The drive up here was nothing spectacular, except for the unexpected mountains. Evidently the Berkshires are a real thing. There are valleys, and houses are built on cliffs. I’m sure that it would be a rather beautiful drive on a sunny day. But today it rained all freaking day. It was a cold, gray drive across the gut of Connecticut.
The NCAA puts the media up in the Marriott Downtown Hartford. It’s a nice hotel with several bars and a pool on the 22nd floor. If Purdue wins, which I am only half expecting, I will reward myself by baring my hairy white fish belly tomorrow in the Marriott pool. Heaven help us all.
I’m typing this to you as St. Mary’s, which is a huge underdog, is hanging with Villanova, but you know it won’t last. The Gaels may have played well enough with Gonzaga. But Villanova is a different story. VU looks big and strong and, what is most important, mean.
The last time I came to the first round of the NCAA tournament was for Purdue against Virginian Commonwealth at the United Center in Chicago. Purdue was a huge favorite, as they are against Old Dominion. The three or four of you know what happened that day. VCU, with Shaka Smart at the helm, pulled the upset… and then kept pulling upsets all the way to the Final Four.
I have been really pissed off after Purdue, Bears, Munster, Griffith losses... but I have to say that the loss to Shaka Smart is in the top ten.
“Let’s go,” I said rather curtly to Alexis, who used to accompany me to things like NCAA tournaments. “Now.”
“Okay. Okay. Let me go back to the media room for my coat.”
“Leave the damn thing. Let’s go.”
…. In other sports news, I keep receiving texts that my nephew, Craig Dedelow, played for the White Sox today in their spring training game with the Rangers. Since there’s such crappy internet here at courtside, I can’t see if Craig got any hits. I hope so. The Sox are beating the Rangers 9-1 right now.
Speaking of Craig… a guy named Steve Stanek called my show on Wednesday before I left for Hartford. He’s a friend of mine who used to live in the Region but now lives in a really cool community on the very west side of Phoenix. I forget what it’s called. He told an interesting story about Craig.
“I went to his game and was waiting around after to talk to Craig - to tell him he always has a place to stay with me and my wife - and I ran into the family that he’s staying with, his host family.
“It turns out that there was a bunch of confusion because Craig couldn’t find his mitt. Everyone had to scramble to find him a mitt to use for the Spring training game.”
Way to go, nephew. We are all very proud of the baseball career that you had at Indiana University and now in the Sox organization. But if I were there at a Spring training game for the Sox.. and you lost your mitt like some little kid at a Little League practice, I’d tell EVERYBODY.
Wait, I forget. Steve Stanek already did.