Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Gladness

It's Thursday morning and the NCAA madness that was started last week is about to kick into high gear again. Naturally I am thrilled because as of this writing my team, the Syracuse Orangemen, are still alive after thoroughly whipping Kansas State.

But I'm also happy for who is not still alive.

Allow me to explain.

Last summer I was hired to fly to Las Vegas and attend a high school basketball tournament featuring all the top recruits in the country. The players were being scouted by all the top Division One coaches. I was asked to interview each of the coaches for a short film being made on behalf of Coaches versus Cancer. As a huge college basketball fan, it was a true labor of love.

I met many of the top coaches who generously agreed to do a ten minute interview between games. And who wouldn't want to help in the collective battle against cancer?

 I'll give you a hint, he likes yellow ties.

On the second of our 14 hour filming days we were all dog tired, ready to wrap up the shoot and call it a day. Our producer however spotted Frank Haith, head coach of the Missouri Tigers. Even though we were all ready to head back to the hotel, Frank said he'd be willing to sit down with us. With one caveat. He wanted to watch a particular kid in the last of the day's scheduled games.

Sure, we thought, we could stick around for another two hours. What's one more game after we've watched about 138? 

We sat on the bleachers right next to Frank. Though we had no vested interest in the game we cheered for one team to put it away as quickly as possible so we could get on with the interview and call it a 16 hour day.

But with three minutes remaining in the game, Frank did the unthinkable. He got up from the bleachers and without so much as a nod to the producer and the crew the documentary, he simply left the building. 

Did I mention it was to fight Cancer

Thank you, Coach Haith for keeping us all there an extra two hours, racking up thousands of dollars in overage charges and contributing nothing towards the effort. It's all so appreciated.

Well last Friday, Lady Karma paid a visit to Omaha, Nebraska and turned the apple cart over for the heavily-favored Missouri Tigers. They were upset by the 15th seed Spartans of Norfolk State (I'm pretty sure it was the Men's team.) 

Of course, it wasn't an upset to me. In fact, it was the complete opposite.

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