After Five Seasons, Crowds Finally Realize Such A Great Product

By Gregory Moore
Updated: August 29, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — If success breeds contempt and comfort, then I guess Dan Hughes may want to buckle up for a long off-season in San Antonio. If the San Antonio Silver Stars do the probable in the next four days, starting with a win Thursday over the Phoenix Mercury (8 pm ET on ESPN Classic), then what Hughes will be dealing with is how to keep his young team from becoming contempt and comfortable because they won their first WNBA title.

He will have to do everything humanly possible to keep his team hungry and for them to downplay the accolades that may be coming from the major networks of the city. The press coverage he sees now needs to be a reminder to him and to so many of a season or two ago.

There will be some pains coming from that this franchise will have to deal with, pains that they have longed for since 2002. Just what are those pains that are being spoken/ those are the pains of success of a basketball team that has a successful season.

When the Mercury and Silver Stars tip off, there is going to be more press in attendance than that first game in May of 2003 at the then SBC Center. There will be camera crews from the four local networks and possibly one or two more writers from the local daily and with this team now playing on national television, press row is going to be a little more crowded than normal. All of this happens because the local media and fans that are NOW coming to the game realize just how good this team that Coach Hughes has assembled really is.

In the five seasons, Hughes has been able to build a team that has the ability to withstand an injury to a key person and go out and win some decisive games. On Monday night, with Erin Buescher out for the season, the Silver Stars won an 80-78 contest against a very good Sacramento Monarchs squad. Last season, when Chantelle Anderson went down with a knee injury, the hopes of the playoffs went out the window with her on a pair of crutches.

This season was totally different. This season the squad rallied around each other and played well without a key reserve and just picked up her load. Ironically this is what happens when championship teams are being formed.

And so as it is being told here, Hughes and his staff will have to temper their success this season with the expectations of the masses for next season. Thursday, the ladies are going to be walking down a path that very few have been on and they are going to need to rely on the veterans they have and the youthfulness they employ.

As they prepare for a chance at maybe winning another playoff game, there are going to be fans that become fans of this team overnight. There will be media coverage of this team from outlets that never thought about covering them in the past. What Hughes and his team need to realize is that this is just part of the learning process and that they need to block everything else out except for the goal of winning one game at a time. Thursday night, they just need to win and worry about the celebratory crowd and playoff atmosphere later.

As Vick pleads for forgiveness, others must understand consequences

As this week closes, let’s put some finishing touches on Michael Vick and his federal case. Over the past several weeks, there have been e-mails sent to everyone and their cousin as to what needs to happen and this writer was no exception. What was truly befuddling was the fact that many, not all, in society felt that Vick should be given a second chance and many were worried about his professional career and not his personal existence.

What seemed to be forgotten by everyone who was in the debate was the fact that Vick admitted to being a big time financier in an illegal operation. Everyone who has spoke out in support of him seem to forget that Vick and his three co-defendants have now been classified as non-citizens of this country. Let me clarify what that statement means: civil rights, the rights as afforded to us under the Constitution as we know it, the very reason why so many people of all colors, races and genders died, have now been officially stripped away from Vick and his friends.

Among those rights that we cherish so much, the right to vote, the ability to hold public office and quite a few other things have now been taken away from Vick and that is something that should have been in the forefront of his thought process months and years ago. It should have been at the forefront his supports months ago and it should have been something his family and friends should have known. Yet with Vick standing at a podium in the Omni hotel, one has to wonder whether his supporters and family are prepared for the onslaught that is coming his way.

Let’s forget about the nay-sayers and pundits who don’t think he will make it and throw his football career in the dirty clothes, and let’s not even talk about his sentence. What needs to be addressed is something that Vick brought up in that conference room and that is the fact that he hopes the young men and women who idolize him learn from his mistakes and bad judgments. One of those lessons that need to be taught is that having your civil liberties taken away from you because of your bad judgments does happen on an every day basis.

As we in the media, and hopefully in the community, close the book on Michael’s transgressions, let us still pontificate to everyone and anyone who will listen the importance of having sound character when making a decision that could affect the rest of your life.

For those who are convicted of felonies, you become a non-citizen and that should be more embarrassing than any prison sentence. Whether you use those liberties or not isn’t in question but you should at least say that you can use those liberties when you feel the time is necessary. Today, four young men do not have such a luxury and they are now being added to a growing population of young men who have lost theirs as well.