Friday, February 27, 2009

I Still Miss Bob Huggins

I don't like watching important sporting contests in bars, but that's precisely what I did last night for the UC-WVU match. There are two reasons I try to avoid the bar for big games: First, it's impossible to watch (and analyze) every single possession the way you can on your couch. Second, I'm a celebratory drinker----and if my team loses a heartbreaker, well, I'm a miserable bastard all night. But there's a flipside to that coin: if my team wins, there's a better-than-decent chance I'll buy you a shot of something delicious.

Last night, I bought shots.

But before I tackle the what-does-it-all-mean-for-UC's-tourney-chances question, I must first comment on the return of Coach Higgs. And by "the return of Coach Higgs," I mean the tear-jerking one-minute video tribute to Bob Huggins that I finally watched a few minutes ago.

Listen, I've noted on several occasions that it's not difficult for me to be moved to tears. Whether it's the Jimmy V speech, certain scenes of Father of the Bride or Apollo 13 or whatever...I can lose it with ease. And I'm okay with that. It's good to have your emotions moved to tears, you know? Sure, it makes me a homo, but I can't help it.

As noted, the aforementioned video tribute lasts only sixty seconds, but I would've watched for six million -- and I would've cried the whole way through. Sometimes I forget how much those early Huggins teams meant to me (I was nine when he came to town). They busted their ass on every play and it was obvious to anyone with eyeballs that every player on the roster would've laid down in traffic for the man (as I've often joked I would).

Anyway, I just finished another brief crying session. And why? Because I feel an insanely close connection to a complete stranger who excelled at teaching young black kids almost two decades ago. Think about that. It reminds me of maybe the best line (although it's not spoken) from Stand By Me: "I never had better friends than the friends I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"

Truer words have never been spoken (or in the case of Stand By Me, written).

Mick Cronin might win the next twenty national titles, but he'll never be Bob Huggins -- he entered my life too late.

Okay, okay, here's the video...

I'll put UC's win in perspective tomorrow; I really didn't plan on getting emotional and going Gordy Lachance on you. My apologies.


Only because I have to, here are tonight's Vickers...

Timberwolfs (+4.5) vs. Blaze
Mavs (-9) vs. Durant
Nuggs (+2.5) vs. Lakers
Canada Dinosaurs (+5.5) at PHX
Spurs (+1.5) vs. Pro Cavs
Bobs (pick) at Warriors

Yesterday: 4-3
Overall: 370-315-18

-Brad Spieser (


Stuart said...

man, kenyon's face really got me