Section 925 Podcast Episode 49 – CAL Football Coach Jacob Peeler

Coach Peeler is excited about the recent CAL recruiting class he just helped sign.

Coach Peeler is excited about the recent CAL recruiting class he just helped sign.

CAL Inside Receivers coach Jacob Peeler (@PeelsJP) joins Tripper to share his inside perspective on Bears football. Coach Peeler, a central Mississippi native, discusses his journey to Berkeley by way of Louisiana Tech. He also talks about life on the recruiting trail and discusses CAL’s latest class of talented freshman.

Listen…

Here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-02-20T07_53_23-08_00

Or on iTunes…

Here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/section925-podcenter/id554906376?mt=2#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fsection925blog.podomatic.com%2Fentry%2F2015-02-20T07_53_23-08_00

“At First Blush” – The Current West Coast College Hoops Landscape

Corey Hawkins is leading the red hot UC Davis Aggies (photo by Fred Gladdis)

Corey Hawkins is leading the red hot UC Davis Aggies. (photo by Fred Gladdis)

By Connor Buestad (connorbuestad@gmail.com)

With Selection Sunday just one month away (March 15th), we figure it’s no longer too early to dive into a bit of Bracketology with a decidedly west coast bias. Of course, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, Joe Lundari is the godfather of modern bracketology. And although he currently doubles as a marketing staffer for St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, he still shows love to west coast bubble teams. Namely in 2009 when he punched St. Mary’s (CA) ticket for the NCAA’s in his faux bracket, only to watch in horror when the Gaels were left out of the Big Dance that year. Creighton was the only other school that Lunardi incorrectly invited to the Dance in ‘09.

By mid-February, Lunardi’s bracket predictions start to take shape and at least half-resemble what the actual tournament will look like come March. So let’s take a second to explore what’s been happening out west in the world of college hoops. Who on the left coast should be polishing up their dancing shoes? Some of the names Lunardi has penciled in might surprise you.

Let’s start in the Big Sky Conference, where the Sacramento State Hornets are having their best basketball season in god knows how long. Led by the sensational scorer Mikh McKinny who played JUCO ball in Fremont before transferring up to Sacramento, the Hornets find themselves in second place in the conference just behind Eastern Washington. Lunardi has liked what he’s seen out of Sacramento enough to put them in the Dance as a 16 seed. This would give them a spot in the first-round “play in” game, and their reward for winning would be a matchup with Kentucky. But hey, YOU NEVER KNOW, right? But first things first, Sac needs to make the NCAA tourney, and this will likely require them to win the Big Sky Conference tournament. Traditionally, the team that wins the Big Sky regular season gets to host the conference tournament. Unfortunately, the “Hornets Nest” only seats eleven-hundred folks. So if they host, they’ll host in Reno, Nevada. Trip to Reno for the 2015 Big Sky tournament anyone??

The vibe inside the Hornets Nest has been electric with Mikh McKinny leading the Sac State attack. (photo by Andrew Watson)

The vibe inside the cozy “Hornets Nest” has been electric with Mikh McKinny leading the Sac State attack. (photo by Andrew Watson)

Exemplary basketball is also being played down the road in Davis this year. The UC Davis Aggies are sitting atop the Big West Conference with a 9-1 record. This has impressed Uncle Joe enough to grant UCD a 14 seed in the 2015 Dance.

Since becoming a Division 1 basketball team, UC Davis has not had a winning record. However, I suppose that isn’t such a big deal in Big West hoops when you consider Cal Poly made the 2014 NCAA’s while sporting a losing record. They even won their first tournament game.

Irregardless, Davis is really good this year and it is because of their lights out shooting. Who shoots it for them you ask? Hersey Hawkins’ son, Corey. The younger Hawkins sports a similar stroke to his father, and after transferring over from Arizona State, he has finally come into his own as a prolific scorer. If the Aggies can win the Big West Tourney at the Anaheim Pond this March, there’s no reason to believe they can’t ride some streaky shooting to the Sweet Sixteen. Now wouldn’t that be something.

