DAILY DIRT: ‘Caitlin Clark is the biggest deal in sports … Caitlin Clark matters’

2HPB1BA Bloomington, United States. 19th Feb, 2022. Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) goes to the basket against Indiana University during an NCAA women's basketball game in Bloomington, Ind. The Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Indiana University Hoosiers 96-91. Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News

Caitlin Clark makes her WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever in 11 days. — University of Iowa sports

Daily Dirt for Friday, May 3, 2024

That Keanu Reeves-Alice Cooper info in Thought No. 2 is a mind blower … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 938 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Always remember that where attention goes, money flows.

And also remember that this is now Caitlin Clark’s world, and we should feel honored simply to be able to walk through it on a daily basis.

Here’s the latest on the hometown girl from the farmlands of Iowa who has been dubbed “Show White” by sports media personality Jason Whitlock:

  • Clark, who was the top pick of the Indiana Fever in the recent WNBA draft, is close to signing a deal with Nike worth more than $20 million that also includes a signature shoe.
  • Clark almost single-handedly lifted women’s basketball to a position it had never enjoyed. This year’s NCAA finals game between Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes and the South Carolina Gamecocks drew a viewing audience of 18.9 million, more than 4 million more than the men’s title game.
  • Clark has 2.1 million followers on Instagram.
  • Replicas of Clark’s Indiana Fever No. 22 uniforms are the hottest basketball merch on the market — women’s OR men’s. American manufacturer and retailer Fanatics reported Clark’s Fever jersey was the fastest selling such item in history across all sports. In fact, her Fever jersey sold out in ALL sizes in one hour.
  • Keep an eye on WNBA ratings this spring and summer. They’re about to go through the roof. The Fever open their season May 14 against the Connecticut Sun, a game that will be televised nationally by ESPN. In fact, 36 of Indiana’s 40 games will be televised — the first 36 games the franchise has ever had televised.
  • Clark’s first professional trading card, which is part of Panini’s 2024 Instant WNBA Draft Night series, sold for $10,000 when it hit the market.– ESPN is publishing a special magazine devoted entirely to Clark.
  • Legendary South Carolina coach Dawn Staley praised Clark. Staley said “with all due respect” to those players before her or others playing today, “Clark is the SOLE reason for the explosion (of interest) in the women’s game.”

One more thought from Whitlock, which I feel captures the moment we are experiencing.

“Caitlin Clark is biggest deal in sports, man or woman. She’s the Tiger Woods of women’s basketball,” Whitlock said. “Caitlin Clark matters.”

2. Did you know (Part  6) …

  • That Keanu Reeves’ baby-sitter when he was growing up was Vincent Damon Furnier, who went on to become rocker Alice Cooper.
  • That drag queen RuPaul was a backup dancer in the B-52’s “Love Shack” video.
  • That early in his career Billy Crystal was once a writer for “The Love Boat” TV show.
  • That future actor Vincent D’Onofrio (“Full Metal Jacket,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”) was the body guard for Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

3. Sit back, close your eyes and sing along to the following hit songs from May 1981:

  • “Jessie’s Girl,” by Rick Springfield: A rather lame song from a rather lame artist (sorry, Rick), but if you’re in a room with four or more people you KNOW everyone will sing along, starting with the first “I Wish That I Had Jessie’s Girl!”
  • “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” by the Police: It’s a Police song. It’s predictable. It sounds like just about every other Police song.
  • “You Better, You Bet,” by The Who: A very underrated effort from Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend & Co.
  • “Watching The Wheels,” by John Lennon: He had some quality solo efforts, but this was not one.
  • “Hold On Loosely,” by .38 Special: This is one of those songs that would be a hit, no matter what the decade.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I leave you today with the following thought from that recognized scholar, Mookie Wilson: “When I’m in a slump, I comfort myself by saying I believe in dinosaurs, then somewhere they must be believing in me (too) … then I can believe in me. Then I bust out.” Thanks, Mook.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He’s going to do an anti-rain dance so he can get to the Broadway Bullring.

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