(Note: People who don't care to listen to me wax nostalgic may just want to scroll down to the YouTube video.)
I went to Texas A&M from 1995-99. (Or, to say that in Aggie-speak, I am a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of '99. WHOOP!!!) While there I went to many, many a sporting event, including probably about 30 basketball games. They were immensely fun. My first three years there we played at G. Rollie White Coliseum, an old, quaint, "benches-only" arena where the seats went right up to the court. If you were standing in the first row you were literally five feet from the sideline.
Lord, we sucked while I was there. SUCKED. Our conference records were 3-11, 3-13, 1-15 and 5-11. The coaching was horrible. We never once had a discernible offense. The players were subpar and we never featured a guy that would have gotten a sniff of playing time in the NBDL. The idea of getting to the NCAA tournament was laughable.
All of that has changed now for Texas A&M. This year will be the third consecutive time we get invited to March Madness. We have two guys in the NBA (Antoine Wright and Acie Law IV). Our current team features multiple players over 6'-9". We also got the number 8 recruit in the nation last year, DeAndre Jordan. You have to understand, 7'-0" guys with pro potential NEVER even considered A&M. We would have been excited to find out a guy like that even knew we had a basketball program. So now you should understand why I've watched this video about a hundred times:
How fucking nasty is that? The dude's not even right-handed, people. I saw that live and I think I blacked out for ten seconds afterward.
I have many a story about going to basketball games there. My favorite, without a doubt, involved a womens' game against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have always been a powerhouse program, which was probably reason enough for my friends and I to go. Matty da Blade was there for sure, and Doug, Ketzle, Hamilton, Risinger, Schneid were probably there as well. But the main culprits, if you will, were myself and Darren, also known as "The Man in the Box." (From the Alice in Chains song. Why? Because he would occasionally yell "Man in the Box!" I found this immensely entertaining and no, I wasn't stoned.)
The most important thing to know about Darren was that he had (and has) this alarming ability to project his voice. Basically, the motherfucker can yell. Combine this with the fact there were about, I don't know, 400 people at the game and, well, hijinx was inevitable.
We were sitting just off center court, about 5 rows back. So about 15 feet from the sideline, give or take. Our two main targets were Tech players, the talented shooting guard Schmucker and the point guard Sandy Parker. I think Darren and I first started yelling at Schmucker because a) her last name was fun to say, b) she was good, c) she was cute, d) we were bored, e) it was so quiet and we were so close that there was no doubt she could hear us. We weren't so much heckling as we were having a one-sided conversation.
(You have to understand, EVERYBODY could hear us. I remember seeing fans (alumni) on the other side of the court laughing / looking horrified.)
We slowly and inevitably were forced to switch our attention to the point guard Parker. Why? Because the poor girl habitually refused to shoot the ball. It didn't matter how open she was or what the score was (they killed us, no doubt). She refused to shoot. So Darren and I offered words of encouragement. I am pretty sure we said things like "they're not respecting your game!" but mostly it was bellows of "Shoot it!" It eventually just turned to straight up begging on our part. It was our mission to get her to shoot the ball. Eventually she did, and she missed, and we told her to keep trying.
(At one point, during a time out, Darren let out a "Woo haa" (from that Busta Rhymes song) that brought the house down. And by "brought the house down" I mean "made me laugh until I peed myself.")
The story culminates sometime after the game, because that night we managed to find the players' emails on the internets. We actually heard back from Parker, and I, of course, still have the email (deep, deep in the bowels of my old hotmail account):
returning things on time. You know what is so funny is that I tend to
have that effect on people. So why do you think people are always
telling me to shoot? I used to quite often you know, back in the day!
She just put it bluntly who she wanted shooting and didn't, and I
complied. You have to if you want playing time. The NCAA didn't quite
go as planned, but atleast we made somewhat of a run at it. I'm pretty
pathetic if that is how I get noticed by people, but shoot it's either
that or my passing. I guess you live with what you got. Anyway you and
your roomy need to send me some more mail since I finally got this thing
working(that is why I haven't written, the computer started acting up).
But again, thanks a ton for the note and the yells of confidence, they
were both greatly appreciated!
See, mom, I told you we weren't heckling the poor girl.