Down the coast in San Diego, Steve Fisher is still kicking at the age of 69 (he turns 70 in March). Suddenly a staple in the tournament, the Aztecs are good yet again, and it is because of their smothering, 40-minutes-of-hell type defense. Colorado State is also a formidable squad this year, thus Lunardi has two Mountain West teams as NCAA contenders (SDSU as a 9 seed and Colorado State as a 10 seed).

College hoops junkies the world over were saddened by the passing of Jerry Tarkanian last week. “Tark the Shark” coached two current Mountain West teams during his career, UNLV and Fresno State. Both of these squads find themselves in the middle of the pack in conference play. Perhaps one of which will make a surprise run at conference tournament title in Tark’s honor? Get out to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas March 12-14 to see for yourself…

That same weekend in March, Vegas will also host the PAC-12 tournament at the MGM Grand. Last year’s winner was UCLA. This year the prohibitive favorite will be Arizona. The Wildcats are seemingly stacked at every position and are currently 21-3. Lunardi only has them as a 2 seed, but this Arizona team reminds some people of the Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Miles Simon 1998 team. Well, maybe they’re not quite at that level. But a Kentucky-Arizona NCAA battle in 2015 would be a real treat.

Utah is the second best team in the PAC thus far this year with a 9-2 conference record. Even if Keith Van Horn isn’t walking through that door, Lunardi has them as a 3 seed.

As is usually the case the PAC-12, the middle of the conference standings are quite crowded. Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State, and UCLA could all make a case for having a tournament worthy resume. Hell, even the CAL Bears, who are just 6-6 in conference still have a shot at NCAA glory due to their recent five game winning streak highlighted by a slew of last second victories. When the dust settles, Lunardi expects we’ll see just four PAC-12 teams in the Dance. Right now those teams are Arizona, Utah, Stanford, and UCLA.

The up and down Bears started their year with a win over Syracuse at The Garden. (photo by Mike Stobe)

The up and down Bears started their year with a win over Syracuse at The Garden. (photo by Mike Stobe)

The conference that boasts the best team on the west coast is Gonzaga. Well, if you think they’re better than Arizona, that is. The Zags are really damn good again, due in large part to a phenomenal backcourt duo in Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos. Coach Mark Few also has brought some bench scoring to Spokane by way of Lithuania. Arvydas Sabonis’ 6’10” son, Domantas, is scoring 10 points a game off the bench for the Zags this season. Naturally, Lunardi has Gonzaga as a 1 seed. Whether they finally make a Final Four run is another story entirely.

The mighty Gales of St. Mary’s have managed to retain the second spot in the conference this year behind 20 points a game from senior Brad Waldow. Senior point guard Kerry Carter has also been a leader for the Gaels. Credit Randy Bennett with putting together yet another solid team Moraga. The coach won his 300th game for the Gaels this year and even though he doesn’t have Aussies Patty Mills or Matthew Dellavedova to work with, he’s still winning games.

As always, we endorse an early March getaway to Orleans Arena in Vegas to watch the grossly underrated WCC Tournament. Not only will Zags and Gaels have high powered teams to watch, but BYU certainly will too. The Cougars gave Gonzaga a run for their money in last year’s tourney, and this year should be no different. Senior Tyler Haws is averaging 22 PPG and his running mate Kyle Collinsworth is one of the best rebounding guards in America.

It won’t be long before Championship Week is again upon us and Dickie V is screaming at you on TV from his living room. And he might just be hollering about the UC Davis Aggies and Sac State Hornets out west. That is if they “pass the eye test” over the next 30 days. But whatever happens in the madness of March, Jerry Tarkanian will be watching from heaven with a towel in his mouth.

RIP Tark (photo by Susan Ragan)

RIP Tark (photo by Susan Ragan)

Section 925 Podcast Episode 48 – Bachelor Fantasy Suite Podcast

Poe

Josh (@jphunsucker), Kelly (@kellyliz1321), and Becky (@beckydiel – SHE’S ON TWITTER!!) hand out roses and thorns, break down all of the epic dates, eulogize Sanderson Poe’s eulogist Kelsey aka the Guidance Counselor from Austin, Texas, and make guaranteed and bold predictions for next weeks doubleheader episode.

