Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Guru Musings: Vick Signing With Eagles Noticed In WNBA World

By Mel Greenberg

Guru Musings: Vick Signing With Eagles Noticed In WNBA World

By Mel Greenberg

  UNDER NEW YORK CITY (In a railroad car) -- So has the Guru posted a headline to shameless steal some web traffic in his direction on a night and ensuing day when Philadelphia has suddenly become ground zero in the sports world in the wake of Michael Vick's signing with the NFL Eagles?

  To quote a remark often used by a former vice presidential candidate out of Alaska: "You betcha."

  It is 3 a.m. at the moment on the return trip from New London, Conn., technically Uncasville, where the Guru spent one of his days off on the schedule to zip up to Casino-Land and watch the Connecticut Sun handle the Seattle Storm, which has a former UConn, player or two, in another must-win night in the stretch drive of the WNBA season.

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  Plenty of details of the game can be found at the sites of the horde contigent who regularly troll the WNBA waters in the summer to kill time between UConn NCAA championship seasons.

  And the Guru isn't weighing in on the dynamics of the move -- his capable colleagues back in the home office have quickly scrambled on a story they had no idea was coming shortly before it broke.

  But the Guru was quickly hit by the shock waves of the move up in New England.

 At a time that the future of the home office is in an undetermined state between the bankruptcy hearings and contract negoations, the Vick story once again shows why newspapers are still relevant.

 Ironically, on the previous short post on the way up north early Thursday afternoon, the Guru signed off to say he was about to watch a movie.

  He decided to bring along Invincible, the story of South Philadelphia's Vince Papale attending an open tryout for the Eagles and openingly making the team after Dick Vermeil became coach in the late 1970s.

   Who would known that several hours later the Eagles would again be back into the "giving a chance" business, though the Vick situation coming right out of federal. prison for dogfighting is quite different than the movie Rocky-style experience of Papale.

  In another ironic twist, 48 hours earlier when the Guru was working the desk, he led the nightly NFL roundup with three elements of Vick news on Tuesday -- Former Indianapolii Colts coach Tony Dungy, Vick's new mentor, along with Vick's agent saying that Vick may sign with a team soon, that the Washington Redskins were definitely not going to be involved with the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, and Vick speaking to basketball campers in Virginia about his life.

 But as far as any thoughts of Vick becoming a Philadelphia Story at that moment, well, that potential was as remote as chronicling a newsside scrum occurring somewhere in the Middle East.

 Back to Thursday night, somewhere near the end of the first half with the Sun seemingly in control, the Guru went to the facebook section of his blackberry and suddenly noticed a reference to Vick and the Eagles on a friend's status report.

Then a few seconds later, another comment appeared from someone else in a different part of the nation. And then another.

 At that moment, the Guru went to the ESPN site and sure enough, there was the confirmation.

  News travels fast.

  How fast?.

  Before the Guru could comment to his Connecticut friends on press row, they were already making comments to him, not the least of which was Good luck getting anything into your section that isn't Phillies or Eagles related the next several months.

 Not to worry.

  That's why the technical creator invented blogging.

   By the way, the Guru is no longer under New York City, so he apologizes for any typos caused by the bumpy rails between wherever we are, oh South of Newatk?, to Philly.

   And, of course, Philadelphia had already drawn interest in New England with the Phillies signing former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez.

   After the WNBA game was over, coaches from both sides had already become aware of the Vick story, saying to the Guru, Good luck in Philadelphia.

  Upon finishing the night's work inside the arena, the Guru headed for a quick stop at his favorite seafood place in the casino before heading to the train station.

    Of course, the Eagles also happened to be playing New England, and of course the Patriots network was on the screen. Thus, with the Guru still wearing his credential tag, the city-affiliation quickly caught the attention of the waiter at the oyster bar, who said, upon taking the Guru's order, "What are you crazy people doing down there in Philly?"

"Michael Vick, are you kidding me? I can't wait to read how you guys are going to handle this one."

 Naturally, his comments were heard by a few of the patrons who immediately had some quick positive and negative reactions.

  Then it was off to jump into the cab for the ride to the station in New London/

  "Where are you going?" the cabbie asked?

   "Oh Philadelphia, you guys just signed Michael Vick. That beats anything they gamble on from where you just came from."

   Finally, the conductor on the train came by to do his usual desatination check and asked "Philly?"

 "That's right."

"Oh yeah, the new home of Mr. Vick."

 And, folks it's only starting.

  But, hey, the old Amtrak is about to cruise into Central Jersey, notorious for bad cell phone connections, whiich is what an air card attachment is on a laptop.

  And so while the preceding helped keep the Guru awake and moving along, he'd hate to be unable to post thiis and then hsve to start complaining again about the blog platform program not saving copy properly.

  The Guru knows the home office is eagerly awaiting his return Friday.

  No, not because of help needed on the Vick story. That;s the day the Guru stops by one of his neighborhood delis to pick up norishment for the the night sports management crowd.

    So until the next post when the Guru returns to what he is actually known for, Goodnight to you in the States and good mrning to those of you in Europe and Asia.

  -- Mel

   

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
About this blog
Mel Greenberg covers college and pro women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked for 38 years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.



Click here for Mel's list of All-Decade players from Philadelphia-area schools.

Other contributors

Jonathan Tannenwald is a producer with Philly.com. In addition to covering the local college scene, he spent two years as the Washington Mystics beat writer for Women's Hoops Guru. He also writes his own blog, Soft Pretzel Logic, which covers men's college basketball, football, and other sports.

Kathleen Radebaugh is a recent graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She covered women's basketball for the school's newspaper, The Hawk, and served as sports editor her sophomore year. She was also a four-year member of the varsity crew team.

Erin Semagin Damio covers the University of Connecticut and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun for the blog, and contributes other features. The Storrs, Conn., native also attends Northeastern University, where she is a coxswain on the varsity crew team.

Acacia O'Connor is based in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the Mystics and the college basketball scene in the nation's capital. A graduate of Vassar college, she played on the varsity women's basketball team and was editor of the student newspaper.

Click on any of the contributors' names above to e-mail them.

Reach Mel at poll416@gmail.com.

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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