September 2008

Tuesday, September 30th - Nakia Sanford talks about her philanthropic work.

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you all have been keeping up with the WNBA playoffs. I just can’t take It (sad face). I am still adjusting to life without my teammates, and a schedule! Usually by this time of year I would be bugging my mom in Georgia, and getting ready to head over the ocean to Europe. Instead, I decided to take a little break. It was such a difficult season for me emotionally and physically, so had to pull back and try to find the RESET button….still searching. In the meantime, I started back lifting and cardio this week. Don’t tell Navin, I am supposed to take 6 full weeks off, but I can’t just sit here doing nothing. Gotta stay sexy!! I am not doing any Basketball so it’s not full out cheating, right? (making my sweet angel face)

This break from overseas has given me lots of time to focus more on my philanthropic work and I am just overwhelmed as I learn more about the needs in our community. I’m not from the area so I have been meeting with different organizations to learn more about what is going on in the DC grass roots community. I am happy to announce that The Betty Ann Robinson Foundation has partnered with the South East White House. It is a great non-profit that is doing great work in our community. We have already donated a webcam for our E-Connect program, which will allow the students to speak with and interview different players and people I know around the world. I am so excited to be getting my baby (this program) off the ground. Also we will be having a donations drive for a Sub program called The People’s House this Saturday, Oct. 4th, between 12pm and 3pm at The Brittany Condominium, 4500 S Four Mile Run Arlington, Va 22204.

I know its rough out there for everybody, but there is always someone worse off than you, so if you can, please come and support our efforts. Every little bit helps. For more information email your inquiries to info@thebarfoundation.com for a complete list of donation needs.

Well, that about does it for what I am up to. Just taking a break and wearing a different hat for a little while. I miss seeing, AND HEARING, all of you and hope you are all feeling blessed and doing well. There are so many things to feel down about these days, but here is your reminder to stay ever grateful for what we do have, and never dwell on what we don’t.

Love you guys,

GO MYSTICS .Oh and a special thank you to Susan Loftus, jeesh I finally got my vans!!!!

Yeah!!!

Kia

Monday, September 29th - Erin Mitchell dishes about Grey’s Anatomy, football and MystiKids.

Hey Mystics Fans!!!

It seems like with each blog entry I submit, I’m in disbelief at how fast time is flying by. It’s already the end of September and I can vividly remember writing my first blog back in June. Summer is over, crisp fall days are upon us and before you know it we’ll be preparing for the winter months – my FAVORITE time of year.

If I had to rank the seasons, fall would be my least favorite. I struggle with what to wear on a daily basis. A part of me is still holding on to summer attire, while another part is eager to start wearing my winter clothes. Being able to bundle up in sweaters, scarves, gloves and heavy coats always makes me feel good. I struggled last winter when living in Atlanta because it hardly ever went below 40 degrees!!! I’m glad to be back in an area that has distinct seasonal climate change. Another reason for my love of winter is my birthday! There’s still plenty of time between now and my big day (January 17th) but I’m ready to start planning and am already excited about celebrating. I’ll keep you all posted on the plans as they unfold.

One good thing about fall is the start of the network TV season. I went through Grey’s Anatomy withdrawal during the summer months and I was able to get my fix this past Thursday night. My friends and I call each other during the commercial breaks to recap and then do a complete analysis at the end of the show. We all have such a love/hate relationship with Meredith; think McSteamy is a jerk; feel sorry for McDreamy for having to deal with Meredith and love Christina’s sarcasm! Tracey and I were so disappointed when we saw that the next new episode isn’t coming on for another two weeks. Now we’re looking forward to Private Practice and Nip/Tuck (thanks for the heads-up Ms. Burton!) starting in the coming weeks.

Speaking of good TV – did any of you watch my Philadelphia Eagles beat up on the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago? I’ll admit, it wasn’t the greatest game to watch but the outcome is all that really matters, right? I won’t name any names, but the Mystics Chief Operating Officer is a huge Steelers fan and he had a hard time talking to me on the Monday after the game. Even though I’m in Redskins territory now, there is a pretty diverse football fan base in the office. This has made for interesting conversations on Monday mornings and what will turnout to be a fun-filled football season.

I’m looking forward to getting to know more season ticket holders during the off-season. I’ve already spoken to a few of you and will be reaching out to more of you in the coming weeks. I’m also excited to reconnect with our Mystikids! I hope you all are off to great school years and that you had a great time as members of the Kids Club. Make sure to tell your friends about the club for the 2009 season!

I guess that’s all for now. Happy 30th Birthday to Tara and “Fred”!

~Erin

Friday, September 26th - Eboni Tyler thanks the Mystics Season Ticket Holders.