Check it out here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-02-10T00_53_06-08_00

Or on iTunes.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 47 – NFL Postseason Wrap and A’s Preview

Sweep

One of many great jerseys at Fanfest (Photo: Josh Hunsucker)

Josh (@jphunsucker) and Kelly (@kellyliz1321) put a bow on the NFL season and discuss their feelings about the upcoming Oakland A’s season in the mobile podcenter on their way to A’s Fanfest.

Check it out here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-02-10T00_50_57-08_00

Or on iTunes.

Bob Melvin is My Spirit Animal: Thoughts on the Upcoming Season

Bob Melvin, or BoMel as those of us who know and love him refer to him, is the brightest star shining in the Athletics’ sky. BoMel came to the A’s right around when my fandom was beginning to move from an every now and then kind of viewer to an every game possible fan, back in 2011.

2011 was a great year for our household. I will never forget opening day of that year. We were in Columbus, Georgia as my husband (and fellow Section 925er, @Jphunsucker) was gearing up for the Best Ranger Competition. Out walks Josh in every piece of A’s gear he had packed with him and demanded I take an opening day photo. This photo marks the dawn of a new era of Athletics baseball in our house.

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The Rogue (@jphunsucker) kicking off the 2011 season at Ft. Benning, Georgia. (Photo: Kelly Hunsucker)

In May of 2011, we moved from Kansas back to the great state of California and back to televised A’s games. A month after we moved home BoMel was named intermin manager. In the fall, Josh took up law school and I had a lot of time on my hands with a baby and another on the way. Enter: A’s games. Each day passed with the soothing sounds of Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse. These broadcasters and the players were my saving grace. I would see BoMel out there managing the team with a controlled calmness about him. No matter which way the game was swinging, if the camera panned over to him, I felt reassured. He was a steady force of nature, never swaying in the face of adversity. I would ask myself, as children were melting down, throwing a tantrum, or existing on minimal sleep… how would BoMel handle this?

Now obviously I’ve never seen the man manage the team on a day-to-day basis. But looking at the last four years, his stats speak for themselves: clenching the AL West in 2012 and 2013 and limping to an early wild card game exit in 2014. I can only assume that he has extraordinary motivating skills. He has foresight to allow the players to be themselves and he fosters an environment that is conducive to bonding amongst teammates.

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One of many pie days in the BoMel era. (Photo: AP)

I think this year is when we will see BoMel thrive. Last season had some extreme highs and lows. We lost a lot of players in the offseason and I think the general feel is that fans are just unsure at this point what the team is going to look like. This is the moment when I look to my spirit animal and feel comforted. Don’t worry guys, he’s got this. He’s going to get the team to gel and come together in time for opening day.

Yesterday at Fanfest he said this, “Our fans are as constant as anything we have around here. They come out and support this group, root them on, and inspire them. We brought on guys that we think are going to make us better. It’s as simple as that.”

I think its safe to say he’s not worried. Therefore, neither am I. I’m the opposite. I haven’t been this excited for the season… maybe ever. I love how we operate when we’re the underdogs. A little bit of adversity goes a long way with this club. That, combined with some fresh new faces who are just excited to be in Oakland (who wouldn’t be?), is going to make for an exciting season. Get me to April 6th!

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There is nothing like the electricity of playoff baseball on an October night in the East Bay. (Photo: Kelly Hunsucker)

If You Love Sports: Steven Gerrard’s Last Merseyside Derby

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Stevie G’s will likely play his last Merseyside Derby Saturday. (Photo by AP)

 

By: Josh Hunsucker (@jphunsucker)

Today is Steven Gerrard’s last Merseyside Derby. For most Americans this means absolutely nothing. Aside from World Cup jingoism every four years, most Americans generally fall into one or more of these camps: 1) soccer is not a “real” sport, 2) soccer players are p****ies who just flop all the time, 3) only hipsters like soccer, or 4) soccer is boring because no one scores. Nothing that follows will try and convince you otherwise but if you believe in sports heroes and can suspend any soccer-based prejudices, keep reading. I truly believe in sports heroes. That being said I am a full-fledged sports junkie. I watched Curling Night in America on NBCSN last night for God’s sake (huge 6-3 win for the U.S. over New Zealand!).

