September 2009

Wednesday, September 30th - Michael Ragan looks forward to his October trip.

Hey Mystics fans- before we get into the offseason, want to first thank the people at UMD for helping us with our playoff game…not only was it a great game but the game production went off pretty well and provided some great entertainment…we almost pulled it out against a great Indiana team….no worries, our time is very close.

I hope everyone enjoyed the season as much as I did…our basketball operations department helped put together not only an exciting product, but a competitive team that I truly feel was a hard team for our opponents to play. I was very proud of the team making the playoffs which is a huge accomplishment from the previous year..I hope we showed you enough to make you want to renew your seats if you haven’t already. To grow this product and the league we need all of you back and appreciate your support. If there is anything you need to talk about I am always available to chat, as is your account rep.

As far as the personal life..its pretty much the waiting game for the baby at this point…I am still excited and nervous about becoming a dad!! I fear the unknown…but no matter what it will still be the best Christmas present I could ever get, and I know my wife Jennifer will make a great mom…still all advice is welcomed and appreciated. We are going to Chicago in October, we are planning to see a hockey game as well as Jerry Seinfeld out there….had to schedule a trip before the doctor puts Jen in the no fly zone, so any Chicago suggestions are also welcomed!!!

Have a great offseason Mystics fans, and I look forward to hearing from you time and again this winter…some offseason events are still in the works so stay tuned…

Mike

Tuesday, September 29th - Angela Taylor recaps the 2009 season.

Hello Mystics Fans,

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for making my first year with the Mystics organization an exciting one. As I have mentioned in the past, I have long believed that the Mystics fans were the loudest & most loyal fans in the WNBA. Well, the 2009 season reaffirmed that for me. You all made games here at the Verizon Center amazing. On many occasions, the energy you exhibited in the fourth quarter spurred us on to victory. So here’s to the best fans in the WNBA!

Amazingly, your support doesn’t simply begin & end at home games. In fact, it was nice to see some familiar faces decked out in Mystics blue on the road this season. A special thank you goes out to the 20+ fans who greeted us with balloons & cheers as we arrived at our team hotel in Indianapolis for Game 2 last week.

That reminds me, I want to take a moment to congratulate Greg Bibb and his staff for the hard work they put into packing the Verizon Center (and Comcast Center) this past year. The Mystics are leading the league in attendance again!!! Make sure you call your account executive today to renew your tickets for 2010.

Well, 2009 was truly a very exciting season for our team. But while we are happy that we made it back to the playoffs, we are not satisfied with simply being a playoff team. No disrespect to the Indiana Fever (who will represent the Eastern Conference with class in the finals), but we felt like we had plenty of opportunities to extend that series and move on to the Conference Finals. If we step back to put things in perspective, there are a lot of things to be pleased with as well as some things to focus on in the off-season. All in all, I am very proud to be part of this organization and look forward to many team & individual player accolades to come as we continue to move closer to our objective (A CHAMPIONSHIP)!!!

Congrats to Lang for being voted the WNBA’s Most Improved Players. Her hard work in the off-season should be a great lesson for young players around the league. I was ecstatic to see the award go to someone very deserving of the recognition for putting in the time on her game & not just working on things she does well, but actually expanding her game. Can’t wait to see what 2010 will bring from Lang’s bag of tricks!!

Congrats to Marissa on being named to the All-Rookie team. As you can see, there are several rookies who played critical roles on their teams and Riss was certainly one of them. Don’t be surprised to see a well-behaved Boston (her dog) and a much improved Riss after her off-season overseas.

Congrats to Alana for being elected to the All-Defensive team. This is one of my favorite teams because it’s all about heart & effort and that’s what AB is about. We feel that we will be one of the best defensive teams in the league, which all begins with the defensive intensity & tone that AB sets for us. I must say though, that I thought Lindsey could have been on the All-Defensive team as well!

As we turn the chapter on the 2009 season & begin to look forward to the endless possibilities for the 2010 season, I am reminded of some of the funny stories & great memories from my first 11 months in DC. More than anything, those memories inspire me to keep working hard on making our dream of becoming WNBA Champions a reality.

I’m sure many of you wonder what takes place during the off-season. Well as Donna Orender pointed out a few years ago…the “off-season” is truly our ON-season! In fact, the foundation for everything that we hope to accomplish next season will be laid this fall & winter. To illustrate that point, Julie called me on Sunday to see how my weekend was going and roughly 45 minutes later we had to apologize to each other for turning a simple phone call into a business conference call.

So while the season has concluded for us, we have already started turning our sites on how to bring home that lovely Tiffany’s Eastern Conference Championship trophy next September!

Seriously though, the next several months will consist of a comprehensive evaluation of our 2009 season & roster, player development, college scouting, free agent recruiting, and strategic planning for the 2010 season. We aren’t just satisfied with making it back to the playoffs, our eyes are set on a championship, all of which was affirmed in exit interviews when the players articulated their disappointment in not making it further in the playoffs. We were all excited about the progress that was made this season, but are determined to accomplish our goals in the future. So as always, renew your tickets & stay tuned for an exciting off-season.

Player development will be a large part of our team improvement next year, and all eleven of our players are focused on maximizing their off-season to accomplish just that. Several of the players will be heading overseas shortly to work on their game (Riss to Italy, Matee back to Turkey, AB to Poland, BMo to France, and Lang to Spain) and a few are about to compete for a chance to represent the USA in the World Championships. If you are in town on October 4th, head over to Bender Arena at American University to check out Lindsey, AB, and Lang during USA Basketball’s open practice at Noon. You can purchase tickets at www.AUeagles.com.

While we are glad that most of our players will be competing during the off-season & working on their individual skills, the office just won’t be the same without them around. We are blessed to work with an amazing group of young women and they will truly be missed around here. They certainly make coming to work a joy. So don’t be surprised to see me counting the days until they return next spring. I guess I’ll have to log back on to my AIM & Skype accounts in the near future.

