Wakeup Call: Serena loses to the daughter of an ex-Patriot

811566.jpg

Wakeup Call: Serena loses to the daughter of an ex-Patriot

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, January 23:

AUTO RACING
Plans are unveiled to renovate historic Daytona International Speedway. (AP)

None of it, of course, will happen before this year's Daytona 500, which means NASCAR's new Gen-6 race car will debut on the old track. (AP)

BASEBALL
The Phillies -- who've obviously never seen him play there -- sign Delmon Young in the hopes that he'll become their starting right fielder. (CSN Philly)

They say most accidents happen in the home, so it makes sense that Francisco Liriano broke his right arm when he fell in his bathroom. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The money just keeps flowing in L.A.: According to a source, Time Warner has agreed to pay 7 billion in a 20-year deal for the Dodgers' TV rights, starting in 2014. (AP)

Age is just a state of mind, right? Sandy Koufax -- starting a new job at 77 -- apparently thinks so. (AP)

The troubled Elijah Dukes is arrested again. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Villanova hands No. 5 Louisville its second straight loss, which had the fans storming the court. Really, can somebody pass the word that beating a ranked team in January is hardly call for an over-the-top celebration? (CSN Philly)

An artistic gem it wasn't, but No. 3 Kansas isn't complaining about its 59-55 road win over No. 11 Kansas State. (AP)

Thad Motta's staying put for a while. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Her name is Diane O'Meara, and her face was used as the face of the fictitious Lennay Kekua in the Manti Te'o hoax, and she's not happy about it. In. The. Least. (AP)

More legal troubles for Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and Sandusky's charity: A young man identified as Victim 6 in the sex scandal files suit against all of them. (AP)

The rejuvenated Mountain West, robust again after prodigal sons Boise State and San Diego State abandoned the Big East and returned, will start playing a championship game next season. (AP)

GOLF
Phil Mickelson asks for a mulligan on his tax comments. (AP)

HOCKEY
After their shutout loss in New Jersey, the Flyers are 0-3 for the first time since 1994-95. (CSN Philly)

But the Blackhawks? They're 3-0 for the first time since 1972-73 after beating the Blues. (CSN Chicago)

When it comes to antipathy towards the referees, the Caps' Mike Ribeiro is in midseason form. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

The Canucks say a potential trade for Roberto Luongo is in place, though they haven't pulled the trigger. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Best of the West? The Thunder stakes its claim with a 109-97 win over the Clippers in L.A. (AP)

And it was, as expected, Kevin Durant who led the way. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Apparently, some people in Sacramento -- "mega whales" by name -- aren't giving up the Kings without a fight. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Which led Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to warn the good folks in Seattle: "Don't celebrate too early." (AP)

Even though no one in a position of power is saying anything, it appears that assistants Dan Majerle and Elston Turner lost their jobs, too, when the Suns and head coach Alvin Gentry agreed to a divorce last Friday. (AP)

The Grizzlies clear some cap space in a multiplayer trade with the Cavs. (AP)

The Lakers' top backup big man, Jordan Hill, is undergoing hip surgery. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Looks like the fate of the Pro Bowl hinges on how much effort the players put into Sunday's game. (AP)

The concussion crisis may be headed to another level, as researchers for the first time have detected changes in the brains of retired players who are still alive. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Har-Bowl angle's just not that interesting . . . and that's straight from one of the horses' mouths. (CSN Baltimore)

Even though he appreciates what Colin Kaepernick has done, Kurt Warner believes the 49ers could have gotten to the Super Bowl if Alex Smith were still the quarterback. (CSN Bay Area)

Bill Callahan "sabotoging" the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII? Impossible, says ex-Oakland fullback Zack Crockett. (CSN Bay Area)

As for Callahan, he's "shocked, saddened and outraged" by the charges -- originally made by Tim Brown and later supported by Jerry Rice -- and he "categorically and unequivocally denies the sum and substance of their allegations." (AP)

And speaking of Callahan, he may have some new job responsibilities next year in Dallas. (AP)

Eight new coaches and seven new general managers were hired since the end of the season, and not one of them was a minority. So the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants to expand the Rooney Rule. (AP)

Jamarcus Russell wants back in. (Pro Football Talk)

Sean Payton's already back in. (AP)

Rex Ryan was in a car accident last week, but he was unhurt and -- even though he apparently caused it -- received a warning and no citation. (AP)

More DUI troubles for the Cowboys, as nose tackle Jay Ratliff is arrested. (AP)

