August 2009

Monday, August 31st - Lisa Ciaravella checks in.

Hello Mystics fans! Thanks for the enduring support this season. It is so amazing to walk around town in your Mystics gear and have everyone not only know about the team but have people ask questions about how we are doing. Thanks, fans! You are what make this league tick.

Life in the Mystics’ strength and conditioning department is pretty detailed right know. We are dotting all the “I’s” and crossing all the “T’s” in an effort to make sure we leave no detail left unattended.

We are doing lots of core work, tons of injury prevention and getting ourselves prepped for a strong playoff berth. Telling people to “Get your rest and drink lots of water” is a phrase I am discontinuing from my vocabulary for the entire month of October. To say the least, it will be “worn out”.

We are in a race, a battle to the finish and September is going to be an exciting month!

On a personal front, my two worlds collided a bit in the month of August- that is my basketball world and my off-season world. Both lives have a lot in common right now which is the quest to beat the odds and conquer new territory. Both are in a quest to win a championship but against different opposition.

In the off-season, I own a Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Training Center near Charlotte, NC called Phoenix Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, LLC. One of the programs we have established at Phoenix is a progressive and aggressive spinal cord injury recovery program. We established the program two years ago as a way to assist a local female who was in a catastrophic accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. Its origination was our way to give back to the community. In turn, this has become one of the biggest blessings in my life. The program has grown to include 12 patients- all under the age of 25- who are striving each day to regain their lives.

One of those folks is a guy named Cameron, a professional motocross rider injured on his bike and left paralyzed from the neck down. Cameron came into our lives 16 month ago, defeated by traditional medicine that stated he would not ever walk, talk or live anything close to a life he had envisioned. Although when we first talked, it was an airy whisper, he asked us to treat him like an athlete and I told him that’s the only way I know. You could see his desperation to beat the odds and win his own personal championship. We connected on this athletic level. I got his drive and he got my pushing. Although it would take him hours, he would fight against his body to activate movements. He would will himself to move; each movement being like the hardest practice we ever had. Then, in October of 2008, after 5 months worth of work (standing and trying to take steps), Cameron initiated his first step.

Cameron is now walking. It’s not pretty and it’s definitely not easy, but he is doing it and everyday it gets better. He is beating his toughest opponent. So when I took the job with the Mystics, Cameron was one of the first people to tell me congrats and that he was coming to visit. His visit was his new focus, and like any competitive athlete he was going to train for it.

On August 20th, Cameron took his first road trip since the accident to see us play Connecticut. He was able to tour the building, get a custom made jersey with his motocross number, and he was able to shadow me for the game (Thanks -AT). He hung with the players for a bit pre-game, sat with me on the bench, and in one of the most memorable moments of my career, Coach Plank invited him to pray with the team. For one moment, both of my worlds, the two things I am most passionate about were encircled, joined in a celebration of faith. I am convinced he gave us the push to beat Connecticut in double overtime. But most importantly, he was winning. His presence at that game was a victory.


Friday, August 28th - Megan Burda looks forward to the upcoming months.

I cannot believe it’s almost September! It feels like yesterday I was getting ready for Memorial Day and the start of summer! So much has happened in the past three months and I feel like they have flown by. Between the fourth of July, trips to beach, our Mystics season and long lazy days outside, we have another nine months to wait until it all comes again.

I think I will have my hands full these next few months of winter before the hot weather rolls back around. A few weeks ago, my oldest sister got engaged and I was the chosen maid of honor! I am one heck of a good party planner and this is a project that will top them all. Between the dress shopping, engagement party, bachelorette party, wedding planning and whatever else there is, I will have my after work hours jammed packed until the big day arrives on July 31st, 2010. The list already has 250 guests so far, and as we all know, that list always grow as the days go by. Being as that I have as much authority as she does on this event, I’m sure many of my friends will “somehow just show up.” The date is set and so is the location: the Belvedere in Baltimore. Cannot wait.

Along with a wedding to plan, the winter months bring my birthday!!! And this year; a trip to Vegas for the big 25. J So far, 21 of my closest friends are on the list and the date is set! Woo hoo!

And we all know the greatest part of the days getting colder….football!! Even though I may not live in Baltimore anymore, the Ravens will always be my number one team and this season, it’s all ours…I have faith that my boys will get it done. So far, our preseason games are looking good and we are going to go all the way…I feel it. Monday night football….all of my friends in one place….wings….mmmmm. It’s going to be a great season.

With three home games left in the regular season for the Mystics, I hope to see you all in the stands cheering us on.

Until next time,


Thursday, August 27th - Tim Gallant encourages everyone to attend our Breast Health Awareness game on August 30th.

Hello Mystics Nation,

I hope you are all gearing up for what is sure to be a thrilling and suspenseful end to our season as we inch our way towards the playoffs. I wanted to take a moment to say how thrilled I am about our game on Sunday August 30th, which doubles as our Breast Health Awareness Night. I am especially excited about the auction which will take place after the game. Here is everyone’s chance to bid on great memorabilia and auction items while making a difference in our fight against this disease. More than the items you will be able to acquire through this auction, you will be among those cherished individuals who will be directly responsible for helping Sibley Hospital and their effort to cure and prevent breast cancer.