The best thing about the W is our players, so it will be sad to see another group of players who have helped to build this league hang their jerseys up for good. While we all have celebrated Lisa Leslie’s final season in the WNBA, there are three other players who deserve our gratitude for what the have meant to the women’s game. So I thank Vickie Johnson, Erin Perperoglou, and Shannon “Pee Wee” Johnson for all that they have given to our game over the years.

As Lisa so eloquently stated in her final press conference, this league has come a long way in its 13 short seasons, but those of us invested in its future (fans, players, owners, and employees) know that we still have a long way to go until all of the arenas are packed, all games are televised, and our players’ are household names. The best is yet to come, so please keep supporting us the way you do.

Lisa leaves some pretty big shoes to fill, but I think there are some very talented college seniors who will one day be able to contribute to the future of our league. So as October and the start of college basketball practice nears, I look forward to watching some talented seniors take the court. I will discuss many of the names with you over the next several months, but for starters here are some names that I know you are all familiar with: Monica Wright (UVA), Tina Charles (UCONN), Jayne Appel (Stanford), Epiphany Prince (Rutgers/Overseas), and Rachel Fitz (Marist – Greg’s alma mater)!!

But before the college season starts, there is still some very exciting basketball to be played in the WNBA. I can’t wait to tune in tomorrow to catch the Fever/Mercury Finals match-up. Definitely a contrast in styles, it will be fun to watch two of the best in the game (Taurasi & Catchings) battle it out on the court. Don’t be surprised to see some players putting up career best numbers over the course of the series. I’m not making any predictions, but I hope to see the series go five games.

Before I sign off today, I’d like to thank our interns for all of their hard work this summer (many who were asked to jump in to rebound or pass during practice) and our support staff for their tireless efforts to make this the best franchise in the WNBA. As I have said from the beginning, “You WIN with people” and there is no doubt that we had a championship quality staff with us this summer. Thank each and every one of you for your hard work, passion, and commitment to our vision. As Anita Baker says….You are simply the BEST!

Go Mystics,
Angela

Monday, September 28th - Sheila Robinson shares her thoughts on an exciting playoff run.

Hello Mystics Fans,

What a great ride we were on this season. Who would have thought the Mystics would have made it to the playoffs. Of course I thought they would, I have high hopes and expectations. My faith in our team is deep and I knew with the right coach and belief in themselves, they were guaranteed to make it to the next level. Now the route the ladies took to get to the next level was rather stressful and at times I wanted to pull my hair out. We made it though and now we have more to look forward to for the 2010 season. While the players were trying to figure out their playoff strategy, the front office had our own mountains to climb. Just in case you did not know, Round 1 Game 1 had to be played at Comcast Center because the Dinosaurs had taken over Verizon Center. We had the daunting task of turning Comcast Center into a pro basketball arena; Our fans had to feel like they were in Verizon Center. We began our meetings with Comcast staff so we could iron out the details, it seemed so overwhelming, but as the day got closer and everyone knew what had to be done, it was on. We all stepped up and took care of business. The league had rules from sponsor advertising, to the logo on the floor, but at the end of the day, the Comcast Center mirrored the Verizon Center (to some degree). We did however, have one small problem, the President decided to hold his town hall meeting on Thursday, 9/24, and as you all know when the President comes to town, security is tight and throws a wrench in your plans, and what a wrench it was, we were told the game could not be played at Comcast Center.. Of course our fearless leaders got on the phone, called in all favors and they where able to compromise with the White House. The Mystics were back in business, though we had only one day to get a lot done, we had no worries. We loaded cars and trucks and moved into Comcast Center. When game time came, we were ready….What a great game, a nail biter. The Ladies played a great game, until the end we could not hold on and unfortunately the ending was not as pretty as we hoped, we lost but you know what they say, whatr can go wrong will go wrong; Murphy’s Law.

That’s my time, Have a great week!
Sheila Robinson

Friday, September 25th - Sarah Novak shares a memorable road trip.

Hello all!

I wanted to tell you all about my Trip to Chicago! It was my first time in the Windy City and was also my first WNBA game. Now I know that you are all thinking "Sarah you work for the Mystics." That is precisely my point is that I WORK during the games. You all see me scurrying around the event level, delivering goodies to lucky STHs of mine, and running around in Dewar’s club coordinating one of my events this season. So I seriously have never sat and watched a full WNBA or a full period of a game. So Crystal, Maria and I flew out for the Chicago/Mystics game earlier this month. After a very long shuttle ride from the airport to our hotel we were in the big city! The game was awesome, unfortunately we did lose that game but to sit behind the benches and cheer our girls on, check out what other teams are doing, and also spy on their sales team was an excellent experience.

We headed out for some adult beverages and some people watching. Saturday morning I had a full day planned for the girls! Being a natural planner, I had a set agenda for what we were to do that day. We walked all up and down that city! We went and saw the pod and the art museum and walked along the water! Had an excellent dinner at Webber Grill! I love a good cheeseburger and grilled veggies on the grill! It was amazing! Our very own Maria was able to put her big toe in one of the great lakes for the very first time!

I also want to thank you all for an amazing 2010 season! Call me to renew your Season Tickets today!

S~

Thursday, September 24th - Greg Bibb checks in.

Well we didn’t get the result we were hoping for against Indiana and our season ended at Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday night. The 2009 season was fun and entertaining as our team made significant progress in year one of our rebuilding plan. Despite being swept by the top-seeded Fever, I thought we played them very tough. We held leads against Indiana during the second half of both games, including a 2-point advantage with less than five seconds to play on Saturday. The Fever showed why they are the best team in the Eastern Conference, finding a way to win both games. I think the combination of their experience and Tamika Catchings refusal to lose was a bit too much for us.

While the result was a disappointing end to promising season, I do think we learned a lot about our team during the brief playoff series. I was particularly impressed by our character on Saturday. Coming off a tough loss in Game One and facing the prospect of having to win two straight in Indiana, we could have very easily mailed it in for Game Two and headed for the off-season. Moreover, when the score was 10-2 in favor of the Fever after just a few minutes of play on Saturday, our girls could have easily folded. Instead, they fought back, built a lead and went to overtime against a very good team that has a core group players who have been together much longer than our core.

