Wizards

Gussie Moran dies; skirt scandalized '49 Wimbledon

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Gussie Moran dies; skirt scandalized '49 Wimbledon

LOS ANGELES (AP) Gertrude ``Gussie'' Moran, who shocked the modest midcentury tennis world when she took the court at Wimbledon with short skirt and ruffled underwear, has died at age 89.

Moran had recently returned from a long hospital stay with colon cancer when she died Wednesday night in her small apartment in Los Angeles, said Jack Neworth, a tennis writer who befriended Moran in her final year.

As a 25-year-old seventh seed at Wimbledon in 1949, Moran made jaws drop and flashbulbs pop at the usually staid All-England Club in London when she showed up for her first match minus the knee-length skirt considered proper for women at the time.

She lost the match, but her striking fashion statement appeared on magazine covers around the world, the British press dubbing her ``Gorgeous Gussie.''

``She had no idea what she was getting into,'' Neworth said. ``She definitely liked fashion and was very attractive, but she was very naive and hadn't traveled much.''

Moran was ranked as high as fourth in the United States, would be a doubles finalist at Wimbledon and reach the singles semifinals at the U.S. Open., but would always struggle to be known for more than the skirt and the ``Gorgeous Gussie'' moniker she got from the British press.

``Gussie was the Anna Kournikova of her time,'' tennis great Jack Kramer said in 2002 in the Los Angeles Times, which first reported her death. ``Gussie was a beautiful woman with a beautiful body. If Gussie had played in the era of television, no telling what would have happened. Because, besides everything else, Gussie could play.''

She always preferred to spell her nickname ``Gussy,'' but reporters at Wimbledon spelled it ``Gussie'' and that version stuck, at least publicly, for the rest of her life.

Gertrude Agusta Moran was born in 1923 to Harry Moran, a sound technician at Universal Studios, and his wife Emma. They lived in a house near the ocean in Santa Monica.

Moran began taking tennis lessons at 11, and later played at Santa Monica High and on traveling junior teams with future luminaries like Kramer and Louise Brough.

After retiring from tennis, she toured with the USO, and was once on a helicopter that crashed in Vietnam. She did various stints on radio and television including a sports talk show for six years in New York.

Moran married three times, resulting in an annulment and two divorces, and had no children.

She returned to live in her childhood home in Santa Monica, but she could not afford to keep it and lost it in 1986. She spent her last years in a tiny, run-down apartment in Hollywood.

Moran could have called on any number of well-off friends in the tennis world for help, but she refused.

``She was quite proud,'' Neworth said. ``But she wasn't bitter.''

Moran always said she wanted red carpet in her house, loving the glamour it invoked.

Before she returned from the hospital for the last time, Neworth said, friends pitched in and had one installed. She died a week later.

Moran said she was happy that modern-day players like Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters were flashy and unashamed in their court fashion.

``What's wrong with having a good time with your clothes and your body?'' she said in 2002. ``I was not very comfortable doing so. Maybe it would be different now.''

Moran will be cremated, and friends plan to spread her ashes in the ocean, in view of her family home.

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Scott Brooks, Bradley Beal rip officiating after loss to Clippers

Scott Brooks, Bradley Beal rip officiating after loss to Clippers

WASHINGTON -- Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and guard Bradley Beal have a general policy when it comes to answering questions about officiating. Usually, they avoid details because they don't want to be fined by the league. Often, they say plenty with what they leave unsaid.

Sunday night was not one of those times. After the Wizards' 135-119 loss to the Clippers, both the coach and player broke character, rolled their sleeves up and gave the refs a good old fashioned takedown.

Brooks went first and initially said (sarcastically) the officials got all the calls right in the game. After that, he said what he was really thinking.

"When they grab you and hold you and the rules are saying you've got to call a foul, that's a foul. We don't get that. [Bradley Beal] doesn't get that and it's frustrating," Brooks said.

