To have been a fly on the wall at The Barn ….

June22/ 2008

A rollicking recounting of a recent dinner discussion of special note where ACC Basketball fact and fiction went into the blender and guess what? …. TRUTH emerged.  “So Frank said to Everett ____” and “then Dean and Mike agreed ___” and “I got in Lou Bello’s face and ___” …. and K QuoteGate Goes KABOOM!

The Triangle’s world-renown The Angus Barn was the setting on Friday evening last for an ACC sports gab-fest to match the epicurean excellence of The Eure Family’s esteemed eatery.  Participants included UNC’s last 4-sport letterman “Prince Albert” Long ….. State hoopster & Duke BB coaching celebrity Bucky Waters …. and a certain Internet Legend of note.  We each had our current groupie til death do us part in tow.  In retrospect we should have rented the whole Barn and invited all of youse to join us.

Visiting The Angus Barn w/ Prince Albert is akin to visiting The Louvre with Mike L. Angelo.  As a FOPA you are immediately “VIP by association”.  The canopy of palm fronds and carpet of rose petals is quite cool.  Having the Barn’s Lady Domo herself Van Eure butter your bread is always a treat.  There IS a price however …. Continual requests for photos and “excuse me but aren’t you guys _____?”  from the regular guests comes with the territory.  Like Woody Durham, we three always “carry a Sharpie” when out among the masses.

Albert usually signs as “Tommy Kearns”.  Bucky did a few as “Steve Vacendak and I signed “the late Bill Currie”.   Mizzus even got in one as “Cybill Shepherd”.  Humor is always on the menu when we gather at The Angus Barn.


   INTERRUPTION …. We interrupt this commentary to clarify that one could NEVER “be a fly on the wall” at The Angus Barn.  Van and her crackerjack staff simply would never permit such.  Thousands of eaterys have opened in The Triangle since January of 1960 with dozens opening and closing each week.  Thru 48 years that familiar “Beefeaters’ Haven” has stood high on the hill beside RDU Airport.  It’s BobLee’s choice for “that guaranteed great dining experience” when only the very best will do. 


   The “stories” …. ahhhh, “the stories”!  Between the three of us the “knew him”, “was there”, and “what no one ever knew” were flying fast and furious for over two hours.

Bucky and I have met briefly at various high-tone celebrity golf events over the years, including The Nabisco Dinah Shore at Palm Springs and The Jimmy V; but never had had the chance to chat at length.  The chatting between chewing was quickly mastered.

From 1952 to 2008 there hasn’t much gone on especially in ACC basketball that one or more of the three of us wasn’t privy to.  If only Coach Reed down in Tejas had been in attendance it would have really been an Algonquin Roundtable of Roundball.

Being “insiders” the three of us know that many of those that the sporting public perceives as “saints” ain’t all that “saintly” …. and those perceived as “sinners” ain’t all that “sinful”.  That discussion alone, if recorded, would cause a complete rewriting of ACC Basketball history.  Being honorable men of polite discretion we understand the differences between fact and fiction and why both versions have merit.  To paraphrase The Bard Bill Shakesapeare’s Julius Caesar:

“The supposed good & evil coaches and players might have done 

is greatly exaggerated.  The Truth is laughed about over dinner.”

    That discretion prevents full disclosure even here other than a quick note about how Bill Bradley came within an inch and a minute of joining Jeff Mullins and Art Heyman on Vic Bubas’ Duke juggernaut in the early 60s.  Bradley actually arrived at Duke ready to enroll as a freshman and spent a week at the Gothic Rockpile ….. but an 11th hour plea from his daddy to attend “an Ivy League school” sent him to Princeton.  That fateful decision likely kept 1-2 more National Championship banners out of the Cameron rafters.

Whenever I am with coaches, players or college administrators I always get asked THE QUESTION ….. “BobLee, who ARE those people on the Internet?”  I smile and say “Remember that kid in high school PE who always dressed in the toilet stall and was the last one chosen for dodgeball?”  They nod and reply “Ahaa, I always wondered what happened to him.”

How lively and fun was this culinary gab-fest?  Our aforementioned groupies have heard all the stories ad infinitum but even they admitted “it was one heck of a fun evening!”  Indeed.

P.S.  After two+ hours of reliving every dribble and jump shot in the ACC’s past 50 years, neither Albert, Bucky nor I …… could remember where we had parked our cars.  …..sigh.


   BobLee has been nominated for the 2008 Roar Of The Greasepaint Award to be presented at Sardi’s next Fall.  Why?  For taking Broadway Musicals and their great “show tunes” out of the closet of the “light-in-the-loafers crowd”.  Indeed, we heard from beau coups of macho testosterone-dripping readers who thanked BobLee for manlying-up a love of Broadway Musicals.  ….. Does this mean BCS Butch’s Boys will run into unfancy Kenan next Fall to “Let Me Entertain You” from Gypsy?  Probably not.  But I am up for Bob Goulet’s role of Lancelot if Camelot comes to town ….. “if ever I should leave you ….”

   Ethel Merman made “No Bizness Like Show Bizness” her theme song.  And Nellie “washed that man right outta her hair” every night for years.  

   A special HUZZA to NASCAR’s Carl Edwards.  After three weeks “Carl Boy” has won every cup race this season not named Daytona.  Among Columbia Missouri sports heroes, #99 is now only ten backflipping Ws behind Tiger QB Chase Daniel.   Momma Nancy and step-daddy Jim are mighty proud.    

   Recall our recent mention of the local school board’s draconian efforts to censor all input not “acceptable & appropriate” by THEIR standards.  Guess WHAT?   We found unlikely allies down at The N&O.  Both Ruth Sheehan and Jimmy Jenkins have spoken out in opposition to this latest bureaucrap from the WCPSS idjits.  “Soccer Mommie” is a BobLee Buddy …. Jimmy ain’t …. We have a “big tent” when it comes to fighting such censorship.

   ANNOUNCEMENT:  “K QuoteGate” has hit the fan ….. It has been confirmed that 850TheBuzz misquoted Coach K several weeks ago on “the injury comment”.  Buzz Program Director Adam Gold went on-air with a 3rd party version that then went KABOOM when Roy replied to the erroneous quote.   But not to worry ….. 97% of K-Hate is ginned up by the UNC Loonies out of thin air so “truth” has never much mattered any way.  In the quite silly world of UNC v Duke, “the Truth” will never run as fast or as far as an “Untruth” ….. and so it shall forever be.


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