My Patrician Expressions political and literary website

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dampen Down the Damsel Decibels in WTA Tennis

Dampen Down the Damsel Decibels in WTA Tennis

by Patricia Moloney Dugas

Freelance writer and Avid Sports Reporter in Palm Springs


          Like many other societal failings these days, the WTA, for whatever ungodly reason, has allowed the Women’s Tennis Tour to become a hootin’, howlin’ cat fight. While this screech-fest is going on, the fans, locked in their seats, are committed to absolute silence. Heaven forbid a child should cut loose – play would be halted and they would be forced to remove the annoyance post haste.

          Because the WTA hasn’t had the chutzpah to step in and regulate this decibel debacle, we, the tennis devotees, are instead subjected to an unparalleled symphony of screams.  Since their screeching is deliberately, diabolically orchestrated, it becomes necessary for the ladies to develop their own unique shriek – something with a matchless wail to it.  The required variance only accentuates the silliness. Do they need a Shriek Coach? Where do they practice?  If they should flub their screech on court, is that like a blink in poker?

          These athletes, appearing in teeny, tiny, tennis tutu’s, belie the ferocity that burns in their barely covered bosoms and bottoms to smash, crash, and annihilate the little yellow fuzzies. 

          I openly confess to having prayed for a bout of incurable laryngitis to hit the locker-rooms.  Nothing life threatening, just painful – matching our eardrums.  As I remember, Navratilova, Stephi, and Davenport, had no need to bellow. They just won all their slams by focusing on strokes – not shrieks.

          As Sharipova’s career diminishes, her screech escalates.  Protect your eardrums when her game goes to hell in a ball basket.  Her freneticism is scary!  I find myself relieved when she loses – taking her designer tutu, haughty affectations, pony tail, and puppy back to the airport. Sad commentary actually. Not like watching basketball where you can lower the TV volume and turn on the radio to hear the game. (Don’t get me started on college basketball!)  Could we also use clackers, horns, and whistles at tennis matches? Should we have the right to verbally express ourselves.

          Grunting has spread to the ATP men’s tour now but at least those few who do grunt don’t rattle my nerve endings.  More of a mellow bellow.

          Bottom line here.  My email, license plate, and moniker is “Tennis Buff.”  I play, watch, tape & DVR, photograph, and attend everything.  I even pay big bucks for the Tennis Channel.  In the 70’s, I was a paper cup away from Arthur Ashe at the U.S. Open at Longwood Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. He would never dream of grunting, even if he fell over the ball boys. Oh, such class!  I even saw an 18 year-old curly haired kid named McEnroe beat up someone there on a hot Wednesday afternoon with nary a gasp. 

          I myself play with a Wilson Carbon Hyper-Hammer wide-body with enough power to punch a hole in the green court screens.  I started with a small wooden Slazenger bought from my Aussie tennis coach. My elevation to the Hyper-Hammer is a testament to my continued involvement in the game.  Having lived through the modernization of this grand ol’ lawn game, it is a joy to see the women’s game come alive with these stunning, super hyper-racquets. They have the power to intimidate, so they don’t need the sound effects. These racquets give them voice enough.  Are we more likely to watch because the women have decided to screech?   I don’t think so!

          I no longer wake up at 2:00am here on the West Coast to watch women’s tennis LIVE from the European tourneys. With one eye open, I don’t want to listen to females screeching emanating from my giant stereo TV system in the bedroom.  Not in the middle of the night.   However, I will waken to watch the men’s matches.

          I don’t watch women’s tennis while I am working at my desk anymore.  Sad.  I just check the scores. They could have stopped it way back when Monica Seles started grunting. They did try to stop her, but backed down. Mustn’t offend the prima donnas.  Tough luck for the fans nailed to their sport cushions.

          The most we can hope for at this stage of the game is that the WTA will at least attempt to curb the annoyance.  Is it too late to abolish something they have already allowed to permeate the game?  Like gun control, illegal immigration, and grunting, by the time they legislate it, everyone will have amassed an arsenal – of guns, green cards, grunts, groans, and bellows.