In 2002, I met Steven Gerrard when England was playing Spain in my Displaced Faithful buddy Huss’ (@HAlshibib) apartment on PS2. I knew little about soccer and less about Gerrard but soon after we began to play something made an impression on me. Maybe is it was the way the British announcers distinctly pronounced his name, maybe it was the swashbuckling way he bombed down the pitch, but probably it was his passing. Even in the world of crisp video game passing the guy was amazing. I didn’t know if he was a fringe guy on the England team or if he was a superstar, I just knew he was my guy.

That same year four British exchange students moved in next door. On the first night of many cross cultural exchanges over our shared love of beer I noticed a number 17 (he’s been 28, 17, and 8 for the Reds), Gerrard, Liverpool jersey hanging on the wall. In a horrible English accent I expressed my nascent love for the crisp passing Gerrard asking if he was a real life passing prodigy. Over the next hours and deep into the night I got a history lesson. I learned how he grew up in Liverpool and was a hometown hero, how the previous season (2000-01) Gerrard started every game for a Liverpool team that won the FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA Cup, how he was voted Young Player of the Year, and that yes, that he was a passing God.

Over the next decade I watched as Stevie G not only amassed individual and team honors, he became synonymous with Liverpool. He is still the only soccer player ever to score a goal in an FA Cup, League Cup, and Champions League final. Even in seasons where Liverpool stumbled Gerrard shined. He was a constant measure of excellence at midfield for Liverpool for over 15 years. He won every individual award you can think of and only a league championship has escaped him. Last year, Liverpool was in the driver seat for the Premier League title until, in heartbreaking fashion, Gerrard slipped leading to a Chelsea goal that ripped away the one trophy Gerrard had yet to kiss. The heartbreak was palpable but Gerrard, the team’s captain, owned it.

Earlier this year Stevie G retired from international soccer and later announced this would be his last year at Liverpool. This summer he will throw on the hated jersey of the L.A. Galaxy. Another fading European star to live out his days in America. In August, hundreds of Liverpool fans, myself included, will fill the San Jose Earthquakes’ new stadium clad in Liverpool red to cheer the man most of us have only seen on TV. Today, Gerrard is set to play his last Merseyside Derby, a cross-town match against rival Everton (aka Tim Howard’s team). He has 15 more games for the Reds, this one, his 33rd Derby, is likely the most massive. Most of the time you don’t realize what you had until its gone. However, Liverpool fans are all too aware of the Red’s impending loss in leadership, on field excellence, and, yes, passing  when Gerrard moves to L.A.

In minutes he will take the field at Goodison Park for the final time. He has one more chance to further cement his legacy as one of the greats in Liverpool history. If you love sports and believe in sports heroes you will tune in.

“Recurring Hoop Dreams” – The Section Visits Chicago’s Marshall Metro High School

The 2015 version of Marshall Commandos basketball (Photo by @Section925)

The 2015 version of Marshall Commandos High School basketball (Photo by @Section925)

By Connor Buestad (connorbuestad@gmail.com)

The critical acclaim of the memorable and moving 1994 documentary, “Hoop Dreams” can speak for itself. When it premiered in Utah at the Sundance Film Festival, it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. Later it became an Academy Award nominee for Best Film Editing. Roger Ebert has gone on record calling it “The great American documentary.” High praise, especially for a film that was originally planned to be nothing more than a 30-minute PBS short.

We can all agree why the half-hour PBS project turned into must-see three hour marathon of heartache, triumph, and more heartache. It was raw, uncut and real. A happy ending was never guaranteed or even expected. It was completely up to the flawed characters on your screen to come through. Characters like Arthur Agee and William Gates. Teenagers trying to navigate the unforgiving streets of inner-city Chicago in the early 1990’s.

