Friday, May 30, 2008

What Exactly Are We Fighting For?

While watching the Seattle v. San Antonio game this past weekend, I became aware of the drama surrounding Becky Hammon’s decision to play for Russia in the Olympic games. I also found out that the salary cap for WNBA players is $95K. Yes, you read that right, $95,000. Still don’t believe me, check it out here, here, and here. Hammon and others including Seattle’s Sue Bird, make in some cases 10x that playing in Europe in the off-season. Worse yet, that is for someone seasoned, someone who’s been in the league for a while, like Lisa Leslie.

Rookies have it bad. Even the likes of Candace Parker, who may well be one of the greatest players of all time and was the number one overall draft pick, will only make about $44K this year. Compare that to the minimum NBA rookie salary in 2007, which was a little over $350K.

The WNBA has always struggled to make its mark, find its audience (personally I feel this would be a lot easier if they were willing to pander to the gays, but that’s another post for another day). Their ad campaigns have tried to inspire people. They started with “We Got Next” and then tried “We Got Game”, but I think their new campaign really presses the issue.

Other players with “Expect Great” campaign ads include Tamika Catchings and Cheryl Ford.

Obviously the salary discrepancy is shocking. To be fair, the WNBA doesn’t draw a lot of “butts in the seats”. I really hope that changes with the likes of Candace Parker and others that have drastically raised the game. What I want to know is where are their endorsement deals? Why aren’t we using some of the greatest female athletes to promote a healthy lifestyle? They got Alicia Keys, but what about Nike and Gatorade? Why is it that all things basketball seems to be dominated by men?

I know they tell you not to put all your eggs in one basket, but I’m putting the future of the WNBA on Candace Parker.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Temptations Against The Law

With summer approaching and law school around the corner I started to think about getting my shit together. In the past, I haven’t exactly been a good student. Ever. That’s not to say I didn’t get good grades, but I didn’t exactly apply myself, and frankly, I cut corners wherever I could. For the first time in my life I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to get by on my superior planning skills and my ability to work the system. Not that I’m not intelligent, I just felt all the steps before where just that, steps. Hoops, if you will… hoops I had to pass through to get me to this point. I think its time to bust out my real skills and show people what I am capable of. Unfortunately that means I haven’t built good habits in my past academic experiences. Although from what I hear studying for law school is like nothing else. I did look at some of my friends that are getting their Ph.D.s and have decided I want to emulate some of their routines.

I have to balance my desire to kick ass and finally apply myself in academia with my desire to continue getting healthy and become a badass and having a “normal” life, whatever the hell that means. To me, its still seeing my friends, maintaining a healthy relationship with my girlfriend, and being able to take a break now and then to enjoy the little things in life (read watching TV, movies, and sports).

So, I came up with a list of things that will probably be serious distractions/temptations for me. I think my plan of attack is to be aware of these things that way I can schedule them in, prioritize accordingly, and hope it all works out in the end.

1. My Girlfriend – Basically, I’m in a new relationship and I am really happy. I am finally with someone I am excited to share my life with. The only problem is I have heard that law school can be a relationship killer. I don’t want that to happen. I also know it will be hard to juggle both and keep everyone happy. At least I know we are both committed to trying our best, and really that’s all I can ask for. It’s going to be hard not to spend my weekends snuggling in bed, my evenings exploring the restaurant scene with her and just general canoodaling.

2. WNBA – I love women and I love basketball, the WNBA is a natural progression. I am moving to Sacramento, home of the Monarchs. I don’t particularly have any favorite players on the Monarchs, but
Candace Parker 1cparker
and Candice Wiggins cwiggins
(Ace & Ice) just got drafted this year and I can’t wait to go watch them play. It is going to be hard to keep myself away from Arco Arena, and especially hard to keep me from watching basketball non-stop on TV. Once the WNBA season ends in September, the college basketball season starts up again and I can’t wait to watch Joanne Boyle’s Bears tear it up, and I am excited to watch Appel and company at Stanford. I didn’t go to either of those schools, and even though I did work for one, I am all about west coast bball. I don’t pay any attention to the rivalries. I’ll save my soapbox rant in favor of public school for another day.

3. Traveling back to the Ice Chamber – I love my gym. It’s more like a family, but that’s because it’s WAY more than a gym. Either way nothing can replace my love for the IC, even though there is a place that does crossfit. I hope to travel back to the IC for PT Sessions twice a month. That could be risky, we’ll see if I can manage.

Really it all comes down to kettlebell love

4. Best friend near by – One of my best friends from forever (actually, only since 2003) lives a town away. She’s a genius and is also studying her ass off. She is also one of my longboarding buddies. When I can drive to her in under 20 minutes, it will be hard to fight the compulsion. She is also an amazing chef. I am powerless when it comes to good food.

5. Meeting/getting to know my peers – I am hoping to get to know some of my peers. It seems like a friendly place, but I know this takes time. I also know the best way to procrastinate is to convince someone else in your class to do it with you (not that I ever did that in the past *cough cough* ahem).

6. New city to explore – I used to hate new places, but I have grown to love the discovery process. I want to find all the best restaurants, brunch places, party stops. I want to find the donut shop that is open late and procuring hot donuts at 1:30am, community tennis courts with working lights, clean nail salons with reasonably priced pedicures and good flowers. I want to find that Indy/grunge/arty coffee shop where I can spend all day studying because they also have great food, good music, and friendly staff. Sure I have never found all of these things in one city, but I haven’t given up hope yet.

7. Desire to knit, read, watch tv, general goofing off – I have multiple hobbies, I love to knit, play and watch sports, read, and even play video games sometimes. I have over 500 DVDs and I’m nearing 100 TV box sets. My hobbies have always taken up a lot of my time, and I am good at getting involved in something just to avoid what I should actually be doing. i.e. “If I knit my aunt a dishcloth for her birthday its still a productive activity even though I should be reading for class”.

I’m sure there are things I haven’t thought about, but this is a good start. Comments and suggestions welcome.