Monday, March 21, 2016


   Lone chimneys dot California wilderness and mountain areas. Sentries, guarding the past of what was once a place of life and settlement they are also powerful testament to enduring. Some things last and remain. So it is with life and human legacy.
   The Detroit Free Press said it was his "most impressive moment after the worst loss," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo in tears, voice cracking after his highly ranked Spartans lost to little Middle Tennessee State. One of his key players Denzel Valentine said it had been his job to carry a team but he let them down and that's when a tearful Izzo reached out to touch the neck of an obviously hurting kid. Tom Izzo is one of the real and genuine guys in big time college coaching. Of course he was disappointed in the team's play and their loss but he was more concerned, even compassionate about how much it hurt his kids.
     Chris Mack coach of Xavier that lost on a last second shot  was interviewed live after trying to console his highly ranked team. He emerged solemn and shaken and was asked what it was like. He said, "that is a tough locker room right now, really hurting."
     There were other such moments as the NCAA tournament  played down to the Sweet 16. Even the professional analysts, Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were moved by the emotion, especially the Izzo comments and concern. Some may poo poo the emotions but one needs to remember despite their size and skill, they are still  really kids, many in their teens and most will never go on to play professional ball, so a tourney loss is the end of a dream and the ruin of hope. A coach, a good coach, cares about that as well. And so it is healthy, I think, to see a man who has drilled and trained an athlete, to respond to the kid, or young man with concern and compassion at one of the worst moments of their young life. And if tears flow, that's not only human, real and caring, it is also manly. Real man, manly!
     It didn't take long for most of tennis and much of the media world to fire back at Raymond Moore. He is the now besieged CEO of the Indiana Wells Tennis Garden and BNP Paribas tournament, one of the prestige venues in the world.
      Players, commentators, journalists and fans heaped scorn on Moore for his comment, on the day of the Championship Finals, that women tennis players had ridden the coat tails of men and that women players should go down on their knees to thank players like Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.  
      Even if that was true, and it is not, it certainly is not wise to make such a sexist and outrageous comment to anyone, especially the media. Patrick McEnroe quickly said Moore should resign. Serena Williams and others have called the comments offensive. 
       I have not seen marketing studies to verify it but my hunch is the women professionals are every bit as much a box office draw as men. The top ranked women, like their male counterparts are millionaires from prize money and endorsements. 
       Oracle mogul Larry Ellison who owns the complex and tourney is expected to have the last word on Moore's unfortunate comments.
   We caught this lovely scene and sound as we drove home from dinner in Cambria.
      Someone hired Voces Tapatias Mariachi to serenade those living in this apartment just off Main Street.
   It was a lovely pre sunset desert.  


  1. One who should be crying is Billy Donlon, who in his six seasons as coach couldn't get Wright State to the big dance, in spite of having 20 win seasons in three of the past four years. He was fired.

  2. This is a tough time of year for coaches.

  3. We have good friends who just returned from Indian Wells where they enjoyed several matches and they're furious about this sexist comment.

  4. It is fantastic complex and the tournament is on the level of a grand slam. The comments were idiotic and completely without need.

  5. Serena mentioned the women's final at the US Open sold out well before the men's final. I would enjoy hearing Billy Jean King's private comments...

  6. Andy Murray has joined the conversation saying that men's tennis, in fact all tennis, owes gratitude to Serena for her impact on the sport.

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