When I compare where we are today to where we were last September, it is hard to believe how far we have come. This progress can’t be measured by the six additional wins in 2009 alone. You have to recognize that we have a clear path now to where we want to go as well as the leadership in Angela Taylor and Julie Plank to guide us there. We have a very young, but very talented basketball team that is only going to get better. We will not have the same learning curve in 2010 that we faced in 2009. The system that Coach Plank employs will already be familiar. The chemistry in the locker room will already exist to some extent. I’m confident that the lessons learned this season will help us next year.

Let’s not kid ourselves; however, there is work to do. There are areas where we clearly need to improve. There are positions on the team that need to be upgraded. Every other WNBA team will get better during the off-season. Therefore, we must as well. I’m confident we will.

Of course, when we return next season we look forward to once again playing in front of the best fans in the WNBA. Thanks to your unbelievable support we led the League in attendance this year, welcoming an average of 11,338 fans per game to Verizon Center. This represents over 2,000 more fans per game than 2008 and nearly 4,000 more fans per contest than 2007. For that, I represent the entire Mystics organization in offering my sincere gratitude.

So 2009 is in the books. It was a year of progress and growth. Now we begin to focus on 2010. I’m truly excited. Onward and upward we go. Thanks for being a part of the journey.

Quote of the Week

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”

Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

• Congratulations to Crystal Langhorne…the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player!
• Speaking of Lang, she joins Alana Beard and Lindsey Harding in being selected to participate in the USA Basketball National Team Training Camp, which will be held at American University from September 30 to October 5…go get it ladies!
• Great crowd in Indianapolis for Game Two of our playoff series. Congrats to the Fever organization on the turnout.
• Thank you to the University of Maryland athletic department for going above and beyond during our game at Comcast Center last week. Your work is truly appreciated.
• Four great teams left in the WNBA Playoffs…I’m picking the Phoenix Mercury to win it all…they are talented, deep and healthy.

Until next time,

Go Mystics!

Wednesday, September 23rd - Tim Gallant checks in.

Hello Mystics Fans,

Thank you again for another fantastic year here with the Mystics. While 2009 may have come to a close, we have a saying in sports. Wait until next year. And that saying could not ring more true, as we have righted the ship and are looking at clear waters. With Coach Plank and Angela Taylor at the helm, we are sure to be competitive in this league for years to come, and hopefully bring back that championship which has eluded this town for too long. Get excited early this year as the bandwagon is filling up, and we need you again for 2010. Renew your seats, or sign up if you haven’t done so already!

On a side note, I am currently reading the new Dan Brown book, and while I can safely say his writing style and prose are not exactly top notch, he certainly can put together a page-turner. I recommend getting The Lost Symbol, which takes place in our very own Washington DC.

Cheers until next time,
Tim

Tuesday, September 22nd - Eboni Tyler looks forward to having our fans back in 2010.

Mystics Fans,

First let me say Thank you for spending 18 games plus 1 playoff game with us. We made it to the PLAYOFFS! 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. You hung in there when we moved to the Comcast Center with no complaints. It was great getting a chance to speak with you at various events and at games at the Guest Services at Verizon and at Comcast. The passion that you bring to the arena is outstanding and in my eyes can not be replaced. 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. It has been an awesome season and our team is on the right track. The ladies gave there all every game. They have made me Believe that 2010 is going to be our year. This season our slogan was AS REAL AS IT GETS. These ladies gave us that every game at home 18 + 1 even in another arena. I mean I am SMILING! All around Great Season! If you have ask me…

As you know it is that time again. It is Renewal time for 2010…We need you to lock in for 2010.This season showed that we have improved in a lot of the areas that a lot of you said we were lacking. This team is the cream of the crop. I am telling you this was awesome so you know what next season is looking to bring. Everything times 10! You name it times 10! That is why we need you sign up for 2010! Because I would hate for you to miss out on all the action times 10! You feel it! We have 3 lovely payment options:

*5 Power Pay Payment dates after the first one in September:

  • October 15th
  • November 15th
  • Skipping December
  • January 15th
  • February 15th
  • March 15th

    * 50% Payment dates:

  • 1st - 50% - September
  • 2nd - 50% - March 15th

    * Pay in Full

  • 100% Awesome Choice

    In our office we are working on renewing those of you who haven’t signed up as of yet. My colleagues and I are working hard to make your Mystics experience a memorable one for 2010. 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 ‘10. 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. We really appreciate it your continued support. Have a Beautiful off season. GO MYSTICS!

    We want you back for 2010!!!

    - Eboni Tyler

    Monday, September 21st - Nicole Jones recaps an exciting Mystics season.

    Good Monday Morning Mystics Fans,

    Oh, what a weekend. So, we didn’t make it through to the next round. Oh well. Let’s focus on the positive. I am so proud of the ladies this season, that I can’t even find the words to express it. What a difference a year makes. Unfortunately, our season is now over. But the ladies put forth a great effort. It is undeniable that the 2009 Mystics were the best team that we’ve had in a long time, possibly ever. It was an actual team. We didn’t depend on any one person, because anyone could be the shero on any given night. I say again that I have been proud of this team since day one. I would like to thank Matee, AB, Nikki, Riss, Mo, Lindsey, Lang, Kristin, Chas, B Mo, Kia, the coaching staff and the Squad for making this season so exciting. Next year will be even better!

    Speaking of next year, I am truly excited about the season and can’t wait for us to actually take the court. Thank you to all of the season ticket holders, mini pack holders, individual ticket buyers, group leaders and group members for coming out and supporting us this year. If you saw what happened this year, just wait until 2010! Don’t count us out and make sure that you’re here with us!

    Congratulations to Lang for receiving the honor of Most Improved Player. She worked extremely hard during the off season and then here once the season began. Also, congratulations to Shawn and Rebecca Winn. It was a beautiful wedding and reception for such a beautiful couple.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Thursday, September 17th - Greb Bibb checks in.

    Welcome to Game Day, Playoff Edition! Today is the day…the Mystics open the 2009 WNBA Eastern Conference Semifinals against the top-seeded Indiana Fever. Game time at Comcast Center on the campus of the University of Maryland is 7pm. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster, visiting Tickemaster.com or by contacting the Mystics front office at 1-877-DCHOOP1.

