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Carbondale Hotties Are Hard To Come By, Even If They Are Cub Fans

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on February 13, 2008

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In time for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to give you readers another sports romantic comedy story involving yours truly.

This happened in the days when Zunes weren’t invented, Barry Bonds was still chasing Hank Aaron, and the Cardinals were in the middle of one of the most improbable postseason runs in baseball history.

After I graduated from high school in 2003, I went, for one year, to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with hopes of attending the renowned University of Missouri School of Journalism and writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Around that time, the Salukis were a year removed from their Sweet 16 run and had a new coach in future Purdue coach Matt Painter, who led the Salukis to the Missouri Valley Conference championship that same year I was there.

But due to family problems, I wound up returning to Memphis, finding a job with a small newspaper in the backwoods of northern Shelby County as a columnist that led to me where I am today.

That journey, for the most part, had a Carbondale feel to it.

When the Cardinals were on their historic playoff run in 2006, I began talking to a girl up in Carbondale through the wonders of instant messaging, a girl named Amanda.

After realizing that she was a sports fan, I then thought that since Carbondale is in the middle of Cardinal Nation, she was a diehard Cardinals fan.

“Cubs fan,” she said to me.

“Sorry,” I said, “I thought that since you were from southern Illinois, that you were a Cardinals fan.”

“Cubs fan,” she repeated.

Later on as the Cardinals were prepared to face the Mets for the National League Pennant, she asked me to help her out with a song she was writing called “Playboy Bunny”.

During Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS, I asked her if she was waiting on the Cardinals to choke like the Cubs normally do in these situations.

Her response?

“Yeap.”

Apparently, her waiting didn’t do anything as the Cardinals beat the Mets and ended up winning the World Series.

Later on, as the football season progressed, she found out that I was a Colts fan and as most long-distance deals go, lost touch as the Colts marched their way towards the Super Bowl.

In March, when Southern Illinois made it to the Sweet 16, we again started talking about Saluki basketball and when I was going to return to Carbondale.

Apparently, not all the talking in the world could give Southern Illinois its biggest win ever in basketball.

But for her, the Salukis’ loss only paved the way for her to have a song on the local radio station there in Carbondale, which received heavy airplay for a few weeks.

And then again, she disappeared and became a fading memory.

But while 2007 was a nightmare for the Cardinals, she did get her revenge on us winning a World Series title.

Well, almost.

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