I saw a link today to former-Iowa Stater(1) Paul Shirley's ESPN blog. Last I knew he had decided to drop that literary pursuit because it was hampering his chances of continuing to play professional basketball - something or other about not being serious about the sport.
Today's blog is a must read. He retells the story of the Elite 8 loss to Michigan State in 2000, the game which most fans of either team will remember as the best game of the tournament(2). For those that may not remember towards the end of a tight game Paul fouled out on the infamous "blarge"(3) double foul, Coach Larry Eustachy got tossed for unleashing a tirade of fraks(4) on the deserving officials and the good guys eventually lost the game. Post-blarge Paul had a bit of an emotional breakdown that, in Paul's words, became "twisted because the events quickly became part of Cyclone Nation lore".
You see Paul cried. He cried a lot. He cried in such a way that it became the visualization of that game nationwide. I don't blame him because that game tore out the heart of every single person who doesn't know the words(5). Luckily 99.9% of watched that game rather than played in it and our emotion wasn't media worthy. If you're interested you can see Paul cry on YouTube, in several pics at the ESPN link, or at the NCAA Hall of Champions(6) next time you visit us here in Indianapolis.
Incidently, I started to write this post because I learned through the ESPN column that Paul is soon to release a book and that's pretty exciting (note the post's title). I ordered it from Amazon as soon as I got home from work.
You'll note that the forward is by Chuck Klosterman who just happens to be my favorite author of late. As the kids say: "boo-ya!"
I'm impressed by the craft of book writing and hope to someday count myself amongst those who've been published. After all, I learned yesterday that I have verbal skills in the 90th percentile of those that are interested in graduate management admissions.
(1)Paul's kind of had a bit of a divorce from Cyclone-fandom in the last two years or so. He's tried to minimialize his connection with our school in his writing (so I doubt he appreciates my label) and no Iowan appreciates a brush off in the national media. (2) It was ridiculous that ISU didn't get a 1 seed, if they had it would've met in the title game (3)Never called before, never called again (4)Battlestar Galactica's f-bomb (5)to this stupid frakin' song! (6)They have each year's "one shining moment video" on playback. I even tear up a bit when I watch 2000