TENNIS
Serena Williams hurt her back and was upset by teenager Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open . . . which led Stephens to tell interviewers that a) she had gotten psyched for the match by telling herself, "Look, dude, like, you can do this", b) that she would now replace a poster of Williams hanging in her bedroom with a poster of herself, and c) she was "sure my grandparents are like freaking out". Ah, to think how much more boring it would have been if Serena hadn't hurt her back . . . (AP)

Stephens' father, incidentally, was the late John Stephens, a former running back for the Patriots. (wikipedia.org)

Much less entertainment on the men's side, as Andy Murray's back in the semis. (AP)

Friday, Feb. 24: 'Slap Shot' turns 40

Friday, Feb. 24: 'Slap Shot' turns 40

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while always holding a special place in my heart for Dickie Dunn as my favorite "Slap Shot" character. If Dickie Dunn wrote it, then it must be true.

*The ESPN hockey crew puts together some of their best scenes and favorite lines from "Slap Shot" as the movie hits 40 years old. I was first introduced to Slap Shot in my high school years and I liked it for the Hanson Brothers as much as for anything else, but that is a movie that just gets better and better every time I watch it. And I’ve watched it dozens and dozens of times. God bless Paul Newman for agreeing to lend his Hollywood star power to such a crazy, hilarious and raucous love letter to hockey.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Brian Wilde is recognizing the limitations of the Canadiens even under new coach Claude Julien.

*Bryan Bickell is stepping even closer to a return to the Carolina Hurricanes as he battles through his MS diagnosis.

*Kevin Shattenkirk apparently turned down a sign-and-trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season, and also turned down a chance to get dealt to the Edmonton Oilers last summer as well. I think the Blues D-man has a short list of teams he wants to sign with as a free agent, and neither one of those teams is on the list.

*Darren Dreger weighs in on Shattenkirk as well, and the price tag of a top prospect, first-round pick and NHL player for the puck-moving rental D-man seems very excessive.

*Things are coming to a head with Evander Kane and the Buffalo Sabres as he takes his play to a high level in Buff over the last few months.

*Interesting piece on Ed Snider’s daughter becoming an advocate for medicinal marijuana after his father’s health battles.

*For something completely different: Looks like a new season of "The Voice" coming our way.


 

'Why would the girls be treated any differently than the boys?'

tomboy_dl_abby.png

'Why would the girls be treated any differently than the boys?'

I grew up playing sports. For the most part I played soccer, but I also ran cross-country and track, I skied, snowboarded, and, at one point, I tried gymnastics. (It wasn't pretty.) My two younger sisters did the same. Our parents ran themselves ragged driving us to practices and tournaments, arranging carpools and fundraisers.

It never crossed our minds that we were girls playing sports. It's just what we did. And we loved it!

I didn't realize how lucky I was until visiting my grandparents in rural Ohio one summer. I found an old photo of their high school graduating class. I asked my grandmother what sports she played in school and I'll never forget her answer: "Oh, there were no sports for girls back then. We could cheer for the boys basketball team, but that was it."

I was shocked. I thought that was ridiculous. Why would the girls be treated any differently than the boys? I couldn't comprehend it.

Looking back, I'm so thankful I grew up in a time and environment where that wasn't the case. I can't imagine my life without sports. Not only because it's what I do for a living, but because playing sports throughout my childhood is a big part of what made me the person I am today.

Sports taught me the value of hard work. Being part of a team, I learned how to communicate and work with people to accomplish a common goal . . . and discovered just how gratifying the process can be. I became a teammate and leader who earned respect and empowered others. I made lasting friendships while stuffed like a sardine in a travel van singing Ace of Base at the top of my lungs. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. And I certainly wouldn't be in the position I'm in without them.

Don't get me wrong; it hasn't all been positive. Now that I'm a woman working in sports, I've had other kinds of eye-opening moments. During an interview for my first on-air job I was asked, in so many words, if this is really a career for me or if I had other plans after I found a husband. Once I did land a job, I covered many college football games by myself. There was one small school in particular whose players relentlessly catcalled me on the sidelines. I won't repeat the foul things they said, but I can tell you I went home feeling very dirty (and it wasn't because I  was pouring sweat after lugging a camera that weighed half as much as I did from end zone to end zone in the middle of an Alabama summer). Even now, every so often, social media has a special way of reminding me how some people still view women in sports. Surprise -- it's not good.

But if that's the worst I have to go through, I know I can't complain. My only focus is doing my job to the very best of my abilities and working as hard as I possibly can to continue to grow and get better. We've come a long way. I'm so grateful for those who blazed the trail and made it possible for me to do what I do. And, thanks to my grandmother, I will never take my opportunities for granted. My hope is that when my daughter grows up, she will be just as surprised and appalled by some of my bad experiences as I was talking to my grandmother that day.