Episode 50: Michigan State failures, WNBA draft, and Muffet McGraw reflects on history

This week, Lindsay, Shireen, Jessica, and Brenda get excited about DWTS: Athletes (3:30); run down the myriad of ways Michigan State has failed Larry Nassar’s survivors this week (7:19); and discuss the WNBA draft (22:45).

Then, Lindsay interviews Hall of Fame Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw on her team’s unforgettable national title, and what’s next — including possible White House invitations (35:40).

As always, you’ll hear the Burn Pile (48:55), Bad Ass Women of the Week (58:15), and what’s good in our worlds (59:40).

For links and a transcript…

Links

“Michigan State president threatens Nassar victim during volatile Board of Trustees meeting” https://thinkprogress.org/michigan-state-president-threatens-nassar-victim-during-volatile-board-of-trustees-meeting-fe6aff8d8800/d

“Michigan State needs cultural, systemic change” http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-state-needs-cultural-systemic-change

“Michigan State’s rape lawsuit statement likely violated privacy laws” https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/04/12/experts-msu-likely-violated-federal-privacy-laws-statement-rape-lawsuit/509906002/

“Title IX Lawsuit Over Players’ Alleged Rape Adds to Michigan State’s Growing Legal Troubles” https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/04/13/michigan-state-title-ix-lawsuit-2015-final-four

“Lawmakers call out Michigan State for failing to protect students, patients” http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/23042727/lawmakers-say-michigan-state-failed-protect-students-larry-nassar

For WNBA coverage, check out High Post Hoops and espnW.

“Report: New Hampshire youth baseball coaches planned to ‘bean’ league’s lone girl to intimidate her into leaving” http://usatodayhss.com/2018/report-new-hampshire-youth-baseball-coaches-planned-to-bean-leagues-lone-girl-to-intimidate-her-into-leaving

“Caster Semenya cruises to 1500m gold as South African gold rush continues” https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/10/sport/caster-semenya-commonwealth-games-spt/index.html

Transcript

Lindsay: Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Burn It All Down, the feminist sports podcast you need. I’m Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress in Washington, DC where things have been super calm this week. I’ll be leading the way today. Joining me is Shireen Ahmed, freelance sports reporter and tech expert in Toronto, Canada, Jessica Luther in, not Washington, DC.

Jessica: No.

Lindsay: Even though that’s what I wrote in my notes because that’s how I’m doing. Jessica Luther in Austin, Texas, and Brenda Elsey, associate professor at Hofstra who is, once again, coming to us from Argentina. How are you guys doing?

Brenda: Well, I’m doing well.

Shireen: I am actually sitting in a freezing rainstorm and snowstorm in Toronto, so I’m hoping for better weather. But other than that, I’m great.

Jessica: I’m doing good.

Lindsay: Cool. Okay. Toronto, Canada is exactly how I picture it, just like your sanctuary.

Shireen: Lindsay, there’s more to Canada than Toronto. Oh my God, you sound like a Torontonian, actually.

Lindsay: All right, all right, all right. First of all, I want to thank our Patreon supporters. If you’re new, you might be asking what in the world is a Patreon supporter. I got a lucky day for you because I’m going to explain it. Patreon is how we keep this podcast, this labor of love, this independent women-funded, women-produced, women-everything podcast running through Patreon, patreon.com/burnitalldown. You can pledge a monthly donation, and we’re not asking you to pledge a lot. $1, $2, $5, whatever makes the most sense for you in your budget. That way, we know what we can count on each month and we can go ahead and pay for our editing, pay for transcripts, pay for people to help us with our social media and graphics, and really invest in this podcast so that it can grow and flourish.

We’re overwhelmed with the support so far, but we want to keep it going. For just two dollars a month, you will get access to Patreon-only podcast segments. This week’s segment, we’ll be talking about the tragedy in Canada, the hockey players form Humboldt who died in the crash, the impact that it’s had on the community, and we’re going to talk a little bit about the sports complex at large. If you want to hear more about that, please subscribe to our Patreon and you will.

This week on our podcast, we are going to be discussing, once again, everything that Michigan State is doing wrong in handling the post-Nassar world. It seems that there is enough for an entire segment on that every week or two here, but it’s important to keep the story in the rear view, not in the rear view mirror, excuse me, firmly in front of us and continue to talk about. Then, we’re going to talk about the WNBA. We have the draft this week and we’re going to talk about what we’re really excited about coming in to this next season. Then, we have an extra special interview with the legendary national championship coach, Muffet McGraw. I talked to her this week and I’m so excited to bring you all that interview. But that is all contingent on me ever stopping talking about Dancing with the Stars, which might not happen because the Dancing with the Stars: Athletes cast came out this week. It’s just a four-week event, but I’m just going to read you-

Jessica: Oh, good. Only four weeks.

Lindsay: … the names. It’s just four weeks.

Jessica: I only have to be [inaudible 00:03:51] for four weeks.

Brenda: That’s great news.

Lindsay: I’m trying to pitch my co-host on a weekly Burn It All Down Patreon-only recap, so if you would like me to do that, please comment and tell Jess that she really needs to walk all of it and recap with me. [crosstalk 00:04:08]

Brenda: [inaudible 00:04:11].

Lindsay: Yeah. Yes. But listen, it looks like Burn It All Down made this cast list.

Jessica: It’s true. It’s a really good cast list. I will give you that.

Shireen: It’s a great cast list.

Lindsay: You have Adam. You have Adam Rippon, Mirai “Triple Axel” Nagasu. You have Jamie Anderson, the expert snow border. You have Chris Messner, the super-hot luger.

Jessica: Yeah, that’s a good description.

Lindsay: Yeah. In case anyone is wondering why they should care about him, I’m just going to be honest. No, he’s great. Then, softball pitcher, Jennie Finch, who we love. We also have-

Shireen: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Lindsay: Thank you, okay. I’m getting there, Kareem.

Brenda: She’s saying it till the end.

Lindsay: I’m getting there. It’s literally the next one on my list. You have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. You have Josh Norman from Washington football team. You have Johnny Damon, baseball star. Can I get a drum roll? Arike.

Jessica: Arike Ogunbowale.

Lindsay: Arike Ogunbowale is there. Who are you guys most excited about?

Jessica: Tonya Harding, and Tonya Harding.

Lindsay: Sorry, I forgot about Tonya Harding.

Jessica: It’s quite a group.

Lindsay: I was saving her for the last because a little problematic.

Jessica: Yeah. A little bit, a little bit. It should be really interesting. The figure skating dynamic will be very interesting with the multiple generations there. I’ve been really excited to watch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dance.

Shireen: Same here.

