Sunny day! Elmo stares down Dream!

Don't let this face fool you. He is in no mood to be tickled.

Don't let face fool you. Elmo's in no mood for tickling.

There are at least two reasons why you are almost never going to read about the Atlanta Dream in this space: 1) I don’t care about them. 2) You don’t care about them.

An unmotivated writer and unmotivated readers make for a really bad combination, especially when you have editors looking at computer printouts and pie charts and screaming in your ears, “PAGE VIEWS PAGE VIEWS PAGE VIEWS!”

But today, I will write about the Atlanta Dream, for a few paragraphs. Why? Because they’re funny.

First let me catch you up: The Atlanta Dream is a women’s basketball team in the WNBA. I hope that’s all you need to know because I’m about tapped out.

According to the standings that I’m now looking at for the first time –it turns out the WNBA has a website and uniforms and everything — the Dream is 15-13. With six games left, they apparently have a chance to make the playoffs.

But there’s a problem. It seems the big boys are coming to town. Yes, I’m talking about, “Sesame Street Live!” Elmo has booked Philips Arena. You don’t want to get Elmo mad. And I think we know who wears the pants here.

If the Dream make the playoffs, they may not be able to play at Philips because the Muppets have booked the arena for eight shows Sept. 17-20. The team might have to move to Gwinnett, or Georgia Tech, or Georgia, or even in Knoxville, which I happen to believe is the best option, unless an auditorium is Rhode Island also is being considered.

Just so you know, I’m not a really big rules guy. But there’s one rule I’ve always followed: Don’t pay attention to any league whose home playoff games are bumped by “Sesame Street Live.”

Elmo, the floor is yours.

64 comments Add your comment


August 28th, 2009
10:35 am

I agree. If the WWE caused the stir that it did with the Nuggets, the Dream don’t stand a chance against the crew from Sesame. @wbarker


August 28th, 2009
10:40 am

I know you’re out there, I can hear you breathing


August 28th, 2009
10:46 am

The bottom line is, Philips Arena is going to make more $ and have more fans through the doors with Sesame Street than a WNBA playoff game. The WNBA might be more popular if it moved every game to Knoxville.


August 28th, 2009
10:49 am

If there are Lady Vols playing in the games then, by all means, move it to K-ville. They will likely draw bigger crowds!


August 28th, 2009
10:52 am

There are no basketball courts on Sesame Street. They are 5 blocks down in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
10:56 am

SPS — do Muppets breathe? Are one of the mysteries of science.

Bill — no kidding. Can you imagine concessions alone? Atlanta Dream t-shirt sales vs. Sesame Street t-shirt sales? Oy.

Jeff — How bout we just move the whole league to Knoxville?

Pi$$ — I want to see Big Bird post up Mr. Rogers. We’re talking Russell/Chamberlain all over again.

Herschel Talker

August 28th, 2009
11:10 am

Schultzie – Seriously, don’t ever write about the WNBA again. Seriously.

The Real Man

August 28th, 2009
11:23 am

Jeff, you are such a misogynist. Get over it!
And I’m a guy. Do you even have daughters?


August 28th, 2009
11:26 am

I heard the Thrashers were going to have to move a game to The Cooler due to Spongebob Squarepants….

Herschel Talker

August 28th, 2009
11:32 am

The Real Man – so you’re a WNBA fan?

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
11:39 am

Herschel — I prefer to think I wrote about Elmo.

The Real — I have a daughter who was a competitive gymnast for a while. And if she played in the WNBA, I’d cheer for her. But otherwise, I wouldn’t care about the league and I wouldn’t have a problem with the people who didn’t care about the league. If you care, I have no problem with that, either.

PMC — Fights you want to see: Eric Boulton vs. Spongebob.

Evil Richt 2009 S.E.C. World Tour: "Banned in Columbus"

August 28th, 2009
11:54 am

Jeff- You do realize that your office is (until the AJC moves) only a block from the Dream’s offices? (Although the Dream seem to go to lengths not to make their office apparent from the street.) I’m just sayin’, be careful where you walk if you decide to go to Rosa’s for a slice at lunch.

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
11:57 am

The Dream has an office?


August 28th, 2009
11:59 am

Here’s what Elmo tweeted when hearing about the potential conflict:

“Elmo don’t watch WNBA, either. Lalalalala. Yeahhh, Elmo draws more fans than Atlanta Dream. C’mon kids, let’s dream. One sheep, two sheep…”

Paul H

August 28th, 2009
12:01 pm

If it’s all about the money, which it always is, the Dream stand no chance. I think you could easily predict that the muppets would make 5 times what the Dream would make at Phillips – even if the Dream were in the WNBA finals. In game 7. Speaking of which, do they play best of 7 in the WNBA finals?