Mystics Fans,

First, let me say “Thank You” for spending 18 games with us. You again have proven that you are the best fans in the WNBA. We really enjoy having you as fans as well as vital members of our organization. It was great getting a chance to speak with you at various events and at games at the Guest Services Booth. The passion that you bring to the arena is outstanding and in my eyes cannot be replaced. Our slogan for this season was BELIEVE and you truly have shown us that you not only BELIEVE, but that you are committed. You BELIEVED in us when the Playoffs began to slip away. And you continued to show up at every game and support the team in so many ways. The energy that you bring is out of this world, no other team’s fans can top it. It has truly been a pleasure to work with each and every one of you this season. Again thank you for being you.

***I LOVE MY MYSTICS SEASON TICKET HOLDERS***

In that same spirit, it is now Renewal time…CONTINUE TO LOCK IN YOUR 2008 PRICE TODAY! By now ladies and gentlemen you should have received, if not returned your renewal option for ‘09. We have three lovely payment options for you to lock in your 2008 price rate for the ‘09 season.

* Power Pay Payment dates after the first one in September:
October 15th
November 15th
January 15th
February 15th

* 50% Payment dates:
1st - 50% - NOW
2nd - 50% - February 15th

* Pay in Full
WHOOPIE! YOU PICKED A WINNER! YOU’RE 100%LOCKED IN….

In our office, we are working on renewing you the fans for our ‘09 season. My colleagues and I are working hard to make your Mystics experience a memorable one. And in these coming weeks we will be pushing harder then ever to get you back for next season. You will be receiving phone calls, emails and much more from your Account Reps. hoping to hear good news that you are renewing with us for ‘09. If you have already renewed with us THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOOOOOUUUU!!! And if you wish to renew after reading this blog, please be sure to contact me at 202-527-7518. I would really appreciate it.

Don’t miss out on an Exciting 2009 Season!!
Entertain Friends, Family, Clients and of course Yourself!!!
Mystics full season plans are currently on sale!
Refer a Friend…
Call me today...
- Eboni Tyler Guest Services Manager

Thursday, September 25th - Greg Bibb checks in.

On Monday we announced that Linda Hargrove had been relieved of her duties as General Manager. Linda served as the team’s GM for the past four seasons and has been a part of the organization for the last six, having also served as a scout and an assistant coach. Linda leaves the team with one of the organization’s longest tenures and her contributions to Mystics basketball will forever be a part of our history.

I think it is important for people to understand that while I truly believe change was needed at the top of our basketball organizational chart, this change was not due to a lack of effort or hard work on Linda’s part. In fact, I was immediately impressed by Linda’s work ethic, knowledge level, and passion for the Mystics upon my arrival here last October. Simply, no one cared more about the team and our pursuit of success than Linda Hargrove.

Unfortunately, in our business you are either moving forward, or you’re moving backward. There is no standing still. As we looked back on our recently completed 10-24 season and Linda’s tenure as a whole, the results just weren’t there. Make no mistake about it…we improved under Linda’s watch, going 60-76 during her 136 game tenure as General Manager. This record followed an 82-144 mark during the team’s first seven seasons.

Sixteen games under .500, however, just wasn’t good enough. We must do better than that. Moreover, it’s not just about where we have been, but also where we are going. Following an 18-16 record in 2006, the Mystics fell to 16-18 a year ago and then 10-24 this past season. We haven’t been moving in the right direction.

The recent past adds to what has been anything but a stellar history for our team. We are now 78 games under .500 as an organization during our 11-year history with just three seasons of playing .500 ball or better to our credit.

So now we rebuild. We hire good basketball people and let them do their job. Please recognize this process will take time. We will not look for a silver bullet. Our team is not a player away. Our team is broken and it will take time, patience and deliberate progress to fix.

What I can promise you is that you will see improvement. We will get better through the draft. We will get better by developing our players. We will have an identity as a team and build around that identity.

We have started the process of talking to candidates for our general manager and head coaching positions. Our interim head coach Jessie Kenlaw will be a candidate for our head coaching job as will a growing list of impressive individuals.

My hope is to have the core of our basketball operations staff in place by November for the start of the women’s collegiate season. We have done a nice job of stockpiling picks in the 2009 WNBA Draft. With five selections in that event, including two in the first round, it is important to have our talent evaluators in place for the entire college season.

So stay tuned. This promises to be one of the busier and more interesting off-seasons in Mystics history. Again, I thank you for your continued support and dedication. We want to be successful for a lot of reasons, no more so than the fact our great fans deserve it.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, September 24th - Dana Simonelli shares how she spent her summer.

Hey Mystics Nation,

My calendar reminder popped up courtesy of Ketsia that it’s my turn for the blog today! Well where do I begin?? The season on the court has been a rough one, but as you know business wise we have done a great job. The staff worked hard and grinded it out over the past year with attending various community events, hosting influencer events etc. Way to go Mystics Front Office!!!