More than ever those individuals with this illness must hear, and feel the support of all of our fans and organization as we honor their courage, heroism, and bravery. Please come out and support not only our team, but the fight against breast cancer as we join with Sibley on this special evening.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing everyone out there Sunday!

Best regards,

Wednesday, August 26th - Joey Levin breaks down the battle in the East and the DMV’s love for basketball.

Can anyone believe that we only have seven games left in the season? It’s gone by pretty quick and at the same time I feel like it’s been a lifetime since the beginning of the season. And with the pace the season goes I sometimes have trouble remembering what day it is. If Ketsia hadn’t reminded me that I needed to write a blog I probably wouldn’t have remembered what day of the week it was. That is a pretty standard occurrence these days, which can only mean one thing…It’s almost playoff time. Still, before the playoffs start there is a real battle happening in the Eastern Conference right now. As I wrote in my last blog, I came to the Mystics from Florida State. I had never worked in the pros before this season. In college we always talk about how important every game is. Well that is nothing compared to the WNBA. With only seven teams in our conference and 34 games, it’s unbelievable how important every game is. At 13-14 we are a game and half out of second place behind Atlanta (who would’ve thought that) and Connecticut. We are tied with Chicago for the last spot in the playoffs as of now and only one game ahead of Detroit. With only seven games left, every game from here on out is like a playoff game. Just look at tonight’s schedule in the WNBA. Detroit who’s fighting for a playoff spot is playing at Connecticut who’s fighting to hold on to their spot. Sacramento, who by some miracle seems to be playing for a playoff spot out west plays Atlanta, who is shocking the league right now and playing great. Chicago, who we are tied with, is battling to get that last spot against the hottest team in the WNBA, Los Angeles. And we play Seattle, who’s only two and half games out of first place in the Western Conference. So I think it’s safe to say that tonight can actually be considered the first night of the playoffs. It should be pretty fun to see how it plays out.

I wanted to finish my blog by talking about basketball in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. I learned quickly working in college how talented the players to come out of this area were but until I moved up here I never realized how great of a basketball atmosphere the DC area really is. This past Sunday, I went over to Georgetown University and watched the All-Star Game of the Jabbo Kenner Pro-Am Summer League. For those who don’t know the Kenner Summer League is a league for NBA players, Professional European players, former NBA and college players and current college players. The majority of the players either grew up in this area, or played high school or college ball in this area. I went over there Sunday because one of the players I worked with at Florida State who plays in Europe now was playing. I was shocked when I walked in there to see NBA stars Kevin Durant and Jeff Green battling it out. They were just two players among many NBA and college players who were playing in the All Star game. I wasn’t shocked because there were NBA players playing in an exhibition game, but I was shocked because I didn’t have to pay a dime to get in. It’s amazing in this era of sports that you can still get players of that caliber to come out in play in a summer league and not have to charge anything. It showed me two things about basketball in the DC area. First it confirmed what I’ve known for sometime now, that the level of basketball in this area is near the top, if not the top in the country. The second, and this is what impressed me the most, is the mutual respect and love for the game between the fans and the players. The fact that the players come back to play for their hometown fans for nothing and the way the fans watch these players like they are watching members of their own families. The fans don’t refer to the players by their last names; they are all on a first name basis as if they grew up in the same household. And it’s not just the big time NBA guys, but the guys no one outside of DC has heard of, the guys who were high school legends, they are all equally popular. Being there made me truly respect the basketball atmosphere in the DMV area. As much as I love this game, it made me wish I grew up around here so I could’ve been around it all the time. The Kenner league is done for this summer, but if you’ve never been or didn’t get to go this summer, I suggest checking it out next year, it’s definitely worth the price of admission.


Tuesday, August 25th - Natalia Isaac checks in from the west coast.

Greetings Mystics Fans!

I'm reporting to you from our west coast trip. The East is extremely close so we have to take care of our business on this trip to make sure we stay in the playoff hunt. So far, we are 1-2. We lost a close game to the Sparks in game 1. In our game against the Mercury, we played very well on both ends of the floor and beat the best team in the west. Next up was Sacramento. Fresh off the Phoenix win the night before, we knew we had to buckle down and steal a win from Sacramento. Unfortunately, we ran into a rejuvenated Monarchs team and lost big. The good thing is, we don't have a lot of time to dwell on the loss. We got Seattle next!!

One of the highlights of this trip is that we have a lot of support staff that joined us. Including myself, Mikhail & Thuc (video guys), Tim (Equipment), Christy Winters-Scott (radio), Greg (COO), Nicole (Community Relations), and Jacky Howell (one of our loyal season ticket holders) have made the trip out west. Special shout out to the Squad that couldn't make it: Joey and Cassaundra. I'm sure you guys are back home holding down the Verizon Center until we return next week!

