Reporter’s Notebook: What it’s like covering WNBA basketball in a pandemic

Ivy Hoops Online’s Erica Denhoff covered the Dallas Wings’ trip to take on the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville on June 22. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

The last time I covered a sporting event was March 6, 2020. With my cameras and my spot on the baseline, I captured Brown men’s basketball claiming victory against Harvard to keep Bruno’s Ivy Madness hopes alive. Early the next morning, I boarded a plane to go on vacation to watch MLB’s Grapefruit League spring training games in Florida. The plan was to return back to Boston in time to cover Ivy Madness.

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The importance of Ivy school spirit

Erica Denhoff and her parents, Joseph Denhoff and Amy Abramson-Denhoff, cheer on the Penn Quakers men’s lacrosse team at Harvard Stadium on April 13, 2019.

One could say I was born into it.  My grandpa was one of the first professors at Brown’s Medical School and as a result of his medical discoveries, Brown awarded him with an honorary doctorate. He was a huge Brown sports fan and as a faculty member, he received four tickets to every Brown home sporting event and attended even if there was snow or ice. When my dad was a young child, the family beagle ran away from home and found his way onto the Brown Stadium football field during a game and started eating the Brown bear’s dog food. This was when there was an actual bear on the sidelines.

As I was growing up, we lived close to Brown and my grandma, who we were always visiting, lived one block away from Brown Stadium. My grandpa passed away four years before I was born but school spirit for Brown stayed alive in our family. One of my earliest memories is when I was about five years old walking home from synagogue on Rosh Hashanah. My dad bought me a Brown football pennant from the souvenir stand outside the stadium. It was my reward for being good and sitting through services. This pennant made me just as happy as a new Barbie doll would. Brown football was something really special and I was proud to show my spirit.

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