I attended the home opener of the Minnesota Lynx on May 20. Although I was skeptical about the amount of fun I could have at a Sunday game with an 11:30 tip-off (that’s a.m., folks), the Lynx did not disappoint. At all. Which brings me to…
10 Reasons to Love the Lynx in 2012
1. The full-court press. It’s smothering, it’s effective. Clearly Minnesota’s finest have been lifting and running in the off-season.
2. Lindsay Whalen’s handles. She’s so fundamentally sound. It wasn’t her best game of all-time, but her command of the floor is always arresting. She had a phenomenal put-back in the first-quarter, too — the tip drill par excellence.
3. Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper”— and other between-plays music at the Target Center. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously, people: You know you like the bass line from Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.”
4. Text book bounce passes. Just as the dunk is still only worth two points, a sharp and well-executed bounce pass is just as good an assist as an alley-oop. Holler.
5. Network coverage. The game was nationally televised, which is a nod to the caliber of the match-up (the Mercury were without the talented and visible Diana Taurasi, however). I felt a particular surge of satisfaction seeing ESPN’s Holly Rowe interviewing WNBA president Laurel J. Richie inches away from the action.
6. Seimone Augustus. Near the end of the third quarter, she crashed into the crowd when trying to save a ball. It made for a very scary moment, but she ended up with some bruised ribs and nothing more serious. Gotta love that hustle.
7. The halftime show. It sounds snarky, but I mean it. The halftime entertainment on Sunday has officially overtaken The Russian Bar as the most amazing thing I have seen at professional sporting event . I screamed, I gasped, I scribbled down her name as fast as I could write: The Red Panda. She’s an acrobat who pedals a ten-foot unicycle with one leg and flips multiple bowls onto her head with the other foot. I’m not kidding. Here’s the proof. (p.s. I love that this clip was from her performance at an OSU basketball game… Brutus can’t believe his nutty eyes…)
8. Monica Wright. My enduring crush on Seimone Augustus…um….endures, but Wright’s style of play (fast & tough) and stellar performance (15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals) caught my eye in a big way. I’m staying tuned for more swoon-worthy efforts from the third-year player.
9. The fans. When Augustus came back to the bench after getting medical attention in the locker room, the whole arena gave a standing ovation steeped in love and genuine appreciation. Lynx fans care about the team and its players so much, and it’s all sincere. No spoiled boo birds here.
10. Jump On It. Another aesthetic gem from my larger game-watching experience was dancing to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s remake of the Sugar Hill Gang classic, “Apache,” — a tradition after every Lynx home win. I think we owe Candice Wiggins for the pleasure. And it is a pleasure.