Mint juleps, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Louisville Slugger and "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." I'm in the media workroom in the Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. Purdue plays Tennessee in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in a little over an hour.
hope for a long life with
a good wife... and a
chest full of rifles.
Tavell Grant, whose dad is Bishop Grant, came in after that. We talked about giving the youth of East Chicago role models and some ways out of poverty. There's drugs and gangs in East Chicago. Let's face it, these things ensnare young kids. Some never get out. Tavell's got a lot of energy and he speaks even better than his dad, a preacher, who speaks better than I do.
"You ever think about politics," I asked him.
"A lot of people ask me that. But I'm more focussed on helping the youth of my community right now. And preaching."
Next question. How long did it take me to drive from Hammond, Indiana, to Louisville, Kentucky? Google maps says it should take about four hours and 19 minutes. I stopped once to get gas and another time at an outlet mall in southern Indiana to buy a black sweater. I saw this big sign - Old Navy Outlet. That did the trick. I'm walking around the Yum! Center in a black sweater. This is one of the two colors that surrounds me every day in the Purdue Northwest Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. Black and Gold, baby.
mobile. It's hard to
say what's fake or real,
So you steal.
There's a ton of people walking around downtown Louisville in sweatshirts emblazoned with the logo of their team. There's plenty of orange Tennessee and black Purdue but little Oregon green. There's even some blue Virginia. As I was parking in a lot just to the east of the Yum! Center, a guy in a Lexus sedan pulled up -
"How much you pay to park here?" He said this with the most southern of accents.
He parked his car and sent his wife to pay. When he got out, I could see the big "V" painted on his face. I wonder if his wife did that on the way or if he did it at home to himself in the mirror and then drove all the way to Louisville with it. His plates said "Virginian.org" as if you were gonna pull over on I-65 to check the website.
It's time to go into the arena. I'm hoping like hell for a courtside seat, but we're just a couple of radio stations and a burgeoning streaming TV operation. As I was checking in, Will Perdue came up right behind me.
"Nice day, huh," the seven-footer said.
"About time," I said. Will, if you remember, played on four NBA championship teams. If I remember correctly, three were with the Bulls and one with someone else. He'll probably get a courtside seat.
Do I think Purdue's gonna win?
Probably not. We've been here before. I hope like hell that I'm wrong. By the way, I made it here in just under five hours, stops included.... Talk to the three or four of you later.