Is it just me, or is the WNBA rapidly becoming the most exciting pro sport in the country? Alright, well maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but “the W” went from obscurity and ridicule to headlining SportsCenter this week with it’s seminal moment: the league’s first all-out brawl. Here’s the video with some analysis afterwards by Pam Ward and Doris Burke.
This was no hair-pulling, tops-getting-yanked-off, Springer-esque catfight, but it definitely ranks up there with the best brawls in recent history. The highlights include:
– Candace Parker with a “Sweep the Leg Johnny” moment initially taking down Plenette Pierson to start the whole thing
– Rick Mahorn having flashbacks to his days with the nasty boys and using his large posterior to take down Lisa Leslie. Mahorn later claimed he was trying to be a peacemaker. I think he confused peacemaker with haymaker.
– In a reverse Milton Bradley moment, Cheryl Ford tearing her ACL trying to restrain her teammate. She’s now out for the season. They say she tore it before the brawl, but that seems a little suspect to me. In any case, I’m sure the brawl didn’t help. What have we learned here? Never try to stop a fight. Someone could seriously get hurt.
Suspensions were handed down today. Jeez, that was the worst professional basketball related brawl in Detroit in at least, like, three and a half years.
On the heels of the biggest “disaster” thus far in the WNBA (which conveniently got them more headlines they’ve ever had in their 11-year history), the Detroit Schock obviously had to do something to prove that they were ashamed and don’t see this as a publicity stunt. So what did they do? Well, what else could they do?
They signed 50-year-old Nancy Lieberman to a seven-day contract. Lieberman has been a broadcaster and actually coached the Shock, and now she has become the Gray-Bearded Lady in the Circus that is the WNBA. This is remeniscent of the late, great Bill Veeck, who was known for absurd publicity stunts like when he sent 3-foot-7-inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate for the St. Louis Browns with the uniform number “1/8” on his back.
Lieberman, who already set the record for the WNBA’s oldest player at 39, will make her return tonight complete with sponsorship from Ben-Gay, Metamucil, and Ensure. Hopefully they don’t get into another fight, because she might break a hip. Look on the bright side, at least people are talking about the WNBA now, and they should feel good that their fight didn’t turn out like this one.