Monday, September 15, 2014

Phoenix Mercury: the 2014 WNBA Champions!

They did it. The brooms came out against the Chicago Sky, and it was 3 and done.  And done in a spectacular way.  With fewer than 15 seconds remaining, Diana Taurasi hit an incredible fadeaway jumper and was fouled in the attempt.  That shot and the successful foul shot insured the championship for the Mercury.  It was a clean 3-game sweep.

Watching and cheering loudly from home, we were caught up in the excitement... until we realized that the WNBA season was now over and our trips into Phoenix to watch the Mercury were over until next season.  We'd have to wait almost nine months until the opener next season. Oh NO-O-O-O-O!

However, we got one more chance to see our beloved team at a triumphant rally at US Airways Center on Sunday.  And oh, what fun that was. The team rolled into the arena in a white stretch limo and the coaches and each member of the team stepped out of the limo, one by one. The last, Diana Taurasi stepped out, then ducked back into the limo to bring out the championship trophy.  The place erupted.

We all spent the next hour listening to Kip Helt who hosted the festivities, the mayor of Phoenix, Coach Sandy Brondello, and the players, all reveling in each others' achievements.  It was, simply, a love fest.  Fans adore this team and with good reason.  They provided a season of excitement, fun, amazing basketball skills, energy, fierce competitiveness and a singularly remarkable fan experience.

So, here's to the 2014 WNBA CHAMPIONS!  We're so looking forward to your next wonderful season but, above all, stay healthy and know your adoring fans will be packing the arena again, hoping for a repeat!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

View from a Phoenix Mercury Fan

For the past 5 years, my husband and I have been season ticket-holders for the Phoenix Mercury, the premier WNBA basketball team. We moved to Arizona from Connecticut where we were (and still are) rabid UCONN women's basketball fans!  We were each fortunate to have been able to see Diana Taurasi, live, during her UCONN basketball games.  It was almost impossible to get tickets to the women's games and a friend shared some of hers with us.  So we've followed her career from the beginning.

We were giddy with delight when we moved to the Phoenix area, knowing she was a member of the Phoenix Mercury.  And as much as we love Diana's play, her tenacity, her skillfulness, her intelligence, her attitude, her personality and her teamwork, we also love the rest of the team and how they all work together to create one cohesive, almost choreographed group of basketball talent with one thing in mind: to help make each other rise to the occasion each and every game with the ultimate purpose of winning a championship.

This year, the Fabulous Five, Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Penny Taylor, Candice Dupree and DeWanner Bonner, has consistently played as if their brains were linked.  Smooth footwork,  transitions and passes resulting in baskets, confounding their opponents make for some really great video.  But it's obvious that the leadership of their new coach, Sandy Brondello, has sparked a learning curve that just can't be beaten. This team has proven to be in sync with Coach Brondello's brilliant guidance and the incredible assistant coaches, Julie Hairgrove and Todd Troxel.  And the bench has been exceptional, stepping up handsomely when called upon, doing the job they need to do and completing the team with the best possible talent.  Erin Phillips, Shay Murphy, Mistie Bass, Aneta Je kobsone-┼Żagota, Ewelina Kobryn and Tiffany Bias all add to the greatness of the team.

The Mercury provides the ultimate fan experience. There are those who follow the team, there are those who are fans and then there is the X-FACTOR, fans who are season ticket holders and are, literally, fanatics, when it comes to the love of their team.  We are loud, devoted, and in love with everything Phoenix Mercury.  Those of us who can, travel to their away games.  We go early to games to watch the team on the floor shooting baskets.  X-Factor members get incentives but those are incidental to our love of the team.  We live and breathe Mercury.  The Mercury Hip Hop Squad and Scorch, the mascot, provides incredibly exciting entertainment during the games. The energy and excitement that starts with the introduction of the team is palpable, infectious, and gets the building rocking!  I don't think any other WNBA team has what we have: thousands of highly charged fans who know that their Mercury team is THE BEST in the world.  

During the course of the season, we can't wait to get to the games and it's a bit difficult to leave after a game because the excitement lingers.  Our lives are planned around home games and I make sure there is a way for us to keep up with their away games, whether by the Mercury app, Watch ESPN on my iPhone or on TV where we scream and cheer as if we were actually there!

In essence, we are the ultimate fans for a team that brings out the best in each player, provides an incredible sports experience, treats its fans and each other as family and is, SIMPLY THE BEST at what they do.

Phoenix Mercury:  I dub thee the SISTERHOOD OF THE BASKETBALL.  I just love this team!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Will my voice be heard?

I just wrote the following to my two senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans from Arizona.

Please vote Yes on Senate Joint Resolution 19.