    Doors at Comcast Center will open 6pm on Thursday and we are encouraging all of our fans to arrive early due to an anticipated crowded will call/box office situation. Also, please remember, if you are a Metro rider, we will be offering complimentary shuttle service between the College Park Station (Green Line) and Comcast Center. This service will begin at 5pm and continue until tip-off. The service will resume immediately following the game and continue for one hour following the final buzzer.

    If you are fan, we need you there Thursday night. The 1-2 format of the series dictates that our home game is pretty close to a must-win if we want to advance to the conference finals. Following Thursday’s tilt at Comcast Center, the series shifts to Indiana for Game Two on Saturday at 7pm and Game Three (if necessary) on Monday at 8pm. ESPN2 will broadcast Game One and Game Three while NBA TV will carry Game Two.

    While we were swept by the Fever, 4-0, during the regular season, I know our team will enter the series with confidence and thoughts of winning. We have matured as a unit tremendously over the course of the season and I believe everyone in our locker room isn’t content with just being here…we want to win. Hopefully, Crystal and Marissa’s homecoming will provide a good vibe and get us off to a great start.

    Indiana is a terrific team, led by all-stars Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas. They were the best team in the WNBA for most of the season before injuries caught up with them during the final 10 games of the campaign. The Fever is talented and deep. Head Coach Lin Dunn has done a great job of leading her squad this season as Indiana set a new franchise record for single-season victories. I expect this series to be physical, hard-fought, and quite entertaining. I don’t know what will happen, but I can guarantee you we will be prepared as Coach Plank and her staff has been working tirelessly, preparing our ladies and providing them with the best opportunity to experience success.

    Speaking of working hard, I wanted to mention the efforts of the Mystics front office staff. You can’t even begin to imagine the logistics in moving a game from your normal venue to an alternate site. Throw into the mix that we had all of five days to accomplish this feat and the task seems almost impossible. Yet again, however, the young men and women who work in our front office answered the bell and have been working their butts off to make Game One truly feel like a home outing for our team and our fans. I sincerely thank them for their efforts.

    Quote of the Week

    “You can spend your entire life focusing on your scars, or you can proudly carry them with you and reach for the stars.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • Pittsburgh Steelers….1-0 and away we go!
    • Thanks to all of our fans who helped us finish #1 in the WNBA in attendance. We averaged 11,338 fans per game, up 24.6% from 2008 when we averaged 9,096 fans. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
    • I think Penn State is going to run the table and play for the national championship…call me crazy…we’ll see.
    • Speaking of winning, I think the Caps are going to be scary good this year. The Verizon Center will be Rocking the Red deep into the playoffs.
    • Congratulations to Mystics Marketing Manager Rebecca Hunt and her fiancé Shawn who will wed this Saturday. Somehow Rebecca has been able to juggle wedding week preparations with a WNBA Playoff Game. Amazing.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics! Beat the Fever!

    Tuesday, September 15th - Angela Taylor talks about the excitement as the Mystics gets ready for the playoff game at Comcast Center.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    It's playoff time!!! Who's ready to join us at the Comcast Center on the University of Maryland campus for Game #1 against the Indiana Fever on Thursday night at 7pm. C'mon, we NEED you all there. TiVo your favorite shows. Call the airlines & change your flight to Friday afternoon. Take a raincheck for that dinner invite. Call in sick for work (disclaimer). Ask your teacher for an extension on that paper that is due Friday (just kidding, get the paper done early). Call those friends who haven't heard from you in months & invite them to join you for what will be a very exciting match-up between two teams hungry for their organizations' first WNBA Championship. Whatever it takes, we want to pack the house with the WNBA's best fans on Thursday night!!

    If you don't have your tickets, you can go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 1-877-DC-HOOP1 to purchase them TODAY!!! Tickets are available for as low as $20 ($10 for University of Maryland students).

    I'm actually sitting courtside at the Comcast Center right now as I write this blog. We just finished up a short little shootaround with our team. It was great to see Lang & Riss back out on the court where their legends (at least at the college level) began. They both had huge smiles on their face as soon as the walked into the arena & proudly gave their Mystics teammates a tour of the Terps lockerroom. While it's not ideal to move from Verizon Center to Comcast, I have to say that the Maryland staff, Verizon Center staff, and Greg and his team have been working hard to make the transition a smooth one. This is a beautiful facility. We also appreciate Brenda Frese and her staff for helping to make this special for us as well.

    By the way, did I mention that you can call 1-877-DC-HOOP1 to purchase tickets!!!

    Also, congrats to the Fever, Shock, Storm, Dream, Mercury, Sparks, and Silver Stars on making this years playoffs. The chase for the trophy starts tomorrow night, so make sure to tune in. This promises to be a very exciting post-season with some intense match-ups.

    I haven't gone back through the record books to check, but this had to be one of the closest playoff chases in WNBA history. At one point last week (as I went back & forth between my calculator and a note pad with charts & numbers), I figured out that it was possible for five Eastern Conference teams to finished tied at 17-17. While that was pretty unique, what I wanted to know more than that was that there was a large a possibility the scenario was Mystic-Friendly. It was a long week. As each day began, we all determined the games that mattered most to our hunt and as each game concluded, I had to adjust the calculation.

    At one point, as I was on the phone trying to confirm whether or not I was correct with my calculations of the scenario we would need to put us in the playoffs, our VP of Communications started to chuckle as I reeled off a set of numbers that was met by silence on the other end of the phone. "Ummm, can you say that again." Still wired from the fact that this scenario made a lot of sense to me, I quickly rushed through the numbers again. Needless to say, they asked to call me back so that they would have had a chance to look at the numbers themselves. Ketsia just laughed at me & walked out of my office.

    If you don't have your tickets, call 1-877-DC-HOOP1 today!

    Needless to say, we are really excited about the playoffs, but we aren't merely happy to have made the playoffs. We want to win a WNBA Championship!