That's all from me. Wish us well out west. See ya when we get back on the 30th!!

Go Mystics!


Monday, August 24th - Sarah Novak shares her adventure at the baseball park.

Hello all!

So with the team on the other side of the country it gives the front office - especially the sales department - some time to gear up for our Sibley’s Breast Health Awareness Night! So with our Ladies’ Night a distant memory (huge success thanks to all that participated), the front office girls descended upon Nationals Stadium to support Bree Parker in her Ladies’ Night! On a hot night like Friday, a baseball game is a fantastic time to just relax. Oh so we thought! After gathering all the girls at will call, we headed over to the elevators to take us up to the rooftop tent where we would be able to have a few drinks and enjoy the evening.

So 14 of us all crammed into elevator number 2, and our very own Crystal Hudson hit the top floor button and we took off. Then we stopped and dropped a few feet! EEKK!! Arm to arm, shoulder to shoulder, we were stuck in a hot humid elevator full of people. Now the odds of someone bugging out are pretty good. I happen to be the one to bug out. I had no idea I was claustrophobic or had what people were telling me was a panic attack. Eboni was next to me talking to me and holding my hand as I was stuffed up against the wall of the elevator with Crystal in front of me trying to talk to a very unknowledgeable elevator phone operator. As you know, elevators are made out of steel so in the age where everyone relies on cell phones, only our very own Maria Giovannetti’s phone worked. She was able to call 911 and tell them in a very calm manner (something that I was not) that we were stuck with a lot of people and that I was completely bugging out. Luckily my iPhone has games on it which Eboni reminded me of, and it calmed me down for the most part. We were saved from what I thought was an eternity by two very cute EMT guys.

Thank you so much Edwards and the other guy that I didn’t get the name of! You know how EMT, Police, Firefighter, and our Verizon Security always tell you to stay calm, be quiet, and everything will be ok. It will be. Quiet and calm are key! The more people talked in the elevator the more I bugged out. I knew Friday morning when I dropped my flat iron in the potty that I should have stayed home!

Friday, August 21st - Heather Locke looks forward to riding the waves this weekend.

As many Mystics Fans know, I was born and spent my childhood in Massachusetts. I grew up a water baby on the beaches of Cape Cod, exploring the Bay flats, digging for clams, and bathing in the salt water and sun. I hate to admit my next statement, as I may disgrace my family name…but… It is mid August and I have not yet been swimming in the ocean this summer. While I have enjoyed my time with the Mystics since I started in March, the WNBA season is not always conducive to the coastal lifestyle.

Fear not sea lovers! This weekend, as the Mystics continue their West Coast road trip – I have planned my inaugural summer trip to the beaches of the Mid-Atlantic! Saturday morning will officially mark my first time braving the Bay Bridge on the way to Ocean City and Rehoboth. As a New England native, I can only imagine that Ocean City is comparable to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. If my picture of the area is accurate, I am confident that my next blog will include some interesting stories!

As nature is beautiful, it is known for being unpredictable. Of course, when I planned my trip the weather forecast called for a partly sunny and overall beach friendly weekend. As the date of the trip approached, Hurricane Bill formed over the Atlantic and as Al Roker would say, is rapidly approaching "our neck of the woods".

On that note, I have a request that may sound strange to Pass the Ball readers: Please notify all of your friends about the impending weather and warn them against the perils of the beach on a stormy weekend. Other beachgoers will hopefully pass up the experience for indoor activities, (like watching the Mystics play Phoenix and Sacramento). I will be calling my brother, the newest surfer in New Hampshire, and requesting tips to ride the storm infused waves. (He is the adorable chap in the diving mask pictured to the right – Yes ladies, 20 years later he is still that cool and available!)

I thank my family and the untamed New England weather for teaching me that I can make every day in the summer a beach day. A storm simply means that the beach will be lacking in crowd cover – my own oasis in the midst of a tempest.

Looking forward to re-uniting with everyone on the 30th at Breast Health Awareness Night- Until then, GO MYSTICS!

- Heather -

Thursday, August 20th - Angela Taylor checks in on her way to Phoenix.

Hello Mystics Fans,

As we head out to our second destination on this 9 day road trip, I decided to write a short blog to give a quick glimpse into life on the road. I typically have difficulty minimizing the word count on my blogs, but as I wait in line at McDonald's here at LAX, my thumbs are beginning to cramp this edition may be brief!!!

Speaking of McDonald's, for those of you who wonder what it is like to travel in the W, I would summarize it by saying everything revolves around practice, games, and FOOD.

Fortunately for us west coasters (yes Idahoans claim the west coast) our dining selections are immense out here on the left coast.

The highlight thus far has been a trip to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles! If you have yet to partake in the fare at Roscoe's, you definitely should add it to your bucket list. Other hot spots that I was hoping to catch in LA were In-n-Out Burger and/or Fatburger, Jamba Juice, and Aunt Kizzy's Kitchen. Unfortunately, I was only able to hit Roscoe's with Trixie (Trudi Lacey), Vicky, and Christie!

Last night's game was a tough loss, but I continue to be impressed by the spirit and resolve of our players and staff. With nine games left, every possession counts on our journey to return to the playoffs, so trust that we will bounce back and will be ready to take on Phoenix on Friday.

A special thanks to the group of 100+ Mystics fans who came out & cheered us on until the final seconds last night at the Staples Center. Many of which were family & friends of Nikki Blue who made it in from Bakersfield. Also, thanks to Jacky Howell (Mystics STH and MVP member) who joined us on the trip to LA. I was able to find out more about the great work she is doing in early childhood education at breakfast yesterday with Jacky and Nicole Boden and was impressed with all that she does for the youth in DC.

Well, we are boarding our flight to Phoenix now, so I'm going to soak up the final moments of our time in SoCal. Off to find a Jamba Juice to keep me cool & refreshed in Phoenix. Hoping to check out Hobees while I'm in the Bay as well as any of a number of great restaurants in Seattle. But more importantly, I'm looking forward to putting some more W's in our win column!!!

One last shout out to Mikhail Ovechkin who is making his first trip out west. It's been a joy having him on this trip with us.

Until next time...Go Mystics!

Wednesday, August 19th - Rookie Marissa Coleman shares her adventures in L.A.

Click here to read Marissa's Rookie Blog.

Tuesday, August 18th - Dana Simonelli recaps the classic known as staff vs. intern basketball game.

Hey Mystics Fans,

Welcome to my blog today. Some of you may have heard about the full time staff vs. interns basketball game we had about two weeks ago. We had a great turn out by both sides and it was a battle 'til the end. Crystal Hudson served as our coach/GM aka substitution specialist. There was a guest appearance by Sarah Novak, who was quite the defensive force. Let’s just say her style of defense has a hint of bear hugging to it. I must also give a big shout out to our fans. We were graced with the presence of Sheila Robinson, Erin Mitchell, Nicole Jones, Marty Lerner and Eboni Tyler. Erin was a great score keeper and the rest of the ladies were cheering their hearts out. The interns had no chance!!

So since this epic battle, I have come to the conclusion that I have to start playing basketball again. It had been about five months since the last time I played. It never fails that when I have not played in some time and get back on the court I always realize that I should NEVER stop playing. Although I am severely out of shape it still was lots of fun. So this fun and competitive evening of basketball has provoked me to sign up for not one, but two basketball leagues this fall. One of these leagues being run by our very own Maria Giovannetti. Maria is the league director of the Lady Lawyers league in DC. She does a great job and has been on me about playing in the league for close to a year now. I only hope that I will be placed on her team this season.

Thank you to our staff for helping me remember how great it is to play basketball. I am looking forward to hitting the hardwood this fall. I will be sure to share my fun basketball experiences with you on my next blog. Until then Mystics fans, enjoy the remainder of the season and hopefully the team makes a good run towards the playoffs!!

Go Mystics!

Monday, August 17th - Cassaundra Lockett shares her upcoming news.

Hello Mystics Fans,

So this has been a really exciting season for the Mystics and me. I am currently expecting the arrival of my first child in November. I have been going through the dilemma of finding a name. I purchased 3 different books that have given me thousands of name selections. This by far is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. I must commend our GM, coaches, “The Squad”, my intern Karess, Ketsia, Nicole B. and especially the players for doing such a splendid job of making sure that I am always taking care of myself and the baby.

Recently I found out that the little one in my tummy is a boy, so that makes the naming process a little easier. I have been searching and searching for the right name and even taking suggestions from the players, coaches and Mystics staff. I really love the name Kobe but have heard a few sighs and seen a few frowns about that selection. Angela seems to love the name “Angelo”, Ketsia likes the name “Cooper”, Coach Plank and Lindsey seem to think their names would be good choices, Natalia likes the name “Nathaniel”, AB has been very helpful and given me a few suggestions (too many to name but she likes Kobe) and my laughing buddy Krystal Vaughn has been a strong supporter of Kobe (Thanks KV). Nakia gave me a wise suggestion to just wait until I have the baby to see what he looks like. But being the true Capricorn that I am, I have to be prepared. So if you see me at the games and have a name suggestion my box is still open. A special thank you to my intern Karess. By far she is the BEST!!! She has been a little worker bee since day one. Another thank you to the “Tattle- Tell” AB for ratting me out to Nakia about eating that little bag of chips.

Go Mystics!

Friday, August 14th - Get a behind the scenes view of a day in the life of Crystal Hudson…on a gameday.