The amount of drama that unfolds in “Hoop Dreams” and the sheer improbability and jubilation with the Marshall Commandos 1991 playoff run “Downstate” sometimes makes the viewer forget how real the story actually was. As soon as Arthur and William turned in their respective high school jerseys and went off to college and the cameras stopped rolling, the struggle of real life in inner-city Chicago never slowed. And the stories related to the characters never stopped piling up. Arthur still lives in Chicago and attends Commandos games when he has the chance. William’s coach, Gene Pingatore, is still leading St. Joseph’s, in his 45th season, at the age of 78. And that is just the beginning.

As the saying goes, "You can't hide Commando pride." (Photo by @Section925

As the saying goes, “You can’t hide Commando pride.” (Photo by @Section925)

As perhaps you can imagine, hoop dreams still very much exist in Chicago. And for the lucky few, those dreams are realized. Just ask Derrick Rose, or Jabari Parker, or Jahlil Okafor, or even Marshall alum Patrick Beverley. All have made the NBA or are well on their way. And their path went through the Chicago Public School League. Last month, I paid a visit to Marshall Metro High School, 24 years after Arthur Agee took his team “Downstate.”

The gym is still on the second floor of the school, discretely tucked in between classrooms and offices. There are still just five rows of bleachers on each side of the court. There are still un-retractable basketball hoops that hang over the stands that fans dance under to the rhythm of rap music during timeouts. The grand, church-like windows still overlook the court with the curtains open to let in the early evening light. There is still very little room for fans to walk along the sidelines. The passion for basketball remains just has high. The pace of the game still frenetic. Mom’s in the stands still cuss out the underpaid refs following every close call.

One of the only changes I can decipher inside the Commandos home gym is the court itself. It is clean and new-looking, with a glossy finish. “Luther Bedford Court” it reads. An ode to the Agee’s coach who died at the age of 69 following a long and distinguished career as the head coach at Marshall.

Beside that, it really did look no different that it appeared in 1991. Save for a collection of banners in the rafters that have been won in the last quarter century and a retired Patrick Beverley jersey; the former Marshall point guard who came years after Arthur and currently plays for the Houston Rockets.

The 2015 version of the Marshall Commandos are by no means a powerhouse, but they aren’t a pushover either. Just like the Agee era, they are right in the thick of things in their league. An unlikely participant in the state tournament, but athletic and aggressive enough to make an honest run come late February.

Tickets are $5 at the door to this particular Friday night Public League tilt between the Commandos and the Spartans of Orr High School. Orr was coming off a win over Whitney Young, a Chicago powerhouse where Michael Jordan’s son played, not to mention where Jahlil Okafor starred just last year before graduating to Duke.

As is tradition, the sophomore game comes first. The pace of the game blurring, the shooting leaving much to be desired. All ten kids on the floor can handle the ball and break down their defender to get to the rim. Rarely an offensive set is run. For each acrobatic layup made, a crucial free throw is missed. Among the footwear, Nike is still the king of the court. The Jordan emblem still omnipresent.

Standing with a current Marshall science teacher, she fills me in on the colorful backstories of the skinny freshman and sophomores sprinting up and down in front of me, hucking 3’s, loudly finishing And-1’s, diving for loose balls and trying to make the varsity and eventually the NBA. The brief stories are what you would expect. “The trouble maker,” “the lovable benchwarmer,” “the super-star in the making (if he gets his grades right).” It’s a list of characteristics that every high school team has but the stories become darker when she points out a man on the sidelines. He is at the end of the Marshall bench. The same area that Arthur’s dad Bo used to occupy during big Commandos games in 1991. The man’s name is Shawn Harrington. He was Agee’s teammate on the “Hoop Dreams” team. Today, he is paralyzed in a wheelchair.

Arthur Agee after beating Westinghouse in 1991

Arthur Agee after beating Westinghouse in 1991.