I would like to take some time to recap my summer aside from my time working Mystics games. I was really able to enjoy the summer time in August as it was action packed. First I spent a weekend up in Somers Point, NJ with my childhood best friend Sandy. Her in-laws own a home there and we went to the beach and to dinner in Atlantic City and of course a stroll on the AC boardwalk! The weekend was fun as usual since Sandy and I are clowns when we are together. Let’s just say we have not loss the child inside of us!

Then the second weekend of August I took a trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. This was great as it was the first time seeing my uncle since he had left for Iraq in January 2007. We had great dinners and conversations. We went to the Titanic Exhibit which was not that great and I fell in love with their dog Marnie. She is such a lovable dog and can’t get enough of petting and kisses! Check out the picture to the right she happens to love her basketball too. It is her favorite toy.

Then of course there was the Season Ticket Holder event at Dave & Buster’s during the third weekend in August. It was great to see some of our fans play games and have a great time with the players. Thank you to all who came out and I hope you enjoyed the event.

Now on to Labor Day weekend. The start to the weekend was great as we had a Mystics game and it was our first annual Ladies Night. Ladies Night was a big success considering it was our first time holding the event. We had over 16 vendors and 200 attendees. Another bonus was that Sandy came down for the event and attended her first Mystics game. She was pretty impressed and enjoyed the experience. Sandy and I then headed to Philly where she lives for a small reunion barbeque with my Providence College teammates. I was welcomed by a house full of four dogs as my friend Mandy has two dogs and Jenn and Maura each have one. And these are no small dogs! Two are sheep dogs and two are golden retrievers. We played ladder ball which is really fun if you never played. I recommend that over horseshoes. After a fun evening with them I headed down to Somers Point, NJ again to finish out the weekend. I spent all day on the beach and then we had a great seafood dinner and topped off the night with a trip to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. This was my second time there and I think it is a cool spot even though I do not gamble.

As you can see the month of August was pretty packed. It was my only chance to get summer activities in since we were so busy with games during the other summer months. I always love getting to the beach since I grew up going practically everyday when I was young. It is so beautiful and serene and gives you time to reflect, relax and offers great people watching! Which reminds me of a funny website called OverheardAtTheBeach.com. Check it out, the site is pretty funny.

Well that is all for me. Thanks for stopping by my entry and I hoped you enjoyed it. I look forward to the 2009 season as we improve our team and organization.

Take Care,

Dana

Tuesday, September 23rd - Laurie Koehn gets ready for another season overseas.

Hello everyone! Greetings from small town Kansas! It amazes me every year when I come home and drive down roads that I used to think were so big (like a 4 lane interstate)! Living in Washington DC definitely changes my perspective on big roads and heavy traffic!

Its nice to have a chance to come home for a week or so (although of course I'd rather be playing in the playoffs). But my stay here in Kansas will be short as I'm heading to Turkey for the off season. I am totally excited about going back (I played there two years ago and had a great experience). The league is very competitive and high quality!

So I'm just trying to soak up some time with friends and family for now. I became a first time aunt in July, so I'm getting acquainted with my new nephew, Josh!

My least favorite part of being overseas (besides being so far away from family and friends) is missing college and NFL football on tv. So I'm making sure I enjoy as much football as I can before I head across the pond where rugby and soccer are the televised sports!

Well folks, that gives you an idea of what I've been up to...of course I didn't mention working out and making sure I'm ready to start another season, but I think that goes without saying! That's what we do...kind of like breathing.

I definitely miss all my teammates and all the awesome Mystics fans already!

Until next time, Laurie

Monday, September 22nd - Sheila Robinson congratulates the sales team.

Well sports fans, the Mystics season is officially over. This season was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, but through it all our sales team hit their goal. All in all, the Washington Mystics organization took care of business and we indeed made it to the play offs.

I personally want to thank our talented account executives & guest services manager for their part in the success of the Mystics organization. I applaud, Erin, Chris, Tim, Nicole J., Sarah, Megan, Maria and Eboni for their dedication to their jobs and love for the Mystics. Selling is not easy and it takes talented people to pull off the seemingly impossible…. mission accomplished.

Guest Services is not easy at all and it is the glue that holds everything together when it threatens to fall apart. Eboni, bless you for all the grief you endured with a smile.

I am looking forward to breaking more records in 2009!

Fans please join me in congratulating the Washington Mystics Front Office MVPs on a job well done!

Sheila R.

Friday, September 19th - Crystal Langhorne recaps her rookie year.

Hey Mystics fans,

Well my Rookie season is technically over. I have learned a lot this past year. I was lucky to have had some great teammates and to stay close to my College Park family. I wish we could have won more but I know that we are all going to work hard in the off-season. I went home after the Sneakerball on Tuesday. It was me, Kia, AB and M, we had fun. I love the fact that we got to wear sneakers with dresses.

