"Brushes" with "greatness"

A few days ago, M and I were doing some quick shopping at Osco when, lo and behold, I spotted the "Old Man," Illini shooting guard Rich McBride (pictured above on the left next to Dee). This isn't the first time I've run into members of the Illini basketball team at Osco. Matter of fact, I witnessed current LA Laker Brian Cook purchasing laundry detergent there several years ago. It's odd seeing these guys in public, no matter how much I remind myself they are student-athletes, and hence may from time to time have the need to venture into public to purchase things at Osco. But as much as we glamorize our collegiate athletes -- at least those in the "power sports," namely men's football and basketball -- it's still a bit of a shock to the system when we actually run into them on the street. (Especially for me, since I'm rarely on campus, a logical place to run into athletes, or students for that matter. A couple weeks ago on a trip to the Sports Information office I saw fellow Illini Marcus Arnold and Chet "the Jet" Frazier, but didn't find it quite so odd since I was in their neck of the woods.)

Anyway, I also recently completed work on a book that we're doing with Dee Brown. I didn't get the opportunity to meet him, although he is coming to our office this Saturday to do a book signing, which is open to the public. I'll be out of town this weekend, attending (and DJing at) my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I'm sort of disappointed about missing the event, because I really would like to meet Dee. I did a book with Brian Cook a few years ago, and didn't get to meet him either (although he did autograph a book for me, as I'm sure Dee will do, too). It would be kind of cool to be able to say that I've met a professional athlete in a sort of personal setting. I guess the closest I've come is exchanging e-mails with guys like Cook and Clyde "the Glide" Drexler, who I've also spoken to on the phone on several occasions.

Anyway, crushes aside, how about true romance: the Cardinals? We failed at the sweep, but I'm still happy with the results. Sure, Encarnacion still stinks, my Edmonds prediction was only partially correct, and the ex-Cardinal factor still needs some time to get its legs, but the Cards are now ahead of the Cubs in the standings. And Pujols collected his 1000th hit, a bomb off of Jerome Williams, as well as 6 RBI. Not a bad weekend at all.


Don Gerard said...

James Augustine is a babysitter for one of the kids' in my son's class so he periodically comes to their school to pick him up to take him out to lunch...Marcus & Chet tossed out the first pitch at an Illini Baseball game earlier this season. I wonder if that was when you saw 'em.

Don't forget to play "The Chicken Dance" at your folks' shindig.

Listmaker said...

will wainwright get a shot to start?

thenoiseboy said...

If you're asking b/c you want to pick him up for your fantasy team, don't bother. He'll be a serious contender for starter next season, but TLR will not move him there this year unless: 1) we trade a starter (not likely); or 2) we have a rash of injuries. Once TLR places you in a role and you find success there, it takes a LOT to convince him to move you into another role. He's all about role-playing.

Listmaker said...

fantasy, not really. someone already has him because we use holds in our league.

i was just wondering what a cardinals fan thought about him in the bullpen. personally, i think it can be a smart move for a young pitcher in his rookie season. i grew up an orioles fan and earl weaver was a master at bringing along young pitchers in this manner.

thenoiseboy said...

Oh, I'm alright with having him in the pen this year. He's more useful to us in that role given our starting five.

Weaver did that often, I thought, because he had such a good rotation for so long. If he wanted to give the studs in AAA a shot in the majors, they had to go to the pen to start.