I Fought the Law…

Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. It’s just that this time of year the news is about recruiting (some guy is going to some school and somebody thinks he’s great) and the NBA draft (some guy is working out for some team).

Me? I prefer to wax nostaglic. As sections of the book come back for editing, I get to relive parts of last winter and spring. It’s kind of like finding prom pictures, only without the acne and sweaty palms and finding a perfect spot to hide the beer.

Yesterday I got to harken back to my best “reporter’s moment” from the NCAA tournament. Note: you’re only getting part of the story on purpose, because I’m going to need you to buy the book. Really. But anyway…

As pandemonium continued on the floor after Mason beat UConn, I perceived the “dead zone.” It’s the time late in the initial euphoria of a big win when folks are beginning to wonder what’s next. The crowd dictates teh moment without even saying the words. I sensed it was time to move inside. So I made my way into the inner confines of the Verizon/Sprint/Cingular/Alexander Graham Bell Center and headed for the GMU locker room.

Obviously there was a buzz, and people were still mulling over what had just happened. (Book note: there is more to this part…) While everyone was busily congratulating each other and discussing the moment, I slipped right past security into the Mason locker room.

It was an eerie feeling. Outside the walls, I could hear the celebration, but it was like church inside. Not a thing except a few misplaced sneakers, strewn cups of water, and random locker room detritus. I could hear the players bouncing towards the door.

Gabe Norwood was the first in the locker room. His eyes met mine and he had no idea what to do. I had interviewed him once but I was rightfully a stranger in this moment. I smiled and he relaxed and went on about the celebrating. Folarin Campbell was next. It was Campbell’s improbable fadeaway 10-footer that I say was the dagger. Campbell grabbed a marker and wrote “He Guaranteed What?” on the Mason dry erase board. Then it became a crush of jubilant bodies.

It was then that I was tossed from the locker room. And rightfully so. This was their moment.


~ by mglitos on June 23, 2006.

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