The Time Has Come

by Categorized: 2012 NCAA women's tournament, Baylor women's basketball, Big East women's basketball, Brittney Griner, Connecticut Sun, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball, WNBA Date:

Well constituents, it’s that time of year again. In a few hours, I get on a plane – hopefully with enough gas – and head back to Connecticut, another college basketball season in the books (and You Tube, for that matter). So much television to get caught up on….

I enjoyed Denver, although the altitude is a real issue. It kicked my “hash tag” a few times on walks around the city. I was huffing and puffing around the streets as if I was a somewhat roly-poly sportswriter….oh wait, I am.  Never mind.

Denver is a beautiful city, but one populated by a heartbreaking number of homeless. They were everywhere in the downtown area, huddled together mostly, stopping into McDonald’s for whatever free coffee they could get when it was snowing Monday night and Tuesday.

It’s the first time I’d been back since Sept. 11, 2001. I was on a plane back very early that morning returning from the New York Giants Monday Night Football season opener against the Broncos when my flight was diverted to Cincinnati because of the 9-11 tragedies playing out in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

I never wanted to go back to Denver. Silly, neurotic Italian me, blaming a blameless city for the fear I felt that day. What a dope.

I’d return in an instant now.

The NCAA national championship game played out exactly the way most suspected. Brittney Griner was simply too much for Notre Dame,  especially when Dev Peters got into foul trouble. Watching Griner play must be like what is was to see Lew Alcindor play at UCLA in 1967. You’ve never seen anything like it before.

With Griner, Odyssey Sims, Destiny Williams, etc., all returning, I would have to believe they have another chance to go undefeated again, unless UConn figures out a way in February 2013 to beat the Lady Bears in Connecticut.

Most ironic, of course, about last night’s game for UConn fans were the stat lines of Husky killers Natalie Novosel (0-for-11) and Brittany Mallory (1-of-3). I know, I know what you are thinking.

I will be taking a few days off, then will start getting ready for the WNBA Draft and the start of the Connecticut Sun season.  I will not be going to the Olympics.  My big brothers in Chicago and Los Angeles get all the really neat national and world assignments. So I will be watching Geno with the rest of you on NBC.

Thank you for everything this season. I hope you found this space informative and, at times, humorous.

Read and laugh. It keeps your mind active and your heart light.

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20 thoughts on “The Time Has Come

  1. Martin Fallon

    Thank you John for all your work and keeping us in your loop. Good luck Tiffany. Huskies, stay healthy and we’ll see you next season.

  2. mari muro

    John – I am going to miss having my morning coffee with you. I really enjoyed all your blogs/columns and I am going to miss them.
    Until next year – THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for a great read in the morning.


  3. Eileen

    Again, John, thanks for all the wonderful blogs/columns. I too am going to miss them as I will miss not watching the women play, but I will be waiting for your articles on the CT Sun and will be watching as much of the WNBA games as I can. Too bad you can’t go to my favorite city, London, to take in Geno and our Olympic team. I will be tuning into NBC, not only for the bb, but a lot of other sports. Thank you again and enjoy your days off–you earned them.

  4. Steve Pratt

    At the risk of sounding Limbaugh-esque, “Dittos” to the previous comments. Despite being a fan of all Husky sports, yours were the first Courant posts I read every day. I love following the Lady Huskies (and have, since the mid-’90’s), and you made it all the more enjoyable. We have kindred senses of humor! BTW, you fans in southwestern CT who can’t get WTIC at night, it almost alwasy comes in clear as the proverbial bell in Maine. Go figure.

  5. Kenny

    Thankyou John for the blog and the chats.the first i did in the morning was go to the blog.I’ll miss that.
    See you next year,again thanks for all the info Kenny.

  6. Kenny

    Poor ND another year with out NC.They chocked like
    they always do.They could’nt get the foul calls they
    always get the refs finnaly caught with novesol and
    leaning in neither could the princess.See you next year

  7. tex2299

    Thanks for all the news, John. Could you please pass along the following message to the Notre Dame women:

    It must suck to be you!

  8. Bud Revet

    Well JA, too bad you won’t be able to cover the Olympics it would be great to have you over there. Will you post some insight into things off TV? As time goes by I get more and more into women’s BB, my daughter played and still refs. Been a UCONN fan since the 1980’s and have never slipped but the past couple of years it has been much easier to follow with your imput and Hoopstreams in Alaska. Will that continue?


