Sunday, September 14, 2008

This season, the Mystics' franchise adopted a one-word slogan: BELIEVE. The directive appeared in large, uppercase type just about everywhere a fan might look. On T-shirts, on posters, on emails, on team blogs. The problem, however, was that we were never told exactly what it was we were supposed to BELIEVE in. But now that the season is officially over, the BasketCases think we know the answer. We completely BELIEVE that the Mystics are in need of radical CHANGE! This team is begging for an extreme makeover from top to bottom. It needs to be torn apart and rebuilt using an altogether different blueprint. We need Change that fans can Believe in.

Before today, if anyone had any doubts about the need for radical change, those doubts certainly should have been erased by the embarrassment we witnessed this afternoon at the Phone Booth. Today's blowout by the Lynx simply added several exclamation points!!!

For the second game in a row, the Mystics were facing a team that was missing its two big stars, in this case, Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins. Both are injured and neither even made the trip. As in yesterday's game against the Sun, the Mystics were essentially playing the opponent's bench. But unlike yesterday, the Mystics were playing on their own floor, and their opponent was not a highly ranked playoff team. No, the Lynx are another team with a losing record, and came into today's game dead last in the Western Conference. The Mystics were at full strength, playing in front of their own fans, in their own arena . . . plus it was Fan Appreciation Day!

So what did the Mystics do in appreciation of their fans? They gave up 96 points to the (Seimone-less and Candice-less) cellar-dwelling Lynx, while only managing to score 70 themselves. The game was not just embarrassing, it was boring. With today's loss, their 9th in a row, the Mystics end the season with a record of 10-24 (2nd worst in the WNBA). In only two other seasons in franchise history (one being the team's 3-27 inaugural season), did the Mystics lose more games than they did this summer.

This is not a team that needs tweaking; this is a team that needs to change and needs to be rebuilt . . . from the ground up. No one should be off the table. Nothing short of Exteme Makeover -- the Mystics Edition -- will do. That's what we BELIEVE.


At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. And let Linda Hargrove lead the way out the door. Linda Hargrove, who couldn't attend her own chalk talk so she could spend 30 seconds giving an autographed picture to Trinity College, something Greg Bibb could easily have done instead. Who sent SHAY MURPHY in to face a roomful of angry (and, frankly, rude) season ticket holders. This was a new low in a season of lows for the General Mismanager.

Linda, I'm sure there's a JuCo program out there somewhere that needs your expertise. See ya!

At 9:04 PM, Blogger hodie said...

I didn't trouble myself to pick one up, but I saw that the Perfect Attendance shirts this year have the slogan "Believe the Unbelievable" above the season schedule. I was half-tempted to mark all the losses, and then cross out the first part, leaving just a disgusted "UNBELIEVEABLE"

Really, what a horrible season. Bring on the college hoops; they can't come soon enough for me.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Tonya said...

I joked on the ride home that perhaps the lackluster effort could be attributed to the players knowing they'd immediately have to give up their game worn jerseys to lucky season ticket holders. Maybe they didn't want to sweat too much and offend the olfactory senses of already suffering fans.

It was damned depressing. The highlight of the day was $1 hot dogs.

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous BetsyinDC said...

Kudos to Shay Murphy for showing up at the Chalk Talk and giving it her best shot. But shame on the Mystics for sending a young player with no franchise experience to talk to the season ticket holders on the last day of the season. To the long list of Linda Hargrove's disgraceful descriptors, add coward.

I'm glad the season is over. I can't bear to sit through another game.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chalk talk situation was not handled well. It was to start at 3:15. Fifteen minutes later, at 3:30, two handlers walked in with Shay, who was very gracious. Linda should have been there - the timing of the presentation could have been changed as well as the presenter. Also, the audience should have been told well before 3:30, and certainly before Shay was escorted into the room, that the General Manager wasn't going to be there, especially if they knew there was a scheduling conflict. As it were it was a complete surprise, with no explanation until the staff felt pressured to offer one. It was disrespectful to the season ticket holders, and Shay was put in a very awkward situation. I don't think the folks there were rude, but just plain frustrated and feeling dismissed.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger mikej said...

AMEN!DC BasketCases you got it right!

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're exactly right. A total rebuilding is needed.

As for this game, another low point was in the third quarter when Alana passed the ball to Mo Currie while Currie had her back turned. The ball bounced off Currie's back and out of bounds. My son, who is six, was very upset after we left the game. After saying not much for a couple of blocks, he said, "I should have waved my sign more. [He had made a big sign with glitter that said, "GO MYSTICS."] They looked very sleepy. I think they were asleep, and if I had waved my sign more they would have woken up."

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous pt said...

Is the Jessie Era over? Or did it even get started?

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like some Mystics players actually felt very badly about their performance. Nikki Blue and Nakia spoke after the game and both seemed genuinely thankful that fans have put up with their performance this season. But where was our so-called franchise player, Ms. Beard? She may have been upset at her performance but we should have heard from her. But maybe she's like Linda H.- afraid to face the music!! Linda's actions were so disrespectful to the core of their business. Who allowed her to get away with that?

Basketcases - you are right on target - clear them all out and begin again, but alas I don't know if that's possible completely. We need a proven coach who will also be the GM to bring in people to their system.

But now, real team basketball begins - Go TERPS! And go Howard Bison (HU alum!!)

At 12:06 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Regarding Linda's non-appearance at the Chalk Talk yesterday: it did not seem to us like Linda's style to just blow off the fans, so we asked the Mystics organization this morning what happened. They told us it was their fault in failing to remind Linda that this had been scheduled. In the meantime, Linda had set up a pre-game on-court presentation to recognize the folks at Trinity College for their hospitality during training camp. (We did see Linda do that before the game.) Whatever anyone might say about Linda, she has always been accessible to fans and candid. It sounds like the Chalk Talk fiasco was not her fault.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger posting-up said...

I was so frustrated with the Mystics organization at the Chalk Talk, and embarrassed for Shay Murphy -- who was totally on the page that she was being fed to the wolves. The organization should NOT have put her in that position.

THEN, to go out to the court and see Hargrove sitting behind the bench! I was furious!!

So, I'm wondering... what is Anne Donovan doing these days now that the Olympics are over? Hmmmmmmm.

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Watching your team as a more-or-less disinterested observer- there are exactly two Mystics I would keep on the roster, Humphrey and Langhorne, as they seem to be the only ones both talented enough and interested enough to be worth keeping; the rest are either maladjusts, incompetent, or both. Fire Hargrove, trade Beard, trade Currie, trade Sanford (or leave her on the curb if you can’t trade her), cut the rest of them loose, fire Hargrove, fire Kenlaw and C-Rob (and Sheila, next time you have an interim coaching situation, make sure the chain of command is clear, because I think Crystal thought she and Kenlaw were still equals even after Kenlaw was given head coaching duties), dear GOD, fire Hargrove.

Miller is enough of a professional that I would offer her an assistant coaching position in a couple of years- but only in a couple of years, after the place has aired out a bit.


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