August 28th, 2009
12:10 pm

1.) You might think you’re funny; I don’t.
2.) I’d rather not read about the Dream than to read something like this.


August 28th, 2009
12:14 pm

Jeff. This is not a good article at all. Your humor and story line are so negative to women’s basketball. It’s people like you that think Men’s Sports should rule the world and women should never get a fair opportunity. Just because they don’t dunk the basketball, doesn’t mean that they are not fun to watch. You need to be more supportive and positive for the teams that represent Atlanta!

SWAT Native

August 28th, 2009
12:15 pm

I’m no big WNBA fan either, but I went to the Dream/Sparks game on Sunday. They had a sellout crowd, Coach Pat Summit (and what seemd like half the local NBA contingent) in the crowd, and it turned out to be a good game. I would go back to see a playoff game.

I think you have to give the Dream credit: they’ve gone from winning 4 games as an expansion team into a playoff contender in 1 season.


August 28th, 2009
12:21 pm

Steve, it couldn’t be the lack of fans, lack of TV ratings, and lack of priority when it comes to scheduling events like this are what is so negative to women’s basketball, could it? I doubt you would have the same comment if the “Atlanta Dream” were replaced with “Atlanta Thrashers” or “Atlanta Blackhawks”. Every professional league that has been established for women’s basketball has folded or been heavily subsidized. If it weren’t for the deep pockets of the NBA and the need for it to be politically correct in an era when it is defending its own image, the league would have folded long ago. The WNBA deserves every bit of ridicule as any other professional sports league with such a history of comical missteps (see USFL, ABA, AFL, MISL etc.).


August 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

To Herschel Talker’s first comment: DITTO!!!


August 28th, 2009
12:27 pm

Jeff—–A career suggestion. If you ever have the urge to write about the WNBA again, sit down and reflect. Then post an old column of Weekend Predictions instead. You’d get infinitely more readers and you wouldn’t hurt the brains of true sports fans.


August 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

A friend called me this afternoon to tell me that you were at it again… Jeff Schultz, I’ve told you before about this thing you have about women. And reportedly as you have stated in this blogs there are a couple that live in your home. I’m not making this personal, I’m making a point, I know you wouldn’t stand on a street corner, religious institution, or in a school yard and let any person especially a man defame them in this way… And remember what you emailed me, I remain cognizant of it, but I expect the same from you in return. By the way, they’ve improved tremendously and drew nearly 12,000 fans for a game in recent week. I agree with Steve, but they do have players who players who dunk (big deal). Steve Nash, Mike Bibby, and Chris Paul rarely rock the rim and I watch them religiously. To the rest of the women haters (not including you in this one), do you talk to your own mothers like that, and they pro-port this to be the moral center of American life? Oh but we know about the South’s record in that book… It ain’t GOOD!

Jeff, you know where I’m headed. I’ll check on you later… By the way, Bolt said yesterday he’s officially going to take on the Long Jump. Try a Google search and you’ll find the Weltklasse media presser from yesterday most likely… Time for one the beautiful and historic sites in all of of Athletics, the night session!

I'm A Girl

August 28th, 2009
12:49 pm

Is your distaste for women’s sports in general, or just the WNBA and the Dream? Have you ever seen Chamique Holdsclaw play, or Nikki Teasley. These women can ball. Period. No, the game isn’t above the rim, but this isn’t your kid’s 5th grade basketball team. It’s highly competitive, extremely athletic and also entertaining.
As for athletes, I’d put them against any pro golfer except Tiger; most of ‘em are faster than a lot of Braves players (yeah, I said it and mean it), and they can shoot better than probably every player on UGA men’s hoops team. For real. If you had a daughter, maybe you’d feel differently. But I see you’re not alone, based on these comments I’m reading. BTW, 11,000 people were there last week against the L.A. Sparks. And I’d love to see you go one-on-one with ANY of the Dream players, in anything — running, vertical jumping contest, shooting the ball, agility drills, suicides…anything. Ready? There’s the whistle. Let’s go!

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
1:10 pm

TeflonDon – very nice.

Paul H – I’ve heard that Cookie Monster’s personal services deal is astronomical. But that’s unconfirmed … On your question, I can’t believe I looked it up for you, but the WNBA plays a best-of-5 finals.

Steve – Don’t try to turn me into some Neanderthal. I never said women shouldn’t play sports or vote or drive or anything else. But it doesn’t mean I have to be interested.

