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The check-in: A dynastic reign continues
I always say this, but it's true: SO MUCH IS HAPPENING.
Hi, friends. Welcome to Power Plays. Thanks for spending a bit of your day here. I know it’s been quiet the past few weeks, and that’s in part because of LIFE, but it’s also because we’re laying the groundwork for the biggest summer in Power Plays history. Lots of posts, some collaborations, hopefully some traveling, and definitely some special surprises and big announcements.
It’s going to be awesome.
But first, how about a check-in? I know I need one.
1. HAPPY PRIDE.
Friends, we’ve got extremely gay content coming up this month, so get excited. But to tide you over, here’s Florida State softball’s Michaela Edenfield doing a tutorial for the Pride eyeshadow, which she donned FSU’s semifinal win over Tennessee on Monday afternoon.
Should we all try to copy this and post the results? Yes? No? Either way, watch this magic in action.
I MEAN COME ON.
Also? A very incomplete list of some of my favorite athlete gal pals:
2. Oklahoma, where the championships come sweepin' down in spades. (Sorry.)
Oklahoma capped off the winningest season in NCAA softball history on Thursday night with a 3-1 victory over Florida State in front of their hometown crowd in Oklahoma City. This was their 53rd win in a row, their third championship in a row, their sixth championship this decade, and their seventh championship in school history.
Look, I get that dynasties can be a bit boring sometimes. We don’t necessarily watch sports to see the inevitable happen. But we do watch to see greatness. We do watch to see human beings facing unbearable amounts of pressure either rise to the challenge or come up short. And Oklahoma certainly did the former. They were exquisite, and to me, the most telling pat of their performance came after the win when coach Patty Gasso spoke with Holly Rowe on ESPN.
“Right now what you feel from us is freedom,” Gasso said. “Because it was absolutely suffocating as we went along. The expectations were suffocating.”
It’s not easy getting to the top. And it seems even harder to stay there.
This is what freedom looks like:
3. Meet Angel Reese, music video star.
Now, look. I don’t know that much about today’s pop culture. But this seems like a really big deal!!!
In the latest Latto song featuring Cardi B, “Put It on Da Floor Again,” Cardi raps: “I been ballin’ so damn hard, could’ve went to LSU.” And as she drops the bar, Angel Reese pops up on our screen, looking extremely badass.
It’s incredible how much LSU and Reese have permeated the mainstream since their March Madness victory.
Also cool? Cardi B has a photoshopped image of her in an LSU jersey as her profile picture on Instagram.
4. Look at these autograph/selfie lines!!
Because Elon Musk is a baby, I can’t embed tweets in my Substack newsletter anymore, but please click on this link and this link to see the droves of people in line to get autographs/selfies with Resse and Caitlin Clark. I love it so much.
5. Rose Zhang isn’t wasting any time.
Rose Zhang had quite the amateur career, becoming a two-time NCAA champion at Stanford; winning the U.S. Women's Amateur, the U.S. Junior Girls, the NCAAs and the Augusta National Women's Amateur; and reigning as the top-ranked women’s amateur for 141 weeks. But on Sunday, she leveled up. Literally. Zhang played in her first LPGA Tour event over the weekend, the Mizuho Americas Open, and won the whole damn thing. She is the first player in 72 years to win an LPGA tournament on her pro debut.
The scenes were immaculate.
There’s so much HYPE around Zhang and how good she can be for the LPGA Tour right now, but I want to chill out on that discussion for a bit. (Or until I decide to address it in a long-form newsletter.) I’m just enjoying Zhang’s pro debut for what it was: Ridiculous.
6. I’m really, really excited about Bay FC.
The NWSL’s newest expansion team, which will debut in 2024 in the San Francisco Bay Are, will be aptly named Bay FC. It unveiled a very impressive website and a slightly less impressive branding scheme last week, and held a free festival, Bay FC Day, in San Francisco over the weekend.
I hear there’s some controversy around the name and branding, which isn’t surprising, because there’s controversy over everything in women’s soccer. (I wouldn’t have it any other way, truly.) I actually love the name, and think it’s amazing that apparently multiple cities in the Bay Area are competing to be the team’s home base. I don’t love the colors as much — such a creative community can do better than navy and red. But overall, I’m just thrilled it’s happening.
This tweet from the festivities made me emotional:
(Maybe I’m so excited just because this is a great excuse for me to take another trip to the Bay?)
7. The WNBA is in full chaos mode.
Last weekend, nine WNBA games were played Friday through Sunday. The largest margin of victory in those nine games? Seven points. The average margin of victory was four points. Two games were decided by one point, one was decided by two points, and another game went to overtime.
Parity is the name of the game.
This week was more of the same. We had two rematches of last year’s finals, with the Las Vegas Aces taking the first game on Tuesday night and the Connecticut Sun getting revenge and handing the Aces their first loss of the season on Thursday night, behind 41 points (!!!) from DeWanna Bonner.
Also on Tuesday, the Seattle Storm rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Sparks and notch their first win of the season. We also had the Dallas Wings beat the Phoenix Mercury by five points, the Chicago Sky beat the Indiana Fever in overtime, and the Minnesota Lynx/New York Liberty game get canceled because of the poor air quality in Brooklyn.
It’s a lot. I love it.
(Except for the poor air quality thing, that sucks.)
8. Oh yeah, the French Open is happening, too!
But the thing is, I have so many thoughts about the tennis that I had to spin it off into its own newsletter. That’ll be coming to you tomorrow after the final.
See you then!