‘Extreme’ DUI Charge for DT

Sports is a category, along with politics, that this blog normally avoids. With politics it would be overkill. With sports, it’s sheer ignorance. Daddy was a devoted Giants fan, both in baseball and football. When the baseball team moved to California, he switched his allegiance to the Yankees, so I sort of pay attention. I do it mostly to annoy the Red Sox fans in the family. (There is a blog entry some time in the future about the DMZ between the sets of fans that seems to follow the I-91 corridor.) But don’t ask me about the Yankees’ record or even the names any players besides Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon.

I also feel that most professional sports are just money making operations that exploit the fans. College basketball, especially women’s college basketball, has been my one major sports passion and the star of that passion is the UConn Women Huskies, who had a perfect season last year. Not only that, but all their players graduate from college and rarely get into the trouble.

During the past few seasons, the star of the Huskies was a young woman from California by the name of Diana Taurasi, known as DT to Coach Geno, fellow players, and the news media. DT arrived with amazing credentials. She grew up playing against her brothers, and took over the job of point guard almost from her first game. Whenever the team was in trouble, DT got the ball and bailed everyone else out. Someone at another school asked Geno what made the difference in the team, and he said, “We’ve got Diana and you don’t.”

DT was always special. She was probably the only player in Huskies history who was able walk up behind Geno as he sat on the bench and ruffle his hair without getting into serious trouble.

When DT was a senior, the Huskies took the national championship for the third time during her college career. The year after she and Maria Conlon (an underrated three-point shooter) graduated, the results were so bad it’s hard to find them online. Thankfully, this year’s squad was finally out from under DT’s shadow, and the results speak for themselves.

It was inevitable that she would play professional ball and of course she was the number one draft pick. She chose the Phoenix Mercury so that she could be closer than a cross-country plane ride to her family. Before she even showed up for a practice, the media was calling her the new Lebron James, the female Jordan. She’s fulfilled her promise by being among the leading scorers in the league. She’s also the most popular player among the fans.

But now she’s in trouble. On the night of July 2, police say they saw her speeding and weaving across the yellow line. After she refused a breathalizer test, the officer administered field sobriety tests and then drew blood. She stands accused of speeding, plus three drunken driving related charges, including “extreme DUI,” based on a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the state’s legal limit. A conviction for the latter in Arizona carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 days, suspended after 10 if the person completes an alcohol education program, plus fines and an ignition lock on the car. Thanks to the Connecticut Post for explaining all this stuff.

The Mercury is suspending her for two games without pay. Considering that thugs who play for the NBA get away with far more, I think that’s a fair penalty. She seems truly contrite, unlike many of her male colleagues who have no clue that they’re not supposed to beat women, shoot people, drive drunk, etc. etc.

A couple of words of advice, Diana: First when you want to get loaded (especially during the playing season), find a designated driver. And second, this is one arena where you don’t have to play like the boys.


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