In the middle of last year’s basketball season, on Thursday, January 30th to be exact, Shawn Harrington woke up to drive his 14-year old daughter to school. Harrington was the assistant basketball coach at Marshall, but he was driving his daughter to a more selective school. His car was in the shop getting repaired, so he was driving a rented white sedan instead. It was just him and his daughter in the car when the two were sitting at a Chicago stoplight at 7:45 in the morning. That’s when two men ran up to the car and opened fire. Allegedly, it was a case of mistaken identity. The worst kind of bad luck. Harrington leaned over to shield his daughter and was hit by a series of bullets. One of which paralyzed him. Less than a year later, he was back on the Marshall sidelines in his wheelchair, supporting the team he both played and coached for.

Sadly, Coach Harrington’s story of gruesome gun violence in Chicago is closer to the norm than the exception, especially when it pertains to the characters of “Hoop Dreams” and their families.

The year “Hoop Dreams” was released in ‘94, Arthur’s half-brother DeAntonio was shot and killed. In 2001, William Gates’ older brother Curtis was murdered. In 2003, Shawn Harrington’s mother was killed during a botched break-in. In 2004, Arthur’s father Bo was slain behind his house. In sum, it is a chilling laundry list of unnecessary violence.

There is a memorable quote toward the end of “Hoop Dreams” from Bo Agee when he asks the camera out of frustration, “Do you understand what is going on out here in these streets?” Fast forward twenty four years from that quote, and the question still deserves the same amount of contemplation. Shawn Harrington’s wheelchair on the Marshall sideline is the latest reminder.

Even despite “what is going on in the Chicago streets” today, if we learned anything from “Hoop Dreams,” it’s that there is always room for a redemption song of sorts.

Gun violence didn’t have much of a presence on screen in “Hoop Dreams” but plenty of other adversity did. Starting off with when Arthur was forced to leave St. Joseph’s after his freshman year because his parents, (his mother a nurse with a bad back and his father troubled by drugs), couldn’t afford to pay their son’s tuition. Or when William, a can’t miss NBA prospect suffered a career-altering knee injury. Or when Arthur works on his newfound dunking skills while he watches his strung-out dad sell drugs on the very same blacktop, right in front of him. Or when Arthur turns 18, and the family’s monthly government income drops from $368 a month to $268. Or William trying to raise a newborn baby stuffed inside a since demolished Cabrini-Green project building. Or the Agees having the lights shut off because they simply couldn’t pay the bill.

Of course, much to director Steve James’ delight, things miraculously come together at the end of “Hoop Dreams” in a very special way. Wearing his idol Isiah Thomas’ number 11, Arthur leads a team labeled as the “Giant Killers” to a Chicago City Title and a deep run into the state championship tournament, all the way down to Champaign and the University of Illinois. Complete with the bright lights of a BIG 10 arena, television coverage and spreads in the Chicago Tribune. There was no telling it would ever work out that well, but somehow it did.

William Gates with his family in a scene from Hoops Dreams

William Gates with his family in a scene from Hoops Dreams

The original premise of “Hoop Dreams” was to follow two Chicago teenagers as they navigated their quest to make the NBA. That happy ending never did materialize. Real life got in the way. William ended up quitting basketball at Marquette and Arthur’s dream simply ran out of steam, as it does for almost everyone. But on this night in January 2015, hoop dreams are still very much in tact.

The Marshall science teacher tells me the player to watch on the varsity is a kid by the name of Tyresse Williford, a junior point guard. Just like Agee, he has dreams of taking the team “Downstate.” To Peoria, Illinois at Bradley University to be exact, the current site of the state playoffs.

Just like in the sophomore game, the pace of the varsity version of Orr and Marshall is just as fast, if not faster. And the shooting is better, but still not spectacular. Every opportunity to the drive the ball to the basket is taken and every long rebound results in an exciting fast break.

The crowd is smaller than it was in 1991. Unlike during the Agee years, the only people occupying the seats up above the west-end basket are the Orr cheerleaders and the science teacher filming the game.

The music played during timeouts is as explicit as a group of inner-city Chicago teenagers can manage. Including the catchy, yet gruesome top-40 rap hit, “Try Me” by DeJ Loaf. By halftime, I was half expecting Arthur to show up, or at least his mom Sheila, but I could spot neither.