Jessica: I mean, he’s like very interesting.

Shireen: He’s like two feet taller.

Jessica: Yeah, he’s like 7’2″. I mean, it’s hard. I mean, coordination is hard when you’re that tall, and I just love that he’s doing this. I love him, just everything about him, and so I’m fascinated to see how that goes.

Brenda: I love everything about him, too, but I still feel like it’s going to be an awkward situation on the dance floor. I don’t know.

Shireen: I mean, we also, we also-

Lindsay: There’s going to be a lot of secondhand embarrassment.

Shireen: We also have to keep in mind it is reality television, so having Tonya Harding adds this flare drama. Having that awkwardness is imperative according to show’s producers, like it can’t be seamless. There’s got to be some type of like drama, attention, “reality” there for viewers because this is still about entertainment, right?

Lindsay: Yes. Thank you, Shireen. I’m now thinking about what Shireen would be like as a reality television producer. I’m getting really excited.

Jessica: She would be really good at it.

Shireen: No, I want there to be a documentary on Burn It All Down and they’ll be like, “No, not dramatic enough, sorry. Jessica, you need to cry way more. Brenda, this needs to happen.”

Jessica: I think I might actually watch. I think I might actually watch. I think my husband might leave me or I don’t know. He will not be happy when I tell him this, but he’ll go with it.

Lindsay: It will be fine. It’s just four weeks. We can all do anything for four weeks, it will be great. Okay. Anyways, we’re really excited about that. Trust me, I will be talking about this more. My co-hosts can’t stop me, it’s fine. Love you all.

We’re going to start with some serious flame throwing and burn pile lighting here, Michigan State. Brenda, get us started.

Brenda: Michigan State, it’s so sad as a once proud alumni of the school to look at what’s happened in the past months. Basically, Michigan State’s leadership has shown itself to be totally incapable of creating the dramatic shift that they need following the horrific trial of Larry Nassar, because we’ve seen just like in the last few weeks. The former boss of Larry Nassar who is dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, has come under a series of horrific allegations. I’m sure that we’re going to hear more about that. Michigan State seemed totally unwilling to respond in an even marginally adequate way.

Another woman filed a lawsuit against the university earlier this week alleging she was raped by three basketball players in 2015, but that the university counseling center discouraged her from going to the police. The Michigan State responded by probably violating her privacy. It’s been one thing after another. I would just like to say really quickly and then we’ll open it, I don’t want to take up too much time, but I cringed when John Engler was appointed as interim president. A lot of people didn’t grow up in Michigan. But if you did, in the 1990s when John Engler was governor, he dismissed the sexual assault cases of women prisoners in Michigan that were assaulted by … But, yeah. It was so bad that the United Nations try to send a special investigator to look into-

Shireen: Oh my gosh.

Brenda: Yeah, to look into the victims and their violation by the guards. Basically, John Engler told the United Nations that there is nothing to see here. As soon as he was nominated, I just started going, “Oh.” It’s a really frustrating and terrible state of things. Have you guys been paying attention to any particular aspect of this horrible garbage pile?

Lindsay: I’ve been following it really closely. My co-workers keep being like, “You’re still doing stuff with Michigan State?” I’m like, “I think that there is so much to look at here.” Like, “There’s no bottom. You keep thinking that there is a bottom and then there is a hole … Like you lift it up and it’s endless space below it.” Michigan State is just … It’s beyond. I obviously can’t even finish the sentence, but let’s talk about the John Engler aspect first. That appointment, as Brenda said, right off the bat is just showing that you care way more about protecting your brand and appeasing fundraisers than you actually do about victims and about getting things right in the school itself.

What do dirty politicians and people who are in high levels of academia, like in the administration, presidents, trustees, what do they have in common? Fundraising. That’s what they have in common. Talking to people, getting money, raising money, hobnobbing with these horrible fellows to try and get some money. That’s the only thing. John Engler doesn’t have experience running a university. He has no experience and no track record of adequately dealing with victims of sexual assault and showing any sort of compassion. The only reason you make that appointment is because your number one focus is to try and prove that Michigan State didn’t do anything wrong. If that is still your mindset at this time in all this, if that is still your main priority, then you don’t get it and I don’t know if you ever will.

Jessica: Yeah. One of the interesting, or one of the things we have to keep talking about with Michigan State, one of the big takeaways for me from Michigan State that you can apply broadly when we’re looking at this issue, which obviously is something I care very deeply about and I’ll actually be writing about this week, is that this is really hard work. I know I’ve said this on the show before, but this is like long-term difficult work that has to keep happening. Lindsay, I really appreciate the work that you’re doing at ThinkProgress to keep attention on this. I’m very glad that Outside the Lines continues to report on this. We need to keep looking at it and talking about it because it’s so easy not to. There is an exhaustion to it that even if you care very deeply about this issue where you just get so tired and overwhelmed, how do you fix this, right? I mean, like, it just feels so gigantic.

But Michigan State isn’t alone. Maybe if you have a scale of 1 to 10, most schools fall on like 5 or 6 on how they handle this. Michigan State is up at a 9. These are issues that are everywhere that need to be handled. One thing that’s interesting for me about Michigan is what’s going on in the legislature. They’re trying to pass it into laws in order to fix this. That part makes me nervous, too. Some of it will be good, right? There definitely needs to be a better oversight. Just this week, David Jesse at the Detroit Free Press, he is their Higher Ed beat reporter. He and I had a very short exchange on Twitter because he was reporting that there’s a new bill that’s made it into committee about the university sexual assault reports that they would go to governing boards, and this would be part of the oversight. I asked him, “Well, are they going to be redacted if they go to governing boards? Are people who are reporting at Michigan University now giving up information about themselves to the governing boards?,” and he said that he didn’t know that they haven’t worked that part out yet. That’s a big part of it, too, in Michigan to see what laws are going to be passed in the wake of Michigan State that other states are probably going to adopt, and the impact of those, we really have to pay attention so that we understand what’s going on there because it will absolutely affect other states as well.

Lindsay: Shireen.

Shireen: I just want to go back to something that Jess mentioned in the beginning, which she was just saying about the exhaustion that happens from this and the importance. I just want to echo that, that I was talking to somebody just saying that this is what we’ll probably talk about because a lot of incredible work about this comes up, Lindsay. I echo Jess, but thank you for the work you do on it because this isn’t over. A lot of people assume that after the sentencing, and the comment that I got from that person was, “Oh, Nassar’s sentence is done.” It leads me to really correct them and say, “No, it’s not done.”

