My mom has been following the WNBA finals from her computer, except for Sunday when she caught Game 3 at her gym. She’s been cheering for Phoenix and Diana Taurasi.
“I remember when Diana was a freshman at UConn,” she says. “Diana tossed a 3 and Geno Auriemma said she doesn’t know yet that she shouldn’t take those shots because her coach will yell at her.”
Actually I think Mom likes Diana because they’re both mavericks. Diana can be outrageous and over the top. She’s not someone you forget. Neither is my mom, on a smaller scale.
I’m glad Phoenix won. My mom will be in a good mood all weekend. And I can catch up on my sleep.
Earlier this evening my mom put aside her HUGE “To Do” list and headed over to Key Arena for the last home game of the season. “It’s going to be a dreary blowout,” she muttered as she gathered up the things she always takes to a game.
My mom’s friend Bill in New York is her sports advisor as well as her dog advisor. Bill has watched sports and owned dogs all his life. Earlier that day Mom had complained, “With three of five starters missing, this game will be a disaster.”
Bill said, “Now you never know. There can always be an upset. Someone could step up. The other team could have a bad day.”
“Yeah, yeah,” my mom said. She’s like me. She tunes out.
So mom got her game bag together. Her ticket. Her binoculars. Her highly lllegal snack. (She claims the arena has greasy, overpriced food. The security staff go through everyone’s handbag. They pretend to be looking for concealed weapons. They are actually looking for concealed sandwiches.) Her paperback book in case she gets bored and wants to read (yeah, right). Her credit card so she can stop in Metropolitan Market on the way home, without disturbing my nap. And let’s not forget…my mom’s Seattle Storm fan t-shirt and Seattle Storm fan dorky hat.
While all this is going on, I’m settling in my crate. We just got back from the Farmers’ Market so I’m tired enough to nap and wish Mom luck.
This summer has not been a good time to have an owner who’s an avid fan of the Seattle Storm.
Up till now, I tolerated my mom’s craziness. I cringed a little when Mom wore her bright yellow WNBA shirt as we took our pre-game walk. I waited patiently in my crate while Mom went to the game, which lasted about two hours. Not a problem.
This season is something else. Awhile back (we dogs can’t count weeks) my mom showed up very late, announcing as she opened my crate, “Sorry to keep you waiting, Gracie. We had triple overtime against the LA Sparks! That means we had three five-minute quarters…but each quarter stretches with overtime and free throws….”
I’m not quite sure what was happening, but I wouldn’t dream of asking the momster to leave a game early and come spend more quality time with her poor lonely dog. Especially since she spends more on my dog walks and Dog Lounge visits than her own entertainment in any given month. Nope: if this is what it takes to keep my aging mom in good spirits, let’s do it.
Then it happened again last night. “Just ONE overtime against San Antonio,” my mom explained, releasing me from my crate at last. “And Sue Bird made that awesome three-point shot…”
Bird? I always tug at my leash when we see a bird. Shots? I hate shots. What’s going on here?
My mom probably explained all that but I had more important things on my mind. Time for a much-needed walk and then we’ve got some crunchies in my food dish to take care of.
Last night my mom went off with a group of people to watch the Seattle Mariners baseball team. She hasn’t been to a live baseball game in over 30 years she says, and she doesn’t watch baseball on television. She just likes the group and wanted to join them. So she wasn’t too upset when the Mariners lost 8-0 (or was it 9-0? she’s not sure and dogs can’t count).
“Being a baseball fan is a lot harder than being a basketball fan,” Mom told me as we had our nightly walk. “The stadium is huge. You can’t relate to the players as people. There’s less spontaneity. And the crowd was so quiet.”
Then today she really wanted to watch the WNBA All-Star game. Some of her fave players were in! Of course we don’t have cable television. Mom actually was going to buy a used television from someone who’s moving out, because she could get local channels. But the seller didn’t know how to set up the television so Mom is still deciding whether to buy it. “I don’t need to watch anything for another six months or so,” she says.
Her gym doesn’t get the network channels. (“Gimme a break,” she says.) And by the time she figured out she could watch by computer or go somewhere else, it was too late.
But my mom looked up the interviews and videos with the team, especially Diana Tauraasi. Mom thinks Diana is showing real character. “She’s a role model of how to handle adversity,” Mom says. “We all make mistakes. Diana is showing how you can talk about them and handle them, while getting on with your life.”
So what’s the big deal? When I make a mistake, such as chewing up Cathy’s socks, I get right on with my nap. Human beings like to complicate things.
But I’m glad my mom is a basketball fan. It keeps her occupied so I get more time in the Dog Lounge.
The mom is psyched. She came home very late last night, following what should have been a brief excursion to a Seattle Storm game against LA.
“Los Angeles games are usually boring,” she said when she finally got home and took me out for a long overdue walk. “This one was exciting. Triple overtime! I’ve never even seen ONE overtime in basketball.”
My mom considered writing a post for one of her blogs about lessons learned from the game. Persistence? Advantage of the home court?
“This isn’t a game you win on the road,” someone said during the post-game interviews. “You’ve got all the fans screaming for you.”
Many people get through tough times when they’ve got their own private network of screaming fans, Mom said.
Well, I have a HUGE network of fans all over Seattle. Strangers come up to my mom on the street, saying, “Is this Gracie? I know her from the Dog Lounge.” Or, “We’ve met at the dog park. Hi, Gracie!”
Of course, Ophelia offers another version of screaming fan. She shrieked at Creampuff, who’s the most harmless, ditziest cat I’ve ever met. Ophelia seems to think Creampuff has the ferocity and firepower of a US Marine, when in fact Creampuff has the toughness and consistency of a marshmallow.
