A game with far-reaching implications
Well, we’ve got a fair amount of basketball in the paper, there’s no news on Andrea until later today (shootaround won’t be over until after 2 p.m. east) so …
This is one of those days, or will be one of those nights, I should say, when even casual fans of a team that gets scant attention most of the time will wonder what’s going on.
It’s one of the win or lay in ruins games for a national team, this time it’s the women’s soccer team that faces Mexico tonight in an Olympic qualification soccer match that is of paramount importance.
Win and they’re in the London Games and some of the stench of the last World Cup will be gone; lose, at home, in such a significant game, and an era thought to hold such promise will go by without as much of a whimper.
Sure. But that’s what sports are about, right? Putting yourself in a position to do something you must do and see how it all turns out.
Probably not but what can you do.
I know a little about this team – did a fair amount of stuff at the Beijing Games, followed them pretty closely through that disappointing World Cup and have known one of the poobahs since his days of being exasperated by Stumpy at basketball games – so there is more than a passing interest.
Anyway, if they don’t win – and I have no idea if they will – there is a chance this group of athletes will be known within their sport as some of the great under-achievers of this or any other era.
They were probably done in by a horrible choice of coaches before the World Cup, the autocratic, loner style of Italian Carolina Morace obviously didn’t work and drove a rift between the governing body and the staff but it’s now up to the athletes to make that right.
Making the Olympics isn’t close to making waves in the something as significant as the World Cup but not making the Games would be disastrous.
I don’t imagine there’s anyone brimming with confidence that the men’s program will do anything to enhance our reputation as a soccer playing nation so it’s up to the women.
Kinda like another sport I follow closely.
I do not know fashion.
But I do know this:
The Memphis Grizzlies should take those gold-top-green-shorts-ABA-throwback jerseys they wore last night in LA and throw them in the Mississippi.
Ugly. With a capital UGLY.
Oh, and as I’m watching the game, I hear Dick Stockton and Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller talking about the Memphis Tams (the old ABA team) and how it got its name and, of course, they drag out some cockamamie story about hats.
I don’t know who’s doing TNT research but if I know that’s wrong, someone there who’s dealing with national broadcasters should know.
The name Tams comes, simply, from geography.
It’s for Tennessee Arkansas and Mississippi and that ends today’s ABA lesson.
I’ve got time.
So, best Denver story?
We’re all out one night a few seasons ago standing around telling stories and chatting with the saloon staff ‘cause that’s what we do.
We decide that the comely lass serving us should go to the game and arrange to have a couple of tickets left for her.
Conversation goes on, we find out she’s from Wisconsin, quite near where one of the fellows in our travelling party is from.
Guys says to her, in words to this effect, after we’ve arranged for tickets and been nice and had fun:
“Hey, I’m from near there. Cool, eh?
“Yeah, guess so.”
And she walks away, entirely bored and unimpressed.
Oh, Raptors news?
Sorry I didn’t get to this yesterday but had kind of forgotten in all the Andrea stuff.
Wednesday was the deadline for offering early contract extensions for players taken in the 2008 draft. There’s some stuff in Nothing But Net about it but the connection to Toronto is that the HOTH had no interest, really, in doing anything with their only graduate of that class, Jerryd Bayless.
Makes entire sense and I’m glad Bryan resisted any urge to tie up even a few million dollars of his financial flexibility with a longer-term deal.
That’s not say Jerryd isn’t a good and serviceable member of this team or that he won’t get consideration to come back but you’re going to be able to get him for the same money in the summer as you would have this week and it makes entire sense to sit back and wait to see what unfolds.
You know my feelings on the TSA and airport hassles and the institutionalized security paranoia (that’s a C Sheridan term I’ve used often) right?
Well, they’ve gone even further.
Seems that now, in at least two US airports I’ve been at this season, they not only screen you going to the gate, they choose random flights and show up right the gate to check – again – your ID before boarding.
Seems to be overkill, no?
Right, one more Raptors thing.
Asked Dwane the other night about possibly fouling on that final possession at the end of the first overtime when the Raps defended nearly perfectly, only to see Paul (not Ronny) Millsap hit a miracle three to tie.
“We had a call when it got down to five or six (seconds left) we were going to wrap him up and go for the foul. Amir was hesitant.”
So there you go; they would have taken the chance to foul in the dying seconds, hoping whoever had the ball didn’t get a shot attempt up and go to the line to shoot three free throws.
What’s in a name?
Well, a fair amount if you’re FIBA, it seems.
News came down yesterday that the world basketball championships are no longer the World Basketball Championships.
Starting in 2014 in Spain (Boss? I’m going, right? Will be a great story I’ll do well, promise) the tournament will be known as the Basketball World Cup.
Guess if it’s good enough for soccer, it’s good enough for basketball.