Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus 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," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Behind The News

By Mel Greenberg

My, my, my, there are times when even the Guru himself is fascinated at the speed of the internet in this technological age.

Having just returned to the home office here in Philadelphia from covering the moving and final farewell tributes to Army coach Maggie Dixon earlier in the day at West Point, N.Y., lo and behold, before I even have a chance to look into our publishing system to see how much of my story on the way to print survived the editing process _ essentially it all did _ I learn through the grand central station site from which many of you link here (can you say Sarah and Ted?), that you have already honed into some of the info I provided.

Well, caught you. I deliberately dropped a few pearls into the story about proposed actions to honor Maggie's memory to see how fast the rumour circuit would pick it up.
Pretty quick, apparently.

And for those of you who haven't seen this report at this hour of posting, good morning to you all down in Virginia and North Carolina at the annual talent harvests.

For the rest of you, here's how fast my printed copy that has yet to be in print went through the circuit.

At 8 p.m. Eastern time, our editors moved a copy of my story to the Knight-Ridder News Wire. Apparently, the San Jose Mercury, our soon-not-to-be or maybe still-to-be sister paper quickly posted the story at their web site.

It's not even up yet at our site - Philly.Com, at the moment I am writing this report.

Well, to get serious, though.

You all can take pride that your suggestions about ways to honor Maggie's memory inspired the Guru to take an existing situation to the next level at USBWA.

Your hearts were in the right place and the award you were suggestioning might appear under someone else's banner.

I already know the Patriot League has a really neat concept under consideration as their way of honoring Maggie.

As for USBWA (United States Basketball Writers Association), I can't spill the beans on our own deal ahead of time (look for early June when the Guru accepts an award at ECAC-Sida), but it will be appropriate and in synch with all that Maggie accomplished in a short time.

I can tell you, Army is pleased with the propposed plans, DePaul is pleased, and in speaking to Jamie Dixon on the side, the family will also be enthusiastically on board.

A few housekeeping items involving components need to be done.

A major co-sponsor is already in place (although we haven't done an official sign-off) because that sponsor helps pick up the tab at our annual brunch at the Women's Final Four. (If you have attended, other than eduring the Guru emceeing the event, you already have a clue).

But again, the point of this discussion is the guru wants you to know that you already in your own way had input and the guru does monitor your suggestions with serious consideration.

In fact, if any of you know a person with a few million bucks willing to invest in buying a major newspaper in Philadelphia, in fact, two newspapers (to make the folks who work on the first floor here happy), please pass that individual's name along.

I told coach Staley to save her money to buy a WNBA team, although I also offered to provide chauffeur service to her office for a small fee if disaster strikes here. :)

I did make a proposal to my good friend Michael Alter, the owner of the new Chicago Sky, while at the all-star game in Boston.

Apparently, the only thing he was interested in buying from this town, however, were the rights to Temple's Candice Dupree, showing you that despite your praise, Staley appears to have more leverage than the Guru.

That said, the Guru will be back in a few days after an annual major event (that he considers minor) in his life occurs Sunday.

I won't get into it, but the only other person who has the codes to leak those details is busy 60 miles away up north preparing for her final exams, while we get her administratively situated for the WNBA circuit this summer.

So, we'll see you in a few days unless a sudden stream of email causes commentary ahead of time. This week's postseason awards banquet tour stop will be the annual Big Five dinner Wednesday night.

-- Mel


Before going away, to get serious again, the impression given ahead of this morning's events by an overall West Point representative was that we would be viewing the ceremony from afar with no access.

As it evolved, the few of us (New York Times, Gannett being the other print publications), were allowed to be right with all of those who mourned Maggie and I was personally pleased to be able to subtlely talk with all the individuals who had been major interviews at the previous events since Maggie's tragic passing.

Those elements helped produce a much stronger and sensitive picture to offer to you in cyberland and to our readership here. I had a good friend of mine in the Army SID office fact check before I shipped to Philadelphia, and the only changes were a spelling of the arena, and a change of one word to make mess hall a more appropriate description than "dining area."

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Anonymous Nelson Holmberg (former Glory PR guy) said...

Hey Mel!
What's your take on the Atlanta Glory? :)

-Nelson

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Anonymous Nelson Holmberg (former Glory PR guy) said...

nelson@noslencommunication.com, by the way...

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