On my way home to Jersey, I got a ticket. I did not even realize how fast I was going. I won’t tell you how fast but I have a big expensive ticket to show for it, which I am really bummed about.

I am getting ready for my trip to Lithuania. I bought slingbox and it will allow me to watch US television from anywhere around the world. I also bought The Secret Life of Bees and The Secret. I am getting excited about going overseas and getting better. Next time I write, I will be in Lithuania.

Lang

Thursday, September 18th - Greg Bibb checks in.

What can you say about 10-24? I would be lying if I said I was sorry that the 2008 season had come to an end. It was a long year. We struggled mightily and never found the consistency we needed to be a winning basketball team.

It’s hard to point a finger at just a couple of things and isolate those issues as the reasons why we lost far more than we won; however, there were a few areas in which we definitely need to improve if we hope to have a better 2009.

First and foremost…turnovers. We had the dubious distinction of ranking dead last in the WNBA in this category, averaging 18.7 giveaways per game. Quite simply, 19 turnovers a game and victories just don’t go together. The math simply doesn’t work.

While we turned the ball over, we were also challenged to produce assists. The Mystics ranked next to last in assists per game at just 14.2 dishes per contest. If you do the math, we averaged 4.5 more turnovers per game than assists…another formula that doesn’t jive with wins.

Finally, free throws….the easiest points in the game. Unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage of the freebies, ranking 14th in the WNBA in free throw percentage at 66%. We left a total of 224 points on the floor with missed free throws during the 2008 campaign. Granted, you’re not going to make them all, but just a few of those points could have made a difference in our win-loss record.

If you add these three issues together, you arrive at the macro problem we faced this season…scoring points. While defense may win championships, there is no arguing the most basic rule of the game…the team who scores the most, wins. Unfortunately, we didn’t score the most, most of the time. The Mystics ranked 14th and last in offense, posting 69.6 points per contest (see above for reasons why). Add that with the 76.5 points per contest we allowed and you have the recipe for a long season.

So, where do we go from here? First and foremost, tough decisions need to be made about personnel. This process has already started and will continue during the coming weeks. I can tell you one thing for certain. No one, and I mean no one, involved with this organization likes or accepts losing. While I know our fans were utterly disappointed with our season, everyone who works for this team feels the same way, or worse.

We asked you to believe, you did, and we let you down. I speak for everyone when I say we are sorry for this. You came out in numbers not seen at Verizon Center for years. You supported important causes such as the Sibley Hospital Auction. You stuck by us until the end. You held up your end of the bargain. Now it’s time we did the same.

We now have the opportunity over the next several weeks to watch others compete for a championship in playoffs they earned the right to participate in. We will spend this time, and the coming months, addressing our issues and fixing our problems. This I promise.

On behalf of the entire Mystics organization, thank you for your continued support and dedication. We have the best fans in the WNBA. We know this. It is what drives us to want to do better and to succeed. Not only for ourselves, but for you as well.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, September 17th - Sarah Novak shares her difficult week.

It happens in threes!

Somewhere between Verizon Center and my house in Arlington, the brakes on my car went out. As you can imagine, I was scared. Considering I just passed the state inspection a month ago, I was really surprised. I take 50 home and thank God I was getting home late last Monday night or this could have ended very tragically. Unfortunately, things really have not improved since then.

I found out this past Wednesday morning that one of my cousins once removed, Chris, had passed away. This was a shock to me because I had no idea that he was ill. My closest cousin in the world, Andrew, is taking this news very hard as they grew up together. Andrew was closest to him and when I lived in Pensacola working for the Icepilots, I also became close to Chris. Andrew went down for the funeral and had requested that I go to Wyoming for Thanksgiving instead of going back home. I am the closest thing he has to a sister and he is the closest thing I have to a brother. He is the youngest of three boys and I am an only child. He keeps me from being too bratty - most of the time!

And the third bad thing that has happened to me this past week happened Monday night. My only night this week where I had nothing to do but relax and catch up on some well deserved sleep after the game on Sunday night. Marty and I went to Pentagon City Mall to go shopping for a dress for me for a wedding (did not find a dress) and a dress for Marty for the Sneaker Ball (found an adorable dress). When we go out to her car, I realized that my new pink tote was gone. And that is when we realized that her car had been broken into. Needless to say a night of shopping and catching up on my DVR was out of the question. The cops came and questioned us and also fingerprinted the car and also Marty and myself. The cops said that the Pentagon Mall parking garage was getting hit a lot lately by a group of people. So if you are going to shop there put everything in the trunk or clean out your car before you go! I really think I have had my share of bad luck for quite some time now.