Chuck – thank you, I’ll take that under advisement. (Cheap promo: Weekend Predictions returns next week!) (tease coming in next blog!) (I love exclamation points!)

JSS – Thanks for checking in. My mom’s a huge Lakers fan. She doesn’t watch the WNBA either.

I’m a Girl – No, I do not have a distaste for women … Jeez, what is it with some of you? Somebody says they don’t like your sport and you take it as some personal affront. Grow the sport, grow the product and get big enough that Sesame Street Live doesn’t kick you out of your own building, then get back to me. In the meantime, if you love the WNBA and want to support, go for it.

Reid in EAV

August 28th, 2009
1:16 pm

The WNBA will never be a real pro sports league until its fans can respond to criticism without calling the critics misogynists or woman-haters. So far… nope.

And hey, if I say MLS is boring and substandard, am I accused of hating men? Nope.

slow news day for Schultz

August 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

Someone from the AJC bad-mouthing an Atlanta sports team?

More low-brow journalism from the Dunwoody Journal Constitution.


August 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

They let girls play basketball?!?

see you in h********

August 28th, 2009
1:40 pm


Vito Tagliano

August 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

I wonder if the WNBA or Sesame Street will get any stimulus money?


August 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

Move it to North Murray High School, ticket sales could be a fundraiser for this new high school’s athletics program.


August 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Grow the sport? As if that would make a difference to your prejudices. :-)

” Soccer doesn’t work in the U.S. because the vast majority of us just like the other sports better. That’s never going to change — something soccer fans just don’t want to accept and can’t comprehend.”
Jeff Schultz August 5th, 2009

Soccer attendance figures in the USA since July 18th

65,289 Chelsea-Seattle in Seattle
82,252 Mexico-Haiti in Dallas
81,224 Chelsea-Inter Milan in LA
71,203 AC Milan-Chelsea in Baltimore
53,600 AC milan-Club America in Atlanta
57,229 Club America-Chelsea in Arlington
93,137 FC Barcelona-Los Angeles Galaxy in LA
79,156 Mexico-United States in NYC
65,000 Seattle-Barcelona in Seattle
61,572 Barcelona-Chivas de Guadalajara in SF
72,368 Real Madrid – DC United in DC

Average attendance 2009;
Seattle Sounders 30,000
Seattle mariners 27,000

Hannibal Lechter

August 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

JSS is mean and snotty.


August 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

You are a sports writer… It’s your job to be interested, or find something redeeming about the team to make yourself interested. I’m not interested in the Gwinnett Braves or Glads because I’m not a fan of minor league sports; I’m not a college sports fan either. The point is that I’m not paid for my sports knowledge as a professional writer. You are and I wish you would act like it. I doubt you could get by with a similar statement about college sports. You would get a pink slip faster than Kovy on a breakaway. We all have preferences. But, it’s sad to see someone who gets paid to watch sports be so dismissive of other professionals who have honed their craft.


August 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Jeff, brilliant Friday afternoon commentary. The WNBA is a joke at best and unbearable at worst.

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

wxwax — that’s very clever the way you took attendance figures from stand-alone exhibitions and used that as a gauge for soccer interest. How about if I used attendance figures at Olympic track meets, and then just extrapolate that and assume that the U.S. would support weekly track meets? Better yet, why don’t you go through the list of average attendance figures of U.S. soccer leagues — those that haven’t folded — and come to some conclusion.

Mr Hughes: “You are a sports writer… It’s your job to be interested, or find something redeeming about the team to make yourself interested.” Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I am columnist. I get paid for my opinion. Lucky me, huh?

who cares

August 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

The Dream sold out a game? You’re dreaming!
The Muppets sold out The Wachovia center when they played the Flyers and beat them in overtime.
Piggy, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover, Oscar the Grouch (Mr. Goon) and the Count in Goal-1 save! 2 Saves! The Minnesota Muppets Win the Stanley Cup!

Jeff Schultz

August 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

The Count — love you on The Street but sorry, that comment was just not going to fly. Had to delete it.

[...] [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Parker scores 23, Sparks beat Dream 91-87Win Tickets to Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music”Parker Scores 23, Sparks Beat Dream 91-87 [...]


August 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Dave, you’re confusing the issues.

You say the American public has no interest in soccer. You say domestic league attendance is proof.

Do you see the flaw in your thinking? Do you see how interest in soccer can’t solely be gauged by the domestic league’s attendance (which, BTW, is growing?)

