competition. He also made a little history, becoming the first Canadian Olympian to win gold on home soil. Bilodeau beat the heavily favoured Dale Beggs-Smith (a Canuck, incidentally, competing for Australia) with a score of 26.75. Team USA’s Bryon Wilson captured bronze in an impressive effort.
Bilodeau’s inspiration? His brother Fredric, who lives with cerebral palsy, and who was cheering for Alexandre harder than anyone else in the red-and-white clad crowd at Cypress Mountain. You can read about Alexandre and his brother here and watch their story “Source of strength” here.
I don’t think freestyle skiing has ever moved me to tears. Bravo Alexandre!
The big storyline in last year’s Super Bowl was the tradition rich Pittsburgh Steelers and their (then) five Super Bowl victories matched against the Arizona Cardinals in their first trip to the championship. This year, 3 of the 4 conference finalists have either never been to the Super Bowl or have not been in decades. To put things in perspective, I took a look at the rosters of each team — both from their last trip to the conference game (win or lose) and their last conference championship — and selected a player representative of that era in the team’s history. You might be surprised who I came up with.
Vintage (sort of) football hotness, after the jump.
It’s no secret: I love Buffalo sports. But that also means that I’m no stranger with disappointment. After what looked like an amazing start last year in winning five of their first six games, the Bills managed to end in disappointment with a 7-9 record overall. It’s way too early to tell now obviously, but after yesterday’s disappointment (with my fantasy league QB against them not to mention, which creates a whole other moral dilemma by itself) it’s hard not to look back to the last three years of 7-9. And after the Sabres building me up just to let me down last year and the Mets breaking my heart year after year lately, you can’t really blame me in my losing of hope. What’s a poor fan to do? Continue reading
For the last few weeks, over at my favorite Cardinals blog, Viva El Birdos, Will Leitch has been tracking the team’s magic number by highlighting a past or current Cardinal player with the corresponding jersey number. Today’s number, for example, is Ozzie Smith.
Earlier in the week, I was hoping I’d get to write a congratulatory post, but then we had to go and lose to the Astros yesterday; the earliest the Cards can clinch the division now is if the Cubs lose to the Giants tonight, but I live on the East Coast and this post is already late as it is. So since I looked at the NL races last week, I thought I’d steal borrow Will’s idea and apply the player number countdown to the AL races.
When it comes to being a sports fan, I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions. I have been privileged to experience the ultimate highs and humbled to have experienced the extreme lows. Recently, I’ve been forced to take inventory of my sports emotions, so to speak.
As most of you already know, I was born and raised in Baltimore in the early 80s. My first sports love was the Baltimore Orioles. When I was a little over 1-year-old, my O’s won the World Series. That was the last time my beloved franchise was blessed with a title. Of course, I don’t remember the sweet taste of victory, but I did experience it. My mom-mom packed up my little self, hopped on a bus and took me downtown for the victory parade. I have a photo of me in my little stroller, waving my World Series pennant with the parade passing in the background. What I wouldn’t give to recreate that moment. Let’s just hope I don’t have to wait until that stroller turns into a wheelchair!
Let’s not forget that until I was a sophomore in college, I had never seen a baseball game that didn’t have Cal Ripken, Jr. playing in it. I wouldn’t say that the Orioles spoiled me, though. We were good during my formative sports fan years, but all good things must come to an end. Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever win until someone finally exacts revenge on that Jeffrey Maier kid. Hate him. While I have come to expect disappointment from the Orioles, I’m having a harder time coming to terms with my other teams.
This past spring, I purchased via StubHub two tickets for Section 208 of Yankee Stadium for the September 11th game against the Orioles. As you recently learned, this would be my first live Major League ball game in more than 15 years, and my first ever Yankees game.
I had no idea at the time that I would be witness to a moment in Yankees history.
If you feel a wave of nausea washing over you, you may prefer to read this (and believe me, I agree – Mauer is more MVP-worthy). The rest of you can deal with my swooning after the jump.
In honor of Lady Bee’s love of Jeter (and the fact that she could be witnessing history in person), I’ll be filling in for her today with a topic that is somewhat troubling me and pretty much any other baseball fan that’s been following the Yankees’ most hits record list. As of Wednesday night against Tampa, Derek Jeter has tied the record for the most hits from a Yankee, passing greats Mickey Mantle and Babe, and is now at 2,721 which was Lou Gehrig’s record up until possibly tonight. But how should classic Yankee and Gehrig fans feel about this? Continue reading
We here at Ladies…don’t like getting into politics. The love of sports is supposed to bring people together. Politics, it seems, always drives people apart. We’re stepping away from that policy today for one reason and for one reason only. You see, we here at Ladies…are, well, ladies. We’re ladies who grew up after Title IX passed, and we have, in no small part, Sen. Ted Kennedy to thank for that.
Whether we competed as high school athletes or not (I ran track until the track season started running headlong into the school musical season, and who can resist greasepaint and the roar of the crowd?), it doesn’t matter. We like sports, and we like watching sports, and like knowing that women can excel at sports. Without Title IX, could we have watched Brandi Chastain tear off her shirt after the women’s World Cup championship in ecstatic glee? Without Title IX, could we have watched Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh dominate in two straight Olympic Games? Without Title IX, would we be able to see Venus and Serena mop up the court, match after match? Maybe. Probably not.
