What’s A Billiken and other Basketball Stuff….

March21/ 2014

My “basketball-centric weekend” will be different from yours.  I’ll be speaking Saturday night at the 50th Reunion of back-to-back State Championship teams.  In and around that I’ll catch the local area teams’ attempts to “survive & advance”….. or not.

One of those local teams “or not-ed” last night.  You probably know about that.   A similar fate may very well await the others.   Over in Winston-Salem they “celebrated” the end of The Bzzzz Era.  That seemed a bit extreme but such are the times we live in.

To a non-partisan observer, the NC State v SLU (pronounced like “slew”) game was compelling.  I like compelling sporting events.  To a Wuff-partisan, it had to be gut-wretching.  To a Billiken like my bro-in-law Christian it was also gut-wretching but OK.

I read a lot of excuses about “having to play two games in three days” ???  Excuse me!  Isn’t that what EVERY team does in March Madness?  Now had they won and played three games in five days, thats different…. but that won’t be happening.

Ya know the easiest way to tell whether or not the NC state Wuffs won or lost a game…. any game?   If you see a post that begins well, at least we don’t cheat like ……..”.  That means they just lost.  Only another 25 years or so for that line…..

Blondie got interested about the 3:00 minute mark in regulation and watched the resultant disemboweling carnage.   Her in-depth analysis culminated in “Are ‘they’ (State fans) gonna blame Johnny Swofford for their team missing free throws?  How can they conclude that?”  

To which I noted “you’d have to have been indoctrinated from birth to be able to connect the dots…. trust me, many of’em can do it.”

She then mentioned a number of our friends who are Wuffs.  “Will ______ or _____ or _____?”  “No”, I replied. “I don’t let you meet the really crazy ones.” …… “Thank you” she smiled.

“Will they blame their coach?” she asked.  “Sure”  I said.  “A faction ALWAYS blames “the coach” in any loss. “….. and the AD too of course.”

But the coach couldn’t shoot the free throws for them” she queried.  “There you go applying logic again” I admonished her.

“What’s a Billiken?” she then asked.  “Some kind of kewpie doll-thingy.  Call Chris and ask him.”

“How does that kid play with those long dreadlocks hanging in his face?” …… “I don’t know.  Maybe Chris knows that too.”

Blondie doesn’t care about 1983 except that it was the year we met.   How Cinderella managed to fit that slipper on in Albuquerque is of no concern of hers.   I, of course, saw the connection to 1983 long before the announcers started harping on it.   I bet 58WolfKennel did too…. and NCSU68 and Thailand and Cowdog and fayettewuf and wolfdon… and even Ol MacDonald all remembered “how V did it” back in ’83.

I’ve seen my alma mater blow leads and die gut-wretching deaths many times over the years in all sorts of circumstances.    Other than never blaming Johnny Swofford they react pretty much like heart-broken wuffies did late last night…… the usual “how come THEY let us down like that…. the inhumanity and unfairness of it all….. blah blah yadda yadda.”

I will admit I was laughing my butt off at those The Wolfpack Way shirts.  Yes, I realize that Adidas or whoever Frau Yow sold their soul to for free shoes supplied those “Way” shirts to all their teams.  Both Manhattan and Louisville among others were wearing their versions.

But But But….. I was assured just a few weeks ago by my “deep inside super-State fan source” (and you know WHO that is!!) that there would NEVER be “The Wolfpack Way” …… because that level of institutional pretentiousness would be sooooo Dickie Baddour-ish.  Damn straight it would be.

Well slap me silly and “call me Dickie”….. there were those “Way” shirts.   Go figger!

Between the fiasco of “Our State” and the logo-stomping and now those The Wolfpack Way shirts…. Life is real good for yours truly when it comes to primo column fodder.  Indeed.

We been told for several weeks that “it ain’t over yet” for those fine young men under Coach Gottfried.   Well, it is now….. but they did do pretty well and that Warren kid is “special” and Lupine Tru-believers will continue to truly believe and that’s the way it should be.

As noted, the fate of other local teams is yet to be revealed.   Similar fates may well await’em.  I suspect it will.   But with Ol’ Roy signed up for ObamaCare, they should be able to recover regardless.

OK….. I got to polish up my incredibly insightful remarks for Saturday night and hit I-70 East.

Toodle-loo for now……

Oh…. some Good News for Wuffs and all ABCers…. Bryant Gumbel has an HBO Special coming up about – The Great Unpleasantness !!  Uh oh or Yippee depending upon one’s allegiances.

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