November 2009

Monday, November 30th - Rebecca Hunt recaps her thanksgiving weekend. [permalink]

Hi Mystics fans!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It was nice to be at home, catching up with family and friends. My husband and I are lucky that we are from the same home town but this does mean we eat a double Thanksgiving meal and participate in two of everything! We were lucky enough to decorate two Christmas trees, two houses, outdoor lights, gift wrapping, shopping, the works! I am proud to say that my parents’ house is and has always been one of the tackiest in town; we love outdoor colored lights and always come up with creative ideas. Some years we have been known to put a huge plastic Santa in a canoe and set him in the front yard with spotlights. This year we scaled back a little and settled for spotlighting a life size wooden nut cracker outside our front door. I love the holidays and really look forward to this time of year so as we sat in traffic last night I was happily singing along to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, one of her best!

In addition to eating and decorating over the weekend, I made the trip to Williamsburg to watch my alma mater, William & Mary defeat Weber State 38-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division I AA, football playoffs. With the win, W&M advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth time in school history and will play at Southern Illinois next Saturday at noon. Go Tribe!

I really had football on my mind so before watching the W&M game I headed to the movies to see "The Blind Side". I thought this was a great movie! It is the true story about a homeless football player, Michael Oher, who is taken in by a family and goes on to become a great football player and is drafted 23rd in the 2009 NFL draft to the Baltimore Ravens. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw star in this movie. I love Tim McGraw and wish he had been able to wear his cowboy hat in this movie!

It seems as though I am never at home and always on the road, this weekend I am heading to Charlottesville to celebrate my nephew’s 3rd birthday. I am excited because we got him a pair of cowboy boots and matching hat & belt buckle. Yeehaw.

Everyone have a great week and finally, remember to keep up with your favorite Mystics players overseas, check-out our facebook page for updates and become our follower on twitter @ WashMystics.

Friday, November 27th - Ketsia Colimon recaps her Thanksgiving activities. [permalink]

Hey Mystics fans,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know I did. In addition to giving thanks for all of the great things in my life, yesterday was a chance for me to indulge myself with great food. Last week, the Today show had a debate as to what is more important on Thanksgiving, turkey or sides. As a mac and cheese fanatic, I can't imagine any major holiday without mac and cheese...and ham. I KNOW ham is not a side but I love ham. Maybe one day i will tell you all about temper tantrum I threw because there wasn't ham at a holiday gathering.

I don't know if any of you participated in any Black Friday shopping but I participated in the Target extravaganza this morning. I couldn't help it. I just love Target. Sometimes I have to talk myself out of going there. I used to judge the black friday shoppers, now i join them. Well, only Target so I don't know if it really counts.

Lastly, I wanted to pass along my sympathies to the Washington Sports family as they say goodbye to Mr. Pollin.

(To the left is a photo of Sam, the cutest almost 2 year old around. He was all dressed up on his way to school. Cant wait to see him soon!!)

Thursday, November 26th - Greg Bibb checks in on Thanksgiving day. [permalink]

Happy Turkey Day! I hope you are reading this blog amongst family and friends on this holiday Thursday. I’m happy to be back from my two-week hiatus and eager to share some memories from my family’s adventures in Florida.

My family always spends our breaks in Siesta Key, Florida and this vacation was no exception. We had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful beaches, warm weather and sunny days. We did, however, make one change to the typical itinerary as we took two days in the middle of the trip and headed to Disney World.

We had been preparing Adelyn for this special adventure for a couple of weeks prior to leaving. We accomplished this by introducing her to Mickey Mouse and friends through books and DVDs, so she was quite excited to meet “her friends” in person for the first time. It had been almost 20 years since my last visit to the happiest place on earth, so it was an adventure for me as well. I must say, I was blown away by how much the place had grown in the last two decades.

While it was just Tara, Adelyn and I in Siesta Key, Tara’s mom, Jeannie (aka Nanna J. to the little one), met us in Orlando. We arrived on Friday night and checked into Animal Kingdom where we were staying. After taking some time to check out the animals roaming the grounds, we began preparing for dinner. Unfortunately, Tara and I never made it there as we ended up visiting the local emergency room as child #2 currently residing in mommy’s belly seemed to be excited about Disney as well. In short, Tara started experiencing frequent and sharp contractions that made both of us quite nervous.

Long story short, after a five-hour visit to the hospital, Tara was given some medicine and told to stay off her feet for the weekend. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but we were scheduled to tackle the Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Fortunately, the fine folks at Disney think of everything and we were able to rent a motorized scooter for Tara. The electric-powered wheels, along with a big assist from Nana J., made the day a success. I also must note: my wife was the best looking, scooter-riding, woman I saw in the park that day! Of course we had some fun at her expense, but in all honesty, the scooter was a life-saver.

We covered a lot of ground during our visit…Dumbo, Small World, Donald Duck, Mickey and Minnie, countless shows, the parade and an hour-nap for Adelyn. We had a blast, Tara stayed off her feet and Adelyn was beside herself with what was going on around her.

Of a day full of highlights, I think the biggest was when Addy met Mickey and Minnie. She kept her word and gave both mice a big hug and a kiss, did a little dance of joy and smiled from ear to ear for the “official” picture. I have really enjoyed Disney on previous trips, but seeing my daughter in pure joy mode made it the best trip to the land of the mouse yet.

On Sunday we said goodbye to Nana J. and headed back to Siesta Key for a few more days of fun in the sun, sand and pool. I even had the chance to see an old high school friend and her parents who now reside in Ft. Myers, FL. All in all, the trip was a blast, full of memories that I will not soon forget.

I’m excited to be back now, focused on the continued growth of our business and basketball team. Enjoy the holiday and make sure to get some sleep if you are one of those “shopping warriors” headed to the stores in the early morning hours tomorrow!

Quote of the Week

“If you want something different, do something different. Without change, progress is impossible.”

Five Reasons I’m Thankful On This Thanksgiving

• A beautiful wife who doubles as a wonderful mommy.
• A happy and healthy two-year old daughter.
• Terrific family.
• Good friends.
• Awesome co-workers committed to making our organization better.