Frankly, it’s interesting that most people think of Title IX in terms only of athletics. (Understandably, since most of the challenges under the law have come in the field of athletics.) That’s not all Title IX did, though. In fact, the original statute never even mentioned athletics. It reads “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” It has been used to ensure equal access to education, and to prevent discrimination against either sex in the classroom. It applies to every aspect of academic life, from your college dorm to your ability to get care at the student health clinic. And ‘you’ means all of you, not just us ladies.
So thank you, Ted Kennedy. We may or may not have agreed with your stances on the issues. We may have voted for you, or we may have campaigned against you. But all of us grew up under Title IX, and for that, as ladies, we thank you.
So yeah. That happened. The Mets are down 6-0 before they even came up to bat, and they managed to make a decent comeback effort throughout the game. It’s now the 9th inning and it’s 9-6. Pagan is safe at third on a crazy error. Castillo comes up and he’s safe due to another error by the idiot 2nd baseman Bruntlett, and Pagan scores. Now 9-7, Phillies still up. Then comes Daniel Murphy, who safely gets to first. We now have the tying runs on base with NO OUTS. Then my personal favorite Franheart comes up (sarcasm detection by my regular readers). And what does he do, my dear fellow fans? He line drives straight into the hands of Bruntlett (who more than made up for that previous error). Out 1. Bruntlett steps onto the 2nd base bag. Out 2, Castillo had too much of a lead. Murphy’s coming right at him, does a little loop de loop, and probably soils himself as he is tagged for out 3. That’s right. 3 outs, all made by one person. Game over, just like that.
Let me ask you something.
Team A won their 11th Premiere League title just last season. (The second, mind you, in a row.) They’ve been essentially unstoppable for years, and you can always depend on them to be at the top of the standings every year. They’re the Yankees of the Prem League, in essence.
Team B hasn’t played a home game in the Prem in 33 years. In fact, the team that last defeated them, leading to Team B’s loooooooooong slog in relegated hell? Team A. In fact, Team B hasn’t managed to win one single solitary game against Team A in 41 years. (And I bitch when the Sox lose four in a row to the Yankees.) Oh, sure, Team B wasn’t in the Prem for 33 of those 41 years, but that’s still eight years of getting their asses handed to them over and over again. Team B was so terrible they almost left the Football League entirely ten years ago. (The post-Bond Pittsburgh Pirates of the Prem League, as it were.)
Anyway, Team B is finally promoted. They’re going to get to play with the big boys again. What do the scheduling Gods do to them? Naturally, schedule them to start against Team A.
Who wins the game?
Undoubtedly you’ve noticed that us current Ladies are not the biggest NBA fans in the world, given the number of Stanley Cup related posts vs. NBA finals posts over the last week. Of course in some ways the Stanley Cup was considerably more exciting than “The” Finals (and why can’t they come up with a catchy name? “The Finals” is so …bland). And the Lakers won again. Doesn’t it seem like the Lakers always win? I knew, in the back of my head, that they hadn’t won in some time, but it took me by surprise to realize there were seven years between Kobe’s third and fourth title.
I got the idea for this post when I was talking to my friend about the last time the Yankees won the World Series. It’s almost going to be nine years, but nine years isn’t that long. If I ever complained about a nine-year World Series drought to a Cubs fan, I would more than likely get a smack in the face…and it would be completely warranted.
However, when I think back to where I was the 2000, it seems like ages ago. The last time the Yankees won it all I was a freshman in High School. It feels like I graduated from H.S. ages ago; forget about actually being a freshman. The bottom line is we all follow our team with one goal: to see them win it all at the end. Don’t get me wrong, you can still enjoy the season, but you are never fully satisfied unless your team is the last one standing. Unless you root for the Phillies, Red Sox or Cardinals, the last time your team won it all can seem like a lifetime ago.
So let’s take a little trip down memory lane and see what life was like the last time your team were World Champions. Sorry to all Washington, Milwaukee, Houston, San Diego, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Texas, and Seattle fans. You need to have won at least one to qualify.
In my latest installment of “Misery Loves Company,” we head west from Ohio and land in the lovely state of Illinois. Home of the first McDonald’s, Blagojevich, and Wayne and Garth, would more could these fine people want… how bout a few more rings!
Kauffman Stadium opened in 1973 in the middle of nowhere – as opposed to downtown – Kansas City. Royals Stadium, as it was known at the time, was different from its contemporaries because it was for baseball only, as God intended stadiums to be. Other pro sports cities were drafting their own one-way tickets to hell by building multi-sport facilities. Not Kansas City.
It has changed a bit for this season, though! Continue reading
In light of the Mets’ disappointing loss to the San Fran Giants last night, many are pointing fingers at Pelfrey’s three balks being the reason for the loss after winning the first three games of the series (though the lack of runs certainly didn’t help). If you’re any other average baseball fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about and are probably shaking your head with me. But just in case you happen to be a casual fan and might think a balk is a sound an angry chicken makes, here’s a quick history lesson for you. Continue reading