Tonight marks the 20th anniversary of the WNBA draft. Some things have changed over the years (the location, its allure) and some haven’t (the structure). The first league president (Val Ackerman) and former draftees took me behind the scenes at the draft.
Crisler Center, formerly Crisler Arena and the University Events Building before that, turns 50 this year. It is best known as the home of Michigan basketball, but the arena has also hosted several high-profile musical acts, among other memorable events. In a story for Michigan Today, I went through news archives and talked to some of the key figures in the arena’s history.
Now that I live in a college town, when a restaurant has a 20-minute wait or my wife and I are strolling through campus, I can pop in a merchandise store and check out all the officially-licensed items my heart desires. I’d been in these stores plenty before, but visiting several times over the last few weeks, I realized how devoted a University of Michigan sports fan could be.* You could…
Part of what makes the Olympics fun is that if someone from your country is competing, you know who to root for. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of the athlete. It doesn’t matter if you’re not really sure how the event works (do shot putters have to hold the shot put against their neck?). If, in my case, I see someone representing the US of A, that’s my guy/girl.
To use a phrase never applied to the subject of this story: Not so fast.
Which teams outside the top 15 have a shot at the playoff? Steve and I discuss some sleeper picks for the upcoming college football season. We also talk Olympics: Is there a not-yet-Olympic-sanctioned sport for which we could medal? Send questions for next pod!
I always hope my articles, in some way, inform readers. But this post in particular serves no other purpose. If you’ve been watching the Olympics — and since these are the Summer (and not Winter) Games, I sure hope you are — you might have seen some dark red splotches on Michael Phelps’ back last night. I’ve noticed them on other athletes, including gymnasts. They are the result of “cupping,” a post-exercise process that involves sticking plastic suction cups on sore muscles.
I know this because my wife “cups,” so I’d seen the softball-sized circles on her back and shoulders before. She convinced me to try it once, but the cups wouldn’t stick to my Lebanese skin. We’ve debated the effectiveness of cupping , but now that Olympic athletes are using them, my wife has been proven “right.”
Anyway, I hadn’t heard an announcer mention them, but I have to imagine people are wondering if Phelps had been repeatedly hit with a mallet or something. Now you know he’s just a cupping addict.
The 1996 women’s Olympic basketball team didn’t lose a single game during its year-long tour, which culminated in a gold medal at the Summer Games in Atlanta. But its lasting legacy is the WNBA, which launched largely because of the success of the ’96 team. For a story published in Excelle Sports, I interviewed some of the team’s players and coaches, as well as other key figures, for their recollections of that incredible team.