Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Monday, February 25, 2008

Basketball Jones-in'

by BDaigle

Last Wednesday, The Mayor and First Lady arrived in The City That Care Would Like To Start Forgetting Again on official state business for the UL vs. UNO basketball game. They graciously allowed Melissa and I to accompany them for the evening's feats of athleticism. Alas, the Lakefront Arena is having the last finishing touches of repairs from Katrina done to it so UNO has had another season of games at what they call, "The Chamber of Horrors". After sitting through Wednesday's night game I have dubbed it, "The Little Gym That Couldn't". "The Little Gym That Couldn't" (heretofore TLGTC) has wooden recessing bleachers. So not only do they kill your ass and your back like only wooden bleachers can, but when someone of more stature than a 3-year old walks up them they sway enough that my brothers would need to take Dramamine to enjoy the game. (Wooden bleachers REALLY should be considered by the CIA for Guantanamo Bay.) TLGTC can only handle about 800 kiesters and that's pushing it. One of the Mayor's Krewe de Chew members, David Fontenot was there and he kept saying, "I feel like I'm in Lafayette High's gym." Lions everywhere would no doubt be very disappointed in being selected for this comparison. Oh and did I mention that it was Homecoming? Yes, that's right boys and girls...HOMECOMING. UNO has not fielded a football team in decades and so they have homecoming during basketball. Despite the festivities, rumor was that turnout was expected to be low for the game because the Hornets had a home game against the Mavs and Tulane was hosting #1 ranked Memphis. That prediction must have been made by a weatherman because TLGTC was almost filled to capacity. Not long after we sat down we were reminded of the rivalry the schools have when a husband and wife in FULL PIRATE COSTUMES sat behind us and the husband started complaining loudly.

"What are all these Cajuns fans doing here?! They are sitting in our seats!! THOSE are OUR seats!" (ALL whopping 800 seats in TLGTC are general admission.)

Davey Jones continued, "Where the hell is ULL anway? Some little town out west? How the hell did you find your way to the big city?"

The Mayor and I exchanged rolling eyes glances and I wondered if UNO's colors were really blue and gray or just washed out purple and gold.

Things only got better when a UL coach's wife and UL player's mother sat next to us and remained standing after the tip waiting for the Cajuns to score, just like they would at the Cajundome. Well, ol' Davey didn't like this one bit and immediately started demanding they sit down and punctuated his demand with a hearty, pirate-ish, "Yeeearrrrggghh!" The coach's wife whipped around and informed Davey Jones that Cajun fans always stand until the Cajuns score two points. Of course, she meant when they score period, but as soon as it left her mouth the Cajuns drained a 3-pointer to start the game. This delighted Davey Jones because as soon as they sat down he smugly screamed, "But that was 3 points!" Well....the player's momma didn't like that one bit and Momma let him know it.

"Who da f&!$ you talkin' to you stupid pirate? I gonna stand dis whole f!$& game if I want to mother f*&@! Look at dat stupid pirate and his ugly wife. Dat's what al-kee-hol do to ya. Drink some more beer you stupid f&$! pirate!!"

I don't know if Momma knew that Davey Jones was just talking trash or that she even cared because that was her boy down there playing and no stupid pirate was gonna yell at her. Every time the Cajuns scored Momma would look behind her at Davey and yell, "Haaaaah!" Sometimes that primal scream would be followed by, "!" or "Whatchoo tink 'bout dat?!" I glanced over at Melissa whose terrified look told me two things:

1. She hates confrontation and hates that confrontation makes her arm pits sweat.

2. She thought Momma was certified C-R-A-Z-Y and did not think I should be sitting within arm's reach of her.

As the first half wore on the Cajuns widened their lead into the 'teens, but Davey would not be denied his trash talking, no matter how irrelevant.

"Thanks for the crappy governor!!!" and "Is Coach here?!"

As the lead widened other UNO fans began to take their frustrations out on the Cajun faithful.

"Yeah, well your football team sucks!!"

*sigh* Okay..I'm gonna let that one go for the following reasons:

a) I get jealousy.

b) You don't even have a football team at this godforsaken and parent system abandoned commuter college.