    Over the years, the Fever vs. Mystics match-up has had some pretty exciting games. I remember the overtime battles that featured Chamique Holdsclaw & Tamika Catchings and am looking forward to this year's match-up that features several great players on both teams. As I always say, "Buckle up & enjoy the ride!"

    Well, we have a lot of preparation to do for Thursday's game, so I am going to sign off for now. Before I do, I want to thank the four fans who won the train trip & lunch with me for joining Nicole Boden & I for lunch at Shula's in NYC. I really enjoyed getting to know Jacklyn, Rouchelle, Robert, & Tracey and hearing about their families. It's so gratifying to hear from/about our Mystics fans. Thank the four of you for your contributions to the Sibley/Mystics auction.

    I also have to send a shout out for the 35+ fans who "Trained for this Game" and joined several of our staff members on an early morning Amtrak train to NYC. It was incredible to hear our fans cheering the team on in the game (along with Dr. Johnson & her friends). As the players looked into the stands on Sunday prior to introductions, I could tell that they felt so proud to be a part of this organization & to know we had so much support from our fan base.

    Tickets on sale at 1-877-DC-HOOP1!

    Finally, I hope you all were able to catch the tribute to Lisa Leslie on NBATV last week prior to her last game as a Spark. It was phenomenal. Lisa has meant so much to this league an has carried herself with class both on & off the floor. She has had a huge impact on women's basketball & the WNBA and I'm so proud to have been able to witness her career here in the WNBA over the last 13 seasons. Best of Luck to Lisa and her family in the future.

    Monday, September 14th - Erin Mitchell shares her sports filled weekend.

    Hey Mystics Fans!

    Hope you had a great sports filled weekend. Between Mystics games and my Eagles winning at Carolina, I had a great one. Saturday night at the Verizon Center was electric. It was fan appreciation night and the final regular season home game. We hope all of you enjoyed the win, the giveaways, and the energy in the building. It was a great place to be. We also secured a playoff position on Saturday so the excitement is not over. We can’t wait to see you all at the Comcast Center for the first round of the playoff games as we continue the amazing season we’ve had. On Sunday, we played the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden. Although the outcome of that game wasn’t favorable, I had a blast! Season ticket holders traveled to the game via Amtrak and I had the pleasure of traveling with Mystics staff members Eboni, Sarah and Veronica via Big Mont (my Montero). The four of us were joined by Mystics Game Operations Intern, James. I’m not sure if James knew exactly was he was signing up for when he said he would ride with this group of women. Let’s just say that before we got to 95-N, he probably reconsidered his decision at least a half of dozen times. I’m glad that overall his first trip to NYC was a memorable one and that I was able to share in it. This was definitely a road trip that I’ll remember!!

    You all have heard about my Godson JT in previous blogs and yes, he is the COOLEST nine year old I know. This year is his rookie season of Pop Warner football in New Haven, CT. He plays running back and is thoroughly enjoying all that football has to offer. He already has a pair of “lucky” socks. It appears that football is becoming his sport of choice as he has games for his PSP and I’ve heard he’s really interested in getting Madden ’10. Over the Labor Day weekend, his team played their first home game and JT scored a touchdown in the team’s 41-0 victory. I was heartbroken that I didn’t witness it, but was kept updated throughout the game and will hopefully get a chance to see him play before his season is over. Here are a few photos of him and his personal cheerleader (also known as his little sister) Jordyn. She’s preparing for America’s Next Top Model (the Toddler edition) and practices posing for the camera!

    Don’t forget to get your renewals for 2010! Let’s bring all of our Mystics energy to the Comcast Center on Thursday night!

    ~Erin

    Friday, September 11th - Lauren Lafayette says thank you.

    Good Morning Mystics Fans,

    Well, another great summer is now coming to an end. It has been four great months of nice weather, hot summer events and most importantly the Mystics. This summer I did not do very much because my life was consumed with game preparations but all in all it was worth every moment to see and feel the enthusiasm emanating from the Verizon Center week after week. It seems only like yesterday, that we announced our first round draft pick was a UMD Terp, unveiled our new GM/coaching staff and tipped off the start of the wonderful season. Combine these things along with an unforgettable scavenger hunt at the zoo and an intense mid-season bowling event, and you have a very special organization which I am proud to say I am a part of.

    While I may be more closely associated with the team as compared to others, everyone who supports the Washington Mystics from the front office to the fans are apart of this special community. We are “As real as it gets” more of like a surrogate family to one another not just a business and certainly more than an entertainment entity. Although I would like to personally thank every one of you, this seems to be the best way to get my message across; so thank you to all who have supported the 2009 Mystics season.

    Until next time….
    Lauren

    Thursday, September 10th - Greg Bibb checks in.

    Well, here we are…32 games down and two to go. We started this process way back in April with the draft, followed by training camp in May and the tip-off to the season in June. Hundreds of hours of work, preparation, perspiration, jubilation and disappointment have been jammed into the four-month roller coaster called a WNBA season. Now there are just two games left. Two games to determine if we finish with as many victories as losses. Two games left to decide if we go to the playoffs or go home. Two games left to finish writing the book on the 2009 regular season.

    Saturday we host the Atlanta Dream on Fan Appreciation Day. Game time at Verizon Center is 7pm. It is team photo night with the first 5,000 fans receiving a 2009 Mystics team photo. Plus, we’ll be giving away great prizes all night long, including gas cards, plane tickets, Caps tickets, Redskins tickets and more. Most importantly, though, Saturday is the first of a two-game, must-win-both, weekend.

    If we get a victory at home vs. Atlanta on Saturday, we head to New York for the final game of the regular season on Sunday with a chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Tip-off at Madison Square Garden is 4pm. Does this scenario sound familiar? It should. As you may recall, the Mystics went to Connecticut needing a win on the final day of the 2007 season for a chance at a 2007 playoff berth. Our ladies came up big with a victory at the Mohegan Sun Arena, but the New York Liberty also won that day to garner the fourth and final playoff spot. Fast forward two years and here we go again. Lady Irony has delivered the Liberty to the equation one more time.

