Friday in Knoxville
We flew overnight from SFO, via Atlanta, to Knoxville, and in mid-afternoon, joined Dal Miranda, the FBC travel coordinator, and 14 other fans, for supper at Calhoun's on the river.
Diana and Phil Levy and their daughters are long-distance fans who live in Washington, DC. They met as Stanford grad students and follow the Cardinal whenever they can -- and follow the team through the FBC website other times.
We walked along the Tennessee riverbank in the twilight to the Arena, arriving when the doors opened, along with many of the other 13,000 attendees.It's a very big arena and it's all creamsicle orange.
Even after it's full of fans, it's still all creamsicle orange, because they all wear their colors. Stanford fans made a little streak of red up one corner. Some game hilights: Right in front of us, in her first five minutes on the court, Jane Appel put a perfect block on Candace Parker, just stuffed the ball down on her. I sat there like a dummy, yelling, with my camera in my lap. The rest of the night I was thinking, I coulda had that picture, dang it, I coulda had that picture. Don Anderson, I'm so sorry!
So then I started keeping the camera pointed and did get one action shot. Parker got a steal and a breakaway layup. The crowd went nuts, just bonkers. They thought (and all the newspaper accounts since say) she "dunked." It was not a dunk. I saw the TV replay and maybe the end two joints of her fingers were above the rim. Any male player would call it a "finger roll." If that's what she calls a dunk, then I say no female player has dunked yet. So there. Another hilight that I didn't get a picture of: at the end of the first half, with 25 seconds on the clock, Pat called a timeout. Then her players very nicely executed and got Parker a 3 for what they (and we) assumed would be the last play of the half. Except Candice Wiggins took the ball with 3.2 seconds to go, took maybe five steps, and let fly from well short of the mid-court line. The red light came on as the ball was in the air, and it swished! That was nice. Anyway this was not an easy win for Tennessee, as indicated by the very appropriately-named "Hustle Stats" that they display. Tomorrow: How We Passed Our Free Day in Atlanta.