Then another genius in the front stood up and took off his jacket and started pimping his UNO baseball jersey and inanely yelling, "What happened in Mobile? WHAT HAPPENED IN MOBILE?!!?"

*heavier sigh* The only thing sadder than trash-talking with past glory is trash-talking with past glory in a totally different sport. The best part of the exchange though was the disinterested looks from the Cajun fans followed immediately by looks at the scoreboard. Cracked me up.

Early in the second quarter one of the Cajun players took a scary fall and stayed down on the floor for several minutes and Davey went a little too far.

"Coooome oooon! Rub some Tobasco on it kid!"

Ol' Davey had now had one too many Bud Lights. For the first time that night The Mayor, David Fontenot , myself and a couple of Cajun fans in front of us all turned around and stared the guy down and the Mayor informed him that he lacked class and sportsmanship. A weak shrug was the best Davey could muster. Davey would be silent for the rest of the game.

Other highlights of the game included:

-A humongous mobile blow up UNO mascot called, "Air Pierre" who I simply could not wait to see fall flat on its face as it wandered the sidelines. Sadly, I was not rewarded with such a scene.

- The UNO dance team that consisted of four unattractive skanks who were wearing dingy white baby tee's and very short, too tight black shorts. Basically, it looked like they were wearing somone other's dance team's old practice outfits. They delighted Melissa at halftime by one of them walking out for a smoke and another walking around with a baby on her hip. My presumption that they were all from the West Bank thrilled Melissa even more.

Heading into the 4th period the Cajuns still held a double-digit lead, but that would be short-lived. UNO broke out a poor man's full court press that shouldn't have slowed a biddy-ball team but gave the Cajuns absolute fits. Why? I have no earthly idea. Perhaps it was the interesting strategy the Cajuns stubbornly tried of having the point gaurd still bring the ball up court. I have never coached basketball and I only played at the high school level. That said, I'm fairly confident that almost everyone knows that the best way to beat the press is to pass the ball up court. Not the Cajuns though. Let's do it the really hard way that leads to turnovers!! So, the Cajuns lead dwindled to 2 points with 12 second left. The Cajuns called a time out. In their two previous possesions Elijah Millsaps had been fouled and sank all 4 free throws. He had not missed any of his free throws all night before that. It's a REALLY rare occurence (aside from that freak season two years ago) when a Cajun players is making free throws consistently. Again, I've never coached basketball, but knowing that UNO will foul the first man to touch the ball, wouldn't you want to make sure that guy got the ball? Apparently, Robert Lee knows something I don't and had Millsaps inbound the ball to Randell Daigle, my long lost cousin. Randell promptly missed both free throws and the Cajuns held onto win when UNO failed to score on the last possession. I don't think that I have to tell you that the Sun Belt officiating was stellar for the ENTIRE game and that UNO fans had no problem with the outcome. MAJOR bullsh&! on both counts. Ultimately, it was a satisfying but utterly frustrating performance from the VERY young Cajuns. We had a good time with the Mayor and First Lady and after the game let them treat us on the taxpayer dime at our favorite local pizza place, Reginellis. It's not Deanos but they seemed to enjoy it, especially the First Lady.

More basketball frustration followed on Friday night at the Hornets game versus the Houston Rockets when a PROFESSIONAL coach by the name of Byron Scott failed to even bother trying to get 7'6" Yao Ming in foul trouble as he (and the fact the Hornets couldn't BUY a bucket) proceeded to destroy the Hornets singlehandedly. I mean...COME ON! The Rockets had a 9 game win streak and T-Mac is washed up. I can't be this naive can I? The man has led his team to the best record in the West and was the coach for the West in the All Star game and he doesn't even TRY to get Yao in foul trouble?! UTTERLY frustrating and NOT satisfying in ANY way. I'll put it to you this way......we left with 5 minutes left to go. I think the fact that my last name is Daigle sums up the significance of that statement.

So there you go. A much longer post than I originally planned, but oh well. Tune in next time when I try to shatter my personal best for run on sentences!

1 comment:

The Mayor said...

Acccurate account of the contest, nervy Privateer fans, and the facility. Old Davey sitting behind us was slowly but surely getting on my nerves. In fact he was beginning to chap my ass.

For your initial blog article ya done good, as they say in mountains of PA.
The Mayor