    We are currently tied with the aforementioned Sun and the Chicago Sky with identical 15-17 records. Detroit enters their game with New York tonight at 16-16. Thanks to Minnesota’s big win over the Shock last night, we control our own destiny now with two wins assuring us of a playoff spot. Here’s how:

    If Detroit wins both games, they would finish with 18 wins, which means we can’t catch the Shock; however, one of those wins would be over Chicago, which means the Sky couldn’t get to 17 wins…they could only max out at 16. A pair of wins for us and we end at 17. Should the Sky beat the Shock, Detroit could only get to 17 wins. Should we finish with the same number of wins as Detroit, we would get the playoff nod based on our head-to-head record during the regular season. Likewise, should Connecticut get to 17 wins, we would win the tie-breaker against the Sun based on the fact we won the season series vs. that club, 2-1.

    Confused? Don’t worry about it, it is really quite simple…if we win both our games, we are in. If we don’t, then things get a bit hairy, but a playoff berth would still be possible…we would just need to enlist a little algebra to figure it out at this point.

    I know, this is nerve-racking and we can all think of about a dozen games we could have won this year that would have made life a little more comfortable at this point, but you always have to look at the glass half full. Remember, at this point last year we were in the middle of a long losing streak, already well out of playoff contention and only thinking about next season.

    Today, we head into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to make the playoffs. There is nothing more exciting than a sporting event that truly is do or die and that’s what we have this weekend. So make sure you get down to Verizon Center this on Saturday. We need you loud and proud. Our playoff lives are counting on it.

    Comcast Center To Host Playoffs

    The other big news of the week also involves a potential playoff berth. Should the Mystics qualify, any first round home playoff game would be played at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center due to a scheduling conflict at Verizon Center. While it is a bit of a bummer we can’t play in our home building for a playoff game, we are extremely fortunate to have a world-class facility right up the road, which is available for our use. Moreover, this facility is familiar to many of our fans who frequent UMD basketball games. A playoff game at Comcast Center would also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman and I would be excited to see them return to UMD’s campus as professionals. Stay tuned for more details on game date/time/details in the coming days.

    Quote of the Week

    “The first step in witnessing a miracle is believing it will happen.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I won’t just be watching the Detroit-Sky score tonight…the NFL season kicks-off with Pittsburgh hosting Tennessee. Go Steelers!
    • The deadline for your 2010 Mystics season tickets is tomorrow, Friday, September 11. Please make sure you submit your renewal to lock-in all of your 2010 benefits.
    • The Capitals open training camp this weekend….Let’s Go Caps!
    • I think the MLB Playoffs are going to be really entertaining this year, especially in the NL where the Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies will all deliver great pitching rotations.
    • Where do I cast my vote for Crystal Langhorne as the WNBA’s most improved player?

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, September 9th - Heather Locke recaps her weekend.

    Greetings Mystics Fans!

    Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend! I stayed local this weekend and relaxed in preparation for the last week of the Mystics regular season!

    For anyone who followed my early blogs, I have been training for my first half marathon! Despite a torn meniscus and some protest from my caring “peanut gallery”, I ran my 13.1 miles (in a somewhat unconventional manner). Thanks to everyone who helped and supported me both on race day and in the months leading up to the big event!

    I hope everyone caught up on rest because the Mystics need your support this Saturday night in the last regular season home game against the Atlanta Dream. I was not part of the Mystics family last year but I am sure that a heated playoff race in the last weekend of the regular season is new and different for Mystics fans. Show your support on Saturday night as we give thanks to you on Fan Appreciation Night!

    So, if the exciting basketball isn’t enough, join us on Saturday for prizes galore and a game dedicated to you, the fans! Bring your voices and your Mystics spirit!

    See you in a few days!

    A few last minute thoughts:

  • Anyone who lives in the Tenleytown / Friendship Heights area should check out the new Aquatic Center at Wilson High. It was the highlight of my post race recovery!
  • If you live in Maryland and you have been weary of the trip to DC to catch more Mystics games – Hopefully I’ll see you up at the Comcast Center next week!
  • Don’t forget to sign up for the Mystics Train Trip to New York on Sunday. The team really appreciates a strong DC showing at road games whenever possible. Not only could your presence impact the outcome in a very real way, but the trip promises to be fun for all!

    Tuesday, September 8th - Veronica Sander is excited about this time of year.

    Greetings Mystics Fans!

    So here we are, tied for 4th place with Chicago and Connecticut and one game out from 3rd, currently held by Detroit. I love the excitement that surrounds the push for playoffs and honestly don’t think it can get more exciting than this! We have two games left (of which I know you will ALL be in attendance at our final home game Saturday, September 12th) and then we will immediately travel to New York to play our final regular season game against the Liberty on Sunday. It is very important that we pack the building on Saturday to support our Mystics and push to clench the playoffs, so make sure you get your tickets! I must also say thank you to all of the fans that were in attendance last Thursday, September 3rd against Seattle. The building was full of energy and we watched the Mystics take a 78-67 victory over the Storm!

    Now that we are all up to date on the remainder of our regular season, I would like to share my other love that begins around this time of year…football! Last night, I watched the second half of the Miami vs. FSU game and it was tremendous. It was one of the fastest games of football I have seen in a while AND the 4th quarter was intense. The lead changed almost every possession and with 9 seconds left on the clock; Florida State was on the 2-yard line only down by 4 and could have clenched the victory with a touchdown. Unfortunately for them (I was pushing for Miami the whole time so I was ok) Fortson dropped the ball in the end zone and the victory went to Miami. It was an amazing way to end the holiday weekend and I can not wait to be able to watch football every weekend. Fall is such a great time of year!

    On a final note, if you did not see the Barkin’ and Ballin’ calendars that were on the concourse last Thursday, be sure to check them out at the Mystics Sales table this weekend. We had a photo shoot with our players and their puppies and created a desk-top sized poster with a 2010 calendar strip at the bottom. Let me say this, they all look so cute and I know that you’ll want this exclusive poster to be hanging on your wall in 2010.

    Thanks for your support Mystics fans, I look forward to seeing you all this weekend! GO MYSTICS!

    Monday, September 7th - Labor Day.

    Friday, September 4 – Ketsia Colimon discusses last night’s win and her trouble with the law.

