Happiness is it: Vandersloot, Quigley are a couple of champions


The Sky had just won their first WNBA title on Sunday afternoon, confetti was flying at Wintrust Arena and the TV interviewer was stunned with excitement.

“Give me this married couple!” ESPN’s Holly Rowe shouted happily into her microphone. “Where is my married couple?”

She was, of course, talking about Sky’s dynamic backcourt duo Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot. They got married in Seattle almost two years ago and own a home in Deerfield, with two dogs and a swimming pool. The teammates come to grill and relax; Vandersloot maintains the yard, life is calm, normal.

In many ways, they are old-fashioned American commuters, married, working hard, trying to avoid stress, doing their jobs successfully, enjoying all the freedoms and opportunities this country claims to believe in.

But just being professional athletes married to each other, with all of the societal, political, and professional issues that it can throw at it, is an elephant in the room that will sit there in silence until it is seated. ‘pulls away with understanding and, finally, irrelevant.

Rowe looked at Quigley.

“You get passes from your wife!” And that’s such a beautiful thing, ” she shouted.

So true. Quigley scored 26 points in the Sky’s 80-74 win in Game 4, and Vandersloot had 15 assists. Often times they worked in sync, with the elusive Vandersloot grooming Quigley and other three-way teammates by breaking in and pulling in two or more defenders for a moment. His basketball IQ is genius.

Deadeye Quigley’s shooter led the Sky in scoring in the final, averaging 18 points. Vandersloot had the most assists in WNBA history for the playoffs (102) and finals (50). She is the first person to have double-digit assists in four consecutive final games. She was directly involved in 46.4% of Sky’s score in the final.

Why she – or perhaps Quigley – was not named the final MVP is a mystery to this watcher.

No matter. In fractured America, where personal choice and freedom in relationships and lifestyles are nominally hailed, there is also a feeling that such freedom should be cut short by hard-wired old-school fundamentalism and morality. : “Freedom, yes. But that’s not what we think. ”

It’s a fact that the starting guard combo of America’s top women’s basketball team is gay, out, and married. About a generation ago, that would have been outrageous, if not impossible. It would most likely have been unthinkable.

Now? If you draw the line on progressive sexual and gender norms, then you can’t, for example, be a WNBA fan.

The league is full of lesbian players, many of them superstars.

Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi of the Mercury, who is perhaps the greatest statistical actor in women’s history, are gay and married to women. Griner was briefly married to coworker Glory Johnson and is now married to Cherelle Watson.

Taurasi is married to former teammate and current director of player personnel at Mercury, Penny Taylor. Taylor gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter, just early in the finals. They already have a 3 year old son, Leo Taurasi-Taylor.

Mercury’s DeWanna Bonner was married to former teammate Candice Dupree. They had twin daughters. And then there’s the game show analyst who ran this series, the tall and still active Sue Bird, who is engaged to football star Megan Rapinoe. Together they have won seven Olympic gold medals.

So this is the new world. A generation ago, a politician couldn’t get elected to support same-sex marriage. Now that’s pretty much a requirement of a candidate.

And yet the evolving issue of sexual and gender freedom is fraught with pitfalls. For example, edgy comedian Dave Chappelle, a black man who was able to hilariously skewer just about anything and everyone, may have met his match when he took on the transgender community in his recent special. Netflix, “The Closer”. are drawn from LGBTQ activists and the media watch group GLAAD.

People comment on gender and sexual preferences at their own risk. It was great that Rowe, who lives with cancer and is a single mom with a grown son, asked about the married duo Sky. She has the credentials to ask what, quite frankly, a random male sports reporter might not be able to.

The equation is simple, really: you love the sky, you love the gamers. You like change.

After all, it’s the dancers who do the beautiful dance.

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