  9. Loralee Mairs

    John, I read via Twitter from my Blackberry. It helps me to feel connected to this team I’ve loved since 1995, all the way from California. Thanks for sharing your personal account of 9/11. I could almost feel your fear through your words. Keep up the great work! I look forward to tuning in next season. I love Geno, and I love his players!



  11. Mike McManus

    Thanks for everything John….like many have said before me, reading your articles and Blogs is a must for me every day of the season. I hope that if any tidbits arise, like having the new recruits on campus in June, or hearing about future commitments, you will find a way to keep us informed. The “dead season” [baseball] begins and is painful as hell for me!

  12. Uconn Fan

    John, the rare air in Denver didn’t bother me but my car had hiccups. I haven’t been there since the new airport (built on an ammunition dump). We had to crab (fly sideways) into and out of the old air port with the cross currents. Worked with the FAA then.
    John do one more story, this time all positive, about the true impact of Tiff Hayes on this team and this season. Let us send her off on the high ground. Geno too deserves a big cheer for the great coaching job he has done. I’m sure all real Uconn Fans will agree–the naysayers will always look to the half full glass. Geno is tired, you are tired, Bob and Kara are tired it’s been a long tough year. Thanks John–I didn’t always agree with you–but I thought you were being honest–if we could only count on that much from every journalist. Thanks. If the lord is willing, I’ll be chasing your blogs again next year and any tidbits between now and then..

  13. newgirl2

    JA thank you for all your reports. Tiffany Hayes, the year didn’t end as you would have wanted it to, but, remember not many people had expected the team to get so far into the tournament. Keep your head up and best wishes for your future. To the rest of the Gang, thanks for a wonderful BB season. See ND didn’t win an NC either, and Miss Diggins and Co. must be feeling the disappointment you felt on Sunday. See you next year!!!

  14. Donna

    you’re the best! can’t wait for the CT Sun stories to start! New Orleans here we come!!!!

  15. natalie no show & pouty peters

    best thing to look forward to next season is miss falls alot no show wont hurt uconn in the tv games like she did for 4 years
    if geno & cd dont change their stubborn ways expect to see 7 players next march while 6 remain glued to the bench
    doty unfortunately
    dolson out of shape fumblin stumblin bumblin
    stokes or tuck
    blued to bench in march
    stokes or tuck
    engeln dont come back transfer
    johnson dont come back transfer
    buck dont come back
    geno & cd loyalty cost uconn a chance to play in the nc this season
    doty sucks and is a liability on both ends
    faris cant and wont shoot most games
    hartleys terrible ball handler and wont be a leader like renee
    dolson will never by aa or poy like tina
    kml aint the greatest shooter
    stewart will be slightly above average at d1 wcbb because of her height and length but never great
    write this down: jeffersons lousy attitude will get her in genos doghouse from day one – you will see her pout and not cheer on the bench – just wait and see
    take the blue blinders off
    dear espn diggins is an ugly time bomb just waiting to go off
    dear espn griner wouldnt be aa if she was 6-4 or shorter
    dear espn fire carolyn the mistake peck and trey the clown wingo
    dear espn fire doris burke she is annoying like dick v and cheapens the coverage
    baylor 40-0 next season and breaks uconns 90 win streak the following season – go back and read the predicitions about baylor unbeaten at beginning of and thru out the season – husky blinders made you absolutely doubt that wouldnt happen but it did
    uconn leading by 11 at baylor means nothing – no one cares – there is no asterisk next to baylors 40-0 that says uconn was winning by 11 in waco

  16. scott

    John, we need UConn to come to Utah so we can visit again. Thanks for keeping me, the Connecticut transplant, up to date on UConn while living in the mountains.

  17. Chris Saran

    natalie no show & pouty peters,the greatest women’s basketball player has already come and gone from college. D did what Brittney Griner cannot and won’t ever do – win three national championships and at a mere eight inches shorter than Griner. She did it for two years after four of the top six picks in the WNBA draft graduated. Sorry that UConn has beaten you two out of three SG (Since Griner) and sorry to say it will be three out of four after this coming season. With Griner, Baylor was supposed to go undefeated for four years. Sorry to not see that happen. UConn beat them in the Final Four. How I loved watching Tina Charles run Griner into the floor to the point where she asked to be taken out, and Texas A & M beat them in the Elite Eight. They didn’t even make it to the championship game her first two years. D is and will remain the greatest women’s basketball player ever. At six feet tall, Griner would be just another player, nowhere near as great as D.

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