The Void- It’s done. It’s over. No more football. And baseball is still nearly two months away.
For you hockey and basketball fans, these are good days. And while I’m loyal to the Kincks and Rangers, the truth is that for me basketball and hockey are in a limp-wristed arm-wrestling match to see who can come in a distant third to football and baseball.
How then to pass the final days of winter before the warming glow of spring and the crisp crack of bats makes it all worthwhile again? I must cobble together whatever I can, and so over the next few weeks I’ll discuss the random dregs of my wintery sporting life.
First Stop: local college basketball.
I’m in the midst of touring Baltimore’s local D-I college basketball scene. While Charm City doesn’t boast a major conference powerhouse like Georgetown to the south of us in DC or Temple and Villanova to the north of us in Philly, this town does have about 15 colleges and universities, some of which have been known to punch a dance ticket on occasion.
Stevie Creamcheese identified the top five: Coppin State, Morgan State, Loyola, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and my place of employment, Towson University.
We started our tour last month with a trip out to the county to see UMBC. Poker compadre Stanley came along as we watched the Retrievers get dismantled by a superior team from SUNY Stoneybrook. UMBC tried to mount a comeback, but it was too little too late: 80-68. By the end, we all agreed that the official UMBC score book should list rebounds as “retrieves.”
Our second stop was Coppin State’s new arena here in the city. Down more than twenty at the half, the Eagles mustered a major league comeback to force overtime against North Carolina A&T. But their magical early 1990s style uniforms could only work so much wonderment. Coppin St. fell a notch short as their final shot went wide. The Aggies held on 93-92 in a wildly entertaining see-saw match. And that pep squad was grinding it. Unfortunately, ESPN carried the game, thus subjecting us to endless TV timeouts. It added a half-hour to the game.
On our most recent outing, we were joined by King Lupus I, another card cronie, as we walked up the block from the Creamcheese Palace to catch Loyola against an over matched Rider team. The Greyhounds are Balto’s best chance to land a team in the tournament this year as they duke it out with Iona for first place in the MAAC.
While Loyola’s aging gym isn’t nearly as nice as Coppin’s new digs, this was by far the money crowd. It’s of course a private college, and many of the students went to private high schools before that. The place just reeks of money. Whitest crowd to date by far. And coach Jimmy Patsos sweats like a pig. Make of it what you will. Oh, and again with the TV timeouts. Goddamn ESPN.
Towson’s on tap for today, but it looks like I’m gonna have to bag it and stay at home waiting for the guy to come and fix the furnace. But that’s okay. I’m on that campus plenty as is. Though it would be nice to watch my school continue its record-setting losing season in person. Que sera sera. Hopefully I can catch the Morgan St. to round it all out.
Cheesy Bruin rounds out the week tomorrow.