Until next time,
Go Mystics!

Wednesday, November 25th - Sheila Robinson gives the run-down of public transportation. [permalink]

Let's talk about public transportation..I am a fan because most of the time it's convenient, fast and no hastle. But there are the times when you ask yourself "why didn't I drive?" People, if you have to take the bus or train (I do both) there a few common courtesies I ask of you, and they are:

1. If you have a large bag and you are standing, please take it off your shoulders becasue you can hit someone in their head (or eye as it was in my case).

2. For the drinkers: take the next day off if you had too much the night before, trust me, everyone on the bus/train can smell you; liquor comes out of your pores. If you can't take the day off, take two showers, swallow listerine or something; wash your face a few times; spray yourself with Lysol, anything that will get rid of the brewery smell.

3. When you cough or sneeze, COVER YOUR MOUTH! Why should I endure the possibility that you might have a cold (or worse) and now I might get it; not to mention, it's rude. If I sprayed Lysol everyone would say I was wrong, but let me say, I am close to doing it. I carry a purse size with me. Oh, and please if you use your hand to cover your nose or mouth when you please don't use that same hand to hold on to the bar, put it in your pocket and hold on with the other hand.

4. Yawning..simple, cover your mouth, I am not a dentist so why do I have to see the inside of your mouth.

5. You know you only paid for one seat, so move your bags so someone esle can sit. Trust me, I don't really want to sit next to you, but if I am tired I want to sit down.

6. Bathe before getting on public transportation. Believe me, soap is your friend. At 7:30am in the morning, the last thing I want to smell is someone's (you know the rest).

7. When on your cell phone, use your inside voice. There is no reason for everyone to hear about your cheating mate, or your "baby daddy".

Honestly, public transportation is not always like this, but last week, this was my reality...

Happy Thanksgiving Mystics Fans!

Sheila Robinson

Tuesday, November 24th - Angela Taylor has much to be thankful for... [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans,

I have to admit that the last two weekends have been a great illustration of the very poignant quote, "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." A couple of Saturdays ago, Stanford football fans from around the world celebrated an historic victory over the USC Trojans that many felt was a rather improbable feat (the thrill). Unfortunately, that inspirational victory was followed by a rather painful defeat at the hands of our arch nemesis, the UC Berkeley Golden Bears. While Big Game always inspires the "unexpected", I along with many other fellow Stanford supporters felt the complete opposite emotions than we had observed just days before (the agony) as our last drive ended only inches short of the endzone when a Cal defender intercepted what looked to be a sure touchdown toss.

To add insult to injury, my mother & I trudged over to Cal's campus on Sunday afternoon to catch the Golden Bears women's hoops team against Britney Griner and the Baylor Bears. Although it was painful to hear their fight song (over & over & over again) and to be surrounded by hordes of folks decked out in blue & gold, I must admit that I was pretty excited to catch our latest women's basketball phenom (Griner) in person. After a rather slow start, she showed why many people are extremely excited to watch her career progress. She is a very talented young lady who will have a huge impact on women's basketball for years to come.

For those of you who may be skeptical of her talent, this prediction was solidified when, during our walk back to the car (parking in Berkeley is always a challenge), my mother gave a rather detailed & precise assessment of Griner's future potential. She thinks she will be a special player, especially "when she adjusts to the physical nature" of the college game. Enough said. I leave the analysis to the expert in my family, lol!!!

To "rinse" off anything & everything Cal, I made a point of spending a considerable amount of my Monday on Stanford's campus (meeting friends & teammates for breakfast at my favorite breakfast spot Hobees). In fact, as I sit here writing this blog, I am watching a frisbee football game between graduate engineering students to my right as I look toward Palm Drive into downtown Palo Alto and a photo shoot from a wedding to my left as I see the foothills in the background behind Memorial Church & the Stanford Quad. What a scenic view from what I consider to be the most beautiful college campus in America.

For whatever reason (probably the fact that my time was consumed with practices & classes), I didn't spend much time here in the Stanford Oval while an undergrad student, but sometimes when we stop for a moment to put things in perspective we can actually allow ourselves to appreciate our surroundings.

It's times like these that you are reminded that we all should take a few moments each & every day to be thankful & grateful for the many blessings in our lives. So as we prepare for Thursday's Thanksgiving feast (one that I definitely will NOT be cooking), I want to share some of the many things that I am so thankful for (the list could go on & on, but here are the lucky 7):

1. First and foremost, I am thankful for my wonderful family and those friends who I consider my extended family. Thanks for bringing a smile to my day. Every other year, we spend Thanksgiving at my brother's place out in California (since the holiday is nicely nestled between the Big Game & Stanford vs. Notre Dame game), so I am thankful that we all will be able to spend the holiday together as a family again.

2. Thanks to the Mystics organization for giving me the chance to be part of something very special. It is such a joy to work for this ownership group, to learn from one of the best executives in the WNBA in Greg Bibb, to feel the excitement in the office from the Mystics staff, and to work alongside our dedicated & passionate basketball ops staff.

3. Thanks to WNBA fans around the globe (but more specifically here in the DC area). You are the foundation of this league & through your support of the league over the last several years, I have been given the opportunity to do what I love.

4. Thanks to the wonderful fans in Sacramento for supporting the Monarchs. Arco Arena was definitely a great place to watch a WNBA game & I know that the players (from the Monarchs & the opposing teams) appreciated your support for our league.

5. Thanks to FSN for broadcasting Sunday's Cal vs. Baylor game because just as I stepped out around the 4-minute mark to use the restroom, Britney Griner tried to get her first official dunk in college. As I was washing my hands, I heard a thunderous roar from the crowd & raced out to catch the replay on the monitor. Further evidence that this just wasn't my lucky week.

6. Thanks to the men & women in the military who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis so that we can be safe & secure here at home. I can do what I do because they are brave enough to do what they do for this country.

