At last. It’s over. The Mystics' 2012 season came to an end last night with a loss in Chicago. So this one is history; it’s in the books. Washington finished the season with a record of 5-29, the worst in the WNBA. Dead last out of 12 teams. Just a single road win (in 17 tries). Not a single win “streak” (in other words, no back-to-back wins) in the last two seasons. The BCs confess that, when this season began, we didn’t think the Mystics were going to be a really good team, but with Mo back and a full roster of relatively healthy players, we never thought it would turn out this badly. Were we ever wrong!
After experiencing the team’s best season ever in 2010, Mystics fans have now had to endure the worst two-year stretch in Mystics franchise history. In 2010, the Mystics celebrated 22 wins, plummeting to a total of only 11 wins in the next two seasons combined (while losing 57 games).
But none of this is news to our readers. This season is over. And that, in the BCs’ opinion, is good news.
And the other “good” news is that -- thanks to the unwarranted dismantling of a successful Mystics team over the past two years by the owners and top management -- the Mystics are in an excellent position to gain back some ground next season by virtue of next spring’s college draft. (That is assuming, between now and then, they deal with their “leadership” issue, if you know what we mean.)
Finishing dead last in 2012 doesn’t guarantee the Mystics the first pick in the 2013 draft, but it does guarantee them the most ping pong balls. The Mystics’ actual draft position will, in fact, be determined this Wednesday, so fans don’t have long to wait for some possible “good” news. During ESPN’s 6 PM SportsCenter on Yom Kippur (the most solemn, holiest day of the year for Jews . . . pretty bad scheduling, WNBA!), the draft lottery results will be announced for the four teams that finished out of the playoffs.
If the ping pong ball gods smile on the Mystics, they will have the chance next spring to select at number 1, 2 or 3, meaning that Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne, or Skylar Diggins could be wearing Washington red next summer. Three outstanding young players; at least one possible “game-changer.” The owners and managers of the Mystics franchise don’t deserve this, but the players and fans surely do. And that makes us happy.
You know what also makes the BCs happy? All the money we’ve saved these last two seasons not buying playoff tickets means we have a little extra to spend on other sports . . . like jousting.
Did you know that jousting is the first official sport of Maryland? (Lacrosse is the second.) Well, it is. And yesterday, we got to see some very exciting jousting competition at the St. Mary’s County Fair. Only $5 admission! Pigs, goats, Clydesdales, 4-H, perfectly grown vegetables . . . and jousting. What a deal!
We think basketball fans who have never seen jousting would enjoy watching it. There are definite similarities between the two sports. The object of each is to use your skill to get something cleanly through a round metal ring. Except that in jousting, you’re galloping at full speed (or in the case of the kiddie division, trotting slowly) on the back of a horse, the “thing” you’re trying to get through the ring is a long pointy lance (not a ball), and the metal ring is as small, in some competitions, as a Life Saver. Other than those differences, the games are very similar.
One difference between the sports . . . but something the BCs particularly enjoyed, was that in the kiddie division, each competitor was dubbed with an appropriate jousting name. Like Maid of Cove Point Woods or Knight of Pax River Walmart. And when a “Maid” was cleared for action, the announcer would say, “Charge, fair lady!” Very cool. You’d like it. Now that you have some free time and money to spare, go catch a jousting match, we highly recommend it.
Enjoy the playoffs. Go out and have some fun, Mystics fans. You deserve it. And remember . . . the college season is almost here. Oh yea!
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases