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Lynx Take Control

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Another Sparks loss puts the Lynx in great position to secure the top seed in the WNBA playoffs

WNBA: Finals-Minnesota Lynx at Indiana Fever Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Sparks lost last night to the Atlanta Dream, dropping them to 24-7 and giving the Lynx a two game lead (plus tie-breaker!) with four games remaining for the Lynx. Following their big win over the Sparks on Tuesday night, this puts the Lynx in great position to secure the top seed in the upcoming WNBA playoffs.

Since starting the season 20-1, the Sparks have faded, winning only four of their last ten games, and going 3-4 since returning from the Olympic break.

The Lynx, meanwhile, hosted their Roar for a Cure event last night at Mayo Clinic Square, during which fans had an opportunity to meet and interact with players, participate in a silent auction for memorabilia, and, of course, eat. Proceeds benefit the Lynx Foundation, which supports breast cancer research and support programs in Minnesota.

They next take the court Sunday afternoon in San Antonio against the Stars.

Meanwhile, in national anthem news, and as a follow-up to prof cedar’s excellent thoughts yesterday: Apparently at least one Denver Broncos player knelt for the anthem last night in the NFL season opener, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, and I think I read that the Seattle Seahawks are planning to do the same as a team on Sunday.

We had a long discussion yesterday about method vs. message and about effective means of protest. One thing to acknowledge is that, whatever else it is, this is visible, which is a central goal of any public protest. If this indeed becomes something that happens regularly during the early part of the NFL season, I agree with Naylor that I’ll be interested to see how NBA players engage with it when their season starts.

Meanwhile, Cole Aldrich and Ryan Saunders are currently in Finland helping with a Basketball Without Borders camp. Presuming they don’t eat any bad reindeer, they will be back soon to prepare for training camp.

Finally, today is induction day at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Yao Ming, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Sheryl Swoops and others will be enshrined tonight on NBA TV beginning at 6:30 CDT. You can find good links about a lot of these players, as well as some other stuff, in Tom Ziller’s morning roundup today.

Today in History

1513: Battle of Flodden Fields; English defeat James IV of Scotland
1543: Mary Stuart crowned Queen of Scots (at 9 months of age)
1739: Jemmy leads slave revolt in Stono, SC
1776: Congress officially renames country “United States of America.”
1839: John Herschel takes first glass plate photograph
1850: Territories of New Mexico and Utah are created
1850: California admitted to union as 31st state
1867: Luxembourg independence
1886: Berne convention finalized (international copyright)
1899: Alfred Dreyfus sentenced
1924: Hanapepe massacre (Hawaii); clash between police and striking migrant sugar field workers.
1939: German army reaches Warsaw
1945: Japanese in China and Korea surrender to Allies
1963: Federal injunction served to AL governor George Wallace over school segregation orders
1967: Uganda declares independence from Great Britain
1971: John Lennon’s “Imagine” released
1985: Ronald Reagan orders sanctions against South Africa (finally)

Today’s musical birthday is Otis Redding, born in 1941 (d. 1967)

It’s Friday!