WOOOOOOOO! Or, a US Open Finals Recap

If I knew how to Googlebomb, I’d make sure this image appeared anytime someone Googled “fierce.”

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.”)
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Pat Summitt: A Post-Title IX Baby’s Tribute

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.

Laura Vikmanis: One Hot Mama!

It’s not often that we here at Ladies… will recognize the efforts of a pro cheerleader.  But after seeing all of the recent buzz around Laura Vikmanis and learning that she is the cousin of a friend in the OH circle, it was pretty hard not to admire her moxie and help share her story with the sports world.  Who is Laura Vikmanis?  More after the jump.

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Ladies’ Linkups: Midterm Eve Edition

Hey peeps! No, I’m not a week late with the election references – it’s just that I have a calculus midterm tomorrow so I’m phoning in it with some required reading from around the interwebs.

So that has started… *sigh* [LoHud Yankees Blog] Oh and this news made me think of you, Maggiesox. [ESPN]

We’ve written about the topic a number of times here at Ladies… in one way or another, but I particularly enjoyed this take. The comments are just as entertaining (and yes, as a Leafs fan, I sympathize) [jezebel]

Craig at Flip Flop Fly Ball recently asked what this past season’s MLB standings would look like if payrolls decided the outcomes of ball games. The answers…probably won’t surprise you in some ways (and then again, the Cubs?)

“We get it, Bee! You miss baseball!” Fine. Could you use a primer on booing etiquette in the NHL? Of course you could! Take it away, Down Goes Brown!

Uh-oh, what’s going on here? (side note: Mr. Bee has taken to calling the Cowboys’ coach WAD Phillips.) [ESPN]

Finally, you may recall our excitement upon hearing that Angela James and Cammi Granato would be part of the 2010 class headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. They will be officially enshrined tonight. The Globe and Mail has profiles of these fabulous athletes here and here.

(FYI – The Induction Ceremony will be carried on TSN2 tonight at 10 PM Eastern, past my bedtime but chances are I’ll be up studying anyway. Stupid derivatives.)

Five Ways To Spend Labor Day

Twins

Yes, some people have to work today.

Happy last weekend of summer as we know it! For those of you not spending it at work, or moving to your dorm, or counting down the hours until you can put the kids on the school bus, we bring you five ways to spend that (hopefully) least of laborious days. Continue reading

Girls in the Dugout

Chelsea Baker and Joe Niekro in 2006

The last year my brothers played Coach Pitch in Little League, their team was assigned two girls.  This was no big sweat for the head coach (my dad) — not only had he begun his long and varied youth sports coaching career with a stint as my soccer coach, he’d also coached kindergarten teeball, which in our area was co-ed.  What did surprise him, though, was that only one girl showed up to practice. After a week or two,  Dad mentioned to this girl’s mother that she wasn’t supposed to be the only one on the team.

“Oh, I know,” the mom said, “she didn’t want to come after what happened last year.”  Apparently the girls had also been assigned to the same team the year before  — only that head coach had done everything he could to make it clear he did not want girls on his team, from making them go last in every single drill to only playing them the minimum amount of innings required by Little League rules.  Both girls (who, I remind you, were eight years old at the time) stuck it out the full season, but now the other girl couldn’t bear to even try again.

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It’s about time!

Angela James

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