“EXAMS AT 1 & 5, GAME AT 7” — entry #10 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-Ball season …

Posted on Dec 16, 2012

… AS CHRONICLED BY, AND WITH THE PERSONAL MEMOIRS + OCCASSIONAL PHILOSOPHIZING OF THE AUTHOR, ONE STEPHEN J. McKEE”

This post combines “memoirs” from December 13, 14, 15 & 16, 1972.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 54, Spring Garden 66, two days ago

NEXT GAME: Philadelphia Bible College, tonight

CENTAUR SEASON: 2-2

Spring Garden jumped to a quick 17-4 lead. Coach put in me, P.J. Brennan & Dave Glielmi. Halftime score, 29-26. I started the second half with Joey Thomson, Dennis Ramella, Bobby Stormes and John Cooper. They jumped to a 13-point lead. Coach put in Bob Hoeffner and Dave. We battled (?) back to five, with about six to go. Touch and go for a while. Fouls put them up to stay.

Our offense is not working at all. It’s slow, sluggish, with no movement except by the man involved. It’s become stagnant. If we are to win we must become alive.

Dennis had 25. He played tough. But he drove the middle a lot. He’s only 5-8. … P.J. blew his cool a couple of times; I don’t think this will be a game he wants to remember. … My ankle hurts, a lot.  I got in (again) before Chris Cashman, still glued to the bench with that ankle he