I know sports fans are usually interested in learning more about their beloved athletes – getting exclusive access to locker rooms, learning the ins and outs of pre-game rituals and superstitions, what goes through a player's mind on a gameday…

But today I’m going to give you the privilege of getting inside my head, learning my gameday rituals, and following my very own gameday routine. (How often do you get the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes with a Game Operations & New Media Manager? Consider yourselves lucky!):

6:00am – My (first) alarm goes off, my eyes open, but my body is just not ready yet…

6:26am – The startling beeps of my alarm seem endless (deep, brief sleeps are the best). Gameday has begun.

6:27am – I make my bed (brushing my teeth doesn’t even feel right unless my bed is made).

7:00am – So fresh and so clean, clean…

7:10am – My gameday suit is on (because Greg won’t settle for anything less than a well-dressed staff); and I enjoy my Kashi cereal as I watch a few minutes of the Today Show (there are few people I’d rather start my day with than Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann).

7:35am – I take a few shirts to the dry cleaners. With more than one game in any given week, I’m always in early to guarantee next-day service.

7:45am – I see Nicole Boden, Director of Community Relations (and my neighbor!) getting into her car. My timing is impeccable and I’ve scored myself a ride to work – if I can score a W within the first 90 minutes of my day, certainly we can come out with a W tonight!

7:50am,/b> – My work day has begun; and with two weekend games, it’s going to be a busy one (which usually means I won’t leave the office – not even for a breath of fresh air). But the Mayhem are performing at the Lebron James Tour for his new film, More Than A Game, this afternoon (12:30pm at the Washington Kastles Stadium/Old Convention Center site - come one, come all!) so I’ll get to leave the office today – another sign that we may just come out on top tonight!

Gameday or not, I always expect a win from the team. So here’s to two more wins under our belts, both tonight and Sunday (feel free to raise your glass of OJ or cup of coffee)…


Thursday, August 13th - Greg Bibb checks in.

I wanted to devote my blog space today to our upcoming Breast Health Awareness Game, presented by Sibley Memorial Hospital, which is scheduled for Sunday, August 30. Game time vs. the Minnesota Lynx is 4pm with our game-worn jersey auction slated to begin immediately following that afternoon’s final buzzer.

As you know, Sibley is one of the Mystics most valued sponsors. The hospital has served the greater Washington, D.C. region for decades while establishing itself as one of the nation’s leading breast cancer treatment facilities. We are proud to partner with such an outstanding hospital and we are pleased to help do our part in the fight against breast cancer while raising overall awareness for breast health. These are big issues for our team, our League and our community. We are honored to work with Sibley by honoring cancer survivors and by raising funds through our jersey auction.

Last year, the inaugural jersey auction raised $37,000 for the cause. This year, our goal is $40,000. Every single dollar raised through the auction goes straight to the hospital’s Sullivan Center for Breast Health. Through the generosity of our players, other WNBA teams and our partners we will once again have an outstanding list of items up for bid. These include, but are not limited to the following:

• Alex Ovechkin autographed Washington Capitals jersey
• Lisa Leslie autographed Sparks jersey
• Luke Walton autographed Lakers jersey
• A Washington Wizards autographed jersey and two tickets to a 2009-2010 Wizards game
• Alana Beard autographed 2005 rookie shoes
• Alana Beard autographed WNBA All-Star jersey
• The Mystics “ACC Connection” autographed and framed picture
• The chance to be “GM for the Day”
• Dinner with Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne
• Autographed Mystics WNBA game ball
• Enrollment in a cooking class with a Washington Mystic
• A night of bowling with a Washington Mystic
• All 11 Mystics authentic, special edition, pink game-worn jerseys

We are asking everyone to join the players and wear pink on August 30. Bring a friend, a co-worker, or a family member and help us in this fight. We look forward to seeing you at Verizon Center on this most special of Sunday afternoons.

Quote of the Week

“You cannot dream yourself into a character. You must hammer and forge one for yourself.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• The Mystics head west next week for what may be the most important west coast swing in franchise history. We need road wins.
• 2010 renewal information should be hitting Mystics season ticket holder mailboxes any day now. Sign up early and get on board for next year!
• Welcome back, Evil Empire. The Yankees are starting to run away with the American League East.
• Healthcare is joining politics and religion on the official “banned material list” for this blog. What a hot topic though!
• Chicago and Atlanta pulled off a rare late-season WNBA trade on Wednesday with Armintie Price headed to the Dream and Tamera Young going to the Sky. It will be interesting to see how the deal plays out over time.

Until next time,
Go Mystics!

Wednesday, August 12th - Dr. Tim Gallant can cure bad blogging.

Hello fellow followers,

This is your dear old friend here to talk about something serious that has a profound impact on all of us. Bad blogging. Luckily, I have never been stuck by this illness, but unfortunately, a certain intern who used to work here, took things a bit too far and now can be found selling peanuts for the Albuquerque Isotopes. You may be laughing, as I was after reading her blog. But bad blogging is no laughing matter. It can lead to isolation, loneliness, depression, and in rare cases death.