I also want to thank everyone for the great success off the court that we had this season. This being my first season in the WNBA, it was great to get that under my belt. I also want to thank my Season Ticket Holders for being so great to me!! Call me to renew!!

Sarah

Tuesday, September 16th - Jessie Kenlaw shares her thoughts on the season.

Now that the season is over, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout a very difficult and disappointing season.

The 10-24 record does not come close to reflecting how hard the players worked during the break to produce wins. Crystal Robinson and I worked very hard to imprint a permanent foundation which would propel them to reach their maximum potential in terms of work ethic and talent. They responded to the challenges in practice, but were not able to sustain it consistently enough during games to equate to wins. It breaks my heart for the players because I know how bad they wanted to win for themselves, for me, for you, and for Dr. Johnson and the organization.

Unfortunately, in our business, our level of success is determined by wins and losses, but in my opinion, the 13 young women I had the opportunity to coach for the final 12 games of the season are winners! They are winners because during trying times, they never quit trying. They preserved through a season of adversity and never missed a beat! They continued to work hard every day in practice, and they competed to the best of their abilities during games. They did not make excuses, they did not feel sorry for themselves, and they responded to my continuous nagging demands without question. (Thank You Ladies!)

Fans…..You are Incredible! You Rock! You Are Awesome! What more can I say? I had the wonderful opportunity of being treated to dinner by two die hard fans, Susan and Karen. We had dinner at Matchbox on H Street. I devoured a delicious portion of Halibut, and Susan selected a wonderful bottle of Oregon Red Wine which complimented our dinner to a T! As you heard, I love to eat, but what I enjoyed more than the food? THE COMPANY. I learned through Susan and Karen, the type of quality fans we have in DC. In addition, you are knowledgeable, considerate, passionate, and most important faithful!

I am going to leave you with my plea. Stay the course as you always have and continue to EXPECT GREAT! IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

Thanks again for your support.

God Bless,

Jessie

Friday, September 12th - Crystal Langhorne checks in.

I just started reading this book. Its about investing your money and its a little hard to read because its like a text and you have to remember definitions and theories. Its like college all over again, but I don't have to read a certain amount of chapters by a certain day. My friends got me the book because they wanted me to know some stuff when I would meet with my financial advisor and not just be totally clueless lol. I feel like its going to take me forever to read but I definitely think it will be worth it.

When I go overseas, I think I'm going to be doing a lot of reading. And its not just going to be mystery novels like I usually do. I think I'm going to read a lot on U.S. history and just different kinds of educational books. I figured I might as well get smarter while I'm gone for all those months.

I also bought some of my winter gear for Lithuania. The weather is extremely cold and I even bought a ski mask to cover my face. Other players told me people mostly wear sweats overseas, so that's mostly what I'm packing. Of course I'm going to pack some of my regular clothes because I'm sure once in a while people will get dressed up or at least I hope so.

--clang1jersey

Thursday, September 11th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Well, it’s finally here…the end of the 2008 season. In some ways, the start of training camp at Trinity University back in April seems like it was just yesterday. In others, it seems like years ago. Now just three games remain in the campaign. The Mystics have a date at Detroit tonight, a tilt in Connecticut on Saturday and our final home game for Fan Appreciation Day at Verizon Center on Sunday.

Sunday’s game will provide our organization with the opportunity to thank our fans for their continued dedication and support during a tough season. In conjunction with our partners at Aramark and Verizon Center, we’ll be offering $1 hot dogs all day long. Team pictures will be given to the first 10,000 fans through the door and perfect attendance t-shirts will be distributed to our season ticket holders.

Throughout the game we will be giving away prizes ranging from autographed Mystics gear to gas cards. There will also be drawings for complimentary Amtrak train trips and vacation packages at Innisbrook Resort, located outside of Tampa, FL.

From an entertainment perspective, we’ll have a special halftime performance from the Air Elite performance team and the return of the “Owner’s Box Boogie.” In addition, the popular quintet, Shades of Vision, will be back to perform the National Anthem and Magic 102.3 will be joining us to broadcast live from the Verizon Center concourse.

Finally, we’ll welcome a special guest to Sunday’s game as reigning NHL MVP and star Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin will join us. Alex will be hosting a ticketed meet-and-greet from 3-4pm in Dewar’s Club before catching the game, which tips at 4pm.

If you are interested in meeting Alex and grabbing an autograph, or just want to purchase tickets to the game, give us a call at 1-877-DCHOOP1. If you are a current Mystics season ticket holder, we have one final thank you, as additional tickets purchased for Sunday’s game are half price.

Despite our results in the win and loss columns, we hope you have enjoyed the 2008 season and you have found value in your purchase of Mystics tickets…whether you are an 11-year season ticket holder, or a one-time visitor to our corner of the world. As I have stated many times before, we are working hard to provide the best entertainment experience you can get for the money.