A, the healing for the survivors is nowhere near done. The discussions on how things need to change policy-wise and the accountability that needs to happen is nowhere near done. Even within media and suicidal perceptions of all the case is done, it’s finished, it’s nowhere near done. I’m so grateful that we’re talking about it. I hope other people continue to talk about it because, as Brenda said, there needs to be a lot of things that need to happen because there’s continual botching up of the situation.

Lindsay: Absolutely. I mean, this week, there was a Board of Trustees meeting on just … This was just on Friday. Once again, I found myself gasping in my office watching the tweets and updates for this. Look, I have to say, it is the local reporters in Michigan who were keeping this going.

Jessica: That’s true. That’s absolutely true.

Lindsay: They are phenomenal. I mean, the reporters at Michigan Radio and the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal, they are absolutely staying on top of every bit of this. They deserve every bit of credit. If you are not supporting local journalism in some way, go out and change that immediately. That is the most important thing to, I think, our entire democracy right now. But, anyways, so I was following the updates from these reporters who were in this Board of Trustees meeting. 18-year-old Kaylee Lorincz who is one of the survivors. Some of the survivors came and asked to get places in this board meeting so that they could address the Board of Trustees, because the Board of Trustees has just been so horrendous handling this. These survivors wanted a chance to directly talk to the Board of Trustees and President Engler in a public setting, so that’s what they did.

Kaylee Lorincz, once again, 18 years old, went up there to speak. She said that John Engler had offered her in private a $250,000 check if she dropped her lawsuit against the school. This offer was made two weeks ago. It was in, as I said, a private meeting. Kaylee’s mother was there and then John Engler had two lawyers present. He claims they were not his lawyers, they were just lawyers in general, but he still had legal people with him. But this just keeps getting worse. I know that is hard to believe, as we said. According to Lorincz, and this is reported by Michigan Radio, so kudos to them. “Mr. Engler then looked directly at me and asked, right now, if I wrote you a check for $250,000, would you take it?” Lorincz then continued to say, “When I explained that it’s not about money for me and that I just want to help,” he said, “Well, give me a number.”

As Lorincz is talking about this public comments at this Board of Trustees meeting, which once again journalists, all the trustees, Michigan students, Michigan alumni, they’re all … There are people at this meeting. This is in public when she’s telling this story. Lorincz mentioned that Engler’s lawyer was there. Engler, at that point, interrupted her and said, “She is not my lawyer. Be careful.”

Shireen: Oh my gosh.

Lindsay: This is John Engler threatening an 18-year-old. That’s the only way to interpret that, is a threat. Be careful, as she’s talking about him trying to pay her off. I talked to the one of the lawyers, John Manly who’s a lawyer who represents Lorincz and many of Nassar’s victims, and I talked to him about this on Friday. I thought his quote was really powerful. He said to me, “Michigan State clearly looks at this women as the enemy, and if you have any doubt about that, I think we can all agree that President Engler just threatened a 4’8″ girl.” He went on to say, “Yeah.”I think that sums it up. Michigan State views the survivors of Larry Nassar who were speaking out as the enemies. I don’t know where you go from that. I mean, you have to clear house, but how do you even keep going? I don’t know. Anyone else, Brenda?

Brenda: I think John Engler has evil for many years to come. I think he can keep going. I would just like to remind ourselves that John Engler is a lawyer.

Jessica: Oh my goodness.

Brenda: He’s a lawyer, what the fuck. He acts like, oh, he’s not a lawyer. He is perfectly aware of what he is doing. I think it’s also worth mentioning that when, especially like Jessica and Lindsay, all of your work that was done during the Nassar trial have focused a lot on how, of course, it’s more than Nassar and that these things were going to come out. These case of Nassar’s boss, William Strampel, has been one of those situations that you knew it was coming. There’s no way someone like that could operate the predator that Larry Nassar was without others being complicit in it. It’s so sad and upsetting, but also very predictable to see people like that that are going to come out, and I would expect it is going to keep going and going and going.

For those of you who had not followed, Strampel then has four former medical students, in this case all of whom are female, that have a range of accusations against him, and so the Michigan attorney general now is prosecuting him. In the affidavit, it says very clearly that Strampel had failed to implement protocols and allowed Nassar to continue abusing patients. It’s a whole web, a whole culture that needs a complete revolution. As we’ve just discussed, I just don’t see how the people in charge right now are, in any case, able to do that. I can’t think of one person, right? It’s sad because I worked at the Women’s Resource Center at Michigan State University. They are dedicated and amazing women that are ready to take charge, but they’re not going to be in charge.

Lindsay: I don’t know what’s [inaudible 00:20:10]. I feel like I should end like raising a little bit more actually about what Kaylee Lorincz said in this speech she gave to the Board of Trustees. Another element of this conversation in private that she had with Engler was that Engler told her that Rachael Denhollander who is someone who … The first victim to come forward publicly against Nassar and we had her on this podcast in an interview that I hoped that you’ve all listened to, and we’ll go back to listen to if you haven’t. She’s just remarkable. But in this meeting, private meeting between Lorincz and Engler, Engler told Kaylee that Rachael had given him a dollar amount.

Shireen: Oh, my gosh.

Lindsay: After this meeting, Kaylee called Rachael. Rachael’s never met with John Engler. She’s never given him a dollar amount. Engler is lying to Kaylee about settling with other people to trying to her to settle, as if that’s not going to come out. Then, to top it off, so we’ve just talked about the horrible allegations against Dean Strampel who is facing all these multiple charges of sexually harassing female medical students, having pornography on his work computer, and of course, failing to properly enforce safety protocols when he worked as Nassar’s boss, this is Nassar’s boss. Apparently, Kaylee brought Strampel up to Engler in this private meeting, and Engler said that the charges against Strampel were, “No big deal. Just a slap on the butt.”

Jessica: Oh my God, burn it all down. Burn it all down.

Brenda: Burn it all down. Burn it all down.

Shireen: You know what, I think Michigan State is going to join FIFA in the internal incinerator.

Jessica: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Shireen: If they weren’t already there.

Jessica: Yeah.

Lindsay: At this point, what else do you do? Look, I just need to say that this board meeting, they get a lot of attention and there are a lot of calls for the board and for Engler to resign. I want to remind everyone that we are recording this on Sunday morning, so if there are any updates after this, there could be further news updates that we’re not going to cover today, of course, we will always stay on top of the story. But I just want to remind everyone that we are recording this on Sunday morning. As of now, John Engler is still there and the entire Board of Trustee is still intact.

Moving on, the only thing in sports basically that gets me going these days is the amazingness of women sports. That’s kind of my happy place right now within the sporting world. This week was the WNBA Draft which got me incredibly excited for the WNBA season. Jess, please help us change gears here.

Jessica: Absolutely. This past Thursday night in New York City, the WNBA held its annual draft. No one was surprised when South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson went first to the Las Vegas Aces, formerly the San Antonio Stars. I’m just going to run down the rest of the first round of the draft. So these are the big names. Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State went second to Indiana Fever, with picks three and four, the Chicago Sky chose Diamond DeShields whose journey to the WNBA took her from North Carolina to Tennessee to Turkey. The Chicago Sky also went with Gabby Williams from Connecticut. Jordan Canada from UCLA went fifth to the Seattle Storm where she’ll play point behind legend Sue Bird, I’m really interested in that dynamic. Azura Stevens who left UConn early to enter the draft, she went sixth to the Dallas Wings. Texas’ Ariel Atkins landed with the Washington Mystics.

But the eighth pick, Indiana Fever added Mississippi States Victoria Vivians to the roster. Dukes’ Lexie Brown went ninth to the Connecticut Sun. UConn’s Kia Nurse is headed to the New York Liberty. The LA Sparks picked up Maria Vadeeva from Russia. With twelfth pick, the Phoenix Mercury chose Marie Gulich from Oregon State. Training camp is going to begin for the WNBA at the end of this month. Pre-season runs the first half of May. The final rosters will be announced on May 17th, just in time for the start of the season, the weekend of May 18th. That’s on my calendar. I’m stoked. Shireen, are you now a New York Liberty fan?

Shireen: I am absolutely so excited to get my New York Liberty jersey that says “Nurse” on the back. I am so excited. You all know I love Kia so much. I also am a huge fan of Gabby and Azura and I’m going to humble bragging be like they’ll follow me on social media and I love them and they’re okay with me being obsessed with them. They’re like totally okay with it, but they’re also … It’s like a beauty because I’ve been following them for a while and to see them, I’ve been tweeted out that I had this big sister I was catching my feelings because I was feeling like I was so proud of them. I could definitely be their mother in age, but we’re just not going to go there.

But my point is, is that the way that they were so proud in their grinning faces and the WNBA Draft is such an exciting thing. It’s this night of hope and excitement. It’s just, they’re so valued and cherished. I’m so excited. I’m also really happy that Kia’s in New York, like a little closer because if she’s going to go further, it would be harder. I can do a road trip. I can pick up Brenda and we can go, “You know what? We’ll just come and pick up Lindsay, too, because it’s really not that far.” We’ll just like-

Lindsay: I don’t think you have a great idea for geography.

Shireen: That’s how excited I am about this. It’s just drawing me in. What I love about this is like I should follow the WNBA more, I really should. But this is what happens when you love women’s college ball and it draws you in, and I hope it draws a lot of other people in. I’m really excited about it. I’m so excited and I hope I see people wearing those jerseys and being excited about it and doing that thing. like I’m really excited. Actually, that’s all I can say. I’m so proud of them because the end of this season was really difficult and it wasn’t the way that they wanted to go, but their faces and their joy was palpable, so I’m happy for them.

Lindsay: Yeah. It’s so soon. It’s just such a whirlwind for these women players. The NCAA Tournament ends a couple weeks later. It’s the draft. Then, a couple weeks later, they’re in training camp. It’s just nonstop. It’s always exhausting thinking about it. Jess, I know you’ve got your eyes on some Texas team out there. What are you excited about for this year?

Jessica: I am really excited about the Dallas Wings. They are now the lone Texas team because San Antonio jumped to Vegas. One thing that’s really interesting about them is they’re really young overall, so I was looking on it.

Lindsay: So young.

Jessica: Yeah. As the roster sits right now today as we’re recording, the only true veterans on the team are Karima Christmas-Kelly, the best name in the world, who is in her seventh season, Skylar Diggins-Smith, it’s like the second best name in the world, and Glory Johnson are in their fifth season. Theresa Plaisance is in her 4th. Then, they just signed Liz Cambage who has played professional ball. Part of it in the WNBA since 2007, head coach Fred Williams told Jasmine Brown at High Post Hoops about … Is it Cambage that, “Liz is a triple-threat player.” Go, Lindsay.

Lindsay: It’s Australian, so they say their A’s differently so I’m honestly not sure.

Jessica: Okay. All right.

Lindsay: Liz, let’s her call Liz, we’re on a first name basis.

Jessica: There you go. So Fred Williams told Jasmine Brown at High Post Hoops about Liz. “Liz is a triple-threat player who can shoot, pass, and defend inside the paint extremely well. She’ll provide a strong inside-out threat that I think will be very exciting for our fans and the league.” But those four, those are the veterans on this entire roster. At the same time, even though they’re young, the team made it to the playoffs last year which is really exciting, they had to fight for it. That means all the returning players, no matter their age, have a little bit of experience with that kind of fight. They lost in the first round to the Washington Mystics in that one and done first round, which is always brutal for them.

They also have the returning Rookie of the Year, Allisha Gray, which is very exciting. They just picked up Azura Stevens. Diggins-Smith was amazing last year coming off of her ACL injury, she has just poised. She, Christmas-Kelly, and Glory Johnson have all actually been playing together for years now, so they have a really good mix. I really think that this is like one of the teams to watch. As long as they all stay healthy and they find that chemistry with the people coming in, the talent is absolutely there. I really think that they can run deep. They can make a deep run I mean. I’m hoping to make it to Dallas. I just think this team is very exciting and the potential is … I’m geared up, I’m ready to go.

Lindsay: I totally agree with you. I was, as Jess mentioned, it was the Washington Mystics that they lost to in the playoff, so I was at that game covering it because I do some beat reporting for the Washington Mystics. I cover that team on a regular basis and just love doing that, which is one of my favorite things. It’s an exciting team to watch. I think having Liz back, I mean Liz is … She’s so tall. She’s such a big presence. She is one of the most fun basketball players to watch, period, and having her back in the WNBA is just a thrill. I’m just so excited about that. Glory Johnson is so good. She’s so good.

Skylar Diggins-Smith at her press conference after the game, after the loss, so after their season was over, I asked her about this season because she was back. She was coming off of an injury. It was her first full season in a while. I asked her about that journey and she just could not say enough nice things about her teammates, about how close they are, about the nucleus they have, about how much they love playing for their coach, for each other, just about how this is the absolute best basketball experience she’s ever had on this team. Skylar Diggins-Smith is a superstar. I just love how invested she is in this team and I think you can’t really underrate that because that’s just so important.

