Ill omens can arrive in the most unassuming, seemingly benign manner.
The fellow’s hair and well-trimmed beard are photogenic Medicare-commercial gray. His frame still lanky, his legs were gnarled under the visitor’s radio section table.
Curious, somewhat quizzically, his eyes raised above his reading peepers.
“I still have nightmares about you,” I said in mock diatribe.
“You chewed us up and spit us out.”
His laugh then full.
“Yes, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that one. What a great game.”
So, he says.
Those shorter in the tooth than some of us Cardinal fans probably don’t know the former DePaul center’s place in the not so much fun to remember section of U of L hoops lore.
It’s right up there with U.S. Reed.
March 17, 1978. Allen Fieldhouse. MW Regional Semi-Final.
DePaul 90, Louisville 89. Double OT.
Corzine’s numbers on the night.
50 minutes. 18/28 FG. 10/10 FT. 46 points, 9 rebounds.
At the conclusion of our short, friendly chat — he’s a really nice fellow — I felt purged of that nagging memory.
Such that I called a couple of my Card peeps and shared the experience. Including one whom I’d watched the game with.
But then, as game time approached, an ominous thought made me shutter. What if Dave Corzine in the building is not such a good thing.
And, then along came Jones.
* * * * *
Unless a player of a Card foe has been overexposed on Dick Vitalivision, I rarely notice who is scoring for U of L opponents. Not a good thing, especially for somebody reporting a game, but, hey, it’s what is.
But, I had read about Javon Freeman-Liberty, nephew I believe of former Chitown schoolboy wonder Marcus Liberty. J F-L is supposed to be the next big deal for the Blue Demons.
So, I’d check his stats during stoppages. He only had 1 at intermission.
And, but a few more when the visitors called timeout, up 6, with 3:39 left.
Which is when I first noted that the aforementioned Jones, David had 31 points and 14 rebounds. He scored another bucket as DePaul sealed its 62-55 win.
Damn you, Dave Corzine.
* * * * *
You know how the announcers and we wags are prone to overuse the shibboleth, it’s a game of runs???
Well, this Friday night affair is why.
This battle had more swing than Ellington at Newport.
* * * * *
OK, I’m going to stop right here.
I’m writing at 8:11 Saturday morning. I’ve got electricity. My internet is just fine. I’ve already had a quick pre-breakfast workout on the elliptical.
During the night, I was awakened by only a couple of thunder cracks.
But, I was unaware of the devastation, until a friend in Boston just sent me an email, titled “Tornado.” He wanted to make sure I was alright.
So, for the first time, I read the news. Oh boy.
All of a sudden my depression about the loss evaporated.
It’s just a game. Cards lost.
There may be as many as 100 people dead. They were working in a factory out in the state when the winds hit.
So, I’m grateful I’m OK.
I’m sad. Really sad. About something that matters.
There will be more games.
Just not for all of us.
— c d kaplan