Talkin' With the Mystics. The Mystics organization treated their season ticketholders to a very enjoyable event tonight at the Phone Booth. It began with a buffet dinner catered by Outback Steakhouse and an autograph session for VIP courtside STHs on the concourse, followed by the main event in the arena for all STHs. This program began with a highlight film and was followed by remarks from Sheila Johnson, Linda Hargrove, and each member of the coaching staff. Head Coach Richie Adubato spoke about the importance of fan support and offered this advice: "Be vocal, be alive, don't yell at the refs too much -- leave that to me."
The players then introduced each other, starting with the rookies and ending with the co-introduction of the Mystics' true divas, Alana and DeLisha, who came down the red carpet on the court stylin' like runway models. In between, two other players who received a particularly warm reception from the fans were Coco and Nakia. (Tot was the only player missing. Linda explained that they'd sent her home after practice today because her foot is still giving her trouble.)
The fans were seated in the three center sections, and the players were then divided up into three groups for a five minute Q&A session in front of each section of fans. The players were delightful, gracious . . . and humorous! In no particular order, here are some highlights from the BasketCases' section:
Escape from Alcatraz. When DeLisha was asked how she'd first reacted when she learned she'd been traded from L.A. to D.C., she said she was happy that she'd "made it out of Alcatraz." She added that she, Nikki T, and Tot were all happy to "escape."
Tale of Two Twins. In response to a question, Coco admitted that she and Kelly had once switched jerseys before the start of a high school practice and got through the entire practice without anyone catching on. She said the coach had "no idea." But no, they didn't try this on Andy Landers at Georgia. They were too afraid. (Smart!)
Expletive Deleted. When Nakia was asked what she'd said during the Sting game last week that earned her the technical, first she replied that she'd said, "Excuse me sir, she was over my back." When no one was buying this, Nakia confessed that she'd used an "expletive as a verb" and perhaps also "as an adjective."
It's Just Business. C-Rob was asked whether she feels bad because New York "sucks" (the questioner's word, NOT that of the BasketCases; Lib fans, don't send us hate mail). She said that she feels bad for Becky and Shameka because they are her friends, but other than that, "it's a business." She gave the young Liberty team credit for playing hard. By the way, C-Rob, though limping slightly, was adamant that she'll be back for the playoffs.
Loyal blog readers, particularly if you were sitting in one of the the other two sections, please feel free to post a comment and let us know what we missed.
After the Q and A, Sheila J and Curtis Symonds, the Mystics' Chief Operating Officer, announced the "Starting Five" awards, which were given to five fans who have worked hard to sell tickets and promote the team. They each received a huge gift basket which included an autographed basketball and other Mystics goodies. Ten other fans were given honorable mentions. (Now, since the BasketCases were not among them, watch this space next year for information about our write-in campaign.)
Finally, fans were invited back up to the concourse for ice cream, where we all had another opportunity to chat with the players as they stood behind the ice cream tables. (Obviously, their job was to make sure that nobody tried to get a double scoop.) It was a nice ending to a very enjoyable evening.
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases