Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A few years ago, I started thinking that it would be fun to do some sports writing on the side. My original plan was to try to approach an indy weekly like the City Pages or the SF Guardian and offer to do some free lancing on women's sports. Part of the idea was that maybe I could score some press passes for games here and there.

While clerking, I read How Appealing every day, and got the idea to go the blogging route.

This week bloggers got let in the door at the convention. Last night, the Lynx gave Sara and me our first ever press passes, fulfilling the dream that got this started.

We went in the media entrance. A few guards looked skeptical ("You're press?"), but we eventually found the media room, where we got to meet a couple people we knew over email, and also got some free dinner.

We didn't really know where we'd sit, but they had us down at the press table. Courtside. Pam Schmid of the Star Trib, Tim Leighton of the Pioneer Press, the AP reporter, and us. Sara and I kept whispering to each other: "This is really weird."

Being courtside at basketball games is one of the best things in the world. You see so much more of the game -- coaches giving instructions, Sue Bird calling plays, everyone working the refs. It's awesome.

The big drawback of the whole thing is that, sitting in press row, you can't be a fan. You can't yell at the refs. You can't heckle the other team. We couldn't even stand up and cheer for good plays. I'm usually really loud (and occasionally rude) at games. It's against my nature to sit quietly.

After the game, I think we were supposed to wait out in the hallway for interviews and whatnot. That was a little too weird. I'd love to talk to some of the players, but I just couldn't picture it. "Hi Lauren, I'm Ted. I am here reporting for this, um... website thing. So.... what did you think of Vanessa and Nicole?"

It just seemed to silly. Maybe eventually we'll be more comfortable.

Anyway, it was all-in-all a pretty cool experience. I think we'll mostly just keep going as fans, but if we go get press passes now and then, that's pretty badass. Thanks to Courtney Lawson, Paul Swanson, and the Lynx for making it happen.