7. And finally, in response to Coach Plank's blog last week, NO would be the answer to question #10. I'm lucky that my mother is a wonderful cook & quietly thankful that my brothers relentlessly beg my mother to not let me in the kitchen (therefore I can spend time watching football all day)!! Although if I do say so myself, I do make a mean Mac & cheese dish and a very tasty banana pudding. The real question is, will Coach Plank's family allow her to make her famous quesadillas on Thanksgiving????

To all the Mystics fans out there, I hope you & your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thank you all for blessing our organization with your tireless support!

Go Mystics,
Angela

Monday, November 23rd - Sarah Novak shares her Thanksgiving traditions. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans,

As you all know by now my family is large and I love the holidays. This Thanksgiving we will be celebrating at my Aunt Fannie’s house. It has always been this way for as long as I can remember. My family does not have the traditional Thanksgiving feast. We have wedding soup, caesar salad and macs (pasta); I know that it sounds a little weird but hey we are Italian and that is how we do it. We do have some of the traditional meals like green bean casserole, ham, and pumpkin pie but for the most part we have non-traditional foods for our only "on time" holiday meal of the year. We have a running joke in our family that "Hipsley" time is about 2 hours past the actual meal time, but because Thanksgiving falls on my Aunt Penny’s birthday she demands that we all eat at the slated 3:00 p.m. time frame. I am so thankful for my family that loves me and that we will all be able to spend time together.

I would also like to congratulate my cousin Anthony who just finished wrapping a small role on Desperate Housewives. I will pass on dates as soon as he hears from his people. He has been out in LA for the past three years going to school and also acting in various independent films. He was also the face of Puma for the fall 2008 campaigns. We are so proud of him. He is the other 1% of my family that does not live in Ohio.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Sarah

Friday, November 20th - Rob Hur introduces himself to the Mystics fans. [permalink]

Hello Mystics corporate sponsors, partners…and fans,

The greeting presumes we’re all Mystics fans. Regardless of whether you’re invested emotionally, through your hard earned dollars OR you’re the head of a marketing organization which has chosen to partner with our franchise, we’re all fans…and for that we’re very appreciative!!

While our season and group ticketing staff is tirelessly working to retain and/or win your support, our corporate sponsorship team is equally committed to the task of earning your business by building upon a tremendous 2009 wave of momentum. Inspired by our executive leadership and a staff of talented and dedicated individuals, those committed folks introduced 13 new 2009 partners to the value of doing business with the Mystics. Think about it, no other sports team in Washington can offer quite the perfect storm that we can – Our fan base is largely women and families which for many is a marketers dream. Our corporate packaging opportunities are highly affordable. Our world class women’s athletes are enthusiastic and accessible to our partners. Our team is leading its league in attendance averaging over 11,000 on a nightly basis. We have a young and talented nucleus of players including two stars with local collegiate ties (U of MD). We play in a world-class venue in downtown Washington. Our organization and players demonstrate a year-round commitment to the community. We have virtually anything a corporate sponsor would want in a marketing platform. And our commitment is to always over-deliver wherever possible. What’s not to love!!

In my short time on board I have been struck by the enthusiasm, dedication and team philosophy that permeates throughout the franchise. There is a genuine belief…check that, a conviction that we’ve got something special to offer our fans, corporate partners and the community at large. Just as this is the time of year where individuals are thinking about their 2010 ticket commitments, so too are businesses. I realize many of the area’s corporate leaders and influencers are developing marketing plans and strategies for the coming year. I also recognize the challenges many industries face in this tough economy. It is because of and not in spite of that I invite you to engage and examine how we can help your business. Being selective and careful in how you invest your marketing dollars has never been more critical. We know sports marketing fundamentally outperforms traditional marketing…the research proves it. But the sports team’s business model better reach and impact your target customer. Fortunately for us, we clearly stand apart from the rest so there’s little room for ambiguity. Look – We’re not for everyone…and I’m just barely smart enough to know that. But for many, whereby our abilities and characteristics align with the consumers and objectives that drive your products and services, we can’t possibly talk soon enough!

In the days/weeks ahead I look forward to meeting many of you for the first time and to renewing past relationships with those I already know. In doing so, I trust we will both find the potential opportunities to be both enlightening and hopefully fruitful. As the new guy on board, I can only humbly convey how happy I am to be here. This time of year seems to further accentuate those blessings. To all of you, here’s to a happy/healthy holiday season and New Year. Oh, and don’t forget to save your leftover turkey…sometimes those next day sandwiches are even better than the meal :)

Go Mystics!!
Rob

Thursday, November 19th - Tim Gallant looks forward to his camping trip and the Thanksgiving holiday. [permalink]

Good Day Mystics Fans,

I hope everyone has been having a splendid fall and is now ready for the holiday madness. While it seems that I say this every year, I believe that this year especially, Thanksgiving seems almost an after thought with all the holiday shopping specials and festive décor in the shop windows. Not that it is a bad thing, but let us give T-day a chance shall we?

This weekend I am thrilled by the prospect of going to Old Rag Mountain for a camping trip. Now for those of you who don’t know me personally, I can not say that I am by any means Bear Grylls, (Star of the show Man vs. Wild), but I do love to get out there away from it all on occasion and live the rugged life. There is something about carrying knives, fishing, setting up tents and preparing fires that is instinctively cool to every guy. Throw in some good company and warm conversation under the stars and you have a recipe for success. If you can’t tell, I am excited.

It is after this, that I will head for Massachusetts with the Gallant family to visit relatives in Westford for Thanksgiving. I would have to say that although Christmas is my favorite holiday, T-day is a close, close second. I love it all. The food, the football, the family. In years past, I have actually stayed in my pajamas until dinner time to allow for maximum comfort while my mom slaves away downstairs. My drink of choice for this day is IBC’s Root Beer, and has been that way for 15+ years. But this year will be a bit different, which will actually be refreshing. In the morning, we are going to tailgate, (in the high school sense, Dunkin Donuts and coffee; not the college sense), for the Westford football game which my not so little cousin is playing in this year. I know Joe will do great and I am excited to see them take the W.

After Thanksgiving, on that Saturday is my Aunt Susan’s 50th Birthday, and we are all happy to be able to spend the day up there and celebrate with her. Overall, it should be a great couple of weeks and there is nothing like ringing in the holiday season with family and friends. And if you hear about 6 or 7 donks who got chased by a bear over the weekend, try not to shake your head in disappointment.

That’s all for now,
Tim

Wednesday, November 18th - Eboni Tyler talks about 30 Prizes in 30 Days. [permalink]

Mystics Fans,

With the Thanksgiving Holiday approaching, we are spending our time carving out great ideas for next season. Fresh ideas are pouring in from all departments here in the Mystics Office. We want to make sure that you know that we are all in and we want you to be as well. Renewal 2010… It is all about 30 PRIZES IN 30 DAYS! YES, you heard me right we are giving out a prize everyday. Big ticket items have already been given away and even BIGGER items are yet to come. Check out some of the prizes that are still up for grabs here. For all of you that already locked in for 2010, and those that renew today or during the designated 30-day span through November and December, you will be entered into a daily drawing for one of those awesome prizes. The quicker we can lock you in for 2010, the better your chances to win one of the remaining prizes!

I can’t say it enough we want YOU back for 2010 as we make our way to the championship stage. You have got to admit that we have the talent here; all that is missing is you. And if you have already renewed Thank You! We need you to lock in for 2010.This season showed that we have improved on a lot of the areas that a lot of you said that we were lacking. I am telling you this was Awesome so you know what next season is looking to be BIGGER and BETTER. You feel it! I feel it! With that in mind there are still some great ways to lock in for 2010. If you wanted to stretch out your payments over a 4 month period you still have time. Your payments will be taken as follows: today and your next payment will be January 15th, February 15th, and March 15th. We also still have 50% today with the 2nd 50% due on March 15th. And of course 100% Paid in Full is always available. We want you back.

At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, our thoughts turn to you with warm appreciation. Your confidence and loyalty are deeply cherished. I extend best wishes to you for health and happiness this Thanksgiving Day. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your Mystics Account.. And don’t forget to checkout our 30 PRIZES IN 30 DAYS!

Gobble Gobble!

GO MYSTICS!

Don’t miss out on an Exciting Season!!
Entertain Friends, Family, Clients and of course Yourself!!!
Mystics full season plans are currently on sale!

Call me today...
- Eboni Tyler

Tuesday, November 17th - Coach Julie Plank checks in. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans!

It is that time of year again…the beginning of college basketball! For all of us WNBA coaches, the evaluation time has begun! Now is when we will be tuned into our televisions every night, to watch all the top collegiate players across the country. We will spend a lot of time gathering statistics, articles, highlights, and background information on these players. The other way to get to know them is by watching their practices. You are able to see how they interact with their teammates, how hard they work, what skills they possess, & what intangibles they bring to the table. Practices allow us to see how well they listen, and how they take feedback from their coaches. All of these things are important to the evaluation process. It is not just about their skills, but how they can interact with others, and what they can bring to a "team".

After evaluating the 2009 season, we will be looking hard to impact our roster in a couple of areas. First of all, we will try to get bigger. With only 2 players over 6’3, that will be a priority! There are some quality big players in this class lead by Jane Appel (Stanford) and Tina Charles (Conn). Others to watch would be: Robinson (GA), Monroe (Florida St), Harris (Xavier), DeHaan (MSU), Smith (Illinois), and a few others. The other need would be to evaluate our back-up point guard situation. While we are hoping that all of our players improve, we have to find a way to give Lindsey Harding more of a rest. The top point guards in this senior class are: Riley (Okla St), Houts (GA), Gray-Lawson (Cal), & Prince (overseas). With the #7 pick in the draft, we hope to cover these needs of our team.

As most of you noticed in the WNBA finals, there is a tremendous value in having veterans & experience on your team. Many of those players have played (& won) at the highest level. This is where the free agent market comes into play. We will be looking to add more players with playoff experience, and a "championship mentality". They understand firsthand what it takes, and can share their experiences with our young & extremely talented nucleus. With Minnesota and Sacramento securing the #1 and #2 picks in the 2010 draft, we will speculate what their rosters may look like, and see who might be expendable? While talent and ability are important, it is also necessary to have quality people who compliment our current roster. There is so much that goes into "putting the puzzle together".

That chemistry can take us a long way in achieving our ultimate goal…winning a WNBA championship in DC!!!

That’s all for now…I will leave you with my Top 10 Questions of the Week:

1. Can anyone beat the Connecticut women?
2. How will Maryland’s incoming frosh impact the Terps season?
3. How many goals will Alex Ovechkin score in his first game back?
4. Will the Wizards & company be able to handle LeBron & Shaq?
5. Does winning ever get old for the BCS bound Ohio State football team?
6. Which Mystics player will win the 2010 Most Improved Award?
7. Will the Lynx be in the Eastern or Western Conference in 2010?
8. Will the Basket Cases continue to write awesome blogs?
9. Who will be the Final Four women’s teams in San Antonio?
10. Will Angela be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year?

Talk to you soon,
Coach Plank

Monday, November 16th - Nicole Jones had an eventful October. Read all about it. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans,

Can you believe that it’s the middle of November already? This past month has actually been pretty busy for me. I hope that you’re sitting down, because I’m sure my recount of events will blow you away.

For starters, I was so excited for the first weekend in October. Maxwell is one of my favorite R&B artists and he was the headliner for the concert that weekend. My boyfriend and I had a double date and a GREAT time with our friends at the concert. That was by far the best concert that we have gone to in a while – from top to bottom. I’m sure that everyone who was lucky enough to join us would agree.

Next on the lineup was a weekend getaway with my boyfriend. He had told me about our secret excursion a few weeks beforehand. But with little details, I was curious for what was in store. I had no clue where we were going or what we were doing. All I was told was to “pack a bag”. This instruction just made me anxious. I asked him every day to tell me where we were headed. To my surprise, he actually managed to keep the destination confidential. On the road, I finally realized that we were going to Philly. Upon our arrival, I still didn’t know why we were there; Temple’s Homecoming wasn’t for another two weeks.

As I started to get ready for our dinner reservations, I noticed how weird he was acting. He just seemed nervous and unlike his usual playful self. After I finally got myself together and was ready to walk out the door, he tells me to come sit and look at something on the computer. In my mind, I’m saying “OK. Can’t this wait? I’m hungry. I still don’t know why we’re here. But ok.” So I sit and he’s put together this wonderful Power Point presentation explaining why we’re here, how much he loves me, what he has planned for the weekend and so forth. At the end of the slide show was a slide that said to come get my gift. What gift you ask? Well, it was around the time of our dating anniversary, but he’s never done anything this extravagant and out of state before. (So of course I’ve been suspicious this whole time, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. Ladies, you know what I mean.) As it turns out, the present is a beautiful, silver bracelet watch. I say thank you, but still manage to show my confusion.

He tells me that he wants to do it again, but record it on his new camera for some reason. I go along with it and watch the slideshow again. This time turns out to be different. Inside the watch box is another box. Inside that, a beautiful engagement ring that he picked out all by himself. He drops down and asks me to marry him. After the initial shock wears off, of course I say “YES”. To top off the night, he takes me to a restaurant that I had always wanted to go to while I lived in Philly, but never managed to go…PERFECT. I was floating on top of the world and ready to start the planning process. But that’s not where this story ends.

The very next week, life is great, exciting and new. I cannot wipe this smile off of my face. Everyone in the office is excited for me. The number one question after my announcement is, “when is the date?” I don’t understand this because it’s been less than a week since it happened. Other than this, everything is normal. So when Thursday rolls around, I go through the usual motions. I recently joined a recreational kickball team. This was my first team sport of any kind since….EVER! I thought it would be a fun way to get some exercise and meet some new people. As fate would have it, I’m not so bad at it, or so I thought. Hindsight tells me that this Thursday was quite different.

We normally drive to the games after work. But with tickets to the Capitals game later that night, we decided it was better to take the Metro there and back. As we gather with the team to do our pregame drills, we share the good news. Then, we notice that one of our friends just so happened to bring their dog to the game. Harmless right? So you would think. Hindsight just points out that this was out of the ordinary. As the game starts, my team manages to score a run and I end up at third base. With two outs, I’m ready to run on any and everything. The ball is kicked and I manage to start running towards home plate. As I approach, I hear a teammate yell out “ball”. I interpreted this as a heads up that the ball was coming towards my direction. I speed up. As I tag the plate with my right foot, I watch it turn outward further than it is designed to go. At the same time, I hear something snap and I find myself falling to the ground. It was bad…VERY BAD. I was lucky enough to have an EMT on hand disguised as a referee and good friends to call 911 for an ambulance and try to keep me calm while I lay there staring at the sky waiting. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks here.

Long story short, I make it to the hospital only to wait another hour and a half in the emergency room - still with no medicine for the pain. The ER doctor finally arrives and looks at my foot. His professional reaction – “Oh my goodness. Why have you been lying here so long with this broken ankle?” He orders Morphine and Fentanyl before attempting to reset it. This takes the edge off, but I still scream with all of my might. (Just think of a woman going through labor). I head to x-rays shortly after this. When I get back to my area of the ER, the doctor comes over and tells me that they need to try to reset my ankle again. So, another painful session of pushing, pulling and twisting, then back to x-rays only to find out that it’s still not in place. Repeat. After three excruciating attempts at trying to reset my badly broken ankle, the doctor shows sympathy for putting me through so much pain only to come to the conclusion that I need surgery.

So here I am after an early morning surgery with a couple of screws and a plate in my ankle getting around on crutches. So far, I’ve been following the doctor’s orders and I seem to be recovering nicely. However, during my last follow-up visit, my doctor decides to tell me and the resident there that my break was so bad that he almost couldn't fix it! Excuse me! WHAT!?!

But on a separate note, while all of this was going on, my parents were finishing up the sale of our house. Luckily I had managed to get all of my stuff packed up and out prior to breaking my foot. Too bad I wasn't able to finish cleaning out the rest of the house though. I'm talking close to 50 years of stuff here people! Wink wink.

I like to think that things can always be worse. These experiences have shown me that I’m blessed with people who truly love and care about me enough to help me through this trying ordeal. For this, I am eternally grateful. I must admit that I cannot wait for me to get back on my own two feet and on with my life. I mean, I do have some planning to do! So, as you can see, October was quite a busy month for me. Thanks for your time.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 13th - Read all about Liz's holiday preparations. [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans –

It’s November… That means overseas play, 2010 season planning and the holidays!

The beginning of November was my one year anniversary with the Mystics organization and it seems like just yesterday I was getting acquainted with preparations for the 2009 season and all that was in store. Now as a year old veteran I’m working together with the rest of the Mystics staff to create bigger and better things for next season. As the players compete with their respective teams overseas to fine tune their skills for next summer, we are working hard to bring even more excitement and fun to the Verizon Center in 2010.

Besides planning for the upcoming season, I’m also planning for the upcoming holidays. This is my favorite time of the year. I must admit like many, my preparations for the next two months begin back in July and August with shopping for gifts, but it is not until November 1st that I truly begin to prepare for the season. I dig out the decorations, which go up the weekend after Thanksgiving ;), coordinate travel and attempt another year of baking holiday cookies. I just finalized my Thanksgiving plans – my family is coming here for the Day while I will make the trip back home for Christmas. I am excited to see everyone!

Whatever plans you may have for the holidays, enjoy and relax. Be ready for another exciting season of Mystics basketball.

I look forward to next time…

Liz

Thursday, November 12th - Erin Mitchell recaps her weekend activities. [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans!