My voice is not being  heard because I don't have the billions of dollars that corporations do to buy your votes.  Corporations are business entities.  They don't breathe, they don't consume food.  They are NOT HUMAN.  I have a well-functioning intellect so don't condescendingly throw back at me that corporations are people.  The Citizens United ruling was a skillfully crafted underhanded deal to put power in the hands of the wealthy, leaving the rest of us to be screwed out of our rights in a democracy.

It's time for you to show some backbone and understand we don't want to live in a plutocracy.  It's time to kill Citizens United.  Do you have the guts to do what's right for the people?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We, the who?

I am a consumer of many things.  I use commodities and services.  I pay for what I consume and it doesn't matter how much I pay for what I consume.  The fact remains, I do pay.

Some of the things I pay or have paid for come from the government like social security and Medicare.  I paid for those things all my working life and I have a right to get those services for which I paid.  I also have paid or continue to pay for the US government to work so that ALL CITIZENS BENEFIT from the laws passed in the US Congress.   However, I'm not getting my money's worth.

I, and many tens of millions of my fellow citizens, are getting the shaft.  We are paying for wars we do not approve of, for environmental disasters occurring with regularity, for laws strangling women's rights, for laws being pushed through that favor the Christian religion over all others, for laws that restrict freedom of speech and assembly, for laws that counter the Constitution.  I and the rest of the 99% are NOT getting the roads or the infrastructure repaired, the air and water cleaned up, the research and development for eradicating diseases funded enough, the superior PUBLIC education everyone is entitled to receive, the exceptional health care seen offered in other countries but not here, the reasonable prices for medications, the assurance that all people will be treated fairly regardless of race, origin, gender, or age.  Ah, yes, I could go on but you get the idea.  There is no "liberty and justice for all," only for some as long s they are white, male, very rich and mostly Christian.

Through taxes, my money and the money from my fellow citizens (read the 99%), pays the salaries of 535 individuals who are supposed to be working for (the collective) me.  They do not.  Most of them are sick, greedy bastards who come to Washington with their hands out, ready to do the bidding of and work for the likes of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffet, Big Business, Big Pharma, the polluters, the sneaky, dishonorable, disreputable businesses who line pockets of Congress with bushels of money.

I'm not getting my money's worth because I'm not a gazillionaire.  The money I pay won't get me an audience with any of my congress people.  They don't listen to anyone other than those who find a way to funnel huge sums of cash into their offshore bank accounts.   So yes, I'm saying that many in Congress take bribes although they wouldn't call it that.  I would suggest that Congress has become peopled with high-priced prostitutes.  So, I write to my Senators and Legislators on all kinds of issues.  What I get back is the work of an underling who emails a stock answer that has nothing to do with what I commented on or had concerns about.  Just a nondescript "thank you" for contacting the office.

My voice is not being heard because I don't have the money to buy anyone in Congress.  I would bet that the majority of people who run for seats in Congress start out with decent intentions but it doesn't take long before the bigger picture standing in front of them is that of a bulging bank account which gets bigger the longer they manage to keep their Congressional seats.

And then there is the partisanship of politics.  When did compromise become a dirty word? Sane intelligent people who have differences of opinion usually discuss, consider, examine, reason and explore solutions that will benefit as many people as possible without kicking an opposite view down a hellhole.  And doing so without resorting to lying, bribery, stupidity, denying established facts or being influenced by money-grubbing corporations, businesses or individuals who want special privileges or special laws made for just them.

Democracy is supposed to be government with power vested in the people. We keep electing people who have lost sight of that. What we have is not democracy anymore.  We have a plutocracy with government power invested in the few, the 1%, the ones with the multitudes of money, the gazillionaires who want more money, power and act as if this country belongs to them personally. This country has become ruled by the wealthy.  Which one of the Kochs will claim to be THE KING when the GOP/TP get their way?  Will they fight over the crown?  Will Sheldon Adelson muscle his way in with his corpulent, elephantine body and claim the throne?

So, the Preamble to the Constitution starts with, We the People of the United States.  That is no longer true.  I ask:  We the who?  The answer now is: We the Corporations.  We the rich, white, privileged .....

We are the laughing stock of the world.  Will there be another revolution?  Perhaps there will come a time when the 99% will be so fed up with being treated like second-class citizens or worse that they will be willing to take that stand against the mostly Republican greedy bastards who have destroyed what the United States is supposed to be.  And just to make it abundantly clear:  THIS IS NOT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FAULT.  I lay the fault at the feet of the GOP and their particularly stupid friends from the Tea Party.  They are a war-mongering, illiterate, lying, intellectually-deficent bunch of religious fanatics who are happily led around by the rings in their noses as long as the money keeps flowing.  I hope someday soon they'll fall into that hellhole they've dug for everyone else.

A caveat:  I do have some wonderfully bright GOP friends who ARE NOT part of the group I have assailed above.

(Thanks to Politics USA for the meme.)