Look, on my end, I’m excited for the Mystics. Last season, they did make it to the semifinals in the playoffs in unexpected run. But this year, they are without Emma Meesseman who is going to stay in Belgium. Unfortunately, her Belgian National Team coach would not allow her. He told the WNBA that he was okay with her playing the regular season, but that if the team made it to the playoffs, she would have to come back to the Belgian National Team that she wouldn’t be able to do the playoffs. Washington coach Mike Thibault was kind of like, “Well, I can’t just have her all season and not for the playoffs. This is a team that’s expecting big things.” I think overall, it will be good for Emma. She’s still very young. Since she didn’t play college ball, she came out. She started in the league much younger than most players do. She’s just been playing year-round nonstop. She was incredibly burned out at the end of last season. You could see that in everything she did, whether it was in the locker room, whether it was in practice, whether it was during the game.

Ultimately, I think having a couple months off will be good for her longevity, but it is hard not having her on the Mystics this season. But you still got Elena Delle Donne. You’ve got Krystal Thomas who had this phenomenal season last year as a center and has just been playing remarkably in Russia this year as well. You have coming in … You’ve got all these players that are now healthy and that’s remarkable. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, Natasha Cloud is feeling healthy. I just can’t be more excited to kind of see what this team can do. They’ve been working really hard this off season. I think that there could be some big things. It’s just going to be such an exciting season. I mean, of course, by the way, we still have the Sparks and the Lynx who are still set up to be the best two teams in the league.

Jessica: Exactly. Yeah, just them.

Lindsay: Brenda.

Brenda: I’m excited by Maria Vadeeva, the Russian that the LA Sparks drafted. She is 19. She has been playing already a couple years professionally in Europe. She captained the U19 Russian team that took a silver against the US. I don’t know. I always hear people like commentators like Rebecca Lobo who is the awesomest say things like pro-ready and things of that nature. I have no idea how to think about a 19-year-old being pro-ready. When I was 19, I could hardly do laundry. But I think she’s already been pro for two years. It will be really be interesting. The LA Sparks don’t really, I don’t know, do they really need her right now? I don’t think so, but it seems like in the future, she’s a great bet. I just like when leagues internationalize. Like Dominicans in the MLB or Brazilians in the NWSL, just thinking like it adds a bit of something interesting to the whole thing. I’m excited to see how she integrates into the team and how people will respond to her in LA, which is already a flashy place.

Lindsay: It is tough for the international teams though because, like I said, they have this national team commitments, and the WNBA does not stop for international play. The WNBA just keeps going because there’s no-

Brenda: Neither does the NWSL.

Lindsay: Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

Brenda: I know, but it’s also cool because right now, like in these tournaments, you see all of the Washington Spirit putting out, like, “Hey look at our player.” There’s a way, I hope, that the WNBA feels like thinking capitalize on it for publicizing the game, too, as a global league.

Lindsay: Yeah. I think it’s tougher because the WNBA season is a little bit shorter. I’ve just seen the Mystics with what Emma’s have to do, and Emma is one of the best players in the league but it’s really tough to have that as one of your core players. I’m just saying like I think it’s just sad that there’s not a better way to work this out because when you have a player who leaves a four-month season for a month at a time, and basketball is so much about chemistry, that’s really tough. That’s really tough. But I am really excited to see what happens with her and where she goes. Anyone else?

Jessica: Yeah, I was just going to say that I can’t remember who said this, but someone was talking about Vadeeva before the draft and they were saying had she played ball in America, she would have been higher up in the draft. She is so good that the fact that she was in the first round, but it was just that people didn’t get a look at her in the way that they would have had she played ball here that she’s actually that good. I didn’t even realize she was 19. I learned something today and I’m floored by the whole thing.

Shireen: Even Azura Stevens, as you mentioned, Jess, she was only a junior. She’s not-

Jessica: Right. That was a huge deal when she came out early, yeah.

Lindsay: But she is older because she had transferred and had to sit out a year and all that stuff, so they’re older.

Shireen: Diamond DeShields. We mentioned her a little bit at the top, you know, she kind of surprised everyone when, you know, midway through the WNBA season basically, she left Tennessee last year and decided to go pro, which means she was too late for the WNBA season. She’s been oversees for the past year. I’m really excited to see what she brings and what her developments look like and have her back on the floor because she’s so excited.

Jessica: She went to Chicago, right? That’s where her dad played for the Cubs?

Shireen: Oh right.

Jessica: Yes. I just love stories like that.

Shireen: I don’t know.

Lindsay: I just think that’s really sweet.

Here at Burn It All Down, we are still buzzing from the Women’s Final Four that saw Notre Dame upset UConn in overtime in the semis and then take down Mississippi State in the championship game. Both victories came thanks to three pointers by Arike Ogunbowale in the waning seconds. This was Notre Dame second national title and it came 17 years after its first. This week, I had the honor to speak with Notre Dame’s hall of fame coach, Muffet McGraw, about those games, the celebrations sense and so much more. We can only connect with Coach McGraw over cellphones, which means the audio call is a bit lower than we usually prefer here at Burn It All Down, but please bear with us. I think it’s more than worth it because she’s just that brilliant. As you will be able to hear, we had a blast talking. Enjoy.

Coach McGraw, welcome to Burn It All Down. We are just thrilled to have you. How are you dealing a couple weeks later? Had you been able to come down from the high and all of that just phenomenal championship? Are you still buzzing a little bit?

Muffet McGraw: I’m still shaking my head wondering how it happened with two miracle shots going in. First time in the Women’s Final Four, we’ve had three overtime games, it was the best Final Four ever in terms of excitement. Then, for us to win, of course, made a little made a little more exciting for me. I really have just enjoyed going out in the community, being around town, and having so many fans just feel a part of it.

Lindsay: I was reading a quote from Jackie Young who said, talking about Arike in that final shot saying, “We have confidence in her and as soon as she put the shot up, I knew it was going in.” Did you have that much confidence, too, [inaudible 00:37:25]?

Muffet: It’s five minutes before it left her hand and got to the rim. I mean, I think the whole crowd went just silent watching, waiting. She arced it really high so it took a long time to get in and, when it went in, I definitely did not think it was going in. But then the nice shot, the the trajectory, I felt we’ve got a chance, but no, it’s not going to happen two games in a row.

Lindsay: I’m still buzzing from it. I was just thinking like how wonderful it was for all the sports. I hate all the modifiers. This was just great for women’s basketball. It was a great sports moment, period, end of story.

Muffet: Yeah. The exciting thing is how the mainstream media, not just ESPN. It’s been on a lot of different things. Of course, Arike has been out on the circuit doing different things. But that’s what I’ve heard. So many people are like, “I never even watched women’s basketball, but this is great basketball.”