This past weekend I visited my best friend, Tracey, in Philadelphia. She recently purchased her first home (congrats!) and I was eager to check out the new “diggs” (inside joke). During the process of her home search, I heard so much about the Kenilworth house and how she knew that it was the one for her. So once every paper was signed, every T crossed and I dotted it was FINALLY time for me to head up to Philly to help spend her money on home improvement purchases. We spent 12 hours in Home Depot on Saturday and left with 37 cans of paint! OK, I exaggerated a little bit, but there was a lot of paint purchased. We’ve scheduled my next visit for early December when we can then shop for furniture and other décor – it’s a lot of fun spending other people’s money!! I’m so happy for her and can’t wait to enjoy celebrating many more milestones in her home.

On a separate note, one of my season ticket holders recently renewed her seat for the 2010 season. In speaking with her it occurred to me that she renewed her seat for the 2009 season exactly one year earlier. The circumstances surrounding last year’s renewal were quite different. She is a founding fan and had supported the Mystics in good times and in bad. Following the 2008 season she had lost hope on why she would continue to support us. Our first conversation last year turned out to be a very lengthy one in which she expressed her dismay with the direction of the team and organization. We then had subsequent conversations, including one with our VP of Ticket Sales, and although we started forging a bond she still wasn’t convinced that being a Mystics season ticket holder was a title she would continue to carry. I encouraged her to attend the "Meet the GM" event in which season ticket holders were introduced to Angela Taylor and also had the opportunity to ask questions of her. At the conclusion of the event, she pulled me aside and presented me with her check for her 2009 season tickets. This year, it only took one conversation and she was here at the Verizon Center with check in hand for 2010. What a difference a year makes! Thank you, Ms. Dixon, for sticking by us and believing in what we as an organization knew would be a great year. I can’t wait for 2010 and it’s a pleasure working with you.

If any of you haven’t renewed your seats for 2010 – what are you waiting for? We are in the midst of the 30 Prizes in 30 Days campaign and there is a winner everyday. Why not put your name in the bid to win one of these great prizes. We are expecting so much more for 2010…why would you want to miss out?! Give your account representative a call today.

Until next time…Go MYSTICS!!!

Erin

Wednesday, November 11th - Veteran's Day: No entry.

Tuesday, November 10th - Chuck Kacsur introduces himself to the Mystics fans. [permalink]

Chuck here, it’s been a little over two weeks since I joined the Mystics staff as a graphic designer. I have a background in graphic design and sport management, so I am really pleased to be putting both my degrees to work! Before joining the Mystics staff I was a graduate assistant at the California University of Pennsylvania with the Professional Golf Management major. There, I helped create new and overhaul old collateral aimed at recruitment while studying sport management and finishing my NCAA track & field eligibility. I’m proud to have left with a couple school records in hand and I’m now looking to starting building my base and train consistently again.

This weekend I got to see my old team compete at the Division II Cross Country Regional Championship held in Mansfield, PA. Even from hundreds of miles away it’s easy to see the program has future national qualifiers. Congrats to Cal U’s senior runner as well as an un-recruited walk-on who changed the team for the better, and led the team all season.

Monday, November 9th - Natalia Isaac talks about Jay-Z and her fascination with him. [permalink]

Hey Mystics Fans,

It’s me again! By popular demand, I was asked to guest blog.

Just last week, I attended the Jay-Z concert in Baltimore!! First, let me bring you up to speed on my fascination with the man many call Jay-Z, S-dot Carter, Hova, or Jigga. It all began back in 1998 when I was a sophomore at Temple University. Every party started and ended with Jay’s hit, “Can I Get A…” So it sort of became the anthem of 1998 for me. I wasn’t ever into hardcore rap like that but I did like most rap songs that made it to the radio. You know, mainstream. Well a friend of mine, and fellow Jay-Z fan, encouraged me to pay close attention to the words of Shawn Carter. Let’s just say…I’ve been hooked ever since!

Rap music to some equates to negativity. The first assumptions are violence, drugs, money, and misogyny. All common recipes for rap songs. And Jay-Z is no stranger to that. As he has evolved as an artist, his music has grown from talking about negativity to a more mature sound and lyricism. Now, he is able to speak about his experiences that have broadened as a result of his success in both music and business. This is an artist that doesn’t write any of his lyrics down. He simply listens to the track and comes up with the songs in his head. Genius? Probably. I mean he has recorded 11 studio albums…off the top of his head! Jay-Z went from living in the projects in Brooklyn, New York to become a minority owner of the New Jersey Nets, among other business ventures. And he’s married to Beyonce!

By no means am I a crazed fan or someone that would pass out if I ever came in contact with him. It’s not that serious. But I am fascinated by him and his hustle. And he has a nice smile. And most importantly, I just think he is a really great guy. I had the opportunity to meet Jay-Z back in 2000 and he even let me and my teammates take a picture with him. At the time, he wasn’t the superstar that he is today, but he was very cool and down to earth. If you are not a fan, I encourage you to listen to his music at least once. Remind yourself that his music is an art form and he is just trying to paint you a picture with his words. After listening, you may not become a fan but you should have an appreciation for the genius I consider to be The Greatest Rapper of All Time!

-Nat

Friday, November 6th - Lauren Lafayette encourages readers to "DoRAK". [permalink]

Good Morning Mystics Fans,

Don't you all just love this time of year? The leaves are changing, the air is becoming crisper and folks have started to pack away the ghoulish Halloween decorations for more traditional harvest décor. While I have never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving and Halloween; the holiday season (i.e. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza [my apologies for any I have left out]) is my favorite time of the year and I am so excited!

For many, the pinnacle of the season is in the gift exchange; but for me it is the thrill of seeing the somewhat distant and impersonal demeanor of those around me disappear. This is especially true in and around the District. Similar to other major east coast cities, people in Metro DC do not usually take the time to hold the door for you in a public building, speak in passing or take the time to exchange other pleasantries that are customary in the Midwest. However, during this time of the year the entire "swag" of the city takes step in a more positive direction as residents of the area start to appreciate mankind for the contributions that each of us make, embracing the true spirit of the season.

