January 2008

Thursday, Jan. 31 - Greg Bibb talks WNBA ... and vegetables.

Welcome to the last day of January, 2008. Hard to believe the first month of the new year is already in the books. Time flies when you are having fun!

Here’s what’s on my mind this Thursday before the Super Bowl…

Labor Agreement

As you may know, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) announced a new, six-year, collective bargaining agreement on Monday. The completion of this deal by the end of January is a symbol of the healthy relationship the League and WNBPA share. Both parties recognize the significance of long-term labor peace and both realize the importance of a true partnership. This new agreement allows the League to move forward with all player-related issues and signings. Congrats to all parties involved in making this historic agreement possible.

Atlanta Expansion Draft

The first order of business on the basketball operations side will be the Atlanta Dream Expansion Draft, scheduled for February 6. During this process, Atlanta will have the opportunity to select one player from each current WNBA roster. While this draft provides some short-term challenges for existing clubs, helping an expansion club be competitive during year one is vitally important. These drafts are always interesting to watch unfold and with the savvy Marynell Meadors making the picks, this year should be no different. Good luck to the Dream in building their inaugural roster.

Volunteer Sales Team

The Mystics launched our volunteer sales team last week. Thanks to the dozen or so individuals who have stepped up and answered the call. Through this group of dedicated fans, we hope to generate another 100+ season ticket holders for the 2008 season and we’re well on our way as our new partners have produced 23 new season tickets in just six days! For their efforts, the volunteer sales force can earn rewards based on performance, ranging from autographed basketballs to a trip to the 2008 WNBA Finals. If you are interested in being a part of this group, contact Nicole Boden in our office at 202-266-2228.

Not A Fan of the Veggies

After enjoying a wonderful experience with Adelyn and the cereal last week, Tara and I decided to take the next step and introduce some veggies. Unfortunately, our daughter wasn’t nearly excited about the peas or the sweet potato we attempted to feed her. In fact, when mommy tries to give Addy either food, she all but stands up out of her chair in attempt to avoid the incoming item. We’ll keep working on this, but for now, cereal seems to be the only acceptable alternative to mommy’s milk according to our little food critic.

Reality Check

Our friends on the DC 101 FM Elliot in the Morning Show recently spent some time assuring their listeners that their studio crew could easily beat the Mystics in a scrimmage. This conclusion was reached simply because we play women’s basketball and most of their staff happens to be male. After listening to this rhetoric for a couple of days, we decided to call our friends out as Alana Beard visited the studio on Tuesday to accept the challenge.

I invite you to join us at our training camp site, Trinity College, on April 24 when a group of Mystics players will grant Elliot’s wish and play his crew in a little b-ball. For the radio staff, this is an opportunity to prove their point. For us, it provides a stage to remind everyone just how good our world-class athletes happen to be. Trust me, it won’t even be close. I hope you can make it out for the beat-down. If not, you’ll be able to listen live on DC 101.

Quote of the Week

“Achievement without adversity is boredom.”

Website of the Week

Check out DC101.com and click on the Elliot page. This will give you an idea of our competition in April. Enough said.

Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Super Bowl prediction….Patriots win big…37-13.

• The run to the 2008 presidential election appears to be down to a final four, but the fireworks continue. ..fascinating stuff from my perspective. Stay tuned.

• Kudos to the Lady Dukies who gave Tennessee all they wanted on Monday night. That’s two tough losses for the Blue Devils with an earlier close call coming vs. Maryland. I like the grit of this team and they seem to be getting better by the game. They could be a real threat come tourney time.

• Speaking of women’s collegiate basketball, my alma mater, Marist, is now 19-2 on the season and 9-0 in the MAAC. You’ll be seeing the Red Foxes make some noise in the tournament again this year following a run to the Sweet 16 a year ago.

• Training camp opens on April 20…just 80 days from now!

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, Jan. 30 - Mikhail Ovechkin introduces us to the Russian world of basketball.

My name is Mikhail and I am now working with the Washington Mystics. I am from Moscow, Russia. I would like to share with you some familiar names that are part of the Russian League. My favorite team is Dynamo Moscow in which I’ve worked with for 5 years. My favorite players are Diana Taurasi, who is extremely powerful during the game and leads in scoring constantly; Lauren Jackson, #1 Player in the World; Ann Wauters, who is constantly leading in rebounds; Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, who has the best 3 point shot in Europe; and Penny Taylor, who was the MVP in World Championship in Brazil. These players dominate regardless who they play against or what continent they play on.

Basketball in Russia is popular, but there is no comparison to the NBA. While women’s basketball has a small group of loyal followers, average attendance for an RSL game is lower than average attendance for a WNBA game because people are learning. People are not familiar with women’s basketball as much as they are with men’s.