Now you may be wondering: what are the symptoms of bad blogging? Well, it varies from case to case, but generally constitutes, delusional thinking on the part of the blogger, a false sense of empowerment, no respect for the blogging game, and many times, awful verbiage. I’m sad to report our once beloved intern has succumbed to this wretched illness and as a result lost everything.

Please, if you know someone in your immediate family, or have a friend, who has fallen victim to this horrible illness, do not hesitate to contact the proper authorities. The foremost leader in curing this dreadful pain is Dr. Tim Gallant at 202-527-7515. Please contact him. Often times purchasing Mystics tickets is a great way to snap someone out of a bad blog illness, or any illness for that reason.

I’m glad that I have had this opportunity to teach everyone out there about the dangers of bad blogging, with the hopes that you or a loved one will never be taken like our dear friend.

Tim G

PS: Arielle, “If you come at the King, you best not miss.” – Omar, The Wire

Tuesday, August 11th - Arielle Haffner challenges Tim Gallant to a blog off.

Hey hey Mystics followers!!

I hope everyone is doing well on this fantastic Tuesday morning! Today, I have decided to write a post that centers specifically on why I deserve the title of “The Top Blogger on the Mystics Website.”

Let me give everyone some crucial background information: Apparently, Tim’s previous posts have allowed him to claim the title of “The Top Blogger on the Mystics Website.” But on one beautiful summer day, I decided to take a shot (ha, ha) at it and write my own post. No big deal…until Tim read my blog and suddenly saw his prized title flash before his eyes.

It is blatantly obvious that Tim feels threatened by my awesome blog-writing abilities. Since he doesn’t want to give up his title, or the glory that comes along with it, he decided to challenge me to see if I could write a better blog than he could. I, of course, took him up on his challenge, and man, he is going to be sorry he ever wanted to start a contest in the first place.

Today, I am going to discuss the reasons why being an intern is way better than being a regular staff member. Here we go!!!

Arielle Haffner’s Top Ten Reasons Why Being an Intern is SO MUCH COOLER than Being a Full-Time Staff Member:

10. We have the opportunity to make our own schedules, while the other staff members work Monday-Friday, from 8:30-5:30ish.

9. We can make the same mistake multiple times and manage to avoid getting in severe (virtually any, actually) trouble.

8. We are free to share our ideas no matter how dumb (i.e. “creative”) we think they are without living in constant fear that what we say will be judged harshly or have a detrimental impact on our salaries.

7. We have the amazingly cool option of wearing polos on game days while the full-time staff members have to wear ridiculously uncomfortable suits and dresses.

6. If we have misunderstandings with different organizations or sponsors, we can easily attribute the problem to another intern in our department, whereas full-time staff members only have themselves to blame.

5. We only have to pretend to understand all of the complicated numbers that are presented to us during the staff meetings because we hardly deal with them, but if the full-time staff doesn’t fully understand those numbers, they could really mess up business transactions.

4. We can talk freely with our co-workers for a reasonable (or unreasonable) amount of time without worrying that “the others” will think we are slacking (and if they do think that, then our excuse is simple: we are only interns, after all).

3. Our COO took us out to lunch as a gesture of his appreciation of our hard work, while the full-time staff got to hold down the fort in our office.

2. We can brag that our internships with the Mystics are better than any internship they ever had.

And the number one reason why being an intern is superior to being a staff member is:
1. We have youth on our side.

As you can see, my blog is clearly better than Tim’s. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion (by myself, I might add) that I should win the title of “The Top Blogger on the Mystics Website.” Since Tim will inevitably write something in response to this, if you have any ideas of what he should write about, be sure to send them his way…he’s going to need all the help he can get!

Washington Mystics Love,

Monday, August 10th - Nicole Boden celebrates her dog's birthday.

Well hello Mystics fans… its Nicole Boden checking in again. I hope you enjoyed my interns blogs this week and last week. I think both Caitlin and Arielle did a great job not only with their blogs but with their internship. I’m so sad to see them go. I hope they enjoyed their time here with the Mystics as much as I enjoyed having them.

I keep saying this to everyone… WHERE DID THE SUMMER GO? I can’t believe it’s already August. It feels like just yesterday we were getting ready for the players to return to D.C. and getting ready for opening night. The season will be over before you know it.

This has been a great season so far. The team is playing well, the fans have been great, seats have been filled, what can get better then that!! Thank you to everyone for all of your support.

This week I celebrated my beloved Charlie’s birthday. As you know (if you’ve read my blogs in the past) Charlie is my dog. On Thursday he turned four years old. I can not believe my baby is no longer a baby.

My intern signed her blog off with this and I liked it…Mystics Love.

Nicole Boden

Friday, August 7th - Chris Waldmann talks about futbol and the newest addition is his family.

Hello once again Mystics Fans,

Well a lot has happened since I last had the good fortune of blogging on here…

The team has been riding the roller coaster of winning a couple and dropping one or two, then winning one, and dropping one. We’re playing good basketball. The difference in the team’s play and attitude is a complete turn-around from last year’s squad. Even our losses are exciting to watch as we never seem to be out of any game we’re playing in. All I know is I’m looking forward to the rest of the season as we’ll be continuing to fight for a playoff berth in the rough and tough Eastern Conference.

