Ladies… Links: Farewell, Andy Edition

Last Friday night, I sat on a plane to the West Coast and watched what turned out to be Andy Roddick’s penultimate career victory.  Had the weather cleared a bit faster Wednesday, I could have seen the end of his final match on the return flight, but the remains of Isaac lingered in New York just long enough to make sure the match restarted and ended in the time it took us to get home from the airport.  So my last true memory of Andy Roddick as a tennis player (because he is surely as destined for a commentating career as McEnroe) will be of him firing on all cylinders, reducing (with the partisan crowd’s help) his 19 year old opponent to near paralysis with his shot selection and wicked serve.  It’s a nice companion to my other key memory of Roddick, the legendary Wimbledon final he lost to Federer.

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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.

Are you a “Lady” or not?

I had a Twitter conversation with a few people last night over the use of “Lady” before a team mascot name to denote women’s sports versus men’s sports at the high school and college levels.

One person made the argument that by having the “Lady” qualifier, women’s sports are being separated and there’s an implication that they aren’t on the same level as men’s.

The other person felt that getting upset over the use of “Lady” was taking political correctness too far. They said they’d never even thought about the topic until someone else brought it up and felt that there was no underlying problem with differentiating between the two.

A quick internet search didn’t pull up any history in terms of the first use of “Lady,” but I hypothesized last night that the origin may have come from newspapers needing a way to distinguish between the teams when covering the sports.

It also likely had its origin in the early part of the 20th century, when being called a “Lady” would have been flattering and possibly used as a way to feminize sports and the athletes who played them.

One of the things I most hate about the use of the “Lady” qualifier is when it creates incongruous names. Here in Milwaukee there’s a Catholic high school who’s nickname is the Popes, meaning the girls teams are known as the Lady Popes.

There are a few cases where the “Lady” moniker has gone beyond use in recaps and has become an accepted part of the team’s name. The Tennessee women’s basketball team is known as the Lady Vols.

As someone who’s had to write recaps of four games at one school in one night, I appreciate the ability to have the “Lady” qualifier at my disposal to be able to help differentiate the articles and make sure the reader knew which sport was being discussed

I also admit to being annoyed when I go to my favorite college’s website and read a headline and am not sure which team is being discussed, so in that way I would appreciate the use of “Lady.”

But those are both opinions tempered by my background in journalism. I can see the need to have a way to distinguish between the men’s and women’s sides for clarity and that tends to outweigh my feminist instinct on the matter.

I find myself not particularly bothered by the use of “Lady,” but I feel like I should be more annoyed. Normally any sort of distinction that separates women from men would get my hackles up, so I’m not sure why I’m so unmoved by this issue.

What do you all think? Acceptable usage or inappropriate separation tactic? Does the very mention of a “Lady” team make your blood boil and you start yelling “Oh hell no!” or are you as ambivalent as I am?

Hit and Run: Football, Football, and more Football!!

The NFL regular season is over. With Alabama winning the BCS National Championship game, college football won’t be back until next fall. For those of you who play fantasy football, a winner has already been decided. (Congrats to THE Blonde Bomber for winning the ladies… fantasy football!) But don’t be too sad. There is still plenty going on in the football world. There’s coaching changes in college football. New coaches in the NFL. And mostly importantly there’s the NFL playoffs!! The Cowboys remembered how to win in January (which didn’t make me very happy). The Patriots got slaughtered by the Ravens (which did make me happy). This weekend is a new set of games that will hopefully be more entertaining than the Wild Card games. (Admit it, aside from the Cards/Packers game, all those games were pretty boring.)

Congrats to Bama for beating the Longhorns 37-21 in the BCS title game.

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15 Yards for Fugliness: A Photographic Survey of Nike’s New Football Uniforms

Over the last few weekends, Nike has been previewing their latest attempt to “improve” athletic apparel on several premiere NCAA Division I (yeah, that’s what I still call it) football programs.  Now, perhaps these uniforms, designed to be ultra light and form fitting, are functionally a worthy advance, but from a sartorial viewpoint, well, my inner Tim Gunn was making this face. A lot.

A brief survey of some of Nike’s designs after the jump.

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Congrats, Florida. Let the Moping Commence.

Last Sunday, I was in the Tulsa airport preparing to fly back East, when I noticed the airport bookstore (which is locally owned), already had a sign out next to their OU merchandise reading “Congratulations Sooners! 2009 National Championship.”  And that’s pretty much when I knew OU was doomed.  (OK, I’m exaggerating.  Kind of.)

Anyway, congratulations Florida, and also to OU for a thrilling season (with two notable exceptions, obviously).  Now I will proceed to mope for the next 24 hours or so.  I originally thought perhaps I’d get some solace from posting some hot athlete pictures, but the problem with that plan is that hot athletes remind me of sports which reminds me of the game.  So I hope you all don’t mind if I invite my Imaginary TV Boyfriend, Lee Pace, to mope (hotly) along with me.

