Sunday, June 22, 2008

"...and does it really matter who is at fault?"

So is Coach Meadors the worst thing ever to happen to the Dream? My position is no. Except for our draft choices, you have to remember that this is a team of castoffs - players who, for whatever reason, the other WNBA teams didn't want. No one team said, "my goodness, Lennox/Latta/Feenstra is so important to the success of our team that we must protect her, and immediately!"

This team wasn't going to go to the playoffs. I don't think any expansion team has ever done that. I think Atlanta fans should have known that going in. Hope is a drug, baby.

That being said, this team has lost 12 straight games. Barring some miracle today, it will probably lose to the visiting Shock and tie the consecutive losses record for a single season of play.

Remembering the 2002 Detroit Shock, the coach of that team got fired when he lost ten straight. That's how Bill Laimbeer got his job in the WNBA.

Remember Coach Meadors time in Charlotte, she got fired after her team lost by 26 points to the Rockers in 1999? The Sting were expected to go to the playoffs; the Rockers were in last place. Meadors's record? 5-7. Not awful, just mediocre.

This brings me to the sad point of the post:

Coaches get fired.
Coaches get fired for lots of reasons.
Coaches get fired for things that are not their fault or for which they have no control over.

If the Atlanta Dream lose their first 13, that might be okay. Hey, the Shock lost 13 straight one time and they're still in the WNBA! If the streak continues to 14...or 15...or more...then the WNBA is going to become worried about Atlanta's fan base. In mid-July, football training camp starts. How much attention are fans going to pay to an 0-for-everything team?

Ron Terwillinger, the owner, might have to step in and make his first difficult choice. I like Coach Meadors. I believe that given time, she can turn the team around. I like the fact that she's doing everything she can to support this young squad. But when you lose 12 straight, you could be John Wooden and it wouldn't matter. After a certain number of losses, the team tunes out and the fans tune out.

A new coach shakes up the team. "Hey, we have a new coach. Maybe we can break out of this streak/maybe I'd better work harder or I might not be playing next year." A new coach also shakes up the fans. "Hey, at least Terwillinger is trying to do something!"

As Walt Whitman said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes" I hope that Coach Meadors makes it through the year. And I also hope that Ron Terwillinger has Fred Williams on speed dial, just in case.

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