As far as my life away from the office (which usually only includes driving back and forth to Baltimore and sleeping) I have had a few momentous occasions to share in the last couple of months. First and foremost, my nephew has arrived! Little Noah is about 3 weeks old now. I got to meet him this past weekend at my Cousin Dave’s wedding, which was also a lot of fun and a very special day for my family. Aside from family functions, I got to go to the Chelsea vs. AC Milan soccer match at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago. Soccer, or futbol, is awesome in person. I highly recommend checking out a match if you have the time! Our tailgate was equally awesome and I’m pretty sure we were the last people to leave the lots that evening. A word of advice to everyone out there…when you’re tailgating post-game, and a torrential rain begins to fall, and everyone decides to play dizzy-bat in the parking lot in the rain, always, ALWAYS remember to take your cell phone out of your pocket and place it in a dry location! Otherwise you have to spend an hour at the Apple store getting a new one! (Thank goodness for warranties!)

We of course have a big game tonight. The Shock is in town and like every game from here until the end; we need to win this one! I hope everyone that sees Mike Ragan tonight will wish him a happy belated birthday (it was Wednesday) and that everyone who sees Tim Gallant notices his new hairdo. If you do see Tim, please ask him what his last blog, or golb rather, was about, because I surely don’t know, and I don’t think he does either!

Until next time…

Go Mystics!

Thursday, August 6th - Greg Bibb checks in.

I apologize for missing my normal Thursday entry last week. It was a busy time with a trip to Chicago for the WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon on Wednesday and a great Urban Alliance breakfast on Thursday morning. Now I’m back, excited for the second half of the season.

The team suffered a tough loss to League-leading Indiana on Sunday afternoon to fall to 10-9 on the year. Friday’s game against Detroit will be the team’s 20th of the campaign and 11th at Verizon Center. It will also start a string in which we will play four of the next five at home before heading west for our annual west coast trip. The next five games are big ones for a lot of reasons. The biggest of these reasons may be the fact that all five games are against Eastern Conference opponents…Detroit (August 7), at Connecticut (August 9), Detroit (August 11), Connecticut (August 14) and New York (August 16). The Eastern Conference standings are extremely tight right now and this block of games provides us an opportunity to create a little space between ourselves and a few conference opponents.

While the Fever (15-4) look to be in great position to lock-up a playoff berth early, if not run away with the regular season conference title, the rest of the East looks like it will be a fight to the finish for the remaining playoff spots. As of Wednesday morning, four teams (Connecticut, Washington, Atlanta and Chicago) were separated by half a game while Detroit sat a game and a half behind this group and New York three and a half clicks off the pace.

Parity has reigned supreme in the WNBA this season, especially in the East as teams seem to be evenly matched. Any team can beat another on any given night. That’s what makes Indiana’s performance so impressive. They seem to find ways to win games, no matter where they are playing or what the situation happens to be. You have to give credit where credit is due and right now the Fever seem to be the team to beat in the East.

The good news is that there are still 15 games to play and a lot can happen in fifteen games. If we are going to continue our progression, we’re going to have to win on the road. Following the game against New York on August 16, we play seven of our final 10 on the road. This includes the aforementioned roady out west with stops in LA (August 18), Phoenix (August 21), Sacramento (August 22) and Seattle (August 25). It is hard to win on the road in the WNBA, but we have shown the ability to do so this year with four road victories in our blue uniforms so far.

It’s getting to be crunch time in the WNBA, which means exciting basketball. I hope you find your way to Verizon Center over the next 11 days to cheer on the team as we battle for a playoff berth.

Intern vs. Staff Basketball Game

Speaking of exciting basketball, the Mystics front office held our annual intern vs. staff basketball game on Monday night. As expected (at least by the staff), the full-timers got the better of the youngsters, once again proving there really isn’t any substitute for knowledge, wisdom and experience.

On a night of many stars, Mystics account executive Sarah Novak may have been the brightest, fighting for rebounds, making big baskets and seriously considering (but ultimately avoiding) diving for a loose ball. Everyone contributed and it was great to have such a strong turnout.

I think a good time was had by all. We have been fortunate to have a wonderful group of students with us this season who have worked very hard and who have been a huge part of our success this year. They were good sports in defeat, despite quite a bit of “talk” from the full-time staff.

I was just happy that along with the lessons they learned with us in the office, they also received a valuable one on the court Monday night…respect your elders!

Quote of the Week (compliments of Mystics account executive Erin Mitchell)

“Every job is a self portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• My daughter turned two yesterday. This is utterly unbelievable for both me and my wife. Parenting really is all about long days and short years.
• The Inspiring Women Luncheon was fabulous. Congrats to the WNBA for another great event and thank you to our partners who joined us in Chicago.
• It’s good to have NFL training camp underway. Go Steelers!
• If you are a 2009 Mystics season ticket holder, be sure to check your mailbox as 2010 renewal packages will be arriving soon.
• The Mystics continue to lead the WNBA in attendance at over 11,600 attendees per game. Thank you fans!

