Mike Beas: a fever for the Fever

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In case you missed it — and I'm confident you did — the Indiana Fever after an 0-2 start to this season recently rattled off 11 consecutive wins with 10.5 points being the average margin of victory. Yet the Fever, the state's symbol of below-the-rim hoops and 67-61 losers at Connecticut on Sunday, remain in the background despite their many successes.

This is why the WNBA walks on wobbly legs. Even a great story like the Fever grabs very little spotlight because, well, it's the WNBA. And let's be brutally honest here, it's times like these that the concept of gender equity sails out the nearest window and risks ricocheting off the person mowing his or her grass.

If the Indiana Pacers were planting their high-tops into the posteriors of 11 consecutive foes, they would be the toast of the town — anymore, they're just the town's toast — and making headlines in sports sections from Miami to Medford. Conseco Fieldhouse would be buzzing the way it was during the 2000 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, blue-and-gold merchandise flying off the rack no matter how ridiculously overpriced.

But the Fever? Their struggles are different, though home attendance figures have for the most part been impressive. Featuring the three-pronged attack of Katie Douglas, Tamika Catchings and Tammy Sutton-Brown, Indiana hovers around the 7,000-8,000 range with 10,050 showing up on July 15 for an 84-74 victory against Chicago.

Should this train remain on track, it would be great to see central Indiana become more engrossed with what this franchise is quietly accomplishing with attendance figures closer to 12,000 and 13,000 (or more) for the eight remaining home games. Indiana is known world-wide for its love of basketball, so in a sense our reputation is at stake.

PREZ MAKES HIS PITCH — Is President Barack Obama coming off Tommy John surgery? Really, that can be his only excuse following his embarrassingly weak ceremonial first pitch prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Who prepped Obama for this global embarrassment, Phil Niekro or the ghost of Rip Sewell?

Say what you want about Obama's predecessor in the White House, but George W. zipped one right down the pipe at Yankee Stadium to help kick off the 2001 World Series less than two months after the horror of 9/11. Remember those days/nights? The sight of a parked hang-glider gave us goosebumps and yet Bush calmly delivered in the clutch.

There's something un-American about a President and 38-mile-per hour fastballs. Maybe baseball just isn't Obama's game. No doubt O would make quick work of W in a game of H-O-R-S-E, but in the future let's keep him off the pitcher's mound before it completely destroys his reputation.

ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON — Golf is riveting television when one of its past-his-prime performers scoops up a hand full of yesterday to lead a major the way 59-year-old Tom Watson did most of the British Open.

Really, was anyone not named Cink pulling for Stewart Cink during Sunday's four-hole playoff? We all love a great story and Watson winning his ninth major 47 days prior to the Big 6-oh would have been a doozy. Give Cink, a 36-year-old Georgian, all the credit in the world, though. He was classy in victory the way Watson was in defeat.

Watson may have lost, but golf won.

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