January 24, 2013

Stanford Women's Basketball Soundtrack

Hello again Cardinal fans!

I’d like to talk to you about something that greatly affects each and every one of us…music. For us though, music is not just a form of entertainment but a way of life, a superstition.

I know some of you (probably all of you let’s be honest) have a lucky shirt or pair of pants or even socks you wear proudly on game day, and some of our success must be attributed to the good juju this brings. We have the same routine with our music. Almost every player has a go-to song or genre they must listen to before every game. So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to… (drum roll please)

The Soundtrack of the 2012-2013 Stanford Women’s Basketball Team!

1)Ruef: Billy Joel
If anyone is looking for a belated Christmas gift for Ruef, consider a harmonica. It would be the perfect addition to her post practice serenades.

2)Jos: country music
Apparently in Montana, you don’t need to be specific. Any country song will do. Yee-haw!

3)Chiney: “Forever” by Chris Brown
I’m confident that if Chris Brown himself ever walked into our locker room, Chiney would steal his heart instantly with her famous booty shake.

4)Sej: “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama
While some of you might know her as the second coming of Mariah Carey, Sej is multi-talented. Watch out Lil Mama.

5)Toni: “Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
I found this song first. Just kidding, I’m not really a hipster.

6)Bonnie: “Danza Kaduro” by Don Omar
Although Bonnie looks like she might be a professional Irish step dancer, she likes to mueve su cintura like nobody’s business. That’s “move her hips” according to Don Omar.

7)Taylor: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem
With her hype man Ruef (minus the harmonica) to back her up, Taylor can drop this entire track on par with the real slim shady himself.

8)Erica: “All the Above” by Maino featuring T-pain
No matter what Erica sings along to, there are only two words to describe it…crushed it!

9)Amber: “Stronger” by Kanye West
One can only wish to be harder, better, faster, stronger than Amber. Thank goodness we’re on the same team!

10)Jaz: “Out of my Mind” by B.O.B. featuring Nicki Minaj
When looking at Jaz’ innocent face, no one would ever guess this is how she secretly feels. We’re all just lucky she unleashes this energy on the other team. You’ve been warned Pac-12.

11)Alex: “Not Afraid” by Eminem
Do not let Alex’s quiet demeanor fool you, Dr. Dre is probably hiding in there somewhere.

12)Tess: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band
Although this is not the song I would typically associate with Tess’ mad disco skills, who’s to say disco-ing isn’t part of line dancing in Oregon? It’s a whole different world up there after all.

13)Kiran: “Ambition” by Wale
With this as her pre-game song, I’m just waiting for Kiran to whip out an MJ Space Jam dunk. Pac-12 ain’t got nothin’ on her.

14)Denia: “’Till I Collapse” by Eminem
From breaking it down with her famous “Cat Daddy” to the casual head bobbing to Eminem, you might not guess it, but Denia has a hip hop soul.

15)Aly: “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean
“Life [is] like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”…especially when Aly spontaneously jumps and lands in the splits.

Bonus Tracks

16)Tara: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross
With this song playing, you might just be lucky enough to witness Tara break it down…or should I say boogey?

17)Amy: “Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga
While Amy’s outfits appear to be very business-like on the sidelines, she is just waiting for her shining moment—to bust out her suit of bubbles.

18)Kate: “There Goes a Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes
If this song comes on Kate’s iPod, be afraid, AirDyne. Be very, very afraid. The death bike’s got nothing on her.

19)Trina: “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khalid
If we had a rap battle, my money (hypothetically speaking since betting is a violation!) would be on Trina or should I say Trina ICE, as she is often known.

Thanks to the combination of Tara’s dance moves, Taylor’s rapping, and Ruef’s singing, our basketball team stands poised to be the next big hit at all the local coffee shops. The off-season is the perfect time to sharpen up our dance moves and perfect our angelic voices…as well as our shooting of course.

Until we meet again!


January 21, 2013

A History Lesson

Hey Stanford fans.

This past weekend my grandmother came all the way from New Jersey just to visit me. It was her first time ever being on Stanford’s campus, so I showed her around.

We made our way to the Main Quad to go see the chapel, and as we approached it we passed a group of six statues, each of a distinct individual. Intrigued, my grandmother asked what they meant, and I answered that I didn’t really know.

So we decided to look it up together. The six statues are referred to as the Burghers of Calais and are the work of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Their creation was Rodin’s way of honoring and remembering an important, historical event in French history.

The story begins in 1347, during the Hundred Years War. The English, led by Edward III, were invading the coastal town of Calais. Philip VI of France initially ordered the city to attempt to hold out as long as possible, but eventually the city ran out of supplies and had to surrender.

Edward III offered to spare the city if six of its leaders would give themselves up, assumingly to be executed. He demanded that they come out with nooses around their necks and the keys to the city in their hands. These sculptures depict the six individuals, led by Eustache de Saint-Pierre, as they are walking out to their imminent doom, giving themselves up to save the rest of the city.

Who knows what kinds of thoughts could be racing through their minds at this time. Rodin leaves that for his audience to reflect on based on the varying poses of each statue (In the end, the six people were spared by the queen of England at the time). But whatever the interpretation, no one can deny the self-sacrifice that they gave.

What can we take from this?

History is all around us, and we are all a part of it in some way. I’m lucky to be a part of Stanford, a university filled with one of the richest histories that there will ever be. I’m grateful to be involved in a basketball program that has seen the likes of Jennifer Azzi, Kate Starbird, Susan King (Borchardt), Candice Wiggins, Jayne Appel, and, of course, Nneka Ogwumike.

Now it is our turn to leave our mark, our turn to determine how we want to be remembered. It is in our hands.


January 17, 2013

Taylor's TV Insight

Hello, FBC!

