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Courtside Conversations with Paul Johnson
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/22/2004
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Paul Johnson is employed by the UA as the women's basketball play-by-play announcer. He has 20 years of sports broadcasting experience, including the last six years as the voice of Arizona women's basketball. Every Wildcat women's basketball game this year will be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM, with Paul calling all the action.

Courtside Archives

March 20, 2004
March 15, 2004
March 11, 2004
March 2, 2004
Feb. 24, 2004
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Feb. 10, 2004
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Jan. 27, 2004
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Dec. 23, 2003
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Oct. 20, 2003
2002-03 Archive
2001-02 Archive

It's time again, as the basketball season runs down, to pull up a chair and listen to the wise words of one who has been present in basketball seasons past and present. Yes, my Grandpa Paul knows all and tells all, and today he answers those questions that seem unanswerable. So, come with me to the place we call the "answerroom" and partake in the event we call "Ask Grandpa Paul..."

Q: Grandpa Paul, why is there only one Pac-10 women's basketball team ranked in the A.P. Top 25 Poll?

A: My son, take heed of my wisdom. There is only one ranked Pac-10 team this season because of ignorance displayed by East Coast voters. There is no conspiracy, but there is a lack of knowledge about what the Pac-10 is all about. It is easy to vote Stanford as No. 2, because everyone knows about the Cardinal and they are having a great year. However, to think that teams like Cincinnati, Minnesota, Boston College and Virginia Tech are all better than Arizona State and Washington is absurd. You see, my children, Pac-10 men's games are televised more often than women's games. So, the average East Coast voter can see West Coast men's basketball more often. Thus, the men get more respect than the women do. And finally, there is also the issue of post-season play. Until the Pac-10 sends a team to the Final Four, something that has not happened since Stanford represented the conference in 1997, the Pac-10 will have to continue settling for second-best in the national polls.

Q: Grandpa Paul, why are Pac-10 women's basketball officials getting worse every season?

A: This is an excellent question, my little one. Over the past five seasons, the conference has lost some excellent officials to the WNBA and NBA. However, the real problem lies at the top. Insiders tell me that the director of officiating, Gooch Foster, is an absentee manager who rarely attends games or interacts with officials. In order to fix this problem, we must look to the very top, as we so often do, my children. Take Germany in 1939....this man Hitler.......

Q: Grandpa....please stay on track....we are talking sports here....

A: Uh....sorry...

Q: Grandpa Paul, why do the UA softball and baseball teams get more coverage in area newspapers than the women's basketball team?

A: My learning one, this is another good but difficult question. It is difficult to understand why a women's basketball team that consistently outdraws both the softball baseball teams should be relegated so often to the back pages of the Arizona Daily Star. Let's take last Saturday for example. Even though the women drew a paltry 1,600 to McKale Center for a Saturday afternoon basketball game with USC, across campus softball was drawing only 1,300 for a double-header. The baseball team rarely gets near the 1,000 mark yet, on many days, you have to become ink-stained to find a women's basketball story. I think it is because whoever runs the Star simply doesn't care much about women's sports. Kristen Davis does a good job, but she covers all the UA women's sports. That is too much for one person. She is not allowed to travel on the road, because of alleged budget restraints, while the paper consistently sends three reporters to nearly all the men's road games. Hey, Star! The women's basketball team is next in attendance, after football and men's basketball. I think the coverage should reflect that!

Well, my son, it is time for my afternoon nap. However, always remember one thing...

Q: What is that one thing, Grandpa Paul?

A: That is for you to discover my son.

So, another session with Grandpa Paul comes to end with a tired line from an old movie. But you cannot deny the wisdom of this man who will again experience March Madness while sipping on a Lime Iced Tea in the back patio of his palatial estate. After all, he may not always be right, but you can't deny his charm!

See you on the radio!
Paul Johnson

? Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament - March 1-4 - All Arizona games will be broadcast live on KJLL 1330 AM.


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