The Post Game Show

Monday, January 30, 2006

Another moment in time

I've discussed my favorite college basketball team (well, would I have any other? Duh, Chris...), but my favorite basketball team on any level was my senior year of high school, the 1998-99 Howard High Wildcats, the best single-season team NOT to win a state championship. No one can say otherwise. That season was one full of drama, peaks and valleys, and a stirring first round upset, but came to an end just a week later by a determined St. Elizabeth's squad, aided by officiating.

That Wildcats team had probably the most talent any Delaware High School team has had in the past 20 years. The star of stars on that team was former DSU Hornet sixth-man Carlos Hawkins, who was something like a phenomenon when he transferred from Tatnall in the fall of '98. At 6'5, he was big enough to play center, but had the handle and jumpshot to play two guard and occaisionally some point.

His cousin, Jareem Dowling (nicknamed "Black" for obvious reasons) patroled the paint, but had an affinity for taking three pointers, which drove coach Paul Brown nuts. The starting center was Harold Linsday, a senior who was coming of age finally after two lean years as the starter in the middle.

And the backcourt? Scary good. Terrance "Mid-Air" Wallace could leap out of the gym, but had an equally amazing talent for shooting and dunking with either his left or right hand...effortlessly and accurately. Aaron Bridgeforth never really got his due as a point guard, but nobody ran the offense better and made timely steals better than he did.

That bench had some strength to it as well. Richard Hamlin would come off the bench and spell Bridgeforth with big shots in the clutch, Devon Jackson and Bilal Salaam provided help up front, and Marquis Lopez was probably the most talented player on that team. We called him "Felipe" like the St. John's player. It's a shame how good he could've been, but never got to be. Maybe that'll be another entry.

That Howard team started off 10-0 and was upset by McKean thanks to a halfcourt bankshot by some Spud Webb-lookin' kid who's name I forget, but that was the least of Howard's troubles. A benchwarmer's father started complaining about his son's lack of playing time (put it like this, he was the only drip of cream in the coffee) and prompted an investigation about the eligibility of 'Los and Black since they were from the Virgin Islands. The state made us forfeit those wins and we lost those two for five games.

That should've been the end of the season, but it wasn't. Lopez and Salaam moved into the starting lineup and Wallace went on a shooting tear, which should've made him first team all state if you ask me. The first game after that drama was at Hodgson, and then-assistant coach Darrin Kellam told Felipe "you know what you gotta do, so go out there and do it."

Boy did he. The first couple of possessions, he blocked a shot, nailed a three, stole a pass and did the old Karl Malone "hand behind the head" dunk, and they were off and running from there. Unfortunately, Lopez and Harold Lindsay would become academically ineligible, and Lopez would transfer to McKean for his senior season. Howard snuck into the tournament as a 23rd seed in a field of 24, and had a to play a very talented A.I. Dupont squad.

The Tigers just completely dominated the first 30 minutes of that game, were ahead by 11 with about 90 seconds to go, and that should've been the end of that. It wasn't. It started innocently enough with a Hawkins jumper, then A.I. started panicking, and the lead had shriveled to one with 10 seconds left. Off a perfectly designed inbounds play, Rick Hamlin dribbled to the foul line and knocked down a jumper to give Howard the lead. Hawkins would steal the inbounds pass and slam it home and Howard had rallied for one of the more memorable first-round wins ever.

Unfortunately, that next Saturday, St. E's had the size and the ref's on their side, and that was the end of the '99 Wildcats. A team with all that talent who faced drama head on, but simply ran out of steam at the end. As the cameraman for the team and still doing the school TV show thing, it was a fun time in a bad senior year that I'll never forget. And I still say to this day to anybody I run into my age from a different high school "YOU SHOULD'VE BEEN A WILDCAT!" Really. You should've have been.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Little Things, and the joy they bring

Man, India never lied. Sometimes, something small can put you on somewhat of a natural high that lasts a while. More proof that we take daily life for granted, and we miss what should be really important; Our happiness.

A small event Tuesday afternoon inspired this particular epiphany. For the better part of January, Champ (my '94 Mitsubishi Diamante) had been making this weird screaming noise whenever I would turn the wheel. Aside from me needing new brakes like Eddie and Johnny need to come out of the closet together, I was scared this was another big problem that could mean the death of Champ and the return of me walking every where.

My mom's mechanic friend, who initiates most of the work done on my car, said "alls you need is a 2 dollar bottle of power steering fluid. It'll stop the sound." Naturally, this was told to me about three weeks ago, and I was still riding around campus and Dover with my car screaming on the turns. And I missed driving myself to Howard and UMES MLK Weekend for the basketball games we had.

Tuesday came and I was tired of gritting my teeth, and I decided to go for it. I bought two bottles just in case I needed them both. Turns out I only needed one. The wheel turned. No screaming. Nice sharp turns, no need to cringe at all. I need to listen.

