Yesterday I was daydreaming, wondering about how far fans will go when they are in love with a team or a school?
So, I thought it would be cool to see if any of the Red & Black Faithful who are the vast majority of my readers have stories have any stories?
Which I hope all will share in the Comment Section below.
I’ve got some. Mine involve Cardinal hoops, but the sport does not matter, it’s what was done in the name of loyalty.
Three here underscore how strong my love is.
To start. It would be disingenuous not to admit my entire professional career path was altered by a U of L basketball game.
Truth is I never in my callow youth contemplated adulthood. Marriage. Family. Career. Never gave ’em much thought.
So, my senior year at U of L arrives in ’66-’67. Vietnam is the black cloud over all of us military age. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do after graduation. I had a humanities prof whom I really liked. So, what the hell, I signed up to take the Graduate Records, and apply for a Masters or beyond in Humanities.
Like I said, not much aforethought.
But the week of the Saturday I’m going to take them, a pal walks into the Cardinal Inn with this.
Great news, he advises, he’d scored some tickets to the Cards hoops encounter that Saturday afternoon at Cincy. In their old gym. Continue reading Let’s Have Some Fun, Card Fans! →
Disinclined to attend such affairs — they often become tedious — I went anyway.
So glad I did.
Out of respect for my favorite coach ever.
Out of thanks to the human being who was the catalyst for more joy in my life than any other than my bride.
The evening was sweet.
The evening was touching.
Beyond reiteration that he stands among the best college basketball coaches ever, it cannot be shared enough what a decent, giving, important man he was. To the players he coached. To the fans he touched. To the community of Louisville. To the world of college basketball. Continue reading The Denny Celebration →
Every Cardinal diehard who was there in the moments of those halcyon days has stories.
From 1971 to 1986, it was a magic carpet ride.
Mine begin in my funky $60/ month attic apartment in the Triangle with my pal, fellow fanatic Ben. Listening on the radio to Denny Crum’s first game as Cardinal coach from Gainesville.
Cards 69, Florida 70.
Stoned I am sure and stunned, we looked at each, deflated.
It had been a strange few years for Cardinal hoops, leading up the new era.
Legendary Peck Hickman unexpectedly resigned after the ’66-’67 campaign with his Wes Unseld-led best ever squad returning. Long time assistant John Dromo took the reins.
A couple solid but unspectacular seasons followed. Then Dromo had health issues, and had to step down. Assistant Howard Stacy moved over a chair. U of L lost 6 of its last 8.
Enough for the powers that be to understand it was time to look elsewhere. A faculty committee led by Econ prof Carl Abner did the heavy lifting. John Wooden’s right hand man was the choice.
Hope ensued. Continue reading Denny! →
College Hoops first and foremost.
Forever and always.
But, ya know, a hoopaholic’s gotta feed his addiction.
So, NBA Playoffs it is.
Not that it’s an onerous task.
What I rediscover every year when The Next Level gets my attention: Those guys are really good. Really really good.
It’s a different game . . . obviously. But fascinating nonetheless. How matchups and strategies change in the course of a tilt.
Some teams run their sets so precisely, especially in the playoffs which feature the best, it’s almost eery. Blind passes are thrown, and teammates are where they are supposed to be to catch them. Defensive flaws are exploited. Then remedied. Offenses adjust.
Exhilarating matchups. Like Kawhi vs Durant in Game 1 of Suns vs. Clippers. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Next Level →
Self inflicted as it may have been, it was somewhat of a comeuppance anyway.
From a mainstream movie anyway. I’m talking about “Air” and how it felt to get the lesson yet again that, as much as I do know or think I know about hoops, there are always nuances that only the true experts (not me) catch.*
*Don’t worry, I’ll get to the recruiting stuff in a minute, and this anecdote is actually germane to the topic.
In the movie which lays out how Nike snared Michael Jordan after the ’84 draft away from adidas and Converse, there’s a fascinating scene with Phil Knight’s (Ben Affleck) recruiter in chief, Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon).
He’s trying to figure out whom to try to get as a client by watching videos of the highest draft picks that year. And he’s put a tape of Jordan highlights, and watches the final sequence of the ’82 title game. You know the one, when Dean Smith goes to MJ, who drills the game winner.
I was at the game. Have watched the clip tens of times. Never caught what Vaccaro saw and Smith knew when tapping the freshman to take the shot instead of James Worthy.
Which is Jordan’s incredible confidence in the moment. Worthy’s a decoy, pulling a defender toward the lane. As MJ without a hint of nervousness or stress or panic awaits the pass, and without hesitation at the biggest moment of his hoops career until then fires it deftly through the net.