"The rule is you can't grab a guy with two hands. It's not my rule, it's not their rule; it's the NBA rule. If they're not going to call those more, what are we going to do? We're gonna get frustrated, we're gonna get [technicals] and that's not fair. That's not fun for the coaches, that's not fun for the players, that's not fun for everybody."

Beal, who 20 points and five assists but shot 5-for-18 from the field, didn't hold back, either. And he even explained why he felt he had to speak up this time as opposed to other games when he has been more tight-lipped.

"Honestly, [my frustration] is out the roof. It really is. It's really unfair and unacceptable that they allow a lot of stuff to go on with me out there and I do not calls. Period. It's just unacceptable," he said.

"They fine us for saying something. When we do say something on the floor it's 'oh, I didn't see it' or 'it wasn't my call.' I'm just so tired of hearing that. There's three guys out here. I know nobody's perfect, but the blatant ones have to be called and they're not being called. That s--- ain't fair."

Brooks got a technical for arguing a first-half play he thought should have been a charge taken by Moe Wagner. Davis Bertans and Ish Smith, two of the Wizards' more mild-mannered players, also got T'd up.

Brooks thought Smith getting a technical embodied the evening perfectly.

"When Ish [Smith] gets a [technical foul], I know something's going on. That guys is the nicest guy on the planet. He gets a technical by just telling a referee to call it the same on the other end," Brooks said.

Beal was not assessed a technical, though he said he was appreciative of Smith and Bertans sticking up for him. He also said he feels like the lack of respect from referees has been worse this year and suggested the Wizards aren't getting the respect other teams like the Clippers do because of their 7-15 record.

To be fair, the numbers didn't exactly back up those claims on Sunday. The Wizards had 30 free throw attempts, three more than L.A. did. And Beal led all players with nine. He made all nine of them. Beal is also ninth in the NBA in free throw attempts at 7.2 per game, up from his average last season of 5.5.

This was, though, clearly something that had built over a series of games. And the Wizards are averaging the fifth-fewest free throw attempts per game this season at just 20.4 per contest. The Clippers, for comparison, are fourth in the NBA at 26.2.

But when the Wizards are in a close game with a team like the Clippers, who have way more talent than they do, it is hard for them to accept when they feel the referees aren't giving them a fair chance.

And for Brooks, it was particularly bad for Beal, whom he says "gets held all the time." And it's bad for rookie Rui Hachimura, who made all seven of his free throw attempts but should have had more if you ask his head coach.

"He attacks and he gets zero free throws. I understand nobody knows him, but we know him. That doesn't mean anything. You should be able to get to the free throw line with the way he attacks," Brooks said.

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Bowl season: Penn State, UVA get New Year's Six, the Hokies bowl shuffle and Navy's tough draw

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Bowl season: Penn State, UVA get New Year's Six, the Hokies bowl shuffle and Navy's tough draw

The regular season is over, the conference championships decided and the playoff bracket is set. Yes, it's bowl season. Bowl bids were handed out on Sunday and Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Navy all found out their postseason fates.

Here's where each team is headed this bowl season:

Penn State vs. Memphis, Cotton Bowl Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28

Ohio State is headed to the College Football Playoff and the Big Ten's Rose Bowl bid is going to Wisconsin. Penn State, however, managed to squeak into the New Year's Six as the No. 10 team in the nation. They will take on Group of 5 representative Memphis who won the AAC.

Virginia vs. Florida, Orange Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30

The Cavaliers are headed to the Orange Bowl for the first time in school history. More on this game here.

Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky, Belk Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31

The Belk Bowl always seemed like the likely destination for Virginia Tech, but their opponent was a bit of a mystery. If you were following along on Twitter before things were made official, the Hokies were supposed to play Mississippi State, then it was Tennessee, then Kentucky, then Tennesse again and then back to Kentucky.

Now it's official and we know for sure it will be Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky.

The issue was reportedly Tennessee changing its bowl preference at the last minute.


Navy vs. Kansas State, Liberty Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31

Kansas State is the only team in the nation with a win over a College Football Playoff team. They defeated Oklahoma 48-41 in October.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo had the quote of the day about his team's matchup.

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