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Meet Gloria

Today, we were all introduced to the Washington Glory, our new National Pro Fastpitch women's softball expansion team.

We were introduced to a dozen players and their just-named head coach Carie Dever-Boaz, a former Virginia assistant, who said that "only in America can you get paid, as a female, to get dirt under your fingernails and be thought of as cool."

It turns out that she knows from dirt. Her son, 12-year-old Max, is a competitive rodeo boy, who competes in roping and cutting and riding and has visions of team penning. (Don't ask.) She was carrying a copy of Pro Bull Rider.

We were also introduced to team play-by-play man Al Koken, who will broadcast the team's six games on Comcast SportsNet this season. I asked whether he has done softball play-by-play before.

"Has anybody?" he replied. "I have a chance to eventually become the Vin Scully of this. Accent on the eventually."

We met team owner Paul Wilson, who is described in the team's promotional materials as "a multi-faceted entrepreneur." True to the name, he's already seeking to sell the naming rights for the team. As in, the team would one day be called the "[Your company name here] Washington Glory." I asked whether this would sully the sport's purity, which he had earlier extolled.

"In Japan, all the teams are 'Toyota,' 'Honda,' everybody is doing it," he said. "We're not looking to bank in on the team, we want to be able to do it as a kind of outreach."

And the players were on board; "You can pay me money and I'll put that on my jersey," infielder Oli Keohohou said. "I don't see why not, if the price is right."

Most importantly, we were introduced to team mascot Gloria the K9, although the K should be backwards, as in caught looking. Gloria is a large golden retriever, with a fuzzy tale, floppy ears and bright blue sneakers. She winks, which brought much amusement to the massive crowd of youth softball players who eventually descended on the press conference.

"We thought it'd be cute," Wilson said, of the winkable eyes, "so she could flirt with the umpires."

Gloria the K9 is currently a bit on the naked side, although she was eventually outfitted with a Glory visor. A jersey for her is also on the way. Also, in terms of the person inside the fur, Gloria is not technically a girl.

"We have a he/she mascot; it's a man dressed as a female dog, and it winks," summarized shortstop Amber Jackson. "I can't stop laughing."

Fans had no trouble divining Gloria's gender; "Let's be real here, look at the eyes, the eyelashes," said Ellen Wessinger, a parent with the Mount Vernon Magic. "Men would not have eyelashes that long."

"She needs some eyeliner and mascara," observed her daughter, 14-year-old Megan.

"But her feet are too big for a girl," said older sister Jessie.

Anyhow, the Glory's players, of course, had come from other franchises. Some came from Akron; they said their old team had a cat-like mascot; a jaguar or cheetah or something like that. Others came from Arizona, where the mascot was a dragon named Fuego. I asked if they preferred Gloria.

"Well, I have to get to know Gloria," outfielder LaDonia Hughes said. "Because I was pretty good friends with Fuego."

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 23, 2007; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  Weirdness  
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Comments

Hey, if their coach is a PBR fan, then she's got her head on strait and is tough.

I should know. My wife's favorite sports are PBR and soccer. And she fits the description in my first sentence.

Steinberg, the next time that PBR comes to Verizon, you've got to be there. You'd do it proud.

Posted by: seahawkdad | May 23, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Go GLORIA!!!!!

Posted by: TG | May 24, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Take it easy on The Washington Glory! They're going to be GREAT for this area..lord knows our daughters need role models.

Posted by: A mom | May 24, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Take me to the BALL park! I can't wait to see this team play!! Come on, kids are gonna love Gloria with our without a team T-shirt :)

Posted by: SS | May 24, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Where do they play? I want to see them! There's no mention of that! What gives?

Posted by: Stewart | May 24, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Check it out, Air Bud got a new gig! :-)

You poke fun as the sponsorship, Dan, but I see pop ups for two dealerships at the top of this web page. I guess this is the J. Koons Pontiac Buick GMC & Rosenthalauto.com dcsportsbog.

Have you sold out, too? Or is this just the price of doing business today? :P

I'd like to take my daughter to a few games. She plays baseball and I think it would be a cool event to enjoy with her. Where's a link to ticket sales? Or is that TicketMaster brought to you by Google ticket sales? LOL

Posted by: Terp Alum | May 24, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I love the Glory. I love everything.

I'm just saying, you hear a lot of junk about how NBA/NFL players are just in it for the cash, and how minor leaguers and pro fastpitchers are so pure. I would say neither is true.

You can buy Glory tix at their Web site, or by calling 703 889 8870. Home games are at George Mason. Preseason starts this week, home opener is May 31.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | May 24, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Who is really pure these days? Sports is a business -- get over it!! This area needs this team!!!

Posted by: Mom | May 24, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Found it...

http://washingtonglory.com/

(duh)

I want to see Amber Jackon play again. She's awesome. I bet you can't strike her out. ;)

Posted by: Terp Alum | May 24, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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