Deliver us.

Patricia Moloney Dugas

Freelance writer and sports reporter in Palm Springs, California, USA


Patricia Moloney Dugas

Freelance Writer/Editor/Photographer, journalist, artist, sculptor

and Societal Tamperer, Twitter: @artrician


Friday, January 23, 2015


Coverage of DeflateGate
By Patricia Moloney Dugas, Palm Springs via Boston, freelance writer.

Delicious!  Thank heavens it wasn’t the Cleveland Browns.  No one would care a twit.  But the Patriots!  Bill Belichick – the greatest coach ever!  And sacred Tom Brady, becoming the greatest quarterback ever!  Oh yes! Another chance to slam them all in Boston -- the greatest sports town ever!

Oh, how delicious!  Cleveland, you are safe – nobody cares if you even bump off detractors.  But the shameless, endless, leaping and bounding all over this Patriot story, exaggeration be-damned -- let the ink flow.  The often malicious joy of tearing down, ridiculing, and castigating their greatness is far too delicious to let slip by. The gossip hungry, blather bonkers are having a field day.

Gossip you say?  Isn’t that just for flighty little girls?  Oh, contraire!  Guys (&gals), sports pundits, grid-iron grunters, non-football tattlers, frenzied bottom-feeders are lying in wait for the next morsel of tattle tailing trivia.  A Fox News gold mine!  Come on, Belichick, say something dumb and meaningless! 
They push aside the pro reports that pigskin pre-prep has always been precarious.  What do they know? They only played the game themselves.

Coverage of the game – oh yes, there is a game -- the Super Bowl – that’s now secondary to the Deflate Bowl. They will reluctantly give up Deflation Nation to cover the game, but focusing on what the Patriots will do next to tweak the rules.  Meanwhile, we football purists are deprived of endless, delectable coverage of the Super Duel between Seattle and New England -- details we can salivate over. Not trivia tattle-trash.

For shame, guys. Get over it. Show some class. Prove gossip-mongering is beneath you.

Let Boston remain the greatest – slightly tainted – but still the greatest. 

Enjoy the game.   Pat Dugas,  
Twitter:  @artrician,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014



The 2014 NFL Draft

By Patricia Moloney Dugas, Freelance Reporter


Prime Ribs – Racks of Ham – Sides of Beef – Burly Behemoths.  The class of 2014.

There was more pre-draft coverage of this 2014 Draft than all the bad stuff Congress has done since 2008.  Midst the din at the NY Radio City Music Hall, the stage was bedecked with an array of large-than-life (literally) young men, fresh out of college, now wearing diamond earrings & wristwatches the size of  Frisbees, and mega-size dress suits.  These unpaid servants of wealthy universities, often going to bed hungry, (really?), are lined up for live TV, hoping to become rich, over-paid, under-achieving NFL trainees. By dawn, those selected can buy Mom a new house, buy themselves a fleet of flash cars, and take their neighborhood to dinner with champagne.  Make no mistake – these newbies are not picked by some local team, but by a mega-biz, mega-moolah conglomerate – the NFL.  The Dallas Cowboys on Forbes are alone worth $2.3 b-b-b-billion! No place here for dilettantes and party boys.

Sorry, non-believers and you football scoffers watching Fox news, this event has equally as much drama as another moon landing.  Half the planet has hot pizza, cheese krinkles, and cold beer lined up, families gathered around their aspirants, Mom’s already teary-eyed, wait breathlessly to watch NFL commissioner Roger Goodell saunter to center stage midst boo’s from the peanut galleries, (go figure), to declare -- the 2014 Draft open. The momentous moment arrives. “With the No.1 pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select,” pause, “Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney!”  What! Not super QB self-declared commodity Johnny Manziel?!  Hey, what’s a Clowney anyway? What’s a Jadeveon?  Who?  Why? (This was no surprise to the TV prognosticators -- just the howling galleries.) He is a 6’5” 266 pounds of teary eyed behemoth with 34 ½ inch arms. (Who measures arms?)  A defensive-end chosen No.1 - Numero Uno?