Thanks so much for your time, commitment and interest in the Washington Mystics.

Quote of the Week

“You never know your best, until you give your all.”

Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Please take a moment today to remember everyone who lost their life on this date in 2001.

• The political conventions are now over and we are in a sprint to Election Day. Please remember to get out and vote in November.

• Big Week 2 game in the NFL on Sunday night when my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cleveland to face the Browns. You can catch the game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

• After leading the pack for most of the 2007 season, the Tampa Bay Rays may be running out of gas. Boston may catch the upstarts for the American League East divisional crown, but Tampa will make the organization’s first playoff appearance later this Fall.

• How about a little love for East Carolina University football. ECU has recorded consecutives wins over Virginia Tech and West Virginia to open the season 2-0. The Pirates have also gone from unranked to #14 in the country.

• Thank you Mystics Fans. Again this season you have proven you really are the best fans in the WNBA.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, September 10th - Marty Lerner looks back on a productive season and looks forward to the future.

Hi Mystics Fans! We're rounding out the season and I want to thank all of you who have come to support our team --- that includes our passionate fans and our dedicated corporate partners. Here are some "corporate sponsorship memories" from this season to share with you:

Over $37,000 raised for Sullivan Center for Breast Health at Sibley Memorial Hospital

CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield donated $25,000 to Girls, Inc. for every three-pointer made by a Mystics player

Children's Health Fair in partnership with Turner Construction at Ft. Stanton Recreation Center -- over 150 children were in attendance to learn how to be fit and eat properly

More than 600 phones and accessories collected through the Verizon Wireless Hopeline Collection to assist families and domestic abuse cases in need

While we're looking back there is also much to look forward to, such as...

Fall - I love this time of year and Iˇ¦m excited that weˇ¦re back on the East Coast and can enjoy a day trip through the Shenandoah to see nature at its best.

2009 season - You heard it correctly. We're hoping to bring even more partners and exciting programs your way so please stay tuned!

NFL season - For those who don't know, I'm married to a die-hard Steelers fan ... you can usually figure out what mood he's in based on a W or L ...

It'll be a milestone with our ten year wedding anniversary this year and I can't imagine life without Big Al.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not include an Alexa update. It's official as my little girl has grown up and started Kindergarten. On her first day, it was a total role reversal. She woke up EARLY (a miracle since she reminds us constantly that she is not a morning person) and was dressed and ready well before me. There were no tears from her when I dropped her off at school. In fact, she admonished me not to cry; but I felt like I was clinging to my baby instead of the other way around. She has certainly enjoyed her first week and I'm so proud of her.

Tuesday, September 9th - Bernice Mosby shares her random thoughts!

I am sitting by the computer in Chicago thinking about what I should write . The past couple of weeks have been a struggle for us . We worked so hard during the break and our record doesnˇ¦t show it. On the other hand, our team has been going a little craz y . Today for example , before we left Washington, I saw Linda, our GM, in the training room using stem and the game ready on her knee. I thought to myself ˇ§ P oor Mrs. Linda, we have stressed this lady out so much this season that now she is in the training room getting treatment.ˇ¨ But you have to love Mrs . Linda she is a great person. Alana Beard and Tasha Humphrey are always getting on her about the jackets she wears, saying that they look like sheˇ¦s wearing a table cloth or a flower garden. Nakia is always telling them that they better stop before she gives them the pink slip and waives them . Now that wouldn't be too funny huh Tasha and Alana?! Besides the Mrs. Linda jokes, the whole team has been getting on Shay Murphy. Shay dances like Alana Beard and you know AB canˇ¦t dance. One of my favorites this year I must say has been MoM o. See if you don ' t know Monique Currie you would probably get offended by the things she says, but the Mo I know is so sweet I just wish she would show it more often. I know everyone has seen how she looks when she gets mad in a game, she gets this frown, but what you don ' t know is that her new name on the team is Mo S tank because it always seem like something stinks when you talk to MoM o. As for Kia , she's still asking 100 questions in practice and Andrea has the biggest booty I have ever seen on a basketball player. Crystal Smith is still trying to ack like a thug . The things she says is just out of this world. Crystal Langhorne is still in lala land or can I say space. MoM o called her a space cadet three days ago in practice and Tasha calls her mask, but in reality Crystal is just a nice sweet girl. Yesterday was Krystal Vaughnˇ¦s birthday. As for Nikki Blue , she's just in love, canˇ¦t say nothing bad about her, she is a child of God and I am too somedays. Laurie is still eating salad and stealing the fruit from the locker room on game days and taking it back to her house. Well folks thats about it !! We are just tying to finish strong and play for our respect and dignity and also to win. At the same time we are still the Mystics and still are going to have fun and be a team with weird individuals on it. Stay tuned next week for the conclusion of the mix between Making the band 4, F lavor of L ove, and Nancy Grace all put together. Yep, we need our own reality show.