So things are totally in full swing for our team right now, as we have just begun PAC-12 play. It's been quite the year for our rather young team. Everything is moving so fast, and there's always something that needs to be done; it’s nice when we get the chance to relax from school work and just watch some TV!

If there’s one thing that is sure to spark up some locker room convo after a day off, it’s about our favorite TV shows that we were finally able to catch up on. With that, the remainder of my blog gives you all an insight to which shows your favorite women’s basketball team can’t stop watching!

The most popular show on the team is Modern Family, with 5 people saying it's their favorite show. Toni, SEJ, Jos, Erica, and I all nominated M.F. as one of favorites, clearly because of the humor. I can honestly say it's the funniest show I have ever seen. I haven't heard of a collectively favorite character, but SEJ, Erica, and I love Phil; I've heard of Cam being a favorite, as well. I would highly recommend this show for everyone!

The next group favorite is Pretty Little Liars, with the avid watchers being Jos, Bonnie, Jas, and me. The show is an ongoing mystery about the murder of a teenage girl whose four best friends are determined to figure out who killed her. Every episode tends to leave us with a cliffhanger, so we obviously have to continue watching to find out who the killer(s) is/are!

Another show with some popularity is Nashville. Bonnie, Jos, and Chiney have been following this new show about an old country star and the new, rising brat who thinks she’s even better. I think the reason this show has such a rave is because of the catchy country music. So if you’re a big fan of country music, Jos encourages you to catch up or start watchin’!

The rest of the shows are all “to each their own”. Denia prefers to watch 24 when she has the time, but Tess thinks Dr. Who is where it’s at. Kiran is really into Person of Interest, and Aly prefers Private Practice. To my surprise, Amber is a big fan of Duck Dynasty, and I don’t blame her; this show is hilarious! Alex has a recent favorite, Walking Dead, so she was able to watch episode after episode on Netflix. And during that time, there was no getting Alex’s attention away from the screen. Chiney is really feeling Scandal as the must-see show, and I would have to say I agree with this choice, too; the name of the show clearly speaks for itself, so I’d check it out. Even though Jas loves her Pretty Little Liars fix, she would choose to watch Law & Order: SVU over eating a big piece of chocolate cake. Last but not least, we have Mik. Mik tries to convince everyone that How I Met Your Mother is the best show ever, and it’s so funny, and the mystery of how the mother was met is still unsolved, etc, etc, etc. However, nobody else watches the show on the team... sorry Mik.

Hands down, no questions asked, my favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy. Ask any of my teammates: I actually believe I will be in that show someday. Once I am finished with homework and practice is over, there is nothing stopping me from watching my Grey’s.

I hope you enjoyed the little insight! Which shows would you recommend?!


January 2, 2013

The Cardinal dance circle tradition

Hi Cardinal fans! Some of you may know about our team’s dance circle tradition before each game. Some of you may even have been lucky enough to catch a peek through the curtain at Maples before we run out to warm up. Or—probably most likely— some of you may have witnessed our crazy dance moves in an exposed tunnel at one of our away games.

As a freshman, I was introduced to this tradition just minutes before I was thrown into the middle of it! Before our first exhibition game against Corban in November, we walked out of the locker room and waited for the last couple of girls to join us before we all ran out on the court. What I didn’t know was that I would have to get over my fear of dancing before I could even start to think about getting nervous for my first college basketball game.

All of a sudden, the team was circled up, clapping, and chanting “Go, go, go Stanford”. I was confused, but I went with it. One after another, each girl was cheered on to enter the circle and perform a dance. I watched as one of our sophomores led the way. Bonnie started us off with a strange bird-like move that was apparently inspired by some physical therapy exercises she had been given to do last year. As my time neared, I could feel the blood rushing to my face. Me? Dancing? What would I possibly do? I’m not sure what got into me as the team cheered my name as an invitation –or more of a command—to enter the circle. I realize now that I must have lost my senses. I forgot about my initial embarrassment and I launched myself into an attempt to do the “Cat Daddy” dance, recently made famous by contemporary hip-hop artists. I think it probably goes without saying that my execution wasn’t great. I looked especially uncoordinated compared to some of the team’s better dancers, like Jasmine (“Jas”), who has a lot more rhythm than I do. In fact, had we played the way I had danced, we probably would have lost that exhibition game. But as the season goes on, I continue to work on my “Cat Daddy” dance in our dance circles before every game.

My most memorable performance was before the Tennessee game when a cameraman appeared right as we began our pre-game tradition. I panicked. “I can’t do the “Cat Daddy” on national television!” But sure enough, I had to do it. After all, it’s a tradition! I was convinced for hours following that the whole world had seen me humiliate myself on television. But I was happy to learn soon after that it hadn’t been aired. At least, not on any program that I knew of…

I learned early on that Chiney, Erica and Jos always bring a lot of energy to the circle, while Mikaela and Taylor bring their usual humor and goofiness. Toni always graces us with a few wild moves, most likely inspired by her involvement in the Stanford Band. However, occasionally, she teams up with Sara (“Sej”) to perform the famous “worm”, which was actually captured on national television before our game in Tennessee. Some of my other teammates are more timid. Kiran, Amber and Alex, for example, have perfected a simple wave, but I have faith that someday they will venture into the circle and show us what they’re made of. Tess started off shy and at a loss of what to do, but she has progressively come out of her shell and is now one of the team’s favorites.

The dance circle—although it may sometimes inspire fear and embarrassment—is an important team ritual. It gives us a chance to regroup before the game, let out any anxiety we might be feeling, and just be ourselves.


January 1, 2013

Time to dust off and make today count

Chiney thanks Stanford's coaches and fans for sticking with the team during Saturday's rough loss.

Click here for her blog.