There it’s done! History forever etched. One more No.1 into the annals of the NFL. Numbers 2 thru 255 are now strictly business.

Wait! No.3 Jacksonville choice is in. Goodell tells us they have selected -- a QB  - Blake Bortles!  What’s a Bortles? Not primo Johnny Football? No again. JF is left cooling his heels -- on camera – sipping a six-pack of water - and would remain there until selection No.22 by Philadelphia. Don’t feel bad for Manziel; Philadelphia is out printing up and selling a bizarre mega-bucks worth of memorabilia already!  He hasn’t even read the play book!

Even though this year’s crop is “possibly the deepest ever,” there is no Andrew Luck in this herd. Many commentators agreed the cream rose to the top in 2012 – in the persona of Andrew Luck 2012 No.1 pick to the Indianapolis Colts.  His Stanford pedigree and performance made the memory of mega-star Manning fade away. We still get to deal for this better-than-average crop in 2014. Could Manziel go the way of 2012 No.2, RGIII – over-stimulated?

Dire warnings this season – no more free passes.  Not only their size, weight, records, and intellect matters – now their “off-field” behavior is in question.  Bad stuff sends them tumbling if at all, to the back of the line.  No room left under the rug… Today’s Pro teams don’t want to deal with miscreants and malefactors. Why the growing concern about bad boys feeling their oats? The escalating off-field activities of these ‘kids’ now border on criminal/jail time offenses. Their character follows them.

My formula to address this?  Make a video of actual footage of the TV pre-draft analyst’s serious evaluations of “off-field” activities. They emphatically demote miscreants as risky prospects. Teams don’t need social bad boys dragging their tarnished egos into their locker rooms. Send this video to high school and university coaches to convince their pseudo-phenoms that there is a tragic price to pay for arrogant, defiant, often criminal behavior.  They could lose more than their dream of ‘playing’ in the NFL.               

As the 3-day parade of selections continues on ESPN/NFL/CBS/FOX / et al., these big guys hug everybody in reach, wipe away tears, walk on stage and hug the Commish as though he alone was responsible for their success. The transition is complete. A grungy behemoth is now a swaggering millionaire – a behemoth none the less. No longer going hungry (really?).  It truly is a joy to watch these young men realize their dream of being called up to the big show.  We have witnessed the

The finale – “With the 256th and final pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected Lonnie Ballentine,”  making Ballentine professional football's 2014 “Mr. Irrelevant.”  As per tradition, Ballentine will be invited for a week-long Mr. Irrelevant celebration in Newport Beach, California.

And there you have it.  My version of the draft. On to training camp, weight rooms, dining halls, play books, anxiety & exhaustion beyond belief -- all for the promised millions of moolah.

Patricia Moloney Dugas, Freelance Reporter

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hey Scruffy – I’ve Got Bad News!

Hey Scruffy – I’ve Got Bad News!

To all you men now growing scruff on your faces – I’ve got bad news. 

 Are you thinking you now look mature, mysterious, sophisticated, even alluringly primitive?

 NO!  You just look scruffy, mangy, unkept, down-at-the-heel, unemployed!   Guys, look in that mirror you don’t use any more -- it ain’t pretty. First tattoos, and now this?

 Do you sorta look like George Clooney?

 NO!  You look like Brett Favre – out of grace and out of a job!  Maybe even like an unshaven reprobate like doctor House!   (… advanced apologies to the really unemployed…)

 Will you grow into a silvery Sean Connery?  NO!  You’d need his British accent, his blue eyes, silver tongue, and savoir faire.

 Instead, you look like the destitute hanging around the 7-11 with scruff and spikey bed hair.

Do girls want to kiss you?  NO!  Scratchy, scruffy, speckely, peppery.  But what is women’s real anxiety?  If you no longer bother to shave, well, maybe you -- uh -- don’t bother to bath?

Women have not yet come to grips with tattoos. But take heart, girls, at least when their rationality returns, they can at least shave off their stubble to take back their real identity.