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Reasons to Live on the Couch This Weekend (Like You Need One)

I am a terrible procrastinator, especially when the holidays come around.  I have unopened boxes of Christmas cards that have been sitting around my apartment for two years because I put off doing them until it’s late enough in December that I “save” them for “next year.”

So of course, since we’re only going into the second official holiday shopping weekend, I am not planning on doing any shopping (or card addressing).  I am planning on watching college football.  Lots and lots of college football.

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College Football Weekend Preview: Appalachian State Redux?

[Note: I had this big multi-category weekend preview post planned, and then I woke up Thursday with the dreaded "Flu-like symptoms."  Apologies for any fever-induced factual errors.]

Growing up in Oklahoma may not have made me a cowgirl, but it did make me a huge college football fan.  Recent thefts of NBA franchises aside, college football is professional sports in Oklahoma (insert NCAA violations jokes here; it’s okay, I can take it).  As long as it’s not my Sooners, however, nothing delights me more than a big time football program losing to a tiny I-AA (or FCS, as it’s now known) school. You know, like this:

This couldn’t possibly happen again, right?  Surely, all of the Top 25 teams playing FCS (nope, still not used to it) will have spent the last week being warned by their coaches about underestimating their opponent, right?

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Hump Day Hottie: College Ballers

Screw Christmas; right now is the most wonderful time of the year. You have the NBA, NHL, and Spring Training at full steam. Golf and tennis is picking back up. Those that must have football can occupy themselves with the NFL Draft next month, college football spring practices, and the AFL. And of course the college basketball. Oh, the college basketball. Every night this week there is a championship game from some conference and beginning today with the Big East tournament there’s basketball starting at noon. And then there’s next Thursday. Yes, these are the days that I live for ladies and gentlemen.

So in honor of the greatest two weeks of the year here’s a look at some of the players you’ll be hearing about and watching. Let’s start off right with someone who makes me want to apply to the University of Texas so I can stalk cheer him, D.J. Augustin.

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Jump Ball: Memphis Is Pretty Good

If you haven’t been paying attention to college basketball so far this season then shame on you. It’s been pretty good. Or maybe I feel like that because my team is #3 in the country. Either way, this is the perfect time to start paying attention. You’re already tired of hearing the Super Bowl hype machine (aka Tom Brady’s booted/non booted foot), pitchers and catchers haven’t reported yet, and only a handful of you truly care about hockey. Besides, it’s never too early to start studying which teams will be upset in the first round (please not Duke again, please not Duke again, dear God please not Duke again). So here’s a recap to the weekend that was in college hoops.

First up Memphis. Yeah, I don’t think they have to worry about that first round upset thing.

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One Citrusy Good Win

I know I should do a recap for the Citrus-excuse me, Capital One-Bowl but right now I could care less about stats and crap. Chad Henne had a great game. Adrian Arrington had a great game. Percy Harvin had a great game for the Gators. Hell, even Tim Tebow had a good game when he wasn’t on his back. I’m not going to brag. I’m not going to talk about Heismans or SEC Speed. I’m not going to talk about what could have, should have been this season. I’m not going to talk about the new coach, effective today. Right now, I’m going to take a few moments to completely enjoy the fact that my team won a game that no one, not even Michigan fans, thought they could win. I’m going to take a moment to be happy for the only coach I’ve ever known throughout my fandom so far. I’m going to take a moment to be happy that the seniors get to go out with a win.

More celebration pics… Continue reading

3-in-1 Bowl Games Spectacular! It’s Like Getting Three Games In One!

Are you a college football fan? Do you hate going from blog to blog, website to website trying to find recaps on all the games you just couldn’t see from beginning to end on New Year’s eve? Did you go out and party and get drunk and don’t remember the games you thought you saw? Well then today’s your lucky day, because for one day only we’re offering you a 3-in-1 bowl special! You’ll get three recaps in one post! No clicking around, no finding highlight, no having to go to the rival site to find some pictures, it’s all here! And when you click on the jump we’ll give you a free bottle of Johnnie Walker Black! Because Lord knows if you’re reading about Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Clemson football you need it. But that’s not all! We’ll also give you some food from one of the sponsors. It’ll go well with the bottle of liquor, plus it’s the best chicken sandwich around.

It’s the Blue Turf, music, and peaches! So don’t wait, order your 3-in-1 Bowl special now!

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Hump Day Hottie: Mr. Heisman

Picking the hottest Heisman finalist from the field of official photos this year was an easy task- the hottie favorite Colt Brennan disqualifies himself by sporting a wicked bad haircut (and looking like that doofy receptionist guy from Private Practice), Chase Daniel manages to look like an unemployed hobo and/or psycho shop teacher, and Tim Tebow could be a member of the Geek Squad from your local Best Buy. Darren McFadden reigns supreme and wins the official photo battle in a walk.