But if anything, that made me realize something larger. That would be that you can make your own happiness. So many times in life we base our happiness on what other people have or what we don't have, and Lord knows I'm guilty of that. But if you take time out to do or notice the little things that can just make you smile and take your mind off the daily b.s., you'll be a better person. And a happier person.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moment # 1

I figure now is a good time to start posting moments that I mentioned in a post two weeks ago (, and of course, I'm starting off with last March's Cinderella Hornets men's hoops team, who won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and made the NCAA tournament. Those few days in Richmond, Virginia were probably the most fun I've ever had on my own. For one, this was my first time taking my car that long of a distance. Of course my car is one big problem after another, but I love it just the same. Champ held up like, well, a Champ the entire week, so that wasn't an issue. I stayed in the same Mariott I had the year before, but I was free to explore things on my own, and saw a little bit of Richmond that I wouldn't mind living there.

On to the basketball. The first game the Hornets played was Wednesday, March 9th against Bethune-Cookman, and it wasn't even close. 66-43 was the final, and that was to be expected. It would've been a waste to win the regular season crown and get put out the first night. The Friday afternoon semi-final jump-off with South Carolina State was the game everyone worried about. Thurman Zimmerman and Brian Mason are the Bulldogs' big guns, but only Mason showed up.

Zimmerman scored zero points and fouled out in what was thought to be his last game (he got clearance to return this season when he got his undergrad degree). My favorite memory of that game was Zimmerman's fifth foul. He got a rebound and started up the floor, until he collided with Aaron Williams, who definitely played that collision for all it was worth. Zimmerman (6'5, 240) got called for the charge on Williams (6'2, 175) and he just said "f*** it," went to the corner of the bench and took off his shoes, Dennis Rodman style. Delaware State wins 61-48 and advances to the championship game to play Hampton.

That MEAC title game was probably one of the five or ten greatest basketball games I've seen in person. Hampton was up by as many as 13 in the first half, until Darrin Shine sparked a 9-0 run to bring DSU to within 25-21 at the half. And the Second half was just as nip and tuck as it could get until about a minute to go with the Pirates up three. Hampton's Devin Green, now a sub on the Los Angeles Lakers made a horrible pass that Jahsh Bluntt intercepted at half court, passed off to Aaron, got back to his spot and nailed a three to tie the game at 53 with a minute left. All this time, Dennis Jones, Ralph Wesley and I are elbowing the hell out of eachother courtside going "Man, is this really gonna happen?!" No one scores for about 45 seconds, and the Hornets have the ball. Time has never stood so still. Williams brings the ball up. He's looking for Bluntt, but finds senior reserve Bruce "B.J." Davis, who was clutch all year long, in the corner for a bounces off the front of the rim...5, 4,'s a scramble between Terrance Hunter, Bluntt and Green, and the ball pops in the air.

3...The ball is going in Aaron Williams' direction, and I'm thinking "my God, how's he gonna get a shot off?" 2...In one swift motion, Aaron jumps, volleyball taps the ball toward the hoop.... SWISH! 1.6 seconds to go. Pandemonium. Insanity. Me losing my gotdamn mind. We held our breath as Hampton's Dewayne Spencer thrw a full-court pass that 6'9 Aaron Fleetwood knocked down and that was it. We were going dancing, for the first time ever. The NCAAs!

As sports editor of the campus newspaper, I knew this was going to be big and I was thankful to God that I was there to give it the right coverage. We eventually put out a MEAC champs/NCAA tournament preview edition the day of the game vs. Duke, which I was very proud of. Our kids took that paper to Charlotte for the game, all riled up and ready to roll. And the game was close in the first half, the Hornets tying the game at 28 on Tracey Worley's rebound and layup. Duke would eventually go up 20 in the second half, but we ended up making it closer at 57-46, getting a standing ovation from the North Carolina Tar Heel fans before the Blue Devils ran out the clock on their win.

Overall, those 10 days in March were enough to make me realize that whatever doubts I had about my career field were dead. Nothing will ever compare to what I experienced. I lived a sportswriter's life those 10 days, and it was just pure heaven. But as a student at Delaware State, it was great to see us in the news for something positive. Coach Jackson's trials with his son's health, the team having to come together as quickly as possible, and the anonymous nature of that team was what made that year so special. While they might repeat this year, the old saying goes, you never forget your first. And I'll never forget the first championship team I ever covered. And the first time I never wanted 10 days to end.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

First day of classes, Bedroom Boom, and more....

Yes TPGS fans, classes at Delaware State University are back in full swing, and I must say that the first day is always the best, but I plan to keep busy and stay out of my apartment until it's time to go to bed for the night. Right now, the current living situation with dumb-ass annoying athlete who's academically ineligble is grating my nerves, so I may be forced to get out more often and try some new things after all. But a quick run down of my first day of classes:

Media Research Techniques (T, TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.): Taught by one of my favorite professors because he's not demanding, but willing to help at all times. Besides, research has always been fun for me, and I might be doing a paper on these here blogs, so my fellow journalism bloggers, start trying to hide from the interview process now :)

Global Societies, (T, TR 12:00-1:15 p.m.): A class which could hold interest as far as learning about the world and its economic and environmental state, but mainly because the professor is cute, but she's married and expecting. So much for that teacher's crush. Seriously, I want to be well aware of what's going on if I decide to travel overseas, so this class will come in handy.

Editorial and Feature Writing (T, TR 3:00-4:15 p.m.): Taught by the head of our mass comm department *cue Star Trek/spaced-out-style music*...this could be the longest class of the semster.

I still have Survey of Math and English Lit II tomorrow, but I already know what those classes will entail, so no surprises there.

In other news, the Hornet newspaper is back in business, and I've missed my co-workers and hanging around them in the office. They try so very hard to be my friends, really they do, LOL...I guess me making things difficult doesn't help, but I visited "The Diva Suite" (yes, they are all females, hence their name for their dorm suite) this weekend and just hung out to relax. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. Our first issue drops on the 27th, although we still are having trouble securing a website. Hopefully I can help get that off the ground for them before I graduate.

The men's basketball team is off to a good conference start at 5-0 in the MEAC(7-10 overall), and I went to Howard to cover their road game with the Bison last Saturday. It was all fun until my glasses cracked, thanks to them being blown off my face by the cold DC wind. That sucked. Now I'm walking around with a piece of tape on my glasses which hurts my eyes, but until I can get a new pair, this is what I'm stuck with. Sucks.

And to close out, I need to vent about the Ying Yang Twins' newest sex song "Bedroom Boom" featuring Avant. I heard this monstrosity for the first time tonight as I was driving from WalMart. The song basically screams "Que La Chinga?" That's Spanish for WTF, by the way. I mean damn, if these cripsy ass Muppets are getting action, why can't I? And Avant, who I actually like as a singer, did some serious damage to his CWC (Credibility with Chris) by co-signing for these delinquents.

I do remember a time that sex was in music, but it was never blatant, only metaphorical. For example, one of my favorites from back in the day was the late, great Minnie Riperton's 1975 classic "Inside my love." The song is one big advertisement for a one-night stand, but it's never "oh boy, come get this p***y, I want that big d***" and so on. It's gentle, playful, and of course, the title definitely isnt referring to her love seat.

But I must know...ladies, I thought it was all about looks. Surely your standards are higher than this:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

That real world foolishness I was talking about? Well...

Skip it. I'm not going to get myself worked up over it anymore, I can't control how things go, but I'll give you a cliff notes run down of the situation.

August '04, Freshman chick here at DSU wants to get up with me, says she's only looking for friends. Yet, word gets around campus that she's loose like elastic granny panties, and so I distance myself from her. June of '05, she sent me some nasty IMs on AOL, and I was really done. Friday she hits me up and says she wants to bury the hatchet and be friends. I told her nothing short of "drop your panties or drop the subject." Dead wrong? Maybe. Fed up with how I get treated by females? You got it.

The bottom line for me is I get sick of being, as someone once said "A girlfriend with a dick." I'm involved in these male-female friendships where they vent about men and I listen and try to assure them that everything is everything. I get tagged as a good listener, whose genitals are just body decoration (remember that, Marlon? LOL) and I become good for just that one thing; listening. Could I be wrong for having physical needs and wants, especially if they seem to go unmet for an extended period of time? I hope not.

And I contradicted my lead, not a good look. But this is how I feel, this is what annoys me. I am a man, last time I checked anyway, and I'm going to feel some sort of horniness, but if all I'm good for is a talk instead of sex, it leaves me stuck being frustrated and cursing women under my breath as I view another West Coast Productions classic. And that gets boring after a while.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Moment of Clarity

While realizing this is 2006, I find out now that I'm in a milestone year in my life. 10 years ago this coming fall, I was a sophomore at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, DE, a vocational/technical high school with career areas of students' choosing. Mine was Communications Technology, in which we put together a half-hour news show on school television every week, and of course I was the sportscaster.

Lord, some of those tapes need to be burned if they haven't been already. I was a manic Stuart Scott biter, just horrible. But that was my start in sports journalism so to speak, and now 10 years after figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, I'll be presenting to you throughout the year some moments, teams, games, and different things that I have fond memories of in my time as a sports reporter. I've moved from in front of the camera to speaking through the pen, and the transition hasn't been flawless, but it's been fun. Hope you guys are looking forward to it, because the first moment will be coming shortly. Probably after I vent about some real world foolishness, but be on the lookout.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2006 is here

Quite late, but happy new year to the readers of TPGS, I hope you celebrated New Years Eve proper like. I, on the other hand, sat at home watching festivities on TV and such. My social life is dull like Condi Rice's edges (somebody send that woman to a black beauty shop please!), something my newfound journalism peoples are trying to change ('sup Sherlon, Kelley, and Dr. Stan), so maybe this year will be different in hopes of actually going out, having fun, and having something else *ahem*.

2005 was a very up-and-down year. I struggled to keep my grades at a decent level, my car running, and to keep from strangling several people. However, in the words of Mrs. Puff after Spongebob Squarepants got her sent to jail, "let's look at the positives." I had my first internship as a sportswriter at a daily newspaper, I met some cool people, found out I had a friend that I didn't even know I had, and I'm still breathing as we've crossed over into 2006. That last part is the good news. I could be not of this Earth like so many, but since I'm still here, I may as well make the best of what I have.

I think one thing I want to change in 2006 is the selective timidness I have. Someone broke down my horoscope to me (Libra) as me wanting attention but not being out there with it. I do wish people paid me more attention, in a positive way of course, but I'm not going to have a "LOOK AT ME" epiphany about it. I'd just rather let me actions speak for me as a person, and that maybe the problem. I have a swing between down and out and angry and vindictive. Only God knows where my heated streak comes from, but I need to calm down. It's too early in life for me to be upset all the time.

Something else I want to do is lose weight. I have to cut back on what I eat and how many times a day I eat it. I'm an emotional eater, so those two things tie in together. Get my emotional state under control, and then I won't have such a dependency on Pop Tarts, Captain Crunch, Burger King, and McGriddles. I've made those folks so much money over the years, I should have stock in the companies. But I'm going to get myself together if for no one else, me. So I know I can acheive something and feel good about it.

And I definitely want to graduate from college. I'm so jealous of folks who are already in the field of journalism doing their thing, and I'm still at my school paper trying to finish up undergrad. Besides, Del State sucks, and it's time for me to go. SOON.

Oh yeah, The Post Game Show is now One Year Old! On January 3, 2005, I started this thing on the advice of Asbury Park Press staff writer Alesha Williams (which is how I know SPC) and never thought I'd actually have some folk reading this thing now. To all those who've left comments or just read this, thank you for reading my thoughts on sports and now everything else under the sun. As long as you guys read, I'll continue to bring it as only Chris Stevens can bring it ('Pac would be proud of me stealing his quote, LOL). I'll close this out by jacking another Sherlon survey.

1) Was 2005 a good year for you?
Up and down, but as long as I made it to 2006, I can't complain too bad.

2) What was your favorite moment of the year?
Without a shadow of a doubt, those wonderful 10 days in March when the Delaware State Hornets men's basketball team finally won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship and gave Duke all they could handle in the first round of the NCAA tournament. As a journalist, it doesn't get much better than that.

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Plenty of those, but I'll just say the drama I had with women.

4) Where were you when 2005 began?
At my mom's house

5) Who were you with?
Mom, my younger sister, and grandmother

6) Where were when 2005 ended?
In my campus apartment

7) Who were you with when 2005 ended?
Me myself and I (is all I got in the end, that's what I found out....)

8) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2005?

9) Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2006?
Lose weight/

10) Did you fall in love in 2005?

11) Did you breakup with anyone in 2005?

12) Did you make any new friends in 2005?
A few folks have shown me that not everybody is an enemy, so that counts for something.

13) Who are your favorite new friends?
Hornet layout editor Shanequa Ramsey, Entertainment editor Jasmine Thompson, Sherlon Christie, Kelley Carter, and myself. I definitely have to learn to be a friend to myself.

14) What was your favorite month of 2005?
March, for the reasons listed in number 2.

15) Did you travel outside of the US in 2005?
No, that probably wont happen until a little later in life.

16) How many different states have you traveled in 2005?
Maryland, VA, and North Carolina, DC counts I guess also.

17) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2005?

18) Did you miss anybody in the past year?

19) What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2005?
Didn't go to a movie in '05.

20) How many people did you sleep with in 2005?
Two (women of course, no DL stuff going on here)

21) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
Probably settling for sex with women who I wasn't exactly attracted to. And being mean to someone who really cared about me.

22) What was the biggest lie you told in 2005?
That I don't give a f*** what people think of me.

23) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2005?
Women lie so much, it's hard to narrow it down to one. But I'll go with the standard "I'm only looking for friends," but she gave it up to multiple dudes lie.

24) Did you treat somebody badly in 2005?
Yes, and I regret it horribly.

25) Did somebody treat you badly in 2005?
Yeah, but I won't stand for it in '06.