Dang I had half this written and some pop up action from the CBS sports page that was open was causing the computer to momentarily freeze so I went window killing and closed the Xanga window…..ARRRGGGHHH.
Now I realize that a good portion of my valued subscribers have
given me relentless shit about expressed a disinterest in and even distain for sports but they can go fuck themselves there are times when I just don’t give a rat’s ass simply feel compelled to write about the only thing that really matters the excitement and drama and human interest of sports. So having belligerently blown off half my readers said that, I give you whether you like it or not assholes:
The Sports Section
Last night I went to the 4A (big schools) Section Finals for high school boys basketball. My daughter’s school, Armstrong, a mostly white, affluent suburban school was playing Patrick Henry an inner-city school whose team was all African American. Armstong’s team has three Afro American players including there star, a 6’5″ 240 pounder who has great low post moves and likely will be playing defensive end at Minnesota next year. I mention the ethnic balance of the teams to help you understand the rivalry. This team includes some of the best athletes from the soccer team that won state this year and the football team that made it to state and won the Classic Lake Conference. They are all seniors and most have played together forever. They have depth and quickness and can shoot the three. Henry is a perennial power, they’ve gone to state every year since 1995 and won the last three consecutive 3A tournaments and at times have been the best team in the state, beating 4A powers regularly in during the season. This year they moved up. They are big, tough, athletic and can also hit from behind the arch. In other words, a great match up.
The game was played in Rogers, part of the sprawl that’s exploding along the I94 corridor between Minneapolis and St. Cloud. It’s about 15 miles from home on busy freeway. I driving L and one of her male friends and we had planned to leave at 7:15 to get to the game at 8. At 7 we found out that the game was starting at 7! We jumped in the car, I told the kids not to follow the example of driving I was about to set and we managed to get there before half time. I had to park about a quarter of a mile away from the exit though.
Armstrong was up by six or eight when we got there and seemed to be threatening to blow the game out, but the Patriots hung in and kept the lead under ten. The Falcons built the lead to twelve late in the third quarter and then Henry came storming back. Their pressing defense caused turnovers and steals, they hit some threes and suddenly it was a very tight ball game with four minutes left. The lead went back and forth between three and one until Henry scored with 20 seconds left to take their first lead of the night. Armstrong ran the clock down to 12.5 seconds and called a timeout. They inbounded the ball from the side at half court. While play was stopped through two time outs both sides were chanting “Let’s go Falcons” and “Let’s go Henry” everyone was on their feet and the atmosphere was electric. Grant Hargett, the Falcons superb point guard was being gaurded by a very small player and the play was to isolate him in the low post. It worked like a charm and we took a one point lead with five seconds left. We had two fouls to give so we fouled the guy bringing the ball up the court and then Peter Koska took a charge as time ran out.
Now for the human interest angle. One of the coaches for Henry was Jerry “Buggy” Williams who, twenty five years ago played basketball on my driveway in North Minneapolis before I moved to the burbs. They lived around the corner and across the street from us. He and his buddies always had a game going on until a seedier crowd started hanging out and I decided I had to take the hoop down. I don’t think he ever forgave me for that. I wanted to say hi to him so I fought my way through the crowd that was moving in the opposite direction until I got right behind their bench. They had already recieved their second place medals and were watching the Falcons get their championship awards. The little guard, who I think might be his son, was very upset, kicking chairs over and walking around like he wanted to punch someone. Jerry has grown up nicely. He’s a handsome and massively muscled young man. I waited for an opportunity and went over and introduced myself. We talked for a few minutes and then he dismissed me by going back to what he was doing. He was very gracious, but I felt kind of guilty for intruding on what had to be an extremely emotional moment for him.
I love March.