Saturday, March 10, 2012

Upcoming: March Madness: Thrills! Excitement! Drama! Heart-Tugs!

Bobby Hurley guarding Danny Hurley

Not nice, I know, but I always tell Abby that one of the main purposes of sports is that it allows one to hate harmlessly.
This is one of my favorite pictures of high drama. Bobby Hurley, the older, played for the Duke Blue Devils; his kid brother, Danny, for Seton Hall; they are the sons of the legendary coach of St. Anthony High school in Jersey City, Bob Hurley Sr.

Seton Hall and Duke met in the Sweet Sixteen on March 26, 1992. Bobby Hurley had a great coach at Duke, Michael William "Mike" Krzyzewski. Danny had an asshole, P.J. Carlesimo, known as an "unrepentant screamer" as his coach. Duke won 81-69, and went on to win the championship, which they'd also won the year before.

Danny, troubled throughout his young life trying without success to be as good as his older brother, later had an emotional breakdown and quit college.  Bobby Hurley was all set for a stellar professional career with the Sacramento Kings when he was terribly injured in a vehicle accident.

I love the Hurley boys and the drama of their lives. They're not boys any longer, of course. Danny is head coach at Division 1 Wagner College; Bobby is one of his assistants.

I know from personal observation that Mike Krzyzewski is a nice man. On Nov. 20, 1988, Abby and I, up early, were drinking coffee in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Springfield, having watched Duke play Kentucky the day before.  Elevator doors opened and out stepped a single guy: Krzyzewski. I watched him cross the lobby and ask the receptionist for directions to the nearest Catholic church.  And I thought: What a sweet guy, getting up early so he can get to Mass just like his parents taught him to do!

Carlesimo went on to coach the Golden State Warriors. In March of 1997 an angry Latrell Sprewell, angered at his coach's criticism of his passes, chocked Carlesimo on the sidelines for something like 15 seconds. I happened to be watching that game though I rarely watch the pros, and I was thinking, "Kill him! Kill him! Kill him for Danny!"

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