Rare is the occasion when you can consider a person, and can say beyond peradventure, “They are the best ever at what they do.”
We lost two this week.
Bill Russell, the greatest winner in American sports. Not only basketball.
Vin Scully, the greatest broadcaster in American sports. Not only baseball.
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I have a vague memory that I might have seen Bill Russell play in person once.
At some point in the early to mid 60s, if memory serves, there was a preseason NBA doubleheader at Freedom Hall. One of the games featured Philly — either the Warriors or 76ers — because I remember walking up and standing next to Wilt Chamberlain, who was the biggest human being I’d ever seen
This is not a regular meeting of Hoopaholics Anonymous, but I need to vent. So I shall.
My name is Seedy K, and I’m a hoopaholic.
I’m a lifelong Louisville Cardinal fan.
I understand that change and transition is more prevalent — rampant even — in DI basketball than ever. Only three schools, I’m advised, haven’t had a player enter the Portal. UCLA, Michigan and one other.
Assistant coaches are scattering about.
And, I realize that at U of L the moves have been explicable — DJ to the pros, Nickelberry to LaSalle — as well as inexplicable — Malik Williams returning — and mysterious, i.e. the nature of the situation where the contracts of Luke Murray and Dino Gaudio weren’t renewed.
There is turmoil throughout my most favorite sport. I accept it and understand it, even if I’m old school enough to really not like it. It’s not only here with my team.
I also understand that matters really won’t settle down at U of L until the entire NCAA quicksand is a thing of the past.
Seems to me ESPN is being penny wise and pound foolish.
Which proverb it turns out, at least according to The Google, was coined by some guy named Robert Burton. When I was so very sure it was Willie the Shakes.
Anyhow, the World Wide Leader has obviously made a decision not to send its go to Friday Night college pigskin announcing crews to the stadiums where the games are actually being contested. Instead having the guys who ought to be in the booth calling games from their own dens.
More’s the pity.
Which saying again is also not attributed to the Bard, but some Olde English writer of the 16th C.
But, to coin a phrase, I digress.
Last Friday’s game was, reading from the accounts, pretty scintillating.
Maryland, led by Taulia Tagovailoa, who looks to be perhaps the equal of older bro, Tua, blasted ahead 21-7. Fell behind 21-38. Knotted it at 38. Then won 45-44 in OT when Minnesota missed a conversion.
Let’s place the blame for the current state of shrieking PA announcers at the source.
Famous Philly 76er mouth at the mic, Dave Zinkoff.
“Here’s Juuuuuulius Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrving!!!!”
As Louisville Cardinal fans who have been around for awhile know, It didn’t have to be like this in this age of “Who wants a Kroger t-shirt?”, and “ThreeeeeEEEEEEEEEE!!! by Whomever.”
Once upon a time, there was John Tong, inviting the assembled to the thrill and excitement of college basketball in Freedom Hall, adding allure to games at what still stands as one of the most iconic basketball venues in all the land. Continue reading Fan Moments VII: John Tong→
Late on weekday afternoons during hoops season on ESPNU, they show replays. Sometimes from games the night before, or from the previous weekend. Sometimes classics from the past.
On Monday, in advance of UVa’s bounceback W in Chapel Hill, the station showed a couple of Cavalier/ Tar Heels battles from yesteryear. Which I found both fascinating and telling, fostering memories.
The first was an ACC tourney semi from ’91.
Kentuckian Jeff Jones, then the youngest coach in the land, was leading the Wahoos. Rick Fox and King Rice were ballin’ for Dean Smith. The three point line was that short one they used in its early days.
They cut to the studio for an update from the SEC tourney. John Saunders sidekick was a fella named Rick Pitino with a full head of hair between coaching stops. They chatted briefly about whether Allen Houston, then playing for his dad at Tennessee, would leave early for the NBA.
With the majority of my readership located in the heart of Hoopsylvania, and therefore obsessed with and frothing at the mouth over tomorrow night’s NBA draft, I daresay few have noticed the great move by the NHL Board of Governors.
So, yes, I’ll get to other stuff soon enough, but first a high five to hockey.
I’ve oft said, and shall now repeat, that there’s nothing as exhilarating as OT pucks.
It’s harum scarum. End to end. Chaos on ice.
Now the prospect of a more open competition, should the clubs be tied after 60, is a comin’. Three on three, may the swifter on skates, the more adept at avoidance, prevail.
Only after five minutes of such careening into the corners and across the blue lines will regular season games resort to the reasonably exciting, but skewed decider of a winner, those singular skater against goalie shootouts.
Every once in awhile hockey’s muckety mucks get it right. This is one of those times.
Now that the silly ol’ World Cup foolishness is over, you know the fütbol tournament without Jim Nantz calling play by play, the one to which only 800 million people watched the final. Now that it’s out of our minds for another four years, we can get back to what really matters.
Which is what 12 year old future superduperubersuperstar baller is dazzling the recruiting gurus at the Sebastian Telfair Humpty Dumpty Jamboree? And which 47 middle schools are still on his narrowed list for possible attendance?
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I was going to talk about various topics in a different order, but, trying to serve my public, I’ll get to what you want to read about most, first.