We all saw the shot. Vaccaro and Smith and the Bulls saw the transcendence. Continue reading Recruiting Stuff: Hoopaholic’s Gazette →
Back to where it all began is where I find myself this fine spring day, waiting for the Champions League and NBA playoffs to start.
My sports writing career, such as it has been, began in the 90s at LEO, trafficking in sports gossip. That’s why the whole Seedy K moniker.
I knew a guy. A barrister who would literally stand in front of his office building in the afternoons, looking for fellow junkies to chat up about sports. Not only was he a huge fan, he was connected. Gave me some great stuff.
I mean, when I’d walk by, he’d give the come on over here move with his head.
The R & I deal was also propelled by passing along gaffes and bon mots from Coach Pipe. Oh for the halcyon days of SchnellSpeak of the Week.
Anyhow, I’m baaaaaack!
Of course, times are different these days. What with all the social media and chat rooms, the interweb is rife with all matters gossipular. So it might very well be that those of you tuning in have already consumed this tittle-tattle. Or have even started the scuttlebutt yourselves.
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Like you may have already heard what I’ve heard about She Who Is Known By HVL Alone. Continue reading Rumor & Innuendo Redux →
As this wackamole of a season careened off the rails, tumbling down Mt. Sinai, banging through the rapids of the River Styx and resting someplace in a stagecoach on the cactus-strewn road to Houston, a sprawling city with zero planning & zoning, there was a consensus among the punditocracy.
Including in these quarters at the vast 13 acre campus of Seedy K Sports.
There really is not a best team this season, just one with enough survival gear to escape six games in a row.
And, then this happened.
We all started asking as the FF approached, is there one more surprise? Might Miami or Florida Atlantic or San Diego State actually prevail as champion?
Because as if all of a sudden there appeared to be a clearly best team: the Huskies of UConn. Who were sashaying their way through the Dance card with the second highest victory margin per W ever. (UK, I believe, in The Rick’s title season there, in case you’re curious.)
And so it came to pass.
There was no One More Surprise before One Shining Moment. Continue reading The Day After: Hoopaholic’s Gazette →
(Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down/ (Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round/ (Hey!) Over, under, sideways, down/ (Hey!) I bounce a ball that’s square and round/ When will it end? (When will it end?)/ When will it end? (When will it end?)
So, yeah, is this the most cockamamie Final Four ever?
In the era of seeding, and 64, uh make that 68 teams, one has to assume it to be so.
But back in the day, like in ’70 when there were this conglomeration. Behemoth UCLA, and Jacksonville, New Mexico State and St. Bonaventure. The trio of servants were all indies, when that was a thing in college hoops.
The whole affair was pretty much geographic in makeup. And there were byes. And schools got to play sometime on their homecourt in early rounds. Like the mighty mighty Bruins did often.
But in the Era of One Shining Moment? Continue reading Seedy K’s Tourney Takeaways →
Louisville 83, Iowa 97.
There are times when there is simply nothing you can do.
When a team runs into a foe led by a transcendent star who is executing a not-to-be-denied dominant performance.
Ask peacock Kim Mulkey and Britney Griner about Shoni.
We’ve heard oh so much about Caitlin Clark.
Too much? Actually, frankly, no not really.
She was described before the game as a cross between Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.
Who am I to disagree?
On the season, she’s hitting 58% from 25 feet and beyond from the hoop.
Sunday night, Clark historically went for 41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists.
She was not going to lose this game. Continue reading Seedy K’s Takeaways: Iowa →
“Hotty Totty! Gosh A Mighty! Who in the hell are we? Rim! Ram! Flim! Flam! Ole Miss, by Damn!”
Well, as you Rebs head back to Oxford Town, Hotty Totty This . . .
. . . Louisville 72, Mississippi 62.
Thus, with this disparate crew that took time to jell, Jeff Walz in his 16th season has the Louisville Cardinals headed to the Elite Eight for the fifth straight time and eighth time in school history.
Hawkeyes ahead. By damn.
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Hailey Van Lith got the full World Wide Leader superstar treatment on the TV pregame.
Then she scored the Cardinals’ first five points, and led the squad with 21. Also 5 boards, 4 assists.
And, when Ole Miss cut the lead to five in the 4th at 58-53, Van Lith shut the door, when she tallied in the paint for a 7 point advantage.
But, let’s be clear, there is only one choice for Player of Game. In this corner anyway.
Mykasa Robinson, come on down. Continue reading Seedy K’s GameCap: Ole Miss →