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Griner Story of Tourney by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Griner Story of Tourney

    Baylor freshman, Brittney Griner, is tall. Overstating the obvious, right? She’d give Ed Jones a run for his money.  She doesn’t need the rake Matt Dillon used to hunt geese. She has a wingspan of 88”. To comprehend 88”, you just take NBA center, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, lay him end-to-end and watch Griner reach from the tip of his toes to the top of his shaven head. Still don’t fathom how big of a reach is 88”? Picture this: she is in a women’s bathroom stall and seated in the next stall is Elaine Bennis, not sharing toilet paper. Griner could stand up, reach over the side, yank Miss Selfish up by the scruff of her neck and demand the square Miss Bennis claims she cannot spare. Griner is also the NCAA story of the tournament.

    Repeat: 14 blocked shots in one NCAA game, a tournament record, that’s the story.  Not Butler going home, nor the Kentucky calamity, nor the Kansas catastrophe, nor even the Connecticut conquests.  It is 14 blocks in one game!

    Some actions lead to legends. Here’s a good start: dismantle Georgetown, hold the Hoyas to 17.1% shooting, swat away more shots (14) than they make (12) all night; make them miss 20 of their first 21 attempts. These kinds of performances in a tournament game are remember-when moments; on par with Bill Walton’s 21-of-22 shots-masterpiece against Memphis State in the 1973 Finals or Wilt’s 100 point game. 

    Granted, it was only a second round game. Maybe the word “legend” is too strong until she does it against, let’s say, a legendary coach and a number one seed like Pat Summit and Tennessee.  How about 27 points, 7 rebounds and 10 blocks? By a freshman?! How about making the Volunteers alter their game plan so much they couldn’t hit a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game? How about embarrassing mighty Tennessee enough to make Coach Summit blow her cool? Is that legendary enough for you?   

    Oh yeah, one more thing, the PUNCH. That punch, the one breaking Jordan Barncastle’s nose.  Another thing Brittney may be famous… or infamous for; the type of thing that should never happen in women’s basketball.  Maybe not. But remember, Brittney Griner is the type of player you rarely see in women’s basketball. You don’t see players with size 17 shoes and 88” wingspans playing the women’s game every day. Yet, even though she’s bigger than everyone else, she’s still a teenager, prone to frustration; especially if her opponents are undercutting her every time she jumps or hitting her in the groin, or worse yet, making fun of her deep voice or questioning her womanhood.  She’s getting the kind of treatment Wilt got in college or Blake Griffin endured last year. The kind of treatment reserved for legends.
Griner Story of Tourney by Stan Silliman humor sports comedy cartoons articles
    Stories will roll in from out Waco way. Geese will alter flight paths. Drinks will disappear from second floor window ledges. Grandparents will enthrall their grandkids with Griner stories from the 2010 NCAAs.   


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