1:19 pm. Wednesday
We've done this before, the three or four of you and me. I blog through a portion of the high school basketball tournament and you get to read what My American, Radio Life is like as it passes through this slice of American. I don't know if it's any good or not, but neither Carole Terry, Mark Fetzko or Dan Carden have complained yet. And you are the only ones that I know for sure join the group of three or four on a regular basis.
It's been an eventful couple of days on the morning show when it comes to Griffith and high school basketball. I'll get to the interviews with Griffith coach Gary Hayes and IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox in a minute. But first, as the three or four of you know, there have been many ups and downs for the Griffith basketball team that's heading to play Marion in a few hours. Here's some:
Up - In 2015, Griffith has a really good basketball team, ranking high in the state all year long.
Down - On Feb. 8, 2015, Griffith and Hammond High basketball teams get into a huge melee. The video of such makes it to national news shows. The topic trends on twitter.
Down - IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox kicks Griffith and Hammond High basketball teams out of basketball for the rest of the season.
Down - Griffith and Hammond High basketball teams are not invited to be part of the tradition of the Sportsmanship Dinner. This is a big blow. For 61 years, high school basketball players have been gathering before sectionals to eat and hear a speech and talk with other teams.
Up - nWith their season seemingly over, Griffith players help out with youth at the YMCA though a particularly cold and snowy February. Eventually, Judge Pera in Lake County reinstates Griffith and Hammond High back in to the state tournament.
Up - Griffith exhibits exemplary sportsmanship on the way finishing as 2015 state runner-up, a couple points away from a state championship.
Up - Griffith returns in the 2015-16 season and holds the #1 ranking in class 3A for most of the season. (As the three or four of you know, I hold one of the 15 statewide AP votes. And I didn't vote for them just because they're "Region." Nope. Griffith earned it from all of us sports media types.)
Down - On the eve of the Regionals in 2016 - more than a year after the original Griffith-Hammond brawl - the IHSAA wins in a downstate appeals court to take away Griffith's state runner-up title from the preceding year.
Down - Griffith win Sectionals and Regionals, but on Saturday, March 19, 2015, the Griffith bus flips over on I-65 on the way to semi state in West Lafayette. Several are injured.
Up - Nobody died in the accident, which, if you look at the pictures, is some sort of miracle.
Down - Bobby Cox and the IHSAA re-schedule the Griffith-Marion game for Wednesday, March 23. Griffith coach Gary Hayes wants until at least Thursday for his team to recover.
Up and Down - Gary Hayes comes on my show yesterday and stands up for his players and his town. Hayes says to the IHSAA - "Get off the kids. Enough's enough." IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox comes on my show today and says, "Gary Hayes is entitled to his opinion..." but the IHSAA has the right to defend its position.
You'd think that the biggest battle in the state tonight will be between the Marion Giants and the Griffith Panthers. That's only part of the story. There's another battle brewing, underneath, girgling. I can't really put it into words for the three or four of you... but it's there. And the last chapter hasn't been written yet. So I'll blog through the rest of the day for you and take some pictures and stuff. Hope that'll do for the three or four of you.
... As for the interviews with Gary Hayes and Bobby Cox, you can watch yourself above or just go to JED.tv and click "Videos." Gary Hayes was pissed, and so was Bobby Cox, and that's all I have to time to tell you right now.