Category Archives: Other Sports

Attention ladies: Tia Jackson wants you to keep it in perspective

You probably don’t care much about women’s basketball. Which is part of the reason why UW women’s basketball coach Tia Jackson is still employed. No one cares. They don’t care much about the team, the players, the coach, or the fact that the Huskies were embarrassed over the weekend, losing by a combined 105 points to Stanford and California. Were this men’s basketball, Jackson would be on her way out at season’s end, or worse, already gone.

True, there needs to be some level of patience with a new coach (Jackson is in her second year with Washington), but this Husky ballclub is setting the benchmark for futility. Two records were set by the Washington women over the weekend: largest margin of defeat, and lowest-scoring first half. The 77-point loss to Stanford was the largest gap in points scored between the Huskies and any of their opponents in history, while the nine points registered in the first half of the game against Cal was the fewest ever by a UW women’s team. All of which went largely unnoticed by the greater spectrum of Seattle sports fans.

It’s one thing to have a bad day (or bad days, in this case), but it’s a whole ‘nother matter to suck as bad as the Husky women’s basketball team sucks. There’s no getting around the fact that they’re pretty darn terrible right now, and a lot of the blame for that needs to be placed on the coach.

Yesterday, Jackson asked the media (and presumably the fans, as well) to “keep it in perspective,” when discussing the losses over the weekend. Keep what in perspective? The fact that this might be the worst basketball team in school history? That, along with the ’08 football squad, we may be witness to two of the worst UW sports teams ever just happening to play in the same year? Jackson needs to realize that the only reason she still has her job, is that a) she coaches a women’s basketball team that few people pay attention to and b) most Husky sports fans have yet to realize that our women’s hoops team is, in fact, this downright bad. For Tia Jackson, at least, the fans ignorance is her only bliss.

KIRO sets stage for local turf war

When KIRO radio announced their hiring of longtime Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro yesterday, the message to Seattleites was clear: We’re playing for keeps. The news-turned-sports station is attempting to corner a local market that has been dominated by one player for the past generation, 950 KJR AM. KJR has been the only local sports station in Seattle’s recent history, meaning they’re in unfamiliar waters with competition moving in next door. The fact that KIRO got their hands on Calabro, a local icon with ties to KJR, shows they’re in this thing for the long haul.

For KIRO, the next step should be to hold an expansion draft of sorts. If they want to accumulate more listeners right off the bat, they should start “borrowing” from the competition. Two current KJR on-air personalities might be a good fit for KIRO: Dick Fain and Dave Grosby.

Continue reading KIRO sets stage for local turf war

Calabro to host daily radio show on KIRO

With KIRO radio’s transition to pure sports talk in the coming months, the station unveiled perhaps the biggest addition to their new format with the hiring of former Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro as the host of his own daily show. Calabro, who will also double as the play-by-play voice of the Seattle Sounders FC, has spent the past few months calling NBA games for TNT and Westwood One, as well as college basketball games for FSN.

The hiring of Calabro should pull a number of local sports fans away from the only current sports radio station in town, 950 KJR AM. Over the years, Calabro has been a frequent guest on KJR programs and has created a fan base of his own in the process. While some of KJR’s on-air personalities have pulled no punches in their early criticisms of the new KIRO, it will be interesting to see how they respond to the hiring of a friend in Calabro. If anything, this should help gloss the relationship between the competing media outlets.

Weirdest Looking Athlete of the Year Award: Tie, Delonte West and Robert Swift

It wouldn’t be fair to call this the “Ugliest Athlete of the Year Award” because well, everyone defines ugly differently. So to be both specific and just, we went ahead and selected the “weirdest looking” athletes we could find in 2008, and really there wasn’t much competition. Amazingly enough, both these guys played for the Sonics last year, so we saw first-hand how strangely beautiful Robert Swift and Delonte West can be.

First, let’s examine Winner A, Robert Swift. The former first-round draft choice has seemingly gotten less normal-looking with each passing year. Observe the photo on the left. In the first half of that photo is a snapshot of Swift from his rookie season, 2004. He looks, for the most part, like your average pimply teenager (which in fact he was at the time). Now take a look at the second half of that photo. That’s Swift two years ago after undergoing a massive transformation. Tattoos all over his body, long red hair, tufts of peach fuzz, and the face of a pimply adult. Not as normal, by any means.

Now take a look at the photo on the right. How things have changed. Besides the fact that Swifty is a) playing and b) dunking, no less, he has also undergone yet another metamorphosis. His hair–once buzzed trim, once long and flowing–now appears to have been yanked out little by little. The tattoos remain, canvassed by an even whiter, milkier, ghostly-pale skin. And the mug, at one time pimply and with the potential to blossom into a beautiful flower, has apparently been scorched to the very nethers of the epidermis. Where has our Robert Swift gone? Who is this impostor, contributing semi-productive minutes of PT and with the face of an 80-year-old senior citizen? Swifty, we hardly know ye.

On to Winner B, the infamous Delonte West. West, like Swift, has always looked a little, how to put this nicely, different. In 2008, however, he took those differences to a whole new uncharted level of weird. Look to the left and you’ll see the 2007 edition of D-West. Bald head, lots of tats, a pretty good representation of the pre-weirdo Delonte. Sure, he wasn’t your run-of-the-mill looking dude back then, but at least you could tell that he was human.

Fast forward one year and catch a glimpse of the new Delonte West on the right. No, that’s not a half-sprouted Chia Pet you’re looking at; that is, in fact, the man who feeds LeBron James his balls (literally, one ball at a time). In addition to sporting what appears to be a pube-to-head hair transplant, West has also opted to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate, Swift, and grow facial hair, one chunk at a time. Naturally, the tats are still there, and possibly in greater numbers. It’s not all bad, however. Delonte does appear to have worked on his tan. No longer is he one of those questionable “Is he white or is he black?” guys, like Jason Kidd will likely always be. No, it’s very clear that West can at least now check the “Other” box on his SAT’s, so good news there. Overall, not as significant a downgrade in appearance as Swift, but major negative marks for the Brillo dome.

Again, we want to reiterate that this is not an ugly contest. We don’t consider either of these recipients to be “ugly.” Neither Robert Swift nor Delonte West happen to be what most people would consider “normal-looking,” however, and that’s what we’re really judging here. For 2008, at least, they are the two most unnormal-looking athletes we could find, and for that they get an award. Congrats!