While this shift will be short lived, (as I have sadly come to find out in my last two years in the area) I will enjoy it while it lasts and hope that the New Year brings about a change for the better in all of us. So taking a cue from the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!!), I invite all of you to "DoRAK" (Do Random Acts of Kindness) throughout the holiday season and try to "Unite [these] individual acts of kindness into a significant movement every day" thereafter to make the world a better place in the New Year.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I looking forward to chatting in 2010!!

Until next time...

Thursday, November 5th - Greg Bibb checks in. [permalink]

Great news from Atlanta last week as Kathy Betty was introduced as the new owner of the Atlanta Dream. Ms. Betty is a well-respected, long-time member of the greater Atlanta business community. I’m excited to meet her at this week’s WNBA business meetings in New York City.

The Dream made great strides on the court last year, completing the second greatest year-to-year turnaround in League history. Atlanta improved by 14 wins, going from 4-30 in the club’s inaugural season to 18-16 last year. Marynell Meadors was named WNBA Coach of the Year and Angel McCoughtry was recognized as the League’s Rookie of the Year. With the new ownership in place, the Dream seems poised to translate on-court success to wining results on the business side of the organization.

The Atlanta announcement followed the arrival of the Tulsa WNBA group just two weeks prior. Thus, in the last month, the WNBA has gone through a significant change and one that I think will pay dividends for years to come. All of these changes followed a post-season of unprecedented success with record attendance at the WNBA Finals and television ratings for the series that grew by over 70% from a year ago.

I have never felt better about where we are going as a League. I think our time is now and 2010 is going to be a banner year for the WNBA and the Washington Mystics. I know we just finished the 2009 campaign, but I can’t wait for training camp!

Welcome

The calendar has turned to November and we are now fully staffed, up and running here at the Mystics front office. I have mentioned some of these folks before, but I thought it would be nice to recognize Dave Deal (Sr. Director of Business Development), Rob Hur (Director of Corporate Partnerships), LaRhonda Lombardi (Corporate Partnerships Coordinator), Chuck Kacsur (Graphic Designer) and Kim Peters (Account Executive) one more time as the Mystics “class of 2010” is all present and accounted for as of Monday. A special welcome to our two new interns, Angie Allison and Andrea Smith, as well.

Happy Anniversary

Here’s a Happy Anniversary wish to Mystics Corporate Partnerships Coordinator Liz Sellers who celebrated one year with the organization on Tuesday. We’re glad you are here, Liz.

Birthday/Halloween Rewind

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have always loved Halloween, in part because it is also my birthday. In fact, my mom was trick-or-treating with my older brothers when she went into labor with me, so you could say I have the holiday in my blood.

The fun factor for Halloween has officially been raised to a new level now though as Adelyn participated in her first trick-or-treat on Saturday night. Thanks to her buddy William Hundt (and his mom and dad), we had a great neighborhood to explore in search of tasty treats. On a night of many memories, I think my favorite was Adelyn’s comments to William while waiting for William to finish getting his candy from a particular house…“hurry up, William, more doors, more candy.” I found this to be quite an astute observation from a two-year old who quickly caught on to how the whole process worked.

Of course, trick-or-treat night was just the final event in what seemed like a week-long schedule of parties and celebrations that took our little “Mystics player” and her mom/chauffer to numerous parties around town. If there was any doubt before, my daughter clearly now has a better social calendar than her father. I just hope to stay hip enough to land invites to future events on her schedule.

If all of the fun throughout the week and on Saturday wasn’t enough, my parents came for a visit on Sunday to say hello to their granddaughter and to wish me a happy birthday. It was the perfect ending to a pretty great weekend….once again affirming my feeling that Halloween really is one of the best holidays.

Quote of the Week

“Do what you want to do, or others will do it first.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• The NBA season is very young, but one thing is clear…the Wizards are going to win a boat load more games this year than they did during 2008-09. NBA basketball is back in the District in a big way.
• It seems the bar has been raised substantially for the Caps this season…not long ago, a playoff berth was a reason to celebrate, now we hear grumbles from the masses when the team loses…for the first time in seven games…expectations have never been higher for the city’s hockey team and I think they will continue to deliver.
• Congratulations to members of the Pacers Running Group who ran the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Mission Accomplished. Well done.
• Welcome back to Mystics account executive Nicole Jones who has returned to work after surgery to repair a broken ankle. In true competitor style, Ms. Jones suffered the injury during a recent high-stakes kick-ball game…we take winning and losing seriously around here.
• Please enjoy the writings of a couple of guest bloggers over the next two weeks as I will be away from the desk. I’ll be back with a special Thanksgiving edition of this space on November 26.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, November 4th - Heather Locke checks in. [permalink]

Greetings Mystics Fans!

It has been almost two months since my last blog entry! Much has transpired since September; most of which you are probably aware regarding sports and current events.

My beloved Red Sox were knocked out of the postseason early; Now that the World Series is upon us, I have been reduced to cheering for my 29th favorite Major League team – the Phillies. I like Pedro’s chances tonight against a fatigued Pettitte on short rest.

Luckily, October also presents a wealth of athletic alternatives for the sane baseball fan who can’t stomach the site of pin stripes on the diamond. In the midst of postseason summer ball and my weekly football overload, I attended the Wizards Halloween home opener on Saturday! My prediction is the Wiz will win at least 50 games this year!

As noted, I am sure no one is in the market for a sports update so I’ll quit with the recap (for now). In Heather news: I booked a holiday trip to San Diego! This will be my first New Year’s Eve on the West Coast and I fully intend to celebrate on Pacific time and East Coast time…And Central time….and Mountain time….and what I like to call “Rebel time” in honor of Indiana and Arizona for fighting “the man” in non observance of Daylight Time! I trust that no one will dare accuse me of making excuses to celebrate – I’m trying not to exclude friends who are scattered around the country. (Unfortunately, I don’t think I would survive if I celebrated my friends abroad!!)

