Sports Snippets: April 10, 2010

10 04 2010

A few sporty items of note that I can’t or won’t write full-length articles about, but thought deserved a mention:

No Mo Hockey (?): Mike Modano hasn’t officially hung up the skates yet, but all signs seem to be pointing that direction, which inspired some home-and-away tributes. Modano got a spontaneous ovation during the late minutes of the third period Thursday night against Anaheim at home, causing Modano to get pretty emotional. His demeanor this season – perhaps more apparent to me as a latecomer to the party – has been one of resignation, so it was good to see that he really does appreciate the support of the fans. I’d be shocked if he came back for one more year, but it was great that Dallas gave Modano a fantastic send-off. Modano reciprocated by scoring the tying goal to send the game to OT, and really came through by scoring the set-up goal during the shootout to give Dallas one last home win 3-2. To drag other sports into this, Walter Payton went out in a blaze of glory, scoring touchdowns and throwing the ball into the stands, but the Bears lost the game. For the Stars to celebrate Modano’s career and bag a home win full of exciting Mike Modano moments, well, I can’t begin to describe how special that is. And I’m not the guy to do it anyway.

Screen grab from Mike Modano's final home game on FS Southwest.

Philadelphia High Life: This is the weekend that features not one but two professional soccer teams in Philadelphia. On the men’s side, the Philadelphia Union played DC United earlier today. I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of their team logo:

Image borrowed from the Philadelphia Union official site

I like the traditional “shield” worked into the round patch design, plus the coiled up snake. Very cool. I’m a sucker for team logos that not only look good but capture the essence of the town/state/region/country they represent.

The women’s team is the Philadelphia Independence. They square off tomorrow against the other WPS expansion team, the Atlanta Beat. I’m not a big fan of the Beat’s logo but here is the Philly logo to compare with the MLS version:

Official Independence logo from their official site, unofficially.

Dear WNBA: Major kudos for WPS launching a kick-ass ad blitz called “Defend Your Turf”. A sample spot follows:

(If the embedding really didn’t work, the video can be viewed here.)

I really liked the “See Extraordinary” campaign last year but the down side was, it gave the false impression that each featured player was always going to do some sort of highlight reel move. Shannon Boxx isn’t exactly that sort of player. I mean, she is good, no question. But it’s kinda hard to amp up her style of play, if not her role on the team, without leaving casual fans scratching their heads as to what the fuss was about. “Defend Your Turf” works because a) it makes it personal to the home markets, b) it uses my favorite music clip (Discovery HD used it to promote Planet Earth very effectively) for this sort of thing, and c) it features realistic action (from prior games) that reinforces that you have to be there to experience the excitement. I’m not a big fan of staged action sequences that may or may not ever happen in-game. I cited the WNBA in the open because really, they need to CASE the WPS (copy and steal everything) from a marketing perspective. I think the WNBA is trying harder this year to promote the league and I’ll talk more about that later.

I am curious to hear from any of you that watched the WPS spot as to what you thought of it. Post comments below (while the window is open – it’s pretty tight apparently) or contact me via the “About” link on this blog.

Dear FSC: As noted above, Women’s Professional Soccer kicks off in earnest tomorrow, which means it’s time for the WPS Game of the Week on the Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). I’m gonna have to wait a few weeks to see the Saint Louis Athletica on TV, but my hope for all of the games is that Mark Rogondino and Jenn Hildreth return in the booth for FSC. I sent FSC an email saying that at the conclusion of the inaugural WPS season last year, but never got so much as an auto-responder email in return. Not that I expect to have much “stroke” over at FSC. I would suggest that if you like announcers like Mark Rogondino and Jenn Hildreth, please let the network know. It can’t hurt, right?

WFTDA Roller Derby: It’s on! The Dallas Derby Devils hit the oval on Saturday, April 17.

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