Back to my nap. Mom wishes she could do the same, but she’s got a call to prepare for.
My mom likes to talk to me about basketball and what she reads in the papers. We don’t watch television so fortunately I’m spared some of her stronger language.
As an avid basketball fan, my mom was stunned to learn that one of her favorite players, Diana Taurasi, was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. But she’s furious with all the self-righteous columnists who are rushing to attack Diana.
“She’s innocent till proven guilty!” my mom exclaimed. “OK, she used very bad judgment when she got into a car after having a few drinks. But all these columnists want her to acknowledge her guilt and apologize. What do they think her lawyer would say?”
Apparently in the human world, you shouldn’t admit guilt. You don’t say anything that can be used against you.
Well, what’s so different in my world? When my mom hears the sound of crunchies being chewed in our kitchen, she immediately yells, “Gracie, stop!” Then she looks over and sees me, innocently napping in my bed. She realizes I’m not the guilty party. After all, Creampuff can attack a plate of cat food with great gusto, all out of proportion to her eight or nine pound self. Why assume I’m the one?
See, around here I get blamed for everything. When my mom realizes I’m innocent, does she apologize for disturbing my nap? No way. She just goes back to her computer. And I must admit the truth: one minute later I’m back to dreaming of my latest run in the park with my Aunt Sara.
Apparently some idiot on the staff of the LA Times wrote a nasty article about the WNBA. And superstar Diana Taurasi wrote an informed, intelligent response. Read it here.
My mom was always a Taurasi fan and a WNBA fan. Every year she drags people from her alumni groups to see a game. And every year they go, “Wow — we didn’t expect the basketball to be this good.” My mom the missionary, converting NBA fans to WNBA fans.
And almost every Storm game, there’s at least one Seahawks player. They don’t have to be there, do they? They know a good game when they see one.
Diana’s letter is getting so much great publicity, my mom says.
Diana’s a 2-guard, she tells me. Part of the backcourt. I don’t know what that is but I do love backyaView »rds, so…
Go read it.
My mom refuses to discuss last night’s game. You can read about it here.
After she came home, we ran into our neighbor James. He asked, “How are you?”
Cathy: “Depressed. The Storm Lost.”
James: “Umm…I don’t follow sports. Is this a tragedy? And what about Gracie here? She doesn’t care about winning or losing.”
Actually, I do. You should see me at the dog park. I dive for balls and run with them. If I were a basketball player, I’d grab the ball, don’t let anyone else get it and run like hell. And then I’d pass to someone taller who could shoot.
My mom thinks the Storm fought valiantly. She thinks Sue Bird played brilliantly: Sue turns away from whoever’s guarding her, just like I do when three dogs are trying to steal my favorite stick.
After Sue Bird, Cathy admires Yolanda Griffith. She likes Tanisha Wright’s improbable scores, Camille Little’s solid consistency and Sheryl Swoopes’s smoothness. She loved the last reguar season game, when the coach turned the game over to the bench players (but the Storm still beat Atlanta).
You have to realize my mom didn’t know what a point guard was ten years ago. Now she’s a fan. That’s nice…but that’s about the same time she got the First Dog. And that’s how I ended up here. That’s what’s really important.
My mom Cathy discovered basketball about 10 years ago. At first she didn’t know what a point guard was, but now she’s a die-hard WNBA fan.
Here she is, dressed appropriately for a Seattle Storm game in the WNBA shirt she bought when she first saw a game in 2004, and the dorky Storm cap she bought in 2005. She’s posing with our neighbor Diana just outside Key Arena where fans mourn a 7-point loss to the Connecticut Sun.
Diana played college hoops so my mom always asks her to explain the finer points of the game.
Big deal. As far as I’m concerned, Diana’s only virtue is she’s co-owner of my awesome dog pal, Bailey. I get so excited when I see Bailey out walking with one of her owners. My mom pulls on my leash and yells, “No jumping!” Yeah, right.
My mom always gives me a pre-game walk around the neighborhood. She wears her Storm shirt and cap and we greet all the other fans who are similarly attired. I’m embarrassed to be seen with her in public in that outfit, so I do my business quickly and give her that special “Let’s go home” tug on the leash.
“Where else can I wear that t-shirt?” Mom says. “I’ve got half a dozen free ones from the Storm and other t-shirts from events in New Mexico and….”
Ever hear the saying, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins?”
I don’t know about toys, but at this rate my mom Cathy will eventually die with the most t-shirts. In the arena of dressing for comfort, she’s the big winner.
It’s a tough time to be a dog. My mom Cathy is a dedicated WNBA fan. So she feels she ought to keep an eye on the college scene, because some of those players will be drafted into the league this May. She likes Candace Parker of Tennessee and Sylvia Fowles of LSU. She likes Rutgers because it’s, well, Rutgers.
UConn? Alas, everyone who comes after Diana Taurasi will suffer in comparison, if not in basketball, in personality. Cathy loves mavericks. 😉
But mostly Cathy likes to watch an upset. She loves seeing a team come out of nowhere and take on the reigning champions. She’s not too optimistic this year…just hoping we don’t see another UConn vs Tennessee again.
See…even the dog learns more than she ever wanted to know.
Here’s the kicker. My mom Cathy didn’t start following sports until Christmas season of 1998. Cathy was not a tomboy. As a child, she avoided sports. She liked to dress up. She hid from her high school and college gym classes.
“In those days,” she recalls, “gym teachers were a bunch of sadists.”
She moved into her house in Florida and, while waiting for deliveries, began to watch the games. She also adopted Keesha, the First Dog. So in Spring 1999 she finally learned what a point guard was…and she took her first dog obedience class, too.