Two members of the current Marshall sophomore team (Photo by Emily Holt)

Dequan Brown (#32) and Louis Bradley (#30) are both members of the current Marshall sophomore team (Photo by Emily Holt)

As so often happens in City League games, when things got going in the second half, the teams started trading baskets and emotions ran hot. Security at Marshall games these days is always tight, but tonight was especially so, considering the two schools brawled in their earlier meeting at Orr this season. It was a fight that even spilled over to involve spectators. Marshall’s athletic director, Dorothy Gaters (owner of 1,000 wins as the current Marshall women’s coach) wasn’t about to let it happen again.

Following some fourth quarter drama, Marshall won this particular league game over Orr 61-59. Despite the upset win, the celebration was relatively subdued. It seemed the main focus was just getting all the people inside the gym down two flights of stairs and out the door without any dust up. Moreover, Marshall had a game versus Whitney Young the following week they were already appearing to focus on.

Surprisingly, save for a banner in the rafters for Arthur and Shawn Harrington’s 1991 “Downstate” team, there is no trace of any “Hoop Dreams” hype material. To be honest, it was tough to even find a photo of Arthur Agee anywhere in the building. In the end, it appears 1991 was just one success story in a long list of triumphs and tribulations Marshall Metro High School has gone through over the years. The time for reflection is minimal when there is always a new group of freshman walking through Marshall’s doors every year.

There is no telling what will happen with the 2015 versions of the St. Joseph’s Chargers and the Marshall Commandos. St. Joseph’s is ranked and “Ping” is still at the helm even in his late 70’s. Most people believe they have as good a shot as any of making it “Downstate.”

Marshall is once again going into the playoffs as a team not expected to make it very far, but someone nobody wants to play. They are a team with only a flicker of hope of actually going downstate, but they have a gritty point guard with NBA aspirations.

Surely, it all sounds quite familiar. In the case of Chicago high school basketball some things do change, but mostly, they stay the same. And in the end, that’s just fine.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 46 – Bachelor Fantasy Suite Podcast

Poe

Josh (@jphunsucker), Kelly (@Kellyliz1321), and Becky (@Becky_Diel – Instagram) hand out roses and thorns, discuss important things like love gurus, weigh in on whether Britt and Kelsey are full of it, and update their fantasy suite predictions.

Check it out here : http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-02-02T23_22_57-08_00

Or on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/section-925s-podcast/id554906376?mt=2&uo=4

Section 925 Podcast Episode 45 – Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX is upon us. (photo by Kevin C. Cox)

Super Bowl XLIX is upon us. (photo by Kevin C. Cox)

Josh (@jphunsucker) and Huss (@Halshibib) formerly of the Displaced Faithful reunite to send remember Niner cheerleader and TV host Melissa Galvin, talk Super Bowl commercials, play word association with Bay Area Super Bowl participants, ponder what Pete Carroll and Mike “Sweet Thunder” Greer talked about during UOP football practice, make Super Bowl predictions, and touch on the hiring of Jim Tomsula.

Check it out here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-31T09_48_55-08_00

Or on Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/section-925s-podcast/id554906376?mt=2&uo=4

Section 925 Podcast Episode 44 – “The Bro” Talks Deflategate

A relic of the Candlestick Era, "The Bro" was trusted with handling NFL game balls from 2010-2013 (Photo by SportsPickle.com)

A relic of the Candlestick Era, “The Bro” was trusted with handling NFL game balls from 2010-2013 (Photo by SportsPickle.com)

Former 49ers intern-equipment manager “The Bro” (@TheBro49) sits down with Tripper (@Tripperino) to set the record straight on #Deflategate. The Bay Area cult hero discusses his football playing days in Oakdale, his time on the Candlestick sidelines, football air pressure, and his predictions for Super Bowl XLIX.

Find it here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-30T06_57_36-08_00

Or on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/section-925s-podcast/id554906376?mt=2&uo=4

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