Another first for me is my upcoming trip to State College, PA for my first Penn State football game! I have always had an affinity for the Penn State athletics program and I am honored and excited to see the legendary JoePa in live coaching action. Equally exciting and not to be ignored; I also plan to attend a women’s basketball game in the same weekend! (Insert here: Shout out to an awesome former Mystics intern who works with Penn State women’s basketball. Now I deserve a hook up with some gear or great seats, right?!)

Wishing everyone a great kickoff to the Holidays! I’m looking forward to a Thanksgiving reunion with my family and cousins (pictured in this blog)! While we enjoy the holiday spirit, the Mystics front office is also gearing up for another amazing season. Continue to check the website and contact us to hear about off season fun and new updates for 2010!

Cheers!
Heather

Tuesday, November 3rd - Coach Julie Plank goes all out for Halloween. Check out the pictures! [permalink]

Hello Mystics Fans!

I am checking in from the Midwest, where I have spent the last couple of weeks. It has been a nice break for me, and like I mentioned in my previous blog…I love visiting my Mom and family! This past weekend was Halloween, which I was able to celebrate both in Ohio and in Indiana. Oh how I love decorating the outdoors, dressing up for the kids, and passing out candy to all who stop by. You would not even believe all the costumes I have accumulated over the years! The trick-or-treaters are pleasantly surprised to ring my doorbell, and see ME dressed up, as the door opens. While the little ones may see a clown, a baseball player, or even a monkey, the older kids get scared by the witch, the wizard, and all sorts of other monsters. Check out these pictures of my Halloween fun! The first picture includes my nephews Matt (CC Sabathia) & Tim (Mario), my niece Jenna (OSU cheerleader) and their friends. The other pictures are of my neighbors in Indiana, many of whom still come by during their high school days! Can anyone guess who I am dressed as???













The final picture is of my brother Tom and brother-in-law Jim at Sunday night's World Series game. I was very fortunate to be able to get two tickets this year. Since my brother is turning 60 this December, my Mom and I decided to surprise him with an airline ticket to Philadelphia, to see Game 4. An avid Yankee fan, Tom surprised all of us by actually going to the game. While the easy part was going to the game, the hardest part was getting him to take a day off of work. What an exciting game he saw, with the Yankees winning, after a big 9th inning rally! I was ecstatic to be able to do this for such a wonderful brother and person!

I will be heading back to DC soon, as the draft lottery will be taking place this week, November 5th. It seems like so long ago, when we were awarded the #2 pick in the 2009 college draft. It was nice to pick-up Marissa Coleman, as she will continue to be a great player in the WNBA for years to come! Will the #1 pick in 2010 go to Minnesota, Sacramento, Connecticut or Chicago? We will soon find out…

Congratulations to the city of Tulsa for getting a WNBA franchise in 2010. It was also great news for Atlanta, getting a new managing partner in Kathy Betty. I must admit though, I am sad to see the Detroit franchise leave. After competing against them for so many seasons, you have to admire the winning tradition built by Bill Laimbeer, Cheryl Reeve, Rick Mahorn and the many talented players who came through that franchise. Thanks for some great memories and setting the bar so high for all of us!

Prior to the start of the collegiate season, I will be spending most of my time evaluating our 2009 summer. This would include watching each game from this past season, evaluating our training camp and practices, updating our team’s playbook, and coming up with ideas on how to make our players better. In order to improve as a franchise, you must spend the time critiquing how you do things, and always look for ways to get better. Not only do players have to improve, but our staff does as well. While it is good to recognize the strides our franchise has made this year, I am certainly one to focus more on the future! I get very excited thinking about the possibilities for our 2010 Mystics team!!!

November and December will be spent watching NBA and collegiate practices and games. There are always ideas you can pick-up along the way, as every coach does things differently. It is also important to do our "homework" on who to draft with our #7 pick. We will watch games/ practices of prospects, and talk with their coaches, as well as opposing coaches, in order to gain a better understanding of what they are all about. We will also be identifying players who can help our team from a free agent standpoint. I know Angela and I are anxious to begin conversations with these players in mid-December!

It is fun to follow our own players as they continue to impact their overseas teams. It is important that they improve their own individual games, in order to make our overall team better. I want to thank Mikhail Ovechkin especially, for his constant focus on overseas play. He sends me e-mails about every other day saying, "Langhorne yanked down 9 rebounds", "Coleman nailed another 3-ball", or "Currie exploded for 23 pts". I truly admire his passion and energy that he provides for our team. And his brother, Alex, is not a bad hockey player either!

Stay tuned next time, as I will highlight the top players we will be focusing on in the 2010 draft. I will also update you on how are players are doing overseas, who will be available in free agency, and what changes our team is looking to make for 2010…

GO CAPS & WIZARDS!!!

Congratulations to Greg Bibb for finishing his first ever marathon! However, look out for those Buckeyes this coming weekend in "Happy Valley"!

Coach Plank

Monday, November 2nd - Veronica Sander recaps her weekend. [permalink]

Happy Fall Mystics Fans!

As some of you will remember, I grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia where the lovely James Madison University is (but I did not go to college there). On Friday, I was driving around Harrisonburg and was quickly reminded how beautiful the Shenandoah Valley is during this season. The colors of the trees are so various and vibrant and I found myself missing home this time of year, but feel good to be back in DC today! If you’ve never seen Skyline Drive in the fall, I would recommend checking it out sometime.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens game at M & T Bank Stadium. It was a bitter sweet day as I have been a Broncos fan since birth (and they were undefeated going in) but knew the Ravens have been on a 0-3 streak and really needed this win. Every time I was excited, the sea of Purple around me was not and every time I thought we were picking up on defense, they’d score a touchdown. All in all it was a great game and I was glad to be there with my Broncos jersey under my Ravens gear!

Now, here we are on Monday morning in the Mystics office. Today begins our 30 Prizes in 30 Days Promotion for all renewed Season Ticket Holders! Are you renewed? Today someone will be wining a framed autographed team photo and tomorrow two (2) food vouchers for a Mystics game! There is a different prize for every day and if you renew today, you are in the drawing to win a prize everyday until December 16th. Check out all the prizes here.

Until next time, GO MYSTICS!
Veronica Sander