A sober night with the Bears
Sam Mitchell loves to recount his glory days at Mercer College, back in the day when he apparently put the tiny school on the athletic map. Well, the glory days are back and I can just see Sam now, sitting his recliner tonight, clicker in hand, an adult beverage on the side table, a big ol’ bag of bon-bons in his lap, ready to settle in for a big night of TV.
(Okay, the adult beverage and bon-bons may be a stretch).
It’s Mercer-Alabama at the school’s spanking new 3,200-seat arena (The House That Sam Built?) in what might be the biggest home game in school history.
Coming off a 15-point win over USC on the weekend, the Bears get to host the Crimson Tide, as part of a two-for-one series between the major power and the tiny school that includes two Mercer visits to Alabama in the next couple of years.
Speaking of that USC win, I owe Sam an apology. Saw a score on the TV ticker in the United Centre press room minutes before Sam's pre-game oratory and mentioned to him, quite gleefully, that his Bears were getting whacked. Told him they were down 15 and he thought that was a moral victory. By the time I found out I was wrong, he was already flying back home so I had no chance to let him know it was champagne time. According to current Mercer head coach Mark Slonaker, it’s gonna be wild.
“There’s going to be tailgating. There’s going to be bands,’’ he told The Associated Press. “The buzz on campus and the students’ excitement about this game have been incredible. We don’t have football here, so this is kind of like what the students at Georgia get to experience when Auburn comes to town for football.’’
Right. Except for one thing.
Mercer’s a dry campus – A DRY CAMPUS – so the tailgating will be tame.
“But you can bet there will be an adrenaline high there, if not necessarily an alcohol high,” Slonaker said.
Hmm, dry campus. Wonder if that’s got anything to do with the Sam being the way Sam is.
|Will take a while to get used to MoPete in yellow..|
So, Dancing With The Stars gets boring last night near the end (if Scary Spice doesn’t win there should be an inquiry) and it’s time to flip over the Nets-Hornets and see how our Old Friend Mo is doing. And if you could see the inbox, it’s got a lot of “We Miss Mo,” “We Love Mo,” “Bring Back Mo” items it’s important that everyone is kept up to date.
I’m figuring I can take a pass on Scary doing the Tango, although that would have been some good TV.
Watch the game for about eight minutes of the fourth quarter and don’t even realize Mo’s on the court. He looks odd in the No. 9 jersey, he’s got a black headband that doesn’t stand out, and the only time he actually touched the ball for a long stretch, he turned it over.
And then it happened. A Chris Paul offensive rebound, a kick out to Mo at the top, that short-armed release, a three-pointer, a foul, a four-point play and a tie game with a minute left.
Kid still has a sense of the moment, doesn’t he? Was the sixth four-point play of his career.
The only thing that would have made the moment perfect for you was if he’d made the shot over Carter and then playfully slapped him on the cheek.
Also got to hear Mark Jackson killing Nets coach Lawrence Frank in the dying minutes, too. And rightfully so, in this case.
Richardson Jefferson, in the absence of Carter (he’s injured and all of you laughing right now, stop!) has 23 points through three quarters and as the Nets are coughing up a lead, he should be the go-to guy, right?
Only four shots, all missed, for RJ in the fourth. Seems Antoine Wright got all the big shots. Duh!
Anyway, after a nice day off, it’s back to the grind, the Heroes Of The Hardcourt are working (what’s next? Another lineup change? Hold up your hands everyone who hoped Jose for T.J. is next? I KEED, I KEED!) and if they’re working afraid I am, too.
Will be nice to get a practice the day before the only Jazz visit of the season and not have to ask anyone about Hoffa.