Brock Lesnar better step aside, because there was more physicality and brutality on the courts of the WNBA on Saturday night than there was in the UFC octagon! Chicago-Atlanta, LA-Seattle, and NY-Phoenix all had violence and brutality (okay, I'm stretching it a little) that have fans in an uproar, while perhaps the only game that really SHOULD have fans in an uproar is Tula losing their 10 in a row to Washington. Let's examine each and hand out some WUFC discipline.
Chicago Defeats Atlanta, 88-82.
Combatant #1:: Sylvia Fowles, Angel McCoughtry
Combatant #2:: Sancho Lyttle, Mistie Bass
Fowles knocked Lyttle out of the game late in the 4th quarter, when her elbow caught the new Spanish national on the left cheekbone when she caught a rebound.
No foul was called and the Atlanta bench was charged with a technical foul.
Lyttle manager Marynell Meadors on Fowles' fighting style: "She hit three people tonight with those elbows. I don't have anything good to say (about the officiating), so I'm not going to say anything at all"
Bass may have had her nose broken when she tried to block McCoughtry's shot. Bass was called for the foul. One can only surmise by the participants that Angel realized Sylvia Fowles was tearing them apart, looked at the size of Sylvia and said ;'heck with that I'm going after Mistie!"
WUFC Response: Aggressive hard plays on both accounts. Syvlia just was teaching Sancho what she would see in the World Championships, and Angel was showing Mistie what would happen to her if Sylvia continues to destroy Atlanta.
Seattle Defeats Los Angeles, 75-62
Combatant #1: DeLisha Milton-Jones
Combatant #2: Lauren Jackson
For oh, the 10th or 12th time Delisha tried to remove Lauren's nose with her elbows. No one is quite sure if DeLisha has an aversion to Lauren's hair color of the month, or if she was trying to celebrate Independence Day by declaring war on Australia, but this western division rivalry was renewed again last night.
Smack from Combatant #1, DeLisha; "I know the personality I have off the court, (author's note: she's a sweetheart!) there's no way I can bring that on the court. I tried it when I was in college. If someone fell down, I would go over and pick them up and my coach was livid — 'What are you doing? Either you give the first lick or you get the first lick. Which one do you want?' I said, 'give it' — just scared, not wanting to hurt nobody. I just wanted to play the game."
Smack from Combatant #2, Lauren: "Every single game that we play against DeLisha, everyone knows she's a thug. It's ridiculous to me, but whatever. On a bad day, I probably would have decked her back, but I don't really care. I'm just happy we won."
Jackson was okay, Milton-Jones was in foul trouble most of the game, and the Storm won.
WUFC Response: DeLisha, when you're on a winning team, it's okay, we understand But at this point? The Sparks aren't going anyplace, and Seattle is the best team in the league. I'm not saying take your lumps and like it, but the elbows and all after the play? It's enough while you're on this team. And speaking of that, the WUFC mandates that DeLisha Milton-Jones be traded immediately to Atlanta. Then the Dream will have someone that won't be afraid to go for the right person.
And finally, laaaadies and gentlemennnn, the Main Event! Let's Get Ready to Rumblllllllllllle!!!!
Phoenix defeats New York 75-62
Combatant #1: Cappie Pondexter
Combatant #2: Penny Taylor & Diana Taurasi
Sideshow Participants: Corey Gaines, Ketia Swanier, Nicole Powell, some insane fan who was allowed just about on the court, NY Liberty organization, Phoenix Mercury organization, Essence Carson
This one was a true heavyweight thriller! Taylor drove for an uncontested layup only to be leveled by a blow to the head and neck by Pondexter, who was going for (depending on who you believe) either the ball or Taylor. To understand th WUFC's view on this one, one must understand a basic definition, straight from NBA.com's "Explaining the NBA’s Most Misunderstood Rules" (http://www.nba.com/features/misunderstoodrules_051128.html).
A flagrant foul 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. This usually has a swinging motion, hard contact, and a follow through. Both fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. A flagrant foul 2 also results in an ejection of the player committing the foul.
Please note the part in bold. In other words, regardless of how many times Essence Carson feels like tweeting "Freecappie", Pondexter hit Taylor with a flagrant 2 foul by definition of the rule. The ejection was correctly called, and a suspension should follow based upon the rules.
