Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Courtside Conversations - Jan. 4, 2005
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 13, 2005
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Take heart Wildcat Fans, Polkey will be back soon and a 2-1 record after opening the conference season with three straight games on the road isn’t a disaster. The Cats will rebound but will anyone know about it? Last night at Wells Fargo Arena, I walked into the media room and found Jack Magruder (Arizona Daily Star) and Ken Brazzle (Citizen) both on the same road trip!  I teased them that we should all take a picture. After all, where has all the coverage gone?


During Arizona’s recent Pac-10 opening trip to Seattle, during which the team won both games, there were no local reporters to be found. Both Jack and Ken desire to travel with the team but the “suits” at the newspapers apparently don’t consider the Cats to be worthy. Yes, we can read about the Pima Storm Junior College Football team playing in a Bowl Game (a bowl game for Junior Colleges?), and yes we can read about local rodeo riders and new dirt tracks that come and go, but the Pa-10 champion women’s basketball team? Now, that’s a different story! 


Well, I can see the Star’s point. Who would want to know about Shawntinice Polk, the best post player in the nation? Who would care about Dee-Dee Wheeler who is now the second all-time scorer behind Adia Barnes? Why would anyone bother covering a local star named Jessica Arnold from Palo Verde High School? Oh wait a minute, I forgot that it does cost a couple hundred bucks to fly to Seattle, my mistake. I would have thought that one “strip club” ad that I have to put up with every time I open the sports page would have taken care of that!


So, now we enter the heart of the Pac-10 season. The Cats host Cal and Stanford before going to L.A. I know we have dirt track racing and that is “very” important. I know that Miles Simon retired (I thought you had to have a career to retire) and that’s “very” important. But in my view so is a Pac-10 women’s basketball team that is 10-3 and will battle for a Pac-10 title. I’ll bet the house that the softball team will get twice the coverage that the basketball team gets despite not drawing as well. Kudos to Mike Candrea -- great coach, great program -- but more people come to see women’s basketball.


It was good to see Jack and Ken in the same room at the same game on the road. They are both great guys who do a great job. But when I pick up the paper-thin sports page and look for women’s basketball articles written about games outside of the state of Arizona, I wonder, “where has all the coverage gone?”


See you on the radio!

Paul Johnson


*Each Wildcat game can be heard live on KJLL 1330 AM

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