The Whole Nine Yards: Blog #5

Rookie Maggie Crisman and one of her fish

Rookie Maggie Crisman and one of her fish

Nov. 30, 2011

Junior guard Molly Yardley will take Army women's basketball fans on a journey throughout the 2011-12 season through her blog The Whole Nine Yards. Yardley is the Black Knights' top returning scorer from a year ago and only returning starter. Check back weekly to follow along with the inside happenings of the Army women's basketball team.

GIVING THANKS ...
Happy Time-to-Work-Off-All-That-Food Week, Army fans! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving; we certainly did. We played three times over the break, so we got the chance to celebrate with each other with a great meal at the Thayer Hotel. A lot of the girls still got the chance to see their families, which was also really nice. Most importantly, it's less than three weeks until Christmas leave!

Since the last time you checked in, we've picked up wins against St. Francis (N.Y.), Fairleigh Dickinson, Manhattan, and Manhattanville, and lost a tough one to Columbia. That puts us at 5-2, tied for first in the Patriot League with American for the best overall record so far. Still lots of work to do and a lot of games left to play!

Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not only do I go bonkers for stuffing, but it's a holiday where I don't really have to worry about getting presents for anyone or finding the perfect holiday outfit. Not to mention, it's that time of year when all the holiday college basketball tournaments are on at all hours of the day. This year, though, the idea of being grateful took on a little bit more meaning. I went around and asked some of the girls if they felt the same way, and they did. This led me to conclude that West Pointers are bizarrely grateful for everything, even in the midst of our constant complaining. Here are some of the things we are most thankful for:

-Road trips - It means we can actually sleep under the covers in a bed, watch TV on, you know, a real television, and feel like real people.

-Game day PMI - This is a treat in cadet-land, it means your room can be just a tad out of place and YOU CAN TAKE A NAP. Nothing better than a game day nap.

-Blake Reid - He's our equipment manager. Part Santa (he hooks us up with the best Nike gear), part mom (he does all our laundry), and pretty much the team's MVP. Blake, you're the man.

-Coach Jada Pierce's in-game commentary - It's like a stand-up routine with a basketball game as a bonus.

-Jordan Elliott's pregame speeches - Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday has got nothing on our girl.

-Pregame meals that aren't pasta and grilled chicken - Actually, the times that we get to pick our own pregame meals are pretty stellar, but sometimes the pressure of having a menu gives me a headache.

- Gyms where our locker room isn't a mile from the court or up five flights of stairs - ot sure they realize that we have to run back and forth just to fit in the warm-up

-Long bus rides - That five and a half hour drive to D.C. to play American is a full night's sleep for most of us. It doesn't matter that I can't feel my legs by the end because at least I am well rested.

-Reality television - It makes us feel normal and highly functioning, which if you know us, is occasionally in doubt. But those people on Millionaire Matchmaker make us look like the most put-together almost adults on the planet.

-Smart phones with 4G wireless - Sometimes we forget to get the Quote of the Day and have to conduct a last minute search for a good one.

On the topic of Quotes of the Day, I came across this week's quote while trolling the internet for ideas on a paper about gratitude:

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. - Estonian Proverb

I went to Catholic school from preschool right on through high school, so the idea of being thankful was not lost on me. We were constantly being told to be thankful, obviously a very valuable lesson, but most definitely lost on six year old Molly who wasn't interested in thanking people for the chocolate chip cookies so much as eating as many as I could before they ran out. While I couldn't always find a way to be thankful for the cookies, I realize now that it's the little things that require the most thanks.

As a team, we try to celebrate the little things. During our PIAD this summer, we made a list of five things we were going to celebrate:

1) Charges
2) Rebounds
3) Hustle plays
4) Threes
5) Blocks

It's been a struggle for our team that we tend to do the little things wrong sometimes. We've lost two close games because we did the little things wrong. But I think those two losses taught us to be grateful for the little things. For us, that quote is about our season. If we are thankful for the little things--the charges, steals, defensive stops, and extra rebounds - we'll have a big old ring to be thankful for at the end of the season.

Speaking of things I'm thankful for, one would be Maggie Crisman, a fellow New Englander with whom I can gripe about the catastrophic meltdown of the Red Sox, celebrate our Pats' success , and get loud about the Bruins with. Maggie's from New Hampshire and one of the new additions to the team. I particularly enjoy her sarcasm and with. Here are five things you probably didn't know about Maggie:

1) She HATES cheese. I'm not sure why, but the girl just can't stand it.
2) She also has a strong dislike for towels...we've managed to civilize her a little bit.
3) According to her mother, Maggie had some difficulty dressing herself as a child. Uniforms have apparently helped her sense of style...
4) She loves to fish with her dad and brother, and after she catches the fish, she likes to gut them. With a knife. HOOAH.
5) She and I both never fail to cry at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. That's some seriously moving stuff...

In the last two weeks, we've learned a lot. We've learned that every little thing matters, especially in close games. We've learned that we really love winning, but not nearly as much as we hate losing. We've learned that watching game film after a tough loss is probably one of the worst experiences in life. From our team to yours, we hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and we're very thankful for all your support!

BEAT HAWAI'I!

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