    Hey Mystics fans,

    Hope everyone enjoyed last night’s win. It was a fun one. Let’s hope we can have another one tonight. My mom came to last night’s game and it was only her second WNBA game ever, actually make that her second sporting event ever. She had a great time and was talking about going to Chicago today; my answer was, “hmm ok!” I want to send a special thank you to the nice folks who sat next to her in section 121 and had to explain EVERYTHING to her. Thank you for your patience.

    I am sad to report that I added to my ticket collection. Although there has been improvement to last year’s collection, this one could have been avoided. It is my third ticket this year (by this time last year, I was at eight and no I am not wanted by law enforcements.) I was at the airport picking up my mom and the nice cop on a bike noticed that my tags were expired and kindly gave me a ticket. Not before my mom physically walks up to him and said “are you really going to do that?” which prompted me to quickly ask her to get in the car. I can officially say that I have received tickets in nearly all possible forms: cameras, police car and police bike. If I get one from a cop on a horse, I will be officially done!

    Sam UpdateSeriously, find a cuter kid. His parents recently shaved his head which has upset the rest of our family so here is a before picture. Enjoy!

    Go Mystics
    Ketsia

    Thursday, September 3rd - Greg Bibb checks in.

    Hello Mystics fans. It’s been a few weeks, but I’m back. I wish you a happy September and I welcome you to the official drive for the WNBA playoffs. We have just five games remaining as we look to return to the post-season for the first time since the 2006 season. Currently, the team is 14-15 with a home date vs. Seattle looming tonight. We then head to Chicago for a gigantic match-up on Friday night before moving on to Indiana for a Sunday tilt. The final week of the season will have us playing two huge Eastern Conference games, first at home vs. Atlanta on Saturday, September 12 and then at New York vs. the Liberty on Sunday, September 13.

    The west coast was not particularly kind to us as we returned home with a 1-3 record. The good news, however, is that we played a very solid game in our return to Verizon Center on Sunday, posting an 81-75 victory over the Minnesota Lynx. Crystal Langhorne continues her push to be named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player, registering another double-double, this time with 18 points and 10 boards. In all, six different players notched at least 10 points as we shot 45% from the field, while out-rebounding the Lynx, 35-23.

    We didn’t just win on the court on Sunday, however, as the day was also a big one for reasons that have nothing to do with the final score. You see, Sunday was our annual Breast Health Awareness (BHA) Day, sponsored by Sibley Memorial Hospital. During this event, we raise money for breast cancer treatment while recognizing and celebrating breast cancer survivors. As part of the festivities we hosted a “pink out” and gave away over 5,000 pink t-shirts.

    Fran Drescher of “The Nanny” fame also joined us. Ms. Drescher, who is an ovarian cancer survivor, hosted a pre-game reception and then addressed the crowd at halftime. Speaking of the crowd, we had a great one with 12,241 fans in attendance to see us battle the Lynx and fight breast cancer.

    The marquee event for the day, however, happened after the game as we hosted our second annual BHA Jersey Auction, benefiting Sibley’s Sullivan Center for Breast Health. Last year, during the inaugural auction, we raised $37,000 for the Sullivan Center. I will admit, in light of the current economic climate, I was a bit concerned about our ability to match that number in 2009. In turns out I was right, we didn’t raise $37,000….we raised $39,000! Once again our amazing fans stepped up to the plate and supported an important cause by bidding on a roster of impressive sports memorabilia. This roster included limited edition, pink, game-worn Mystics jerseys as well as the chance to be GM for the Day, a golf package at Innisbrook Resort and an original Barrack Obama painting. In total 37 lots were auctioned off during the two-plus hour event.

    Many thanks go out to our players who once again helped push the bids higher, participated throughout the auction and helped ensure 2009 was a greater success than 2008. My appreciation also goes out to the wonderful staff at Sibley for all of their help with Breast Health Awareness Day as well as the auction. It was a long, tiring event, but it was well worth it. Hopefully, BHA Day 2010 is even bigger and better!

    Fan Appreciation Day

    Obviously, our game vs. Atlanta on September 12 will be a big one based on playoff implications (see above), but is also going to be big because it is Fan Appreciation Night. We’ll be giving away a long list of prizes throughout the game, including tickets to the Redskins, Wizards and Capitals. We’ll also be awarding free parking to all 2010 Mystics home games, DC Lottery tickets, Delta Airlines tickets, Geico gas cards and more.

    Plus, for the first time, we’re giving our fans the chance to decide what music is played during the game as well as what on-court promotions are run during timeouts and halftime. To vote for your choices, visit mystics.com anytime between now and September 11. This is your chance to have a say in our game presentation, so vote today!

    Quote of the Week

    “There is nothing more powerful than the idea whose time has come.”

    Five Final (and sometimes random) Thoughts

    • I think Marissa Coleman is going to be huge for us down the stretch. The former UMD star is starting to play like she did early in the season, pre-ankle injury. This gives us another offensive option that opposing teams are going to have to a game plan for when playing us.
    • Love the Dodgers acquisition of Jim Thome. He’s a big left-handed bat as well as veteran leadership on a generally talented, but young club.
    • College football season is starting…go PSU!
    • If you haven’t renewed your season tickets for 2010, what are you waiting for?
    • I hope everyone has a happy, and safe, Labor Day Weekend.

    Until next time,

    Go Mystics!

    Wednesday, September 2nd - Marissa Coleman talks about her obsession with Kenny Chesney.

    Okay, so I’ve decided I am going to stop writing about Boston for the rest of the season. (Sorry to disappoint you guys, as I know how much you love hearing about her) But, she has been getting way too much attention. And quite honestly, I am getting a bit jealous. No one ever asks me “Hey, Marissa how are you doing? How is the season going?” But, everyone al-ways asks me how Boston is. Yes, I am bitter : )

    Anyway….