Monday, September 8th - Nicole Jones shares her thoughts on the Washington Redskins.

The Olympics provided a break in the season for our Mystics. It allowed time for the team to gain some chemistry with the added pieces to the puzzle. I anxiously awaited the chance to see this team in action and still eagerly anticipate a playoff push. But just as Greg pointed out Thursday, it will be an uphill battle over these last 5 games. So it looks like this puzzle is still a work in progress.

One puzzle that Iˇ¦m disappointed with appeared to be in a million pieces for their season opener on Thursday night. Of course Iˇ¦m talking about the Mysticsˇ¦ brother team, the Washington Redskins. Fans anxiously waited to see all of the new acquisitions in action and it seems as though the Skins are still in training camp mode. The new offense was supposed to provide an opportunity for the playmakers to make plays but instead they rarely could get the ball in their hands. The Redskins head coach, Jim Zorn, seemed overwhelmed throughout the game. His poor clock management, coupled with what seemed to be a lack of preparation, is unacceptable to Redskins fans. Iˇ¦m willing to give the team a few more games to get things going but one has to ask; why didnˇ¦t the starters play more in the pre-season to learn the ins and outs of the offense? I understand not wanting to risk injury by leaving the starters in too long, needing to see who makes the second and third strings, and how they work out, but come on now. Hopefully those are just first game jitters but if not the Cowher rumors will start by Halloween.

However, Zorn isnˇ¦t alone in deserving criticism. His players failed to capitalize on game changing plays in the game. At least 4 would-be interceptions were dropped. Once again, Carlos Rodgers made great plays on the ball only to drop it. He had company with playing hot potato because Fred Smoot, who was abused by Plaxico Burress the entire night, also dropped the ball in the end zone. Not to be out done, LaRon Landry joined in on the ˇ§funˇ¨. Justin Tuck and company manhandled the Redskins offensive line from the first series throughout the game. Hopefully Clinton Portis can give them some pointers on how to protect their quarterback! London Fletcher can give the defensive backs a few pointers on how to tackle because Brandon Jacobs ran through them like rag dolls.

Outside of a few players, the Redskinsˇ¦ performance did little to inspire hope. Especially when you realize that this team is built to win now. Zorn will get another shot next week and he still has my support but he needs to recover quickly. Fans are tired of hearing the wrong ˇ§Pˇ¨ word; potential, we want production!

Of course the same can be said about our Mystics. And as this season comes to a close, donˇ¦t forget about our last home game on Sunday. Weˇ¦re planning on Fan Appreciation Day to be a BIG blowout, so donˇ¦t miss it! I canˇ¦t say it enough that we sincerely appreciate all the support youˇ¦ve shown to the organization. Things havenˇ¦t always been pretty and you continue to show your dedication. Thanks for all the memories this season! Special thanks to Diamond! Things arenˇ¦t the same without you Herb! Miss you!

Friday, September 5th - Tasha Humphrey checks in.

Hello again from the Nation's Capital,

I am finally glad that the Olympic hiatus is over so we can start playing again. We've played three games and even though they haven't turned out the way we may have wanted, we've shown tremendous improvement as a basketball team. We are still fighting for a playoff spot but we have a lot of work to do.

Through the trade, I've grown a lot as a player and as a person. It has taught me the difference of being a professional athlete as opposed to an amateur. Getting used to a new organization, new staff, and new teammates has been an adjustment but the people here in the Mystics organization have made it a lot easier by welcoming Shay and I with open arms.

I am excited about what the future holds for our organization and I think we have the chance to be very successful in the future. We know it's going to take a lot of work and support but we are more than confident in our abilities.

Wish us luck...

Tasha

Thursday, September 4th - Greg Bibb checks in.

We head into the next to last weekend of the 2008 season with five games remaining on our schedule. We’ll host Detroit on Saturday before hitting the road for three games next week. The team will play at Chicago (September 9), at Detroit (September 11) and at Connecticut (September 13) before concluding the campaign with a home date vs. Minnesota on Fan Appreciation Day, September 14.

I was hopeful coming off the Olympic break that we would find a rhythm, close the two-game gap on Indiana and make a run at the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. That simply has not happened. Following three straight defeats, our record is now 10-19 and we trail the fourth place Fever by four games with five games to play. Indiana also owns the tiebreaker against us, having won the season series, two games to one.

This puts us in a tough spot to-say-the least. One more Mystics loss or one more Indiana win and our hopes for a playoff berth are officially extinguished. Moreover, Chicago has been one of the hottest teams in the WNBA since the break and has now leapfrogged us into fifth place. While mathematically still alive, the mountain we have seemingly been climbing all season may have just become too much of an uphill battle to overcome.