But Tim Tebow emerged victorious from the Downtown Athletic Club on Saturday, claiming the actual Heisman hardware – which, oddly enough, was not awarded based on how hot he looked in his official press photo. So I’m calling uncle, Mr. Tebow. You won the Heisman fair and square (and were the first underclassman to ever win the award), and so I’m finally giving you your very own HDH post. Even though you play for the hated Florida Gators, I must grudgingly acknowledge that you’ve got gorgeous baby blues and a body that just won’t quit. And when you add in the Heisman hardware (whether I thought you deserved it or not), that’s one mighty appealing package. I might even be able to overlook the Florida colors- as long as you promise not to do that stupid Gator chomp thing with your arms.

Just please, please quit taking hair styling tips from Urban Meyer, OK? Less gel and spikes, more natural tousle.

Lots more Heisman-y goodness after the jump… Continue reading

Hot Hot Hits

Any girl who says barfights are anything but a) hilarious or b) hilariously awesome is a) a liar, or b) not someone I want to be friends with. We’re not waving our hands and yelling “STOOOOOOPPIT BOYS” to affect the action; it’s kind of a war cry and mating call. We’re declaring that THAT IS OUR MAN OUT THERE BY GOD LOOK AT HIM GO. This is all by way of saying: Nothing gets me hot and bothered like a football rival getting his ass leveled.

I give you Rico McCoy, via preeminent Tennessee blog Rocky Top Talk. Is it hot in here, or is it just Jeremy Young’s jersey melted to his back?

Pink Locker Room

Welcome to the Pink Locker Room, where the Ladies have tickle fights, eat lots of bacon and talk college football. In the midst of all the NFLy goodness, we still had a fun day of football on Saturday. Let’s check in with our Ladies’ teams…..


Metschick
: WOO! RU won Friday night! It wasn’t a terribly pretty win, but I’ll take it. The Scarlet Knights scored 41, and the game was never really close, but seeing so many penalties was a little dismaying. I don’t want to imagine what a better team would do with all those mistakes. And dammit – I have to wait a week to see another game? (RU vs. Norfolk, 9/15/07) . Hottie Mike Teel pictured below:


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I Was There (And It Hurt): Tennessee-Cal

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I was thrilled to my orange-painted toes to learn my beloved Vawls were playing Cal for their season opener. Since they had come all the way to the west coast (like they were coming just to see me!), I thought the least I could do was make the trip up to Berkeley to meet them.
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The Pink Locker Room

COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS HERE! Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Ladies: thoughts on our homer teams from the previous weekend. We’ve got 8 Ladies and 8 colleges, though that is because G-shum wants two and TSW just putters around the Ladies Batcave muttering about Yinzers and some Lawrence Fishburn-lookalike. Lots of great college football this past weekend, so let’s check in with all the Ladies after their teams’ first fall outings….. Continue reading

Hump Day Hottie: Erik Ainge

For the first time, a college kid is getting the call up to our big leagues… Erik Ainge, this is your time to shine. This senior QB for the mighty Volunteers of Tennessee has overcome lots of adversity- namely, that he was born and raised in Oregon, and not anywhere in the South. This didn’t hamper his development into a fine example of what a Southern QB should be- just check out how well he fills out those white game pants. As a freshman, he broke Peyton Manning’s freshman TD record at UTenn. But in this offseason, he underwent surgery on his knee- and Vol fans have some concerns what that means for the 2007 season. I know of at least one Vol around these parts who’d be more than happy to help him rehab…

Oh, and yeah, he’s related to Danny Ainge- he is Erik’s uncle. More Erik loveliness after the jump…

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1-2-3-4, Get Your Booty on the Dancefloor

Who among us is immune to that damn “Jane Fonda”song? Musically, it’s somewhere between “Barbie Girl” and the Teletubbies theme song but if you’ve heard it, I’ve just guaranteed that it’ll be pingponging around your head while you try to watch House.

We’re down to our Final Four hotties here, so enjoy this week’s bracket. And yeah, sorry about having to create a Jonathan Mitchell-Gator hybrid. You try finding any other pictures of him online.

Four

We Ladies try to be objective (save for our undying desire to cover Bryce Taylor in syrup and devour him like a Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity), but if the Bruins could prevent this from ever happening again, we would certainly appreciate it.

Nightmare Fuel

Now. Work it out. Shake it, little mama. Let me see you do the Jane Fonda.

East Teams: Looking Pretty Damn Good

Look, if you read Ladies… you’re watching the tournament. And I don’t need to say how fucking good North Carolina and Georgetown look. I didn’t buy into the Georgetown hype, but I am now. And Vandy? Where the hell was this all year? Seriously, where was it? Yeah, you beat Florida, but that was when they were bored with SEC play. Thank you for making me look smart and taking you to get to the Sweet 16. Thank you. Oh yeah, and giving us a good game.

But with winning comes losing and we won’t be seeing Washington State, Boston College (go to hell BC), and Michigan State anymore this year. Aww, that’s too bad because Drew Neitzel’s cute headshot will be put away for the next eight months. See people, yet another reason to hate Carolina.

Drew Neitzel

Oh Drew. I can make things better for you. I can make the pain go away.

UNC 81 Michigan State 61
Georgetown 62 Boston College 55
Vanderbilt 78 Washington State 74 (2OT)