    August 29, 2009 will go down as the highlight of my summer! For those of you who do not know I am a bit obsessed with music, especially country and Kenny Chesney. (insert shocked noises here) I love listening to music and going to concerts, especially Kenny’s (yes, we are on a first name basis and yes I am going to count how many times I can bring his name up in this blog) Anyway, August 29, 2009. I have been to a Kenny concert every summer since my Senior year in high school, and this summer was no different. Long story short, I know Kenny indirectly. (I know people, that know people, that know people) So, he got me tickets for the concert. (jealous? I know.)

    My friends and I get to the concert and go to will call to get the tickets. I hand the woman my I.D. and she says “honey, I don’t see your name on our will call list.” (I started to panic big time) BUT, then she asked “who left you the tickets?” I look around at the people in line around me and there are these three guys behind me, giving me that, “hurry up” look. So I tell the lady, “the man himself left me the tickets”. Can you guess her response? “Wow, well aren’t you lucky?” (why yes, yes, I am) Anyway, enough rambling. Once I said “the man himself left the tickets” the guys behind me made one of those “yeah, right” noises….the lady hands me the tickets and I turn and smile nicely and the men. I really wanted to say “HA, and you didn’t think Kenny left me these tickets.” I should have asked where their seats where, because mine where…wait for it…wait for it….SECOND ROW! Needless to say, I was pretty happy…Ecstatic would be a better word.

    So, Kenny and I sang the night away, along with thousands of others, but it seemed like it was only him and I. I video recorded almost all of his songs, the next day when I watched them all I could hear was me singing super loud to every song. I definitely should have left the singing to Kenny. For those of you who aren’t country fans, I guarantee if you went to one of his concerts you would leave a fan. My favorite song of his is “Never Wanted Nothing More”, I encourage all to go buy it from ITunes right now. Let me know what you think.

    Okay, sorry to blab on about my love for Kenny (name dropping count is at 8) but he is just that great. We are in the midst of our playoff push and it is an exciting time. So keep watching and supporting the Mystics, we appreciate it!

    Boston says hi! Peace and love!

    Marissa

    Tuesday, September 1st - Angela Taylor talks Mystics, U.S. Open and football.

    Hey Mystics Fans,

    Wow, I just read Lisa Ciaravella’s blog. Well done Lisa. Sometimes we don’t stop to appreciate the little things we have to be grateful for & instead focus on the challenges that we face, so it is nice to read about someone who hasn’t let an obstacle get in his way. It was priceless watching the sheer joy in Cameron’s eyes as he sat behind the bench & guided our team on to a huge victory. I know that hearing his story & seeing his resolve firsthand was certainly an inspiration to me. Thanks Lisa for sharing Cameron with your Mystics family.

    Well, after a very long road trip where I lugged a 50 lb (or for weight restriction purposes – 49.5 lb) bag around with me for 9 days, it was so nice to return to the Verizon Center for the game versus the Lynx on Sunday.

    Sunday's game was important for a number of reasons, but the two primary reasons were 1) the big W that was added to our win column AND 2) the $38,000+ that was raised in the Mystics/Sibley Hospital Auction that will impact the lives of many uninsured individuals who will now have the opportunity to receive a free mammogram.

    There were several highlights from the auction led by the bids fans placed on the players’ pink jerseys and other one of a kind items (i.e. bowling with Lindsey & dinner with our Terps). But it was all topped by the man on the microphone. Now, I had heard how impressive Greg was as auctioneer last year during the inaugural auction that raised $37,000, and true to form as I rounded the corner to the court at the beginning of the auction I thought I had been transported to New York City for a Sotheby’s auction.

    I’m looking forward to my first fall in DC, which hopefully will consist of a playoff berth, less humidity, and football!!!

    I'm a huge football fan, so I have to admit that it has been pretty strange seeing Brett Favre in a purple Vikings uniform, Michael Vick in an Eagles uni, T.O. in a Buffalo Bills uni (anyone else out there who actually enjoys his show on VH1...because I enjoyed the episodes I've seen so far). The list could go on & on. I look forward to watching my Cowboys (currently flying below everyone’s radar, thankfully), the Stanford Cardinal, and the Boise State Broncos hit the turf again in hopes of successful seasons. Make sure to catch the Broncos on the blue “smurf turf” this Thursday night on ESPN. Go Broncos!!!

    In addition to being a football fan, I simply love watching U.S. Open Tennis & am looking forward to the next two weeks of great tennis from Flushing Meadow. Opening Night on Monday was amazing as Robin Roberts lead a ceremony that honored four athletes who were not only extremely successful in their respective sports but also in their philanthropic endeavors.

    I think that too often, we reduce athletes to their stats line or win/loss record and ignore the impact they have on lives around the world whether it is by speaking at a school or by starting a foundation. So as they were honored in tribute to Arthur Ashe, it was nice to hear about the foundations and educational institutions that Doug Flutie (www.dougflutiejrfoundation.org), David Robinson (www.thecarveracademy.org), Mia Hamm (www.miafoundation.org), and Andre Agassi (www.agassifoundation.org) founded during their careers and have expanded since their retirement from the sports they love.

    How inspiring is it that the every one of the seniors in Agassi's K-12 school graduated this year AND 100% of those graduates have been accepted to attend college. Wow!!! I hope to follow the honorees lead as I work on rolling out programming for The CHANCE Foundation in the DC area this fall. Our mission is to Create Hope and Access for our Nation’s Children through Education.

    If you haven’t been to the U.S. Open in person, you should certainly put that on your To Do List. The atmosphere at the Tennis Center is quite extraordinary & it is exciting to watch the best tennis players in the world & the relatively unknowns compete as you walk around the grounds from court to court.

    Needless to say, since there weren’t any WNBA games to catch on Live Access last night, I found myself flipping back and forth between the Vikings game and the Venus Williams match.

    In addition to these other stress relieving distractions, I am looking forward to the next couple weeks of WNBA basketball. This has to be the closest conference race that the WNBA has ever witnessed. Only a couple of games separate 5 teams with five games to go for most of us in the Eastern Conference and with many of us playing one another during that period. We need our fans more than ever as we take on a tough Seattle team on Thursday night. We plan to make the playoffs, so make sure you come on down to the Verizon Center on Thursday to cheer us on to victory.

    Until next time…Go Mystics!
    Angela