We will, however, play hard for these last five games. This I’m certain. If there is one thing I have learned about Jessie Kenlaw during her time at our helm, it is she will not settle for anything less than 100% from her players. You can see this in practice and, despite not getting the wins we had wanted, you can see this in the games.

Stranger things in sports have happened than what is required for us to qualify for the playoffs and until there isn’t a true chance of playing in the post-season we will compete. We will work at getting better. We will try to put together that all-elusive “complete game” that we haven’t been able to produce too often this season.

I have seen flashes of what this team could be, and will be in the future. Our first half against Indiana on Tuesday was very good. We scored 45 points, we out-rebounded the Fever, 2-1, and we dictated the pace of play. Unfortunately, much like many other times this season, we weren’t able to sustain the effort for 40 minutes.

I credit coach Kenlaw for trying a variety of line-ups, offensive sets, and defensive schemes in attempt to find the right formula for winning. She has given every player on the roster the opportunity to show why she deserves minutes. Her work, along with assistant coach Crystal Robinson, has been admirable over the past seven weeks. I think both ladies have earned the respect of those in the Mystics locker room and front office.

So we play the final five games of the 2008 with much purpose, more to prove, and many questions to be answered. Can we continue to get better? Can we play a complete game? Who is going to step up and show they deserve to be a big part of this team for the remainder of 2008 as well as the future?

It has been a challenging year. It has been a disappointing year. The 13 ladies in the Mystics locker room are still working hard and competing. They haven’t given up. They won’t stop working until the buzzer sounds on September 14. This I know.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, September 3rd - Tim Gallant is the newest member of the Mystics organization to join the blogging circle.

Hello Mystics fans,

Resident Newbie here ready to tell you about my first couple weeks working for the Mystics. Despite what they may tell you in the high priced colleges across the country, they are not preparing you for the real world. Instead, they are prolonging your inevitable step to the bottom of the food chain with study sessions and flag football. Fear not however! All is not lost, and whether by divine intervention or pure luck, we all seem to enter the work-force riding a steep learning curve but we somehow land on our feet. I have come to one sensational conclusion in my first few weeks here at the Mystics: that I know absolutely nothing. All those astronomy exams, scuba certifications, and PowerPoint presentations are doing me little good.

Thankfully, the Mystics are comprised of an outstanding group of workers who have helped me in every way possible. Forget that I ask some of the most basic questions, or that I am relatively new to the office environment, the whole staff has been nothing but helpful from Greg Bibb, to Chris Waldmann and everyone in between. I sometimes think that when my eyes glaze over in confusion, and I will never be able to grasp certain concepts in one day, those faithful co-workers are there to smack me back to reality and help me along the way.

I suppose that if I had pages to fill, I could write about the inner-workings of a WNBA franchise, but work is calling and though it doesn’t quite know my name yet, I am sure we will become best friends.

Until next time: Resident Newbie signing off!

Tuesday, September 2nd - Linda Hargrove checks in.

Hey All ...

I can’t believe it is September. The summer has really just zoomed by. I don’t know if as we get older time seems to speed up or what, but each year the season seems to move by at breakneck speed. Soon a very disappointing year will be complete for the Mystics and we can reflect and second guess some of the decisions that were made but the bottom line are that we move on and continue to try to improve the franchise. I believe that we have a strong core group of players and some promising young players that will help the Mystics as we move forward. There is no doubt we have some deficiencies and we will continue to try to get better in those areas.

Nikki Blue should be back tonight. It has been really tough for Jessie and Crystal as they try to put a winning product on the court. They have missed their starting point guard the past two games. In fact Nikki has missed a total of 8 games this year due to a recurring ankle sprain. I hope that she will be able to finish the season strong. A consistent presence at the point would go a long way in improving our overall consistency as a team.

Regardless of what our win-loss record ends up since Jessie and Crystal has taken over, I have just been so impressed by the intensity of our practices and the way the players have responded to the added discipline and accountability. I do not believe that any team in the league worked harder than our group did during the break. They have been so committed to doing everything possible to represent the franchise in a positive way.

Some observations from China:

  • Many babies don’t wear diapers and I’m really puzzled about how that might work out
  • No helmets for anyone on the bicycles
  • Hundreds of bikes are just parked, not locked up, at a venue. How do you know which one is yours when you get ready to leave?
  • No car seats in the cars, kids set in the front seat on laps.
  • No working seat belts in the back seat of the taxi
  • Pedestrians never have the right of way, I doubt cars could function without the horns.
  • Beijing is a beautiful city with unbelievable modern architecture
  • The Great Wall is a lesson in perseverance
  • Peaches in China are unbelievably good

    I could go on and on but I won’t.

    See you in a gym ...

    Linda

    Monday, September 1st - Labor Day (Holiday)