Why is this happening?  Is it an Armageddon preoccupation? May 21st, 2011 has passed and you’re still here -- and unshaven -- but 12/21/2012 still looms out there.  Will you not shave until 12/22/2012?  Women will just have to stay around and wait…

Patricia Moloney Dugas

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


by Patricia Moloney Dugas

The 2012 Draft – Opening Day: Begin with the parade of behemoths. 26 top picks are called to the stage – handsomely suited, tied, and socked, some with diamond earrings and Rolex watches. Qualifications required to participate: Six foot plus, 200 to 350 pounds, long arms, can run the 400, and can spell money. (When did long arms become an issue?) The larger draftees will become the new brain-bashing bone-crushers. The smaller ones will become their prey. But no matter – today we celebrate behemothism.

Round 1: The ESPN chatter pauses – Roger Goodell walks across the stage. Instead of cheers for this celebration, unexpectedly, loud boo’s follow him to the podium. Who are these clowns? The juveniles in the rafters they let in to give flavor to the event? Instead, they give out unfounded abuse. Go figure… As we give more power to the “fans,” more of this rude intrusion we will happen. They don’t know nice.

State of the NFL with the headmaster. Roger Goodell chats with Chris Berman:
  • Latest on New Orleans Saints. Saints? Really? Their illegal activities on and off the field confound the rest of the NFL. Saints? Really?
  • Bounty hunting, high up in the ranks – tape recording and other saintly activities. Players fully complicit in the hunting and trapping.
  • Demise of the Pro Bowl? No longer up to NFL standards. (More crushing?)
  • Rookie wage scale – no more bundles of boodle. Teams won’t mortgage the stadium to get these newbies to show up – plus they can freely trade!
On with the show. Pick #1 and #2 are predetermined. Andrew Luck and RG III – surely by now you’ve heard the plethora of press on these two – their Mom, Dad, kid sister, tailor, their hints to (save) the franchise, what they like for breakfast…

Pick #3 Oh Oh… Hold on! A major unexpected trade! Yipes! Cleveland lands #3 from the Vikings! Rats! There goes the ballgame! Weeks of mock-ing down the drain! Trash your print-outs. Your mock sheets are now fish wrapping.
Chris Berman exclaims, “Buckle your seatbelts!”

Drafting Reprobates: A prospect for top ten fell to #39 because of him off-the-field. “He is a risk!” was the commentary on Junoris Jenkins – three arrests, drugs, etc. keeps him off the wanted list. “He’s great in the building – you just gotta keep him in the building.” A sad commentary. Don’t give me childhood excuses. These guys must keep their “eyes on the prize” while they are in school. They watch the NFL and know what is required of them to join the big show.

ESPN commentary remains crisp through a dizzying first round. The adolescents in the rafters were still howling and booing everything – all the picks and Goodell. On the other hand, the selectees were lovin’ & huggin’ everything – Mom, Dad, their own kids, then saving a major hug for Roger Goodell – like he made it all happen for them.

Best commercial: The scruffy rescue dog named Wego. When they call him, “Here Wego” he runs in, opens the fridge, and fetches them a beer. So cute. No Clydesdales needed here. Just pretty people and Wego. Message: rescue dogs.
 Second best commercial: The Michael Jordan in-name-only guy. The middle-aged, balding and harried businessman – how choice! Hiding the champagne scene… hee hee…

When the Fall season gets under way, all this drama will fade away, so we wait for the Jets to open their season with Sanchez operating with a Tebow on his back. This will be the new drama – the New York hustle.
Will Cleveland can McCoy for 28 year old Weeden? Have the Peyton-less Colts added a suitable chorus for Luck, Andrew, that is. Will Dallas get better bodies for their new stadium? Will Peyton be able to silence Tebow mania? Will Bill Belichick’s clever selections propel him into another Superbowl? As a Bostonian, I am hoping the Pats will swallow up those fumbling, jumbling Jets. A little bias here…

So there you have it, my impressions on the start if the NFL Draft 2012. And we ain’t done yet. Stay tuned.

