Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mystics vs the Dinos

As most of our loyal readers already know, the Mystics were bounced, not only from the playoffs by consecutive losses to Indy, but -- even before that -- from their true home court by a bunch of large, small-brained, extinct creatures. The long-scheduled run of (international favorite) Walking With Dinosaurs had already grabbed all the available playoff dates at the Phone Booth for its psuedo-educational time travel extravaganza from the Triassic through the Jurassic to the Cretaceous.

So the Mystics, instead of playing their first round game at the Phone Booth, were sent to the friendly and professional-quality Comcast Center at the University of Maryland. The BasketCases love that arena, but we (like most Mystics fans) would have been happier if the first game of the playoffs had been held at Verizon Center.

The BasketCases therefore decided -- since the Dinos stole the Mystics' home court -- that it was incumbent on us (as the officially un-official Mystics bloggers) to check out -- and rate -- the competition. So we headed over to the Verizon Center this evening to take in the Dinos' final Washington performance, and here's our analysis of how the Mystics stack up against the competition . . .

Affordability. The BCs opted for center-section Club level seats for the Dinos. Cost: approximately $50 per ticket. Same seats for the Mystics: $30 (for STHs only $20!) Advantage Mystics.

Quantity of Entertainment.
The Dino show consisted of a 30-minute "first half," a 25- minute intermission, and a "second half" approximately 40 minutes long. (Total: 1 hr & 35 minutes.) An average Mystics game from introductions to final buzzer is approximately 2 hrs & 15 minutes of non-stop action and excitement. Plus, single or double (who can forget that Connecticut game!) overtimes are no extra charge. Advantage Mystics.

Lighting & Special Effects. Well, we have to admit, the Dinos did a pretty good job in this category. Lots of special lighting; video effects; colorful growing foliage; smoke; and roving continents courtesy of plate tectonics.. The Mystics' video intro is cool . . . but, Advantage Dinos.

The Players. The Dinos roster featured some BIG and LOUD performers. But hey, the BasketCases are long-time Mystics fans. As for "BIG" . . . duh, remember Tree Rollins? And how 'bout Shock Coach Rick Mahorn? As for Big and Loud . . . who can forget Bill Laimbeer? Now the Dinos also had a few really quick players in their line-up, mostly Raptors. But quicker than Lindsey and Mattee? No way! So, to be fair, we'll have to call this one a tie. Advantage: Neither. (1/2 point to each team.)

Fan Participation. Except for the plethora of families with young children who (naturally) chatted excitedly and throughout the performance, the Dino crowd was pretty sedentary. Even the dramatic conclusion (when a comet wiped out the Dinosaurs and most of life on Earth) didn't elicit much in the way of fan reaction. We kept waiting for the fans to jump out of their seats, or start a wave, but alas, it never happened. At Mystics games, standing, clapping, dancing, spontaneous leaping from one's seat is de riguer. Advantage (by a mile) Mystics.

Half-time Entertainment. Dinos, none. So the Mystics win this one by default. Advantage Mystics.

Fan Give-aways.
Well, the Dinos charged $20 for a program. The Mystics charge $0. Throughout their games, the Mystics provide selected fans the opportunity to win gas cards, fruit arrangements, gift-bags . . . not to mention they throw burritos into the stands. The Dinos gave away nothing. Another easy call: Advantage Mystics.

Educational Value. While the Dino show, with its own actor/paleontologist-imitator, purports to teach us about pre-historic life on Earth, the BasketCases would bet that if the attendees were quizzed after the performance, few, if any, would be able to tell you much about the Mesozoic Era. (We were all too busy waiting for the next Dino to make an appearance to pay much attention!) On the other hand, while the Mystics don't lecture or instruct, it's hard to be a fan for long -- particularly a young one -- without taking away a few life-lessons: that young women can accomplish great things; that hard work pays dividends; that even losing can make one stronger; that competition is part of being a professional . . . etc, etc, etc. Which, in truth, is more educational? No question in the BasketCases' minds: Advantage Mystics.

Final Score: Mystics 6-1/2, Dinos 1-1/2. In terms of entertainment bang-for-your-buck, it's hard to beat the Mystics and the WNBA. Long live the Mystics! Dinos . . . you're extinct for a reason!

Photo Credit (and dis-credit): DC BasketCases (via cell phone)


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are some of the top players coming out of college beside Appell,Charles, and E Prince? They won't be around for the Mystics to select. Who else is out there though?

At 1:40 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

you say "it's hard to be a fan for long -- particularly a young one -- without taking away a few life-lessons: that young women can accomplish great things."

I'd like to mention that the young ones can also easily see that elder sisters can pull off an interesting and entertaining blog about the Mystics! A great example of what women can accomplish.


At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketcases, I say again, you guys awesome! Thanks for better coverage of women's basketball than any other so-called mainstream outlet. ESPN could learn a lot from you if they were even interested in sports played by women.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We watched the LA-Seattle game and it was the most horrendous officiating yet!! Even the ESPN commentators were forced to notice - Carolyn Peck just finally stated the obvious - "those are not fouls". It was distrupting the game so badly-it seemed like several players had 3 fouls called on them in the first 5 minutes of the game!! And these are not the so-called physical teams. Poor Seattle, it felt like it had been pre-ordained that LA would move on so the league could showcase Parker and Leslie. I really hope with the NBA refs out, that that league also realizes the impact poor officiating can have on their product.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly believe we do have a Mystics core -in the front office, staff and players- that are moving in the right direction finally. I've been STH since day one and this is the most cohesive and positive group we have had. I am sad our season ended, but am really excited for the years to come.
Thanks to all in the Mystics organization for a great experience.
Sandra, sect. 112

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Stevo said...

What's best about the BC's is they tell it like it is....... Definitely no sugar coating here!!!Lot's of players comming out in April, but who for the Mystics.. To be continued..

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched to game last night and the officiating was horrible (especially in the 1st qrt). It really affected Seattle in the 1st quarter and I would be very upset if I were Seattle today. Where do they get these refs?? If I didn't know better, I would say the game was rigged for LA.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got the feeling the Mystics v. Dinos tally wasn't done by completely disinterested parties ;)

At 9:13 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

Anonymous said...
Got the feeling the Mystics v. Dinos tally wasn't done by completely disinterested parties ;)


At 9:50 PM, Anonymous BetsyinDC said...

This is the hard hitting analysis I have come to expect from the BC. Good dino research!

The Western Conference finals are being displaced from Staples Center by Britney Spears and a boxing match:


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