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.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When A Simple "Hello" Becomes a Cell Phone Novel

By Mel Greenberg

Question of the Day:

How come the Guru draws more internet visitors over a short span when he is not writing than when he is? Just curious.

But to move on so you didn’t waste your time coming here today:

Stacey Brann has joked about writing a book on her first season as the Rutgers media relations contact for the women’s basketball team.

Though not predicated on the topic, C. Vivian Stringer, the Hall of Fame coach of the Scarlet Knights, already has recently announced she will be authoring, herself.

Because Stringer is known by the media for at times giving complex answers to their questions, the Guru recently mused whether her book would be composed of just one chapter, but it would be 900 pages long.

Anyhow, back to our friendly media contact who had an outstanding season as an SID transfer.

Sorry, the Guru does not accord rookie status to someone with previous extensive experience at Long Island U., Richmond, and in the TV production world.

Thanks to Rutgers’s run to the NCAA title game and the Don Imus controversy that quickly followed, Brann learned this week she has already written a battery-charging, musically-loaded, multi-page epic, courtesy of her monthly cell-phone bill.

“3300 minutes!” Brann said, although it might have been slightly less since the Guru’s own company cell was causing difficulty during the conversation. “Do you believe that?”

Brann said the monthly tabulation period began on the day of the title game and at one point included 32 straight calls to her when the Imus situation took off.

The Guru suggested in the future she ought to assign different song identities for the various sectors and then if a similar situation happens again, she could also cut a CD to be a companion piece.

On The Town

It wouldn’t be the start of the WNBA season without the Guru being somewhere in the company of Temple coach Dawn Staley.

No, the former All-Star and three-time Olympic Gold medalist has not un-retired.

In fact, one last farewell to her stellar career will be noted Thursday night at her annual Dawn Staley Foundation Black Tie & Sneakers fundraiser, of which the Guru will attend.

No, don’t go looking for the Guru is anything special, yet. We’re saving it for a certain required-dress event next month in Knoxville.

Madness Without March

Since we just alluded to the forthcoming Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductions, for those of you media colleagues out there who are taking great amusement in the Guru’s dealing with the planning process, here is what is differentiating him from Georgia coach Andy Landers and former players Andrea Lloyd Curry (Texas), Pam (Kelly) Flowers, Daedra Charles-Furlow (Tennessee) and Bridgette Gordon (Tennessee).

The others, in terms of guest lists, basically have three categories – family, teammates/opponents, coaches or, in Landers’ situation, players, colleagues, and family,

Here are the component categories to date from which the Guru is working his lists for both Knoxville and an event in Philadelphia at a date afterwards to be determined:

Family, Media colleagues, Sports information directors, Local Division I group highlighted by Big Five schools; Local Division II and III schools; Immaculata-era people; officials past and present from WBCA, NCAA, AIAW, local past players; other coaches across the country; WNBA home office and team level persons; Conference office commissioners and media relations persons, current newsroom colleagues; past newsroom colleagues (including executives).

But the Guru’s blogging team will be on the scene reporting live from events in both cities and some are already working on advanced coverage.

We also mentioned the above for purpose of varied entertainment to a certain former department colleague at the St. Louis Post Dispatch who recently noted to persons here his bemusement over the Guru’s blackberry coverage of pre-game culinary items at the media feed at the Mohegan Sun.

And no, it was not the Guru who described the pre-game Mexican meal (paid for) in Madison Square Garden before the New York Liberty exhibition game as Stinko De Mayo.

-- Mel


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