Pat Dugas – My blogs:,, Twitter @artrician

Welcome to Palm Springs

My home in Palm Springs, California: palm trees & sand, mountains & snow, windmills & wildflowers - and maybe a Margarita.

I took the above photograph from the Information Center on route 111
entering Palm Springs.

Sand & Wind -- Mountains & Snow -- Windmills & Wildflowers

Palm Springs is in the desert. Yes, carved out of the sands, winds, and mountains surrounding the Coachilla desert.   73 degrees all winter with sporadic rain showers and a tad hotter in the summer – more like 105 degrees average.

 Like the desert reptiles, we come out at night and hide under the rocks -- the rocks that float in our margaritas.

Colin Firth arrival for the Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival grows in prestige every year to draw in celebrities and film lovers from all over the world. I got to see Colin Firth here when he won for “The Kings Speech.”       Sigh.. That's the level of celebs I'm talking about…
There is still high Hollywood drama here in town. Memories of those once famous celebrities that lived and played here permeate the shops and restaurants. The stars on the sidewalks, the homes of Bob Hope, Elvis Presley, Dinah Shore, Liberace, and their celebrity friends are still attractions to the older folks who remember them.
The Annual Calander
The snowbirds arrive in late Fall, wander downtown Palm Canyon Drive in shorts and golf attire, trying out all the eateries, shoppees, and Happy Hours. Everyone you meet is from somewhere else and eager to chat. The sidewalks are filled with happy tourists.  I love this time of year.
April starts the departure – snowbirds leaving to return to the north country. Oregon, Washington, back East, Canada and maybe San Fransisco.

May - is the real scatter. The heat arrives, friends already gone, eateries running out of food – and patience.

June! The streets are bare, the restaurants go on summer schedule or close for the season, the second team of chefs are all that’s left. There are no more activities being scheduled – but there are great sales in the shoppes that were filled with customers 2 months ago.
July, August, and September – This is when the remaining natives stay inside to write their memoirs, clean out closets, diet, eat salads, and wave to neighbors at the mailbox,  then scoot back inside. They rekindle their Kindles & Ipads.  Twitter, Text, and Facebook are the only societal means of communication - unless you meet them at midnight at Trader Joe's - buying more salad.

Yes, this is celebrity town.
Come and visit our International Film Festival, our Short Film Festival, the very International Indian Wells Tennis Championships, the Tram rising from 0 to 8500 feet, Gay Pride Week, Biker Week, Music festivals, Opera, et al.

THE FACE OF FOOTBALL "Out For the Season"

By Patricia Moloney Dugas, Freelance Writer, Palm Springs, Calif.

September 25th, 2011. Here is a live photograph I took from TV of Michael Vick being crushed by a new-age 350 pound behemoth. This is the state of the football carnage that is racking up numbers every Sunday like tin soldiers.

PENALTIES: These low paid, over-poundaged, predators may be penalized, fined a few bucks, or suspended - so they get to watch the next game from the sofa with beer and pizza. They have done their job – getting fined - for crippling a critical player. The mega-paid superstar who has been injured or seriously concussed has no compensation except that his career may be in serious jeopardy.

POUNDAGE: The predator in the photograph is risking his own longevity without knowing it. Case histories abound with the heart, kidney, and health failure of these overweight athletes. "
With more than 300 players who weigh more than 300 pounds, the NFL doesn't need a salary cap. It needs a weight cap." Jim Caple,

OUT FOR THE SEASON: The Monday morning number of injuries in just three weeks of the 2011 season should set off alarm bells to owners and GM’s.

BOTTOM LINE: Okay, let’s forget player survival. Let’s talk money. The star QB’s, WR’s or RB’s are the only reason we watch the game. They are drafted and signed like $uperstar$. The fans want to see Michael Vick dance around and throw touchdowns. Not watch backup QB Kafka who today, after Michael was dismissed again with another injury, came in and threw two rather hasty picks. They lost the game Vick was scheduled to win. You are paying the superstar while we watch backups.

If you don’t care $$$ who gets chopped, then bring back Roller Derby.

Pat Dugas, Freelance Writer, Palm Springs, Calif.