Lynx Nation

Lynx Nation!

Christine Stark is writing a book about the Minnesota Lynx                 

Christine Stark meeting Lindsay Whalen in July 2018

WNBA basketball team, its fans, and the history of women’s basketball. She is looking for input from fans about their experiences with the team and its players, coaches, other fans, and owners/staff to convey the impact the team has made on individuals and communities. Along with the team’s athleticism, basketball acumen, and four championships, the author believes one of the geniuses of the Lynx is the team’s ability to connect with the hearts of individuals from many diverse groups. She wishes to talk with individuals from all genders, races, sexual orientations, disabilities, ages, classes, and religions who are interested in possibly having their story, comments, and critical analysis included in the book. The only requirement is that you have some level of interest in the Minnesota Lynx.

As a girl athlete in Minnesota beginning in the 1970s, the author is continually amazed and moved by the team, its management, owners, and the fan base. She often thinks ‘This would have been unimaginable to me as a girl,’ particularly when reflecting on the 15 to 20 fans at Gopher women’s basketball games in the 1970s (of which she was one). Christine believes that the Lynx and its fans have organically created an inclusive, empowering, and uplifting community through the athleticism and power of the Lynx players and the decisions made by management and marketing team.

About the Author:

Christine grew up playing just about every sport under the sun, or at least those offered through the Bloomington Athletic Association, until she settled on soccer, basketball, and softball. Before high school she played on traveling soccer and basketball teams. In high school, she was an All State soccer player and received other athletic awards including All Conference honors for soccer and basketball and Athlete of the Year. She lettered 8 times in 3 sports. Christine went on to play Big Ten soccer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is an avid runner, logging 10 or more miles a day for years until she broke her foot in July. Now she bikes as part of her rehab, but she will be back running the trails in a month or two. Every year since junior high, Christine welcomes fall by winning a basketball at the Minnesota State Fair in the basketball games in the Midway. She now has quite a few in her basement.

Christine is also a long-time social justice organizer, trainer, and national and international speaker at many universities, conferences, and the United Nations. She has published numerous creative non-fiction essays, memoir essays, academic essays, and poems. One of her poems was recorded as a manga CD by Fred Ho and the Afro Asian Music Ensemble. Her first novel, Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation, was a Lambda Literary Finalist. Set in St. Paul, Nickels is about a girl overcoming a difficult childhood through a variety of ways, including friendship and sports. She has also co-authored research articles and co-edited an international anthology. Christine has taught writing at colleges and universities for 16 years. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and she has nearly completed a Masters in Social Work.

If you are interested in possibly sharing your story, please contact Christine at christine@christinestark.com. She will answer specific questions and respond to all inquiries as soon as possible.

Below are some possible topics for your consideration. Your viewpoint and experiences do NOT have to fall into these categories. They are topics that will most likely be covered in the book and may help you recall experiences and categorize your responses:

  1. What do the Lynx mean to you? How have they made your life better? What would be lost if they did not exist?
  2. Why do you think the Lynx have found athletic success along with a large and loyal fanbase?
  3. Who is your favorite player and why? How do you “relate” to her? Does she remind you of yourself, or something you would like to be?
  4. Have the Lynx changed you or others? If so, how? Please explain.
  5. Players’ and coaches’ as role models and influences on you or others in your life
  6. Whose House? Our House! Camaraderie (or not) with other fans
  7. Athleticism and players and plays that stand out to you
  8. Media and the Lynx
  9. Coach Reeve’s outspokenness about issues of inequity
  10. Portrayal of female athletes and teams in media
  11. Title IX and feminism
  12. History of girls and women’s basketball, especially in Minnesota and surrounding states
  13. Your observations and experiences of the “game” of basketball and competitive nature of the WNBA versus the competitive nature of the NBA. How is it different? Similar? Is there more camaraderie and support among Lynx teammates and toward the WNBA than in the NBA? For instance, some Lynx fans express happiness and support for other WNBA teams, even when they beat the Lynx. Some WNBA fans are concerned about the survival of the league and commercial viability of the teams and league which can result in a competitiveness that exists alongside a broader care for the well being of all the teams.
  14. Your experience playing sports as a girl or woman
  15. What do girls’ and women’s sports contribute to our city, state, and culture?
  16. How do basketball or other sports benefit girls and women? Are there ways you think they negatively impact girls and women?
  17. If you belong to a marginalized group, do female athletes impact your community differently than mainstream culture? If so, how? Please explain.
  18. Memories of and experiences with Lynx pre-arrival of Coach Reeve
  19. Championships & Lynx Dynasty
  20. Positive interactions with athletes and coaches
  21. Pay equity among male and female athletes
  22. Community work by athletes, coaches, and team
  23. Players on-court support for police and protest over police shootings
  24. Recommendations for the Lynx (not related to trades or where to play certain players, but “big picture” issues such as honoring other community members at halftime, increasing revenue, increasing etc)
  25. Recommendations for the league (such as officiating, ownership, need for other franchises, etc)
  26. Any other topic you think may contribute to the book

Your emails will remain confidential unless it is included in the book. If your story is included in the book there will be a release of information form you will need to sign. To insure transparency, accuracy, and clarity all “fan stories and comments” chosen for the book will be written by the fan in an email or word document or recorded.

Thank you!

Christine Stark