Lindsay: You’re like, “Duh, that’s what we’ve been saying.”

Muffet: Yes. Exactly.

Lindsay: It’s been 17 years since you won the first national championship. I believe it was to the day, which is just another one of those weird coincidences. What would you have told the Coach McGraw of 2001 about what the journey … What advice would you give to that Coach McGraw?

Muffet: I would have told her to enjoy the journey because that is something that I’ve struggled with. I love being in practice and I love that, but there’s so much that goes into it, so much of a challenge, so much stress that is related to it. I always think I’d like to do this season over again. Now that I know we win, then I would really enjoy the journey a lot more. I think you go through ups and downs. It’s just like anything, any career that you have. Life’s going to hit you with some adversity and you got to roll with it and get back up. I think this team was probably the most resilient. There were definitely times when I wondered if that was going to be the finish, because we went through … We had a 10-year draft just getting back to the Final Four. That was a long 10 years. Coming out in 2011 and finally getting back to the Final Four, that was a major accomplishment for us.

Lindsay: Speaking of Final Four, I read an anecdote I love which was that at some point last season, I’m not sure between which ACL tear this would have been, but you went, you bought an outfit specifically for the Final Four. At that point, was this because you were confident that you were going to make it no matter what happened, or was it a superstitious thing? What went into that?

Muffet: It’s funny because it just happened. I was shopping, I saw a dress and I was like, “I’m going to save this for the Final Four.” Then, during the season, after a couple of more ACL tears, I went back and made sure I hadn’t taken the tags off because I was pretty sure I was going to have to turn that one back. It definitely sat in my closet for a long time. I didn’t even want to look at it.

Lindsay: Now, you might have to insure that dress?

Muffet: Oh, I would love it.

Lindsay: That’s for sure.

Muffet: That’s a good bucket of water got poured on it. I’m not sure it survived the locker room.

Lindsay: There’s so many unbelievable statistics about this game and about your season. But for me, I can’t get past that you only scored three points in the entire second quarter. You were in the halftime down 30 to 17 after, once again, only scoring three points, which is not usually a formula for winning national championship. What did you say to your team? At that point, what was your mindset?

Muffet: Lindsay, I’m having trouble remembering that we only scored three points in that quarter. What the heck. I mean, the wheels just completely fell off the bus. We were helpless. Their defense was really great. The pressure was too much. Then, we were letting them score. It wasn’t working for us at either end. We got the to the point, we’re like, “Let’s just get to halftime and see if we can regroup.” We talked about our composure, because we definitely lost our composure. We had people open, we couldn’t see them. We couldn’t find them. We couldn’t get the ball to the right people. We were not taking the best shots and then letting that bother us and go down in the floor often. We’ve been so resilient up till then about not letting things bother us. We talked about regaining our mental game, get back on track, get back to the [inaudible 00:41:48], get the ball inside, take advantage of the mishmash.

But that was a long quarter. That was the worst quarter in the history of basketball, I think as far as I know, but definitely for us. It’s funny. We became a second half team. I don’t know why. So many people were like, “Wow, you must had a great halftime speech.” My son was a little tired of hearing that story. He said, “Mom, if it was such a great speech, why didn’t you give it before the game?” I was like, “Yeah. Yeah. Maybe I’ll try that next time.”

Lindsay: Leave it to kids to bring you right [inaudible 00:42:21]. That’s amazing. One of things, I mean, it’s, of course, been … You’ve heard this, and you’re the only female coach in the Final Four. Title IX, which has been such a blessing for women sports and it’s taking women sports to a new height. But it’s actually done the opposite when it comes to women’s coaching, the percentage of women coaching the sports have gone down. What does it mean to you to do this? What do you think needs to happen in order to get more women into the coaching rank?

Muffet: We only a few all-female staff in the country. There’s only a handful of us that have all women on our staff. I mean, it really made me proud of what we have accomplished here and hope that it can be a role model for some other coaches to look to hire more women. I think it starts with that. We’ve got to hire more women. We’ve got to train them. I think women need to have more confidence in applying for jobs. I think it’s going to be a situation where people have to mentor. We have to be better mentors. There’s an all-boys network where it just works for guys. They can do so many things for each other. They help each other more than we do.

I think Title IX was great in getting women out. But when it started, we had probably 80% of coaches were women. Now, you look at what happened, now we’re getting better pay. Now, we’re getting all the things we’ve been fighting for. We’re not at equal pay yet, but we’re getting there. Now, it’s attracting more men into the game because the salaries are really good. It’s a really good job. But I would love to see more women just starting out. We’ve got so many women graduating that are going to be great coaches. We’ve got to give them that opportunity.

Lindsay: Women basketball players and female athletes across the board have really been leading the way when it comes to talking about social and political issues, and addressing any form of inequality. I read a tweet of yours from last year talking about … I’m paraphrasing you. But it was something along the lines [inaudible 00:44:16] talking about how people are protesting. Let’s address the why. Let’s talk about the reasons behind these protests. Do you have these conversations with your athletes and with women? Is that something that you’re … Are you very aware of what’s happening in the outside world?

Muffet: Oh, absolutely. The social justice, I think, is a huge part of this generation. Look at how they’re stepping up so well right now with definitely what happened in Florida. But I think for me, it’s a lot about women’s issues. The Women’s March, we were so ready to take part in that and we had a game that day.

Lindsay: Oh, no.

Muffet: We weren’t able to. Then, there was another march and we had a game that day. We’re helping to … The time that it’s [inaudible 00:44:57] participate because I think that’s so important. [inaudible 00:45:01] they have a platform. They have a voice. They’re recognized in the community. They’re the ones that need to step up and take the lead in these issues. There’s so many women’s issue out there right now. There’s so many issues in general about what’s going on in the world and certainly in this country. I really hope they get involved. I encourage them to be involved and to use their voice.

Lindsay: Speaking of, I have to ask the question because I have it here. Have you revisited the topic of going into the White House and what you would decide if you’re invited?

Muffet: We have not been invited. Honestly, I don’t know that we will be invited. We will vote and see how the team feels about it if the invitation does come. But, no, we have not received any invitation.

Lindsay: That was good to know. Now, who would you like to play you in the movie of this year? [crosstalk 00:45:55] into a movie.

Muffet: Oh, wow. Gosh. I don’t know. That would be a tough one. It’s funny you said that because people are talking about, “Oh, you played them,” but was never said to me. I don’t know. Sandra Bullock is one of my favorites, so I would love to be her in that role, but she would probably handle a lot better on the screen.

Lindsay: She could handle you, I can see that, I’m pretty sure.

Muffet: She was pretty tough on The Blind Side, so maybe [crosstalk 00:46:26].

Lindsay: She can certainly come in this thing. She has that toughness. How do you follow this up? You obviously have some really talented players coming back next year. But I imagine that’s going to be a different kind of challenge for you after the championship. Arike has been on Ellen. How do you kind of recenter things and refocus after an accomplishment like this?

Muffet: I think the biggest thing to fight is complacency. You did it. You got to the mountain top. Now, is there that same drive to get back there? I think the good thing is we have so many injuries, and two of them will be back. One of them is our all-American, Brianna Turner. I’m hoping that she can lead that charge. I think they enjoyed winning. Hopefully, they can see the benefits, but I worry about that exact thing. There are no guarantees. We know that this year. Look what we lost this year. You never know what tomorrow’s going to bring. Things change in the blink of an eye. We have to appreciate where we are and I think enjoy it, and then get ready to get back to work.

This summer, we’re taking a foreign tour, so we’ll be able to get our freshmen in and see all the new players and how everything’s going to fit. I’m not sure I’m going to know what to do with only two subs on the bench now that I have the whole group. Things will be different for me, too. But I really think complacency is the biggest thing you got to fight.

Lindsay: Absolutely. What’s your favorite moment of celebration so far? Has there been anything special that you’ve done to maybe treat yourself or that you’ve shared with your team that’s meant the most?

Muffet: We came back to campus and there was a huge crowd here to greet us with the police escort and the town came out. After the game, I think that it’s the celebration moment of being with this team and sharing in the championship with all the people that mean so much to us, that have supported us for so long. But I love just being in the locker room with my team and just seeing the expression on their face. When they realize they did it, they came through this incredible year and won a championship, to see the joy, I love looking at all the pictures of the celebration and the people and the crowd celebrating and everybody welcoming us back. It’s been one long celebration. I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Lindsay: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. I have to say my grandfather went to Notre Dame and played football there. I’ve always loved the school and rooting for your team. It was just an honor to talk to you and to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much.

Okay, friends. Burn Pile time. Jess, you want to get us started?

Jessica: Yeah, sure. HBO recently released their new film, Paterno, starring Al Pacino in the particular role. Here is how The New York Times describes the film, “The tightly constructed film, at an hour and 40 minutes, it’s a chamber piece by current television standards. It’s set during two weeks in 2011, before and after the indictment of Mr. Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, on 52 counts of sexual abuse of minors. Paterno, whose epic career ended when he was fired a few days after the indictment was announced, lies inside an MRI machine, he died of lung cancer in January 2012, and we watch both recent and more distant events as he recalls them.”

First, I guess I am just that person that doesn’t get why we need this film. I know people are so interested. I know people are so interested about Paterno did or did not know and his choice is based on either his knowledge or ignorance. I think I am tired of talking at all about Joe Paterno. But I’m actually burning the advertisements for this film. I think it’s the ads that get at why just not about it. My friend, Dan Solomon, he was in Los Angeles this week where ads for movies are on a whole other level, just generally in LA. But still, he posted a picture on Instagram of an entire building’s side taken up by an ad that simply said, “Paterno” with a picture of Pacino as Paterno.

A friend chimed in that she’d been seeing the ads all over the New York subway. Do we really need the face of Paterno all over the damn place? To whatever extent, you think Paterno was or was not involved in the coverup and no matter his actual level of culpability here, he will forever be attached to a horrific case that rests on decade’s long disregard for child sexual abuse. We need that face everywhere right now? For what? But really, for whom? There’s a reason his statue is no longer up at Penn State. It’s important to always remember that children that Sandusky abused and the people at Penn State ignored are people in the world, too. We seem to forget that when we talk about these high-profile cases. There are so many survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Is the face of Joe Paterno on the side of buildings or is plastered around subway cars necessary? I just want to burn it.

All: Burn.

Lindsay: Bren?

Brenda: Okay. This is one of those cases where I feel a little bit like a broken record, and then I realize like I’m not the thing that’s broken.

Lindsay: Nice.

Shireen: No, you’re not.

Jessica: That’s beautiful.

Lindsay: That’s beautiful.

Brenda: It’s just this is some bullshit. The Copa AmeriCup Feminina which we’ve covered, the major tournament in South American women’s soccer, and Burn It All Down had a great interview with Argentine goalkeeper. We’ve been following it. I wrote a little bit about it. It’s been this amazing tournament, average goal scores are like four, I think, which just makes it really exciting.

Lindsay: Wow.

Brenda: Yeah. It’s really exciting. It’s got, of course, like legendary talents like Brazil’s Marta, for me, again. It has a whole new generation of players like one of FIFA’s top players whatever that award was, the Venezuelan Deyna Castellanos. Then, we have also Catalina Usme from Colombia who’s just torn up. It’s been this great tournament, better than you and I expected. Brazil is like this elegant machine, just steamrolling other teams. On Friday, the Argentine women’s team clawed their way back into the tournament by defeating Venezuela, two-nothing. That means they reached the finals with Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. I’m pissed because I’m here, and the major sports publications literally like after pieces that cover the bowel movement of Carlos Estevez or what mess he had for breakfast, there’s two lines with a picture of Stephanie who’s the forward for Argentina, just saying, “Oh, yeah,” like they beat Venezuela, two-zero. Here I am ruining all my social opportunities and engagements here in Argentina just ranting.

If you’re invited to party with me, run away. Run, because I just keep sort of hammering away at the same thing, which is like, “What is wrong with you, people? This is awesome. Who cares what Carlos Estevez had for breakfast?” I want to burn down all the people that are neglecting this in sports media that have the opportunity to see it, neglecting this awesome tournament, so burn it. Burn their [crosstalk 00:53:43].

All: Burn.

Lindsay: Shireen?

Shireen: Lots of things may be mad this week. But-

Lindsay: We are so fun at parties. We are. [crosstalk 00:53:54]

Shireen: Here comes the sporty killjoys. That should be a band, the sporty killjoys. If I ever have a band, it’s going to be called the Sporty Killjoys. We’ll clearly be a Spice Girls cover band. Anyway, sorry, I digressed. The thing is, is that this story came out of New Hampshire. It made me really mad because it was basically a young girl whose last name is Klein. Her father, Dan, reported this to police. She had been playing in a baseball league in ORYA baseball program since 2012. Currently, she’s the only female player in the entire league. She is 11 years old.

Now, because she is the only girl in the league, a couple of coaches thought it was a great idea to intimidate her out of the league and they were going to bean her. I had to actually google what that means because I’m not a super baseball person. It means throwing a ball at her head or at the person with intention to harm. She’s 11 years old. This has become a situation where police got involved rightfully. In this particular USA Today story, there was no mention of whether those coaches that were planning this and plotting this are still actually there. That made me mad also because they not … I think they should be. This is like a conspiracy to commit abuse against an 11-year-old. This is disgusting.