The length of the suspension may be determined by whether or not the league feels Taurasi should have gone around the Liberty players while on her way to help up Taylor, as a Liberty fan friend of mine suggests, or if she was just running to a teammate and Pondexter threw a needless elbow and arm at Taurasi's head and neck too.
Now for the sideshows. Ketia Swanier was about at the foul line, caught on video, after leaving the bench, a no-no, before being pulled back. Corey Gaines apparently decided to contribute these pearls of wisdom immediately after the incident: "Now the truth comes out. Everyone can see." [EDIT: Gaines supposedly said this and it was immediately re-tweeted, we'll take it as heresay, but this is WUFC, not WLaw & WOrder]. Nicole Powell, getting in between the grapplers, got into it with some crazed fan who almost is on the court, with a security person standing beside her even. Then Cappie is made unavailable to the press post-game. This was some major insanity!
WUFC Response: The WUFC has really struggled with this one. So many sides, so many angles...and so much stupidity!
First, Pondexter. Three game suspension, and a week of sensitivity training with Geno Auriemma. Cappie, in all seriousness, I believe in playing all out, etc. but you gotta know where you are. You've won two titles You got your ring before the game. The crowed cheered like heck for you. All you needed to do in my opinon to reduce this from boil to simmer was help up Taylor. Instead you chose to walk away, and then elbow Diana. Great; you've now taken cheap shots at the two players they loved more than you. And this helped you how? Come on, think!
Second Taylor. One game suspension. Penny, I know you feel you got cheap-shot'd, but you cannot get up and go after her. You have been in several incidents, now, and you should know better.
Third Taurasi. No suspension, but a good size fine. You got suckered in Dee. Can't let that happen. You deserve to pay the league's favorite charity a part of your next check.
Fourth, Swanier. One game suspension. Rules are clear here Ketia. You gotta go. Can't leave that bench area, period.
Fiifth, Powell. Small fine. Nicole, no matter how big a nutcase that woman was, you cannot take on the fans.. The league thanks you for your contribution.
Sixth, Gaines. No suspension or fine, just a talking to about how to diffuse a situation and not further antagonize it with his comments. I didn't hear anything from Ann Donovan. Then again she didn't say much during the game either.
Seventh, the fan that confronted Powell. Season tickets revoked. Get outta here. That was a more troubling situation to me than Cappie's foul. Fans cannot be allowed do something like that, and while I'm on the subject
Eighth, the security guard by that fan. To quote Donald Trump, "You're fired!" Go straight out of the arena, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You, my friend, are what they will now show NOT to do in those job training videos.
Ninth, Liberty organization. Substantial fine for not making Cappie available post-game. Sorry, but she could have easily helped her suspension cause with a public statement to the press. Something like, oh, maybe this: "I'm sayin this to all my fans I would never do anything on the court to hurt anyone! Imma competitor 1st" Oh wait, I remember she TWEETED that after the game. She can't do it to the media who has a job to do, but she can tweet it instead. The Liberty should be ashamed of themselves.
Tenth, Mercury organization. You need to assure your fans a safe and enjoyable experience. Things happen on the court during play, and you can't be faulted for that. But you cannot have security allowing people to confront players on the floor. Part of the great thing about the WNBA is the interaction that players have with fans. When the players have to deal with crap like that, we all suffer. You deserve a big fine.
Finally, a first! A whole day after an incident, a punishment is needed. Essence Carson, suspension of your twitter account for a week for killing everyone's timeline with #freecappie!
Whew, that was a big one!
So, that concludes our WUFC 101 retrospective. I hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully, you won't ever be joining us for coverage of a WUFC 102, because there won't be one!
EDIT: Important edit! That "crazed fan" was Mercury GM and President Ann Meyers Drysdale! Accordingly, the WUFC makes the following important revised Responses:
1. Security Guard who let the "crazed fan" near the court, not only gets their job back, they are elevated to head of security and given a company car.
2. The crazed fan does not lose her STH privileges, she gets to be a front office executive for the team in charge of all operations for doing such a great job supporting her players.
3. Nicole Powell is now suspended the rest of the season for not arguing with a friend, but arguing with an executive of another team.
That is all!