Until next time,
Go Mystics!

Tuesday, August 4th - Caitlin Meslar has learned a lot this summer. Read to find out what it is.

Let me start by introducing myself, my name is Caitlin Meslar and I am a current junior at Montclair State University in North Jersey (right outside NYC) majoring in Justice Studies, Paralegal and taking up two minors in Communications and Pre-Law and I am currently working as a Community Relations intern under the one and only Nicole Boden!

When I first heard of my opportunity this summer to be a Washington Mystics intern I was ecstatic. I told everyone around me what I would be doing this summer and couldn’t wait to hit Virginia to start working to what is the best job experience I’ve had thus far in my life. In the mix of all my excitement, I had a little bit of doubt and was unsure of how my summer would go. In months prior to getting my exciting news, I had lost a lot of love for the one passion I had in life: basketball. I couldn’t understand why I had lost my passion, so I took a few months break from touching a basketball to see where it took me. After two months of only conditioning and not playing any kind of basketball, I was off to Virginia to deal with basketball in a whole different light.

Amongst learning a great deal in my internship: dealing with people one on one, spreadsheets, player appearances, writing player biographies and memoranda, I can say I have learned the most I could have possibly learned in one summer. The biggest thing I was able to get from this entire experience was the return of my love for basketball. The excitement of the crowds, the last minute shots, the office talks and seeing how excited this sport was able to make people. I realized that without passion and love for what you do, the day isn’t fun or enjoyable. I see it every day in every one of the front office staff as they come in, the team unity as if they were on the court, the positive attitude that the team will do well, and we will hit our numbers for the week or for a single game. I see it in all of the players, the pre-game rituals, the team unity and just enjoying each other’s company. I’ve realized that basketball, like the office, is not just statistics; it’s what you take from the sport and what you do with it that makes it your passion.

I would like to say that I’m a little sad it took me this long to realize that my love for basketball was always there. Instead of looking at my own personal statistics, I should’ve been looking at what I had gained from it, the friendships I had made, and the people it has introduced me to. This summer has really been an eye-opening experience; I now know what direction in life I would like to follow in terms of careers and I am able to go back to school with a different outlook on basketball and enjoy my upcoming season. I look forward to watching the Mystics continue their great season and finish out my internship and get ready for school in the fall.

Until then, GO MYSTICS!!!!

Monday, August 3rd - Is this the best Pass the Ball blog ever? Tim Gallant believes so. Read to find out.

Dear Mystics Fans,

Hello and good day. It has recently come into question that a certain blogger has attempted to take the spot bequeathed to me by the lovely Ketsia Colimon, as the top blogger on the Mystics website and bask in all its wonders. Make no mistake about it people, this is not just any space to be tossed around and used for personal gratification or self interests. Nay! This small, often overlooked space in the vast world wide internet is something to be cherished, loved, and dare I say, supported by you the adoring fans. I tell you this; it is with that mindset that I have come to squash any doubt that may linger about who truly deserves title and reverence as ‘the best blogger’. That is why I am gracious enough to tell you the secrets that have left my five loyal readers (three excluding Ketsia and Greg who merely read for proofing) wanting more every time my picture, (the one that my father called to tell me that I looked hung-over in) appears.

First, you must find a common ground with the reader. In this case, it is obvious that the reader is here to learn about any happenings and insight with the team. While I can boast that my three loyal readers will examine my bloggings for interpretations about my well-being and whereabouts, most are not so lucky and must make some mention of the Mystics, or at least some use of the word ‘mystic’ to keep the article honest.

Second, and this is where most see their inevitable downfall, you must grab the readers attention with a quote of some sort, or a joke at the least. Whether you just spent the night in jail because you needed to catch entourage on TV and were speeding, or you are about to pop a baby out any second, you have to treat the blog like TMZ; the more ridiculous, the more they respect you on the web. Don’t ask me, ask the 12 year old kid forming guilds on WOW how respect works on the web. Simply put, you have to earn it the easy way!

Also, be light! Nobody wants to hear about how your shovel broke on a rock, digging a grave for poor old red. Keep the people happy and you might not get eaten alive by the critics.

Finally, and this irritates me more than anything: Never, EVER, try to divulge any secrets or insight on what happens around this office or God forbid on how to do something so simple as write a blog. Don’t insult the reader’s intelligence by trying to tell them the world according to (insert name). I hate those people.

Please, let the record show, or the archive in this matter, that not only do my blogs follow these teachings to a T, but go above and beyond the normal expectation for what is considered a blog. In fact, this entry, and every entry from here on out by Tim Gallant should be referred to as a golb, because simply put, I turn this page on its face! The End!