It’s fitting that a sellout crowd was around at KeyArena Saturday night (Aug. 7) when the region’s best team put up numbers that may last a while. The Seattle Storm outscored the Tulsa Shock by an awesome 46 — this after losing by nine to the same team four nights prior.
The only blowout that approaches what the Storm did was the 18-stroke trouncing an Ohio golf course registered against the (still, inexplicably) No. 1 player in the world.
At least the Shock had an excuse. Between home-and-away Storm warnings the Tulsans played and lost a close game in Los Angeles. Tiger Woods’ only apparent excuse for shooting four rounds over par on a course where he typically wins as consistently as the 24-4 2010 Storm was the presence of facial hair, apparently a groovy-grooming decision that some observers found as ill-advised as some of his club selections.
The Storm’s 111 points matched its best-ever offensive effort. The 57 rebounds set a WNBA single-game mark. Loyal fans now have just two more home games before the Storm presumably blows down playoff opponents. The second-best record in the league as Sunday dawned was just 17-10.
The 46-point spread doesn’t quite approach the NBA record, an unfair comparison for several reasons. For one, the men’s league has had many decades to put up excessive numbers. For another, the women play 40-minute games and the men play 48.
In any case, let it be recalled that, in 1991, Cleveland beat the Miami Heat 148-80 when the pre-LeBron James Cavaliers were known to many as the “Cadavers.” Now that King James has left Cleveland to play for the Heat, it wouldn’t surprise many if next season Miami bettered the record 68-point spread.
As for Woods, the public humiliation of this lost season (no wins, much less major-tournament titles, probably to include the PGA later this week) may actually be working perfectly for the inevitable big-screen rendition of “The Life of Tiger.” No golfer (perhaps no athlete) ever established an Act One to rival the drama and accomplishment of the consensus best-ever at his sport. Screenwriters wouldn’t have dared to imagine that Act Two (the downfall) would follow the script that has played out since last November.
It all seems to be setting up an Act Three resplendent with redemption and accomplishment, a three-hanky weeper in which Woods wins some future Masters to pass Jack Nicklaus for the all-time major-tournament tally.
Perhaps Woods’ advisors are buoyed by an unscientific online survey that appeared at the ESPN site Sunday. Asked whether they enjoy seeing Woods struggle at golf, 63 percent answered “no.”
Closer to home, sports fans no doubt will be satisfied just to see the Storm win a league championship. Not only do Seattle players and coaches deserve to win it all. Doing so might just be good for the karma of the underachieving local men’s teams needing to be reborn.
This story has been updated to correct the winner in the 1991 Cleveland-Miami game.
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