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RIP Kay Yow

It’s not often that the Sportsfly crew muses on women’s athletics, except to clown or hammer home a point of irrelevance, but today closes the uplifting yet sorrowful saga of North Carolina State Women’s Basketball Coach Kay Yow.  Yow’s Hall of Fame career has some amazing stats.  700+ wins.  Olympic gold medal coach.  Numerous NCAA Tournament appearances.  These stats and career moments pale in comparison to her real contribution to humanity.

Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled the disease over the next 22 years of her life.  Yow’s initial response to being diagnosed was to go out and coach the Olympic team in 1988.  She beat the disease and continued coaching.  In 2004, the cancer returned, yet Yow faced it down again.  Indomitable spirit defined Kay Yow’s life experience.  In December 2008 Coach Yow took a leave of absence and said she would not return this season.  A week later, she checked into the hospital.  A week after that she passed away.  A fitting farewell to an inspirational figure.

All to often the true essence of sports gets lost.  Amongst media blitzes, over-dramaticized hyperbole, and overexposure the nature of sports dwells and unfortunately it takes stories like Kay Yow’s to bring that nature to the fore.  Competition breeds internal fire and that fire can be used to succeed, defy odds, perservere through adversity, stand humble in the face of success, and recognize one’s place in the greater scheme.  It’s fitting that both Kay Yow and her Wolfpack compatriot, Jim Valvano, lived and taught these principles as they faced an opponent that typically drains the spirit just as much as it drains the body.  To the end, Kay Yow remained resolute to not let cancer take her out of the game.  On the court she stood, even as her physical self dwindled away.  When she finally decided the fight was over, it ended.  That is the beauty of free will.  Kay Yow was laid to rest today, but her example and teachings resonate.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

Fight til the Fight is Done

Fight til the Fight is Done

January 30, 2009 Posted by | College Basketball, Features & Opinions, General | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Hopeless in Seattle”…not this year!

OK.  2008 didnt see the Football Huskies tally another National Championship, nor did it showcase the Mariners coming back from 2 games to none to send the Yankees home from the playoffs, or did the Seahawks go undefeated at home en route to another Super Bowl shot….but, what it did provide was a miserable, cellar-dweller, across the board, display of mediocrity from the entire line of Seattle based sports teams.  But!  I have also spent the last 8 years watching a certain President drive our economy into the ground, pick fights with every country but Canada, and pile-drive the morale of American citizens.  And what happened next?  HOPE.  Yes, hope…as in Barack Obama…as in no more Bush….as in better and more opportunity.

The pieces are in place for the city of Seattle to rise up and bring respectability back to a city of higher standards.  Like the Huskies football team, the Seattle Supersonics (remember them), and the Seattle Storm* of the WNBA, we will look at how and why each franchise/college team has a shot at bringing home the gold.

(* means “nobody cares”)

Seattle Mariners:

Let’s not forget that the Mariners were fighting for the AL West title just 2 years ago.  The only true losses from that team are Raul Ibanez and Jose Guillen, but the youth and the addition of Erik Bedard make this team as talented if not more than ’07.  Seattle has the best leadoff man in baseball, has the $$$ to sign Griffey as the DH, an onslaught of talented young catchers and pitchers, highly touted infielders Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez, a charismatic young GM and a new Manager that brings winning experience by way of Oakland and Anaheim (I refuse to play the “Los Angeles of “game).  Prediction: 84-78 record, Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow and Felix Hernandez become All-Stars and the AL West was in reach until Bedard got hurt.

Seattle Seahawks:

In 3 seasons with Atlanta, Jim Mora Jr. was 26-22 building around the anti-christ to animal rights activists, Vick, and establishing a top running game.  Why is this relevant?  Mora not only has Hasselback at QB, but has the speedy and creative Seneca Wallace to work with.  Seattle also has an army of “C” class RB’s to work, similar to what Mora had in Atlanta, but made successful.  The defense boasts Pro Bowlers Patrick Kerney, Marcus Trufant, Lofa Tatupu, and Julian Peterson and have all intentions to add a high-profile free agent, probably a safety (Jermaine Phillips, Kerry Rhodes) or DT (Albert haynesworth, Tommie Harris)…, OR, how about bolstering the offense (Fred Jackson, Derrick Ward or maybe T.J Houshmandzadeh)???

The Seahawks boast arguably the best OT in the history of football (Walter Jones) and have a decent rest of O-line, when healthy.  The receiving corps clearly needs an upgrade, even without the injuries, fortunately, Seattle has the 5th overall pick…Michael Crabtree!  If we cant sign Jackson or Ward as free-agent RB’s, I have no problem with taking Chris Brown of Oklahoma with the 5th pick in the 2nd round.  The talent is there, Paul Allen has the money, and the Seattle fans believe…it is all up to Mora to put it all together.  Projection: 12-4, loss in the NFC Championship.  Seriously.

Washington Huskies – football:

Jake Locker has the running ability, energy and potential leadership ability of Tim Tebow…unfortunately has the passing ability mostly likened to Garo Yepremian.  But wait, in comes Steve Sarkisian, the former offensive coordinator and QB coach at USC, having developed Carson Palmer, Matt Leinert, Matt Cassel, John David Booty and Mark Sanchez.  Couple this dynamic with WR D’Andre Goodwin, OLB Donald Butler, DT Alameda Ta’amu and a solid Offensive Line, and the Huskies could turn in and 5 to 6 win season.

Washington Huskies – basketball:

As of this moment, the Huskies are 12-3, 2-0 in the Pac-10 and undefeated in 2009.  Jon Brockman is a beast down low, and the trio of Isiah Thomas, Justin Dentmon, and Quincy Poindexter get shots up.  There is no reason that the Huskies cant make a serious run at the Tournament this year.  Projection: 22-9 in regular season (12-6 vs Pac-10), should win 2 games in the Pac-10 tournament (24-10), that is worthy of a 8-11 seed in the NCAA 64.  I’ll take it!

All in all, this is a good year.  Each team has a reasonable shot to bring home a crown, although my personal projections dont allow any of them to deliver this year…but in 2010, it will happen!

January 9, 2009 Posted by | College Basketball, College Football, General, Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment