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What Would Sam Wyche Say About This?

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on January 7, 2008

Doc’s Note: This is the latest in a series of columns on sports at Crichton. These columns will appear regularly until the end of the school year.

Nineteen years ago Cincinnati Bengals coach Sam Wyche, after seeing disorderly fans throw debris on the field, got a house microphone and ripped the fans a new hole, saying that they didn’t live in Cleveland, they lived in Cincinnati.

Truth be told, had he saw what happened Saturday during Crichton’s game against Lambuth University Saturday afternoon, his emotional outburst during the Bengals-Seahawks game would have been just kid’s stuff.

The first thing that happened, prior to the game was when I walked across the floor to talk with “The Commish”, Shawn Beloate.

“We need to get you some Crichton shirts,” Coach Francis said to me, referring to the Mississippi State shirt I was wearing.

“I have some Crichton stuff,” I said, “problem is, it’s all dirty and needs to be washed.”

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my donning of a Mississippi State t-shirt, which was almost like walking the streets of Oxford with a Memphis t-shirt on, would prove, in some words, to be a bad omen for Crichton.

How in the world can the visiting team’s student managers come into your building donning their stuff to show school spirit and you’re decked out in jeans and a Mississippi State shirt?

In the first few minutes of the game, Lambuth, who hadn’t played since December 13th or, in other words, before Bobby Petrino made the midnight jump to Fayetteville, treated Crichton like Blue Mountain School For Boys, getting out to a 14-4 run to open the game.

As I was shooting the game from over in the northwest corner of the arena, I could only imagine what was being said in the huddle during timeouts and, since this is a family-friendly blog, I can’t reprint anything that was said in that huddle.

Towards the end of the opening half, however, Crichton began to show signs of life as Lambuth faltered and Stan Brownlee hit jumper after jumper, which seemed to get the fans inside Streets Ministries Arena into a frenzy.

However, Lambuth, led by former Murray State standout Trey Pearson, who looked like a long-lost family member from “Boondocks”, was showing the crowd-especially the Lambuth faithful, why he’s one of the best in the TransSouth, scoring at will on almost every possession.

For the majority of the second half it seemed as if Crichton had reverted to the style of play that was evident during the John Tibbits Era: taking too many 3’s, not communicating on defense, and worrying about the calls made by the referees.

Things that, for the most part, cost you games.

But in the middle of the second half, something that I had never saw, or even did myself during the time I was an assistant coach at the Hollywood Community Center, happened.

While Crichton and Lambuth was fighting for a rebound, Coach Walker, in the same intense manner that Norm Stewart had during those heated Missouri-Kansas games in the 80’s and 90’s, stomped up and down so much, that he ended up being out near midcourt in the process, resulting in him being ejected from the game.

Away from the floor, one of the idiots in the stands yelled every vile thing they could think of to me, which nearly resulted in me jumping out of the television area and starting a fight with the nutjob.

“If you want to fight me or say something,” I said off-camera to the idiot, who probably had raisins for a brain, “come right here in this platform I’m at and say it directly to me.”

But for all intents and purposes, although I almost came down and got in the idiot’s face, I decided to restrain myself before I did something I would regret.

As Lambuth kept piling on points, I sat in my chair, shooting the game and thought long and hard about my introduction to the TransSouth Conference.

There are no off nights and you have to have your A-game at all times.

Even if you are the student director of basketball operations.


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