I was really frustrated. I didn’t read more about it. I was so upset because it’s plotting harm against a child, and a child that is trying to play baseball. Is your ego that fragile that this is what you would stoop to? Also, in order to bean this young girl, they would implicate and involve other young male players, presumably. It’s teaching these are the cycles of violent masculinity and violent patriarchy that continue. It’s not funny. Like, yeah, by accident, I’ve seen some bad pitches being thrown but those aren’t … Because in youth baseball, not everyone’s a great pitcher. Sometimes it happens, but to encourage us at this level and to think it’s okay to do this, I was so angry. I want burn all of that down.

All: Burn.

Lindsay: All right. My burn is going to be quick this week because it’s the NFL again, something how often. But, anyways, Colin Kaepernick who has been staying in wonderful shape. He’s still out there working hard and throwing the ball and putting things on social media to show how hard he is working to counter these narratives that he doesn’t care if he gets a job. He was supposed to workout for the Seattle Seahawks this week. If you know anything about football and about the Seattle Seahawks starter, Russell Wilson, and the way he plays, Kaepernick would seem to be a logical choice for a backup quarterback.

Jessica: Absolutely.

Lindsay: They have this workout schedule with Colin Kaepernick. A few days beforehand, they asked him if he would guarantee that he wouldn’t take a knee during the national anthem this session. Kaepernick would not guarantee that. They postponed the workout indefinitely. Once again, because he won’t commit to stop taking a knee during the national anthem to peacefully protest police brutality and systemic racism, they will not even hold a workout for him. The news came just days after ProFootballTalk reported that Kaepernick’s former San Francisco 49ers teammate and current free agent, Eric Reid, was also asked this time during a visit with the Cincinnati Bengals whether he plans to take a knee during the national anthem next season. Reid who’s a Pro Bowl safety also refused to give the Bengals that insurance, and Reid is still unemployed. This is collusion. This has got to be good. If anything, this is good father for Kaepernick’s lawsuit against the NFL, because it seems pretty clearcut to me that this is why they’re not being signed. This is blackballing. This is trying to suppress voices of people who are speaking out against injustices. This is systemic racism, and burn.

All: Burn.

Lindsay: All right. Let’s cleanse our palate by lifting up some badass women of the week. Let’s give an honorable mention to Argentine player Soledad Jaimes who used her goal in the Copa America to protest the treatment of women players rather than celebrate. We also want to lift up Caster Semenya, the South African runner who won gold medal in the 800 meters and the 1,500 meter at the Commonwealth Games this week. We love you, Caster. Another drum roll, please. Thank you. All right. Our Badass Woman of the Week is Lindsey Wayland who is announced as the head coach of the University Minnesota Gophers where she played college basketball as well. Lindsey is still going to be playing for the Minnesota Lynx this season.

That is remarkable. This is something that Dawn Staley actually did way back when when she coached for Temple and played in the WNBA. If there’s anyone else who can do it, it’s Lindsey Wayland. There is something about this those Team USA point guards that we just love. But we are excited for more women to get into head coaching. We are excited for these players to be given these opportunities. I know that Lindsey is going to crush it. Congratulations, Lindsey. You are our Badass Woman of the Week.

All right, friends. What is good in your life? Jess?

Jessica: Yeah. This week, I’m traveling on Wednesday. I’m so excited about this. I’m going to be on stage at Cal State East Bay talking sports in the MeToo movement with WNBA all-star Layshia Clarendon. She’s a fellow flame thrower. If you listen back all the way to Episode 8, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be in discussion with Layshia about this topic. It’s an honor for me to be on stage with her and I’m really looking forward to it.

Lindsay: That’s amazing. Bren?

Brenda: Yeah. Last week, I was in Ireland. I missed the show. It took me away from the kids for a long time. What’s been fun this week is we connecting and hanging out and walking around in this place that we live, La Plata, which is in the province of Buenos Aires. It’s known for its political and cultural street art.

Lindsay: Cool.

Brenda: We’ve been trying to be like detectives going around and checking out the different murals. It’s just been a super fun experience.

Jessica: Nice.

Lindsay: That’s amazing. I love that so much. Shireen?

Shireen: I was quoted in an article for espnW about one of the most wonderful things in my life, the movie Bend It Like Beckham. Aishwarya Kumar and Katie Barnes who we’ve had on the show, they did an amazing piece on it and I was really honored to be included in that. I watched the movie last night with my boys, which is really, really awesome. I didn’t realize my youngest hadn’t seen it yet. But I had a wonderful time and just for self-care practices because it’s been a busy week and stuff. I’m just watching GIFs of Beyonce’s slaying at Coachella. Otherwise, I never would pay attention Coachella, but everything Beyonce does is pretty magical. There’s that. I’m excited to follow Man City Women who are going to FA Cup Final, which is the match, right, semi-final match starting right now. Right after we’re done recording, I’m going to hop on Facebook and watch it, which is where I get a lot of my European women’s soccer. That is what’s good. I’m excited. There’s a freezing rainstorm and every game counts, as practice of my kids and myself has canceled, so I’m going to stay home.

Lindsay: Oh, man. For me, I am excited because yesterday, we actually had a beautiful day. It was almost a little hot here. It was in the mid-80s. It was our first day where I felt like I could wear a dress and no leggings and just enjoy the sunshine because it has been a long winter here in DC. That was beautiful. I did a little breakfast in the park with a friend. Then, at night, I went to a beer garden where there was live music and there was just some outdoor time with friends. It’s been a tough week and it was just what I needed. That’s what’s good for me.

All right. Thank you all so much for listening to this week’s episode of Burn It All Down, Episode 50. We are getting closer to our one year anniversary episode. We cannot wait to share that with you all. We just want to make sure you’re all anticipating. You can listen to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Tunein. The reviews that you leave, A, they make us emotional when they’re wonderful and when they’re bad, honestly. Those, too, make us emotional. But we haven’t gotten a bad one in a really long time because our listeners are amazing, and it really helps people find our podcast. Especially as we get up to this one anniversary, if you could leave a review, that would be an amazing gift for us. Remember to also check out our Patreon, patreon.com/burnitalldown. You can tweet us @BurnItDownPod, follow us on Twitter, where we have some beautiful new graphics on display. We’re also on Facebook. Thank you all so, so much. It was an honor to bring you this show. Let’s all keep throwing those flames.

featuredShelby Weldon