Let us use to Socratic method to lead you to enlightenment.

Was it two or three million people who watched the Champion’s League final on ESPN? Why has ESPN decided to air Premier League soccer on Saturdays and Mondays this season? Why are there four, count ‘em four, television channels broadcasting soccer in English this season?

Are meaningless exhibition games, with nothing at stake, the equivalent of an “Olympic track meet”?

Did more than half a million people attended meaningless games in just one month in the United States?

Yup, no interest in soccer in the United States. Nossir. Look away folks, nothing to see here. :-)


August 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Your opinions about sports. I’m not here to read about PBS’ programming. Again, I doubt the “I’m not interested” in college athletics “arguement” would fly at any newspaper from a sports writer or columnist. How about an article about not being interested in NFL preseason, NASCAR, or the Wild Card? We can change the name of your “column” to “Jeff Ain’t Interested”. I know everyone is dying to read it. After your response, my opinion is that I’m more “interested” in Mark Bradley’s column.

MrHughes (columnist)
ooops, I’m not getting paid… my bad, Mr Schultz


August 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Doesn’t the boom in “interest” in soccer have something to do with the boom in the hispanic population? What percentage of those ticket sales are natural born citizens. And before someone loses it, I’m not being racist…I’m just curious.


August 28th, 2009
2:54 pm

I never read you until you mentioned the Dream. They give fans a good game. Take your daughter to one and see if that might offer more for you to write about than their website does.

Numero Uno Fan

August 28th, 2009
2:58 pm

Fact – any woman on any of the WNBA teams could beat you in one-on-one…unfortunately you are just a pathetic jounalist with a fledgling paper. I just lost brain cells reading this blog post….

Dream Fan

August 28th, 2009
3:00 pm

Wouldn’t post the first one in realtime huh….pretty weak Jeff, pretty weak….but confirms what I thought. Weak Simmons wannabe for weak paper.


August 28th, 2009
3:04 pm

80s trivia: The indoor soccer team made the playoffs and had to reschedule a home game because of Ringling Bros in The Omni. They did play a game and lifted all the tents to the rafters. Had an elephant bring out the firstce ball. Greatest promotional move this side of ostrich races.

By the way, JS: I went to the page seventeen times today and have bought three Infiniti’s just so you keep up the blog.


August 28th, 2009
3:05 pm

JoeV, the answer to your question is, most of the crowds for the exhibition games were not predominantly Hispanic. The exceptions were the games involving Mexican club teams and the Mexican national team. What was especially encouraging was that big crowds showed up in so many different states, so many different cities.

I’d also like to add that the consistent television audiences that persuaded ESPN to carry live games twice a week, and which allow FOX Soccer Channel to thrive, are for games which are played in Europe. Of those, the highest rated games are typically for the Premier League in England, although there’s no question that Barcelona and Real Madrid are also marquee draws.

[...] posted odds on the Lingerie Football League. Why, I don’t know. And I’m sure all of the WNBA fans who hate me for my previous blog now are even more thrilled that I dared to mention the Lingerie Football [...]


August 28th, 2009
3:18 pm

How would you encourage your daughter to “Dream Big?” I have personally become a fan of womens basketball on all levels. They play the game how it is suppose to be played. Yea you’re a columnist, but do you have to be so simple minded? Is that a requirement in your job description? If you don’t have a daughter..I hope your wife wakes up in the morning and tells you that she is pregnant with twin GIRLS..and when they grow up all they want to do is play in the WNBA…and that their favorite colors are red, white, and baby blue..smh its always can tell the guys that were never good at sports when they were kids…they always end up being journalist or excuse me columnist..tisk tisk..Go Dream!!

Male Dream Fan

August 28th, 2009
3:57 pm

I challenge you to try a game out. There is one more game left in the season (9/11 vs. the Conn. Sun). I have taken my daughter to 3 home games this season and she loves it. I wasn’t to sure about the WNBA before, but once I stopped trying to compare it to the NBA and other male sports, i noticed the real value of the WNBA. The WNBA and the Atlanta Dream teach girls to ( for the lack of a better/non-corny phrase) …actually dream. My daughter looks up to a lot of these players. What other sports league could my daughter have access to actually meet professional athletes, what other league would allow us to watch a great game at an affordable price, what other league is made up of players who have all received a college education, and what other league inspires young girls to be anything they want to be? THIS is why you should care. THIS is why the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream matter. Our young girls need the WNBA/Atlanta Dream and THEY need our support!


August 28th, 2009
4:09 pm

Wait a minute…there’s a professional Women’s basketball league?