Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So, I was thinking......

I'm not young anymore although I keep thinking of myself as a "little kid" who still hasn't figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  I simply have this mindset that keeps my head in my 3rd or 4th decade and not where it's supposed to be.  Now that's not a bad thing, except that I have kids older than that.

Every once in a while I think back over the years, remembering the path my life has taken and I smile contentedly at how that journey has gone.  It's been an amazing, interesting, exciting, and joyful ride along with  many somber & mournful times interspersed.  If I had to pick one phrase that would describe that ride I would choose "laughing my ass off" the whole way through.

I bring this stuff up because I'm hoping I'm just in the "autumn of my life" and not the "winter," and because I've been sick for the first time in a very long time. Consequently, my thoughts about the future run the gamut from a bit of trepidation to very hopeful.

To those of my friends and relatives who are around my same age, I assume you've all had thoughts pretty much like mine.  Warren and I have been pretty healthy for most of our lives and we try to do all the things to keep us that way.  When there's a blip on the road, it brings you "up short," makes you assess what you're doing and then make the necessary adjustments.

I'm feeling much better now but I resolve to take even better care of myself.  I still have much of my journey to go and hope the ride will be full of good health and, with Warren's usual help, it's going to be one full of giggles all the way.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Phoenix Mercury will not only survive, but flourish.

Word came down this week that Diana Taurasi will not play during the 2015 WNBA season.  Her Russian team has requested that she take the time off to rest for her upcoming season playing for them when the overseas season starts in the fall. As a huge incentive, they are paying her (a lot) not to play for the WNBA this year.  Diana has taken their offer. For eleven seasons, Diana has played basketball year-round, full time with little or no time off.  She deserves this time off, not only for her physical rejuvenation, but for her personally*.

This sent huge shock waves through the fans of the Phoenix Mercury, causing anxiety and despair.  Since Diana is considered the backbone of the team, some fans seem to be worried that this situation diminishes the team's ability to defend their 2014 championship season.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  

The Mercury has an extraordinary group of athletes whose only mission is to get another championship.  That said, I wrote the following on Facebook to a large group of Mercury fans with the hope that my words will assuage the anxiety, give us all incentive to become even bigger cheerleaders of our incredible team and, when the season is over, look forward to welcoming back to the team the absolute best women's basketball player in history!

"Mercury fans: You may know that I come from New England (MA & CT) and I am a rabid New England sports fan (Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics & Bruins.) It's in my blood. That includes the UCONN women' and men's basketball teams. And when we lived in CT, we were fans of the CT Sun. Living here in AZ almost 7 years, the Mercury has become a passion with us, not just because of Diana (although she is a BIG reason) but because we absolutely LOVE the game of basketball, especially the women's game. Team members change for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes those changes cause us anxiety. But, remember, Diana has promised to come back. She needs, desperately, the rest she'll take this summer. We have extraordinary personnel on "our" team and the Mercury will give us a season to remember. Understand, we are Phoenix Mercury fans, first and foremost. If you look forward to an extraordinary season, you'll get it. We love all our players no matter who they are because they give us their best and provide an extraordinarily fabulous experience. We are, indeed, the best fans in the WNBA. We are X-Factor! So, don't panic and come along for the ride and let the team know we are behind them 100% GO MERCURY!"

There is a prestige factor working here. To actually make the roster of a WNBA team is many a young woman's dream.  Besides the love of the game, to make that dream worth working for, monetary recognition has to be part of the equation.  *One glaring issue is the money paid to the team members.  It's just not enough.  Perhaps this is a wake-up call for the league to figure out a way to make the WNBA a more lucrative entity. All the young women coming up behind the Taurasis, Griners, Bonners, Duprees and Taylors should not have to rely on overseas play to make a decent living in a profession that has a finite number of active years built in.