Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 19th, 2008: Indiana at New York (at Arthur Ashe Stadium)

We will never speak of this day again.

After this weekend, we will never speak of this day again. It never happened. Someone realized that an outdoor game in the middle of July, played in a tennis stadium designed by aesthetes and not architects, with one team that features a coach who doesn't know how to sub and another team that's never been known for playing pretty, badly advertised and badly run, would be an exceptionally bad idea and would make the league look bad, so the Liberty graciously forfeited.

In all seriousness, despite the US Open drawing thousands of tennis fans, the folks running the fanfest and the stadium gates didn't seem to know how to deal with the Liberty crowd. Security was extremely tight, tighter than what I'm used to at the Garden, and ushers were few and far between, not to mention that the signage at the stadium is extremely unhelpful.

Um, stupid question: was any consideration given to what would happen if the heavens opened DURING the game?

Fanfest was okay, but I've never really been into those things, I don't give a crap about the Knicks, and I didn’t realize there were Liberty fans who didn't have Sue and Kym's autographs already. Found some nice shady spots, so that made time go by faster.

Dear Garden: please stop booking boy bands, especially boy bands that suck. V Factory was bad, but Menudo was worse.

WE DO NOT NEED AN MC. When that bimbo was talking over the Liberty's entrance onto the floor, I entertained fantasies of beating her to death with Scotty B and his spiritual successors in Connecticut.

Mary, don't drink before the game; Cathrine Kraayeveld's name is hard enough to say without you drinking and screwing it up in front of several thousand people, some of whom were in those #33 jerseys.

I don't know if it's blasphemous or awesome, but I saw a new-style, name-on-the-bottom, custom #23 Wicks jersey. What's the opposite of a throwback? But I also saw a lot of older gear- the #11s, the #50s (I saw more Rebecca Lobo jerseys today than I have in years, and that's not including the one pooled on my bed right now), the #24s, the #55s, the #34s- I even saw one woman in the ooooold player tees, a bright orange Sophia Witherspoon #13 shirt. YA RLY.

This is the second game in a row that a coach has made a last-second change to the starting lineup against us. This isn't kosher. I take solace in the fact that the last coach to pull a stunt like that against us is now an ex-coach. And Catchings took full advantage of the confusion, especially early in the game. She played a good solid game in preparation for Beijing, against competition that ought to be the equal of the bottom of the opening round pool. I worried a little bit about Tully when she got banged up- I don't think she'd want her last game stateside to be the one where she gets hurt- but she seemed all right. Flying's probably going to be hell, though. Douglas killed us in the second half, at both ends of the floor. That's the Douglas I remember from Connecticut. Hoffman wasn't what she was against us the last time, but she fought harder on the boards than any of the Libkids. And TSB showed up in the second half as well, and on the defensive end. I got my first look at Khadjiah Whittington, who I've heard so much about from Indy fans and from NC State fans, and I have to say that I like her. She reminds me a bit of D-Train, a fan favorite here in New York, because of her willingness to sacrifice her somewhat undersized body. Sherill Baker was deactivated in her place, depriving her of her revenge against her former team, but somehow I think she'll survive. I wasn't as impressed with LaToya Bond, although that might be because the Fever signed her distant cousin LaToya Boyd at some point, at least according to the Liberty PA announcer. You know you're having an off night when Mike W.- who I've heard rattle off Astou Ndiaye-Diatta and Naomi Mulitauaopele without a hitch- is screwing up names. Didn't see a lot of Ngoyisa or Mann- loving Mann's new hair color, though. Someone left Feaster open, and yep, you guessed it, she hit the open three. And she made a brilliant defensive play. You know you're having a bad night when Allison Feaster is kicking your ass on defense. Tan White decided to disprove my theory that her shot selection all season has been overcompensation for the wind and other factors she'd be facing in the outdoor game so that she'd be perfect in a game that her team might not be.

Who the fuck was that incompetent ditz in #20 tonight? Because she had the attention span of Iciss Tillis, the shooting skill of Bethany Donaphin, and the defensive skillset of Camille Cooper after her back started flaring up. Don't you try to tell me that was Shameka Christon in that uniform, because if it was, someone needs to smack that girl like her mama never did. That would have been Shameka's worst game ever, by a long shot, and I don't want to think that a game that bad could belong to the Shameka Christon who's been kicking ass most of this season. The defensive lapses… the balls through the fingertips… the missed shots… the bad shots… that's not the Shameka I knew. But #20 wasn't the only Liberty player out there who didn't seem to give a good goddamn. Janel wasn't with it, even if she scraped together 10 points. Cathrine wasn’t with it. Loree looked miserable. Essence looked like a splat on the rookie wall. I can haz Lisa Willis in mah startin lineup naow? The little bunny had a really awful pass (and another awful pass, but Janel was asleep on it as well, so I blame both the bunny and the Goth), but she was somewhat better than Loree. Jessica, for God's sake, REBOUND. I know #50 has a long tradition of big posts with no vertical, but REBOUND THE FUCKING BALL. It's not rocket science; you should be fine. Lisa at least seemed to care, and so did Tiffany, even if Tiff was taking shots she had no right to be taking. Ashley ran low on Red Bull- no, seriously, I'm not sure what happened, but right before the game she ran back inside.

There are things in this world I do not need to see. Lin Dunn in shorts is one of them. They enforced the dress code for the actual game, but the scars were already left. Even if the game hadn't sucked, I'd have needed eye bleach.

I'm used to crap fouls. I give up.

All of that being said, the actual watching experience wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. We got some nice breezes, the air cooled down, the noise level was acceptable, we could see the scoreboard, we got our stats, I even liked their organ better. I could see doing this again- IF it was better planned.

That's the problem with the Liberty front office. Give them lemonade, they'll somehow turn it into lemons. This would have been a better idea either as a preseason game or as an early-season game, in late May or early June, with a team that isn't as defensive-minded as Indiana, with enough lead time in the offseason to really build it up instead of having to split focus and try and sell both this game and the Garden games. Instead… we got this. And the quality of the game isn't really the FFO's fault (unless That Moron started coming up with excuses before tip), but the quality of the experience is. If I were a first-timer, like hell I'd be inclined to come back unless someone hooked me up for free, and did so for a Garden game.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello! I have come across your womens basketball page and was hoping you could update your links with our new NY Liberty message board, it would be much appreciated! Thanks