She is too classy, too strong and has too much faith to think this way. But Pat Summitt having to retire at 59 because of Alzheimer’s-related dementia is just unfair.
Not because there were more games or championships to be won. No, 1,098 victories and eight titles are more than enough. But because she was the icon of women’s college athletics.
Summitt is the farm girl who grew up in a man’s world, was given nothing, worked tirelessly for everything and made it. Big!
She is the reason women’s college athletics is where it is today. Not women’s basketball but athletics. Because generations of men and women needed to see that you can have principles like John Wooden — and the fire of Bobby Knight — while winning and raising a son at the same time.
She was a real-life John Wayne. Only with earrings and an orange blazer.
And there is no one who can replace her.
We will mark 40 years of Title IX in the coming days but without Pat Summitt, sorry, won’t feel like celebrating.
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Early baseball thoughts ...
Looks like I was wrong on Ozzie. He’s going to survive, for now. This ain’t over, though.
The Dodgers opened 9-1 but they did so against the Padres and Pirates. Texas opened 10-2 and that’s with 37 year-old closer Joe Nathan struggling to find his form. If Nathan is up to the task, Texas is the team to beat.
Yes, the Red Sox are struggling right now but keep a few things in mind.
Last year they started 1-8 and went 80-41 before their September collapse. Second, the Red Sox opened the season against Detroit, Tampa Bay, Texas and the Yankees as four of their first five series (the four teams who made the AL playoffs last year). After this weekend, Boston plays 22 straight games against teams that finished below .500 last year. During that time Carl Crawford is likely to return from his wrist injury.
If on May 15 the Red Sox are still below .500, then it’s time to panic. Right now is not that time. Except for the bullpen. That is a mess and needs to be fixed right away.
Same goes for the Twins. Maybe they are not very good again this year (lost 99 last season) but maybe they just got off to another of their famous slow starts. With Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau returning to form, the key is the starting pitching. It is probably not good enough to contend but lets give ’em a chance. They’ve made lemonade out of lemons before, and besides, 88 wins may be good enough for that fifth and final playoff spot.
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Are you following this Vikings stadium dispute? It is a case study in modern-day politics.
An Indian tribe said they’d build and pay for all of a new stadium if they could do so with a casino on the grounds. The Republicans in the state legislature said no.
The Vikings and their fans then wanted to build the stadium in a nearby suburb, Arden Hills, because outside the Minneapolis city limits the fans could get much better parking and be allowed to tailgate. The Democratic governor and his fellow Minneapolis politicians said no.
So a deal gets worked out to build a new stadium where the current one is (downtown Minneapolis), only the law requires that since more than $10 million of Minneapolis money is being used for this project, that the deal is subject to a public vote.
All of the politicians cry foul because $150 million for a billionaire owner might not pass. When they ask a committee to bypass the law, they vote 9-6 to put the measure on the ballot in November.
So the Vikings have an expired lease in a year and no place to play and no deal of any kind. The Democratic governor supports a “last ditch” new deal that his likely 2014 opponent and current GOP speaker will never support.
The situation is so dire the NFL flew in to try and work something out Thursday.
Minnesota already lost the Lakers to Los Angeles. It would be a disgrace if those fans also lost the Vikings.
Put the stadium in Arden Hills or on an Indian reservation already.
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Speaking of the Lakers, can the NBA playoffs start already? Liked Miami over Oklahoma City four months ago and still do.
Eight days into the NHL playoffs, road teams were 19-9. You read that right, 19 and 9. Never seen anything like it in professional sports.