An athletic endeavor ensued Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena between the outposts of Los Angeles, CA and Uncasville, CT.
Stop right there, as Meatloaf sang in "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."
Has anyone ever stopped to ponder the utter absurdity of Los Angeles vs. Uncasville in … anything?
Now we learned a long time ago that women's basketball has provided us the occasional path to the national stage. But think about it:
Los Angeles. The city of Angels.
Uncasville. Angel (McCoughtry) plays here sometimes.
And the tale of the tape? Oy.
Los Angeles has the San Fernando Valley. All we have here is Morgan and Ashley Valley.
Los Angeles has the Lakers. We have Oxoboxo Lake.
Los Angeles has Kobe. We have the Kobe beef at Octagon Steakhouse.
Los Angeles has Marina Del Ray. We have Marina Del … Gwenmor. That's where they boogie down to (gulp) Neil Diamond. Saw it with my own eyes recently thanks to George Racine on his boat, "Sea Quell."
Los Angeles has radio traffic reports long enough to outlast some marriages. Uncasville traffic reports wouldn't go beyond a turkey crossing the road.
Los Angeles has UCLA. All we have here is UC … Avery Point. (OK, so we have the better baseball program. But have you ever toured the UCLA campus?)
Los Angeles has Burt Bacharach's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Uncasville has baccarat in the casino.
Los Angeles has Jack Nicholson wearing shades courtside at Laker games. Uncasville has Judy Vlcek wearing wigs courtside at Sun games.
Need we proceed?
It all adds to how Connecticut's reputation as the home office for women's basketball might be overrated. Surely, we take the sport far more seriously here than anywhere else. But our lack of amenities has made it hard for the Sun to attract free agents.
Their two best signings, Kara Lawson and Mistie Mims, came here married and without the need to overdose on life in the big city.
Many women's players spend their winters in lands that God forgot. (Try to find Ekaterinburg on a map). They are often cold and isolated. Figure that they'd prefer more hip surroundings for the summer. Connecticut really doesn't qualify as "hip."
Connecticut can counter with coastline, beaches, scenery, Mystic, a good team, fans who care and short drives to Newport, Boston and New York.
Not good enough sometimes.
All of which makes it a better story than you think that the Sun have been such a steady franchise. Because it's not much of a question for twentysomething women, "So do you think you'd rather live in Beverly Hills or them thar hills for the summer?"
I don't know. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think that players, by definition of the word, are here to play, not carouse. But there's a decent amount of free time when you are a pro athlete. And most WNBA cities are kind of cool.
They might beat Groton.
Ironically, Los Angeles and Uncasville have shared Sun coach Mike Thibault. Coach T used to be a scout and assistant coach with the Lakers. One of his wife Nanci's best lines is that at their wedding, the photographer got "plenty of pictures with Pat Riley, not so many with grandma."
And now the Thibaults are all ours.
They've gone from a city known by its initials and with 3,792,621 people at the last census reading to the neon hills of eastern Connecticut.
Who needs glitz, glamour and Dyan Cannon anyway?
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.