R calls me at home from her work, asking me if I got the “Game tracker” from the Stanford Women’s Basketball site. It is an Internet app that lets you view the Stanford-Old Dominion game that is taking place back East and of course, not on TV. At least we thought it was the game. We open the website five minutes before game time and it becomes clear to us that it will not be a live feed, but words summarizing the action. We are bummed. Then at 4:01 PM, the website comes to life and the words describing the action scroll on the screen and a tiny basketball court appears and little tiny icons act out the play. I am not kidding. It is the cutest thing!
A little red icon, just a head and torso really, shoots the ball and we are leading 2 to 0. How can a torso with no arms shoot? Then the red icon leaps and shoots and Nneka Ogwumike scores again. Nneka’s red icon is playing under the basket and has all kinds of room to create and score. So Tara VanDerveer’s gamble to move the best post player, Jayne Appel, out away from the basket to let Nneka create is paying off.
Soon the red icons have outscored the blue icons of Old Dominion (ODU) 10-4. Red icon Nneka and Jayne have both missed a lay-up, troubling for any icon. When we read missed lay-up we, imagine a wide open Jayne or Nneka clanking the rim, and since we cannot see for ourselves we are sure it is more complicated than that. Maybe they were contested, pushed, fouled?
Oops, little red Nneka scored again and we are up 12-4. Kayla Pederson for Stanford gets a three to remind them we are not just an inside team, and that our bigs can shoot, too. Then my computer screen goes dark because I have not pressed any buttons in awhile. A quick lunge for the computer and I think Jayne made a basket to go up 16-4. JJ Hones gets a three although the little red icons were on a fast break and then kicked it out to her. I know the words are accurate but is that really how the play unfolded so JJ could get the three? We will never know.
A rude call from an unwanted salesman takes me away from the Stanford icons and they run the score up to 24 points in my absence. We are leading 24-4. The game statistics say ODU is shooting 2 of 13. Stanford is 11 for 17 at this point.
Then the action stops and the words “Media Time out” flashes on my screen. Media Timeout!! A quick race to the living room and scan of all 999 channels (no, really) and I don’t see women’s college basketball anything. Back in the computer room we are now leading 29-6.
I scour the Internet as the game goes on to see if it is televised somewhere else. A bunch of icons sub in and out for each other and ODU is making a come back, sort of. It is now 29-12.
The Nneka icon goes to the free throw line. The icon even dribbles the ball before shooting. She swishes the first. Then the icon with no arms misses the second. What was C and R’s mantra all last year? “This ain’t high school!” which we shout whenever one of the Stanford women (or icon) misses a FREE THROW! You can’t miss free throws in college. Every point counts.
The ESPN website has another type of game tracker which lists the action but no cute icons. At one point it says” Jayne Appel made Two Point Layup. Assisted by Jayne Appel.” Apparently Jayne is so talented she can pass to herself!
Oops, my screen goes dark again and after lighting it up we are up 40-12 with 5 minutes left in the first half.
Oh, with about a minute left in the half we see center Joslyn Tinkle is in the game. She must have recovered from her bruised foot and eye infection (?). We run for our tinkle bells (you have yours handy, right?). She shoots and makes a three. Wait, she shoots a three!?! We shake the tinkle bells even harder! The cats go scurrying for cover.
It is 53-23 at the Half. Nneka has 15 points and Jayne has 11. Together they have outscored ODU. I hope by giving more room to Nneka under the basket we are not hindering Jayne. Still two big posts in double digits at the half is a great thing. The third big, Kayla also has 5 rebounds, to go with Jayne’s 5 and Nneka’s 6. Wow, it does look like we are dominating the boards no matter who is in there.
The little icons start running around again for the second half and when the little blue icon is shooting, a little red icon jumps in the air and swats the ball away. Apparently Nneka blocked it. I wonder if she got as high as the little icon. It sure looked like her leaping abilities!
A quick check on my paprika potatoes cooking in the oven and to feed the cats and when I come back the icons have battled to 59-29 five minutes into the second. I am glad to see Stanford is keeping that 30-point margin they enjoyed at halftime!
The icons run around some more, never tiring and soon it is 89-54 with 2 minutes left. The only real tension at this point is if the Stanford icons and sub icons can keep the 30-point margin up. The game ends with the score 89-56 for Stanford.
Nneka’s icon has points 25 and 12 rebounds for a double double. Jayne’s icon scored 19 and 11 rebounds for a double double, as well. Even Kayla’s icon got 14 points. I guess we used our big girl line up today, and we used it effectively. Jeanette Pohlen’s icon also had a double double in points and assists. Even the freshmen icons of Tinkle and Ruef (Roof) got in, for their first official college game.
Stanford, despite flying into a near hurricane in Virginia, is off to a great start. Rutgers is next on Sunday.
Way to go Stanford and CBS’s Game Tracker, where the icons always sky for shots and blocks and the stands for a women’s basketball game are always full!