The Russian Championship League has a great number of talented players, several of which hail from the United States. WNBA Stars such as Diana Taurasi, Lauren Jackson, Tina Thompson, Sue Bird, Becky Hammon, Ann Wauters, etc, are all playing in Russia this season. It has been exciting for the Russian fans to observe their play.

Two players from the Washington Mystics are currently playing in the Russian Championship League. Monique Currie is playing for BC Moskva in Moscow, and Coco Miller joined the Spartak Noginsk team in the Moscow Region (Division B West).

While there are presently 12 teams in the Russian Superleague, only some of the teams include talent from the WNBA. Tina Thompson (Houston Comets), Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird (both – Seattle Storm), Diana Taurasi and Kelly Miller (both – Phoenix Mercury) play for the Spartak Moscow Region.

Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Nicole Powell (Sacramento Monarchs) are playing for CSKA which leads the Russian Championship. This Club won the World Leaque last fall. Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock), Penny Taylor (Phoenix Mercury) and Svetlana Abrosimova (Minnesota Lynx) all play for UMMC Ekaterinburgh.

Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Tangela Smith (Phoenix Mercury) are with Dynamo Moscow. Plenette Pierson (Detroit Shock) and Monique Currie (Washington Mystics) have also settled down in Moscow.

Action in the RSL is heating up. With Playoffs beginning in April, several teams have already clinched a playoff berth.

Tuesday, Jan. 29 - Linda Hargrove checks in and blogs about college basketball and once again, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Hey All ...

The CBA is done. That is such good news for everyone concerned. I'm really proud of our players, owners and WNBA staff for coming to the table and moving this thing forward. Now the intense work can begin. I know Marynell Meadors is excited to finally have the opportunity to select some players.

We have had many great games over the past week. The Big 12 is nuts and the big K-State win at Oklahoma State is just an example of how unpredictable the league is right now. K-State has wins now at Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and is still undefeated in the league. From what I have seen there are no impact seniors that will be in the draft but some very good teams that really know how to compete.

Oklahoma's win against Georgia was another really good game and Courtney Paris has kept the double-double alive. The ACC showdown at Chapel Hill saw the Tarheels outlast Maryland in double overtime and Tennessee prevailed last night at Duke, but I have to give Duke a lot of credit for really coming together and playing much better than early in the season. Stanford beat Cal and sets up a really interesting race in the Pac 10 and the UConn win at Notre Dame just showed again how tough the Huskies are. Pitt came back after being down 15 in the first half to beat visiting Louisville but Angel McCoughtry again showed that she is one of the top players in the nation.

Later this week I will be meeting with our coaching staff for a few days to make plans for the 2008 season. I'm really excited to work with Tree, Jessie and Crystal. I think each brings a wealth of knowledge from different backgrounds and no one is shy about voicing their opinion. We should spend a lot of our time finalizing our personnel plan and I expect the coaches to make plans for training camp and organize the playbook. This should be a very productive few days.

My grandson came up with a rather unique idea that I kind of like. OK, last blog I told you that I really liked the Alvin and the Chipmunks' movie. How about a week of American Idol where the contestants sang the Chipmunk songs in the Chipmunk voice. How funny would that be?

Enough silliness for this week.

See you in a gym,

Linda

Monday, Jan. 28 - Tree Rollins checks in.

Hey Mystics fans,

As you can see I have been away for a bit but now I am back so watch out. I have been scouting teams, but unlike Linda, I wont tell you who I like (I am just sensitive like that). I have been watching tapes of our games from last season to see how we can improve for the coming year. I have been in constant communication with Linda and our coaches Jessie and Crystal, and I look forward to getting together with all of them at the end of the month.

As you all know, last season I became a grandfather. Now you must say to yourself, he is way too young to be a grandfather, but I am not as young as I look. My grandson Jayden is now six months old and is now trying to walk and talk. He is into everything. He is a little bit quiet but at the same time he is very independent. He wants what he wants when he wants it. When my children were his age, they did not have his independent streak so I wonder where he gets it from. I must say he has a lot of attitude.

I did manage to sneak in a movie and went to see Mad Money with Queen Latifah, Diane Keaton and Katie Holmes (Mrs. Tom Cruise, I am cool, I know what’s up). My recommendation: Don’t do it…the plot was not realistic at all!!!

I am going back to watch more tape.

Tree

Friday, Jan. 25 - Michael Taylor gives us his thoughts on dressing for success.

So often throughout our lives we hear the phrase “Dress for Success.” Whether it was trying to identify with a social norm (be it a certain brand or style) in High School, or transcending from that norm while in college, it seems that we as individuals continue to strive to impress others with how we dress in our own unique way. I can admit I am no exception to this rule and I believe it has even intensified as a result of entering the workforce!

I remember my childhood days when my parents could go to any store and buy me a plain colored tee-shirt and I would be ecstatic. Those days are distant memories and have been replaced with many Christmas and Birthdays where I had to fix a smile so I wouldn’t seem unappreciative after opening a present to find clothes that I knew I would never wear outside the house (j/k Mom & Dad!). Not that I wasn’t grateful for what my parents provided me, but I soon found out that my taste for clothes and what my parents thought my taste should be were on opposite sides of the spectrum, especially when it came to price. Since middle school I have been the only one in my family to be so absorbed in brand names and trendy styles, which can become a very expensive problem!

Although, my taste in fashion has dramatically changed over the years the need to “Dress to Impress and for Success” has continued to follow me in my young adult life. After going to a college (Hampton University-My “Home by the Sea!”) and joining Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., which one of our players Nikki Blue mentioned earlier this week :-) my love for fashion has grown immensely. Both students at Hampton and the members of Kappa Alpha Psi have a reputation of being well-dressed, which has caused me to continue to be at the top of my game when it comes to dressing.

Since I started working here this past October, my fashion sense has been recognized and at times challenged by some of my co-workers. We have some very fashionable people on staff here at the Mystics so keeping up has become a friendly competition; specifically between all the males, which are Vishnu, Greg, and I. As of right of right now I’m the undeniable champion, however in their defense both Vishnu and Greg have come close to out dressing me. Nevertheless, just as in sports when it comes to fashion being close is not enough to being the true victor :-) But they have plenty of time to catch up so I’m always on guard and ready!

So as the season gets closer and the Mystics staff is out at events whether it’s Cardigans, Bow-Ties, or an Ascot; I’ll be doing my best “Dressing for Success” as our players prepare for Success of a CHAMPIONSHIP!

Thursday, Jan. 24 - Greg Bibb talks video games, Chinese gongs and more.

Welcome back to my cubbyhole in cyberspace. It’s heading toward late January, it’s cold outside, and it may snow this weekend. The good news…the days are getting longer. Have you noticed?

Here’s what’s on my mind today, January 24, 2008…

Growing Up

Monday evening was a big night in the Bibb household as Adelyn enjoyed her first meal consisting of something more than mommy’s milk. Our little girl enjoyed a yummy milk and cereal dish, fed to her on a spoon. Tara and I were concerned about how she would take to the utensil, but Addy had no problem getting the food from the spoon to her tummy. Of course, this historic event was captured by both video and still photography and is available on our baby blog at www.thebibbs.blogspot.com.

Generation Last?

I have been able to establish a few new traditions with my in-laws since marrying Tara three and-a-half years ago. One of these involves playing video games with my brother-in-law Connor. Of course, he usually beats the tar out of me and in the past this has been ok, because I have been able to utilize the “age card.” You see, Connor is a 17-year old high school junior. This of course, is prime video game playing age. On the other hand, like many other things in life, age 34 qualifies as well past your prime for anything Xbox. Unfortunately, my standard excuse card was torn up and thrown in the trash this past weekend when Needa, my 87-year old grandmother in-law, beat me by eight pins in Wii bowling. I actually had her beat until the final few frames, when she just plain wore me down. On the bright side, I gave my daughter’s great-grandmother a ton of confidence heading into her upcoming senior center arm wresting competition. Go Needa.

Wizards Game

Thanks to all the prospective season ticket holders who joined us for the Mavericks-Wizards game at Verizon Center on Monday. A good time was had by all. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more (a lot more) of you this coming season. Remember, season tickets start at just $99!

The Gong Show

While we wait for our new Verizon Center office space to be constructed, we here at the Mystics have begun to gather the “amenities” that will be featured in our new space. Headlining this list of new arrivals is our authentic Chinese gong. This beautiful peace of sound instrumentation will be utilized as a sales tool. Simply stated, every time a Mystics sales associate completes a new season ticket sale, the gong will be hit. Trust me when I tell you it makes some noise. Please make sure to ask to see the gong when you visit our new office space for the first time this spring. If you’re lucky, we’ll let you take a swing.

Quote of the Week

“There are two types of pain in life…the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.”

Website of the Week

If you are a DC area parent, here’s a great resource site for you: DCUrbanMom.com provides plenty of info for all things parenting. There’s even an events calendar to make sure moms (and dads) don’t miss out on the next big area kids event. Check it out.

Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• The world is now waiting to see if Brett Favre will retire. My hunch is no as I can’t believe such a competitor would want his last pass to go into the history books as an interception.

• Speaking of football, I’ve been impressed with the Giants resiliency; however, the Patriots are a team of destiny and the Giants will not be able to stop New England from achieving the club’s perfect season.

• I had to go the Virginia DMV this past week to register our cars…interesting process and I’ll leave it at that.

• Nice feature story on University of Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese in Wednesday’s USA Today. The Iowa native has guided the Terps to the most wins in the country this year while carrying twins in her belly. Amazing.

• Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race and as Super Tuesday approaches I think you’ll see more candidates throw in the towel. This is quite a shame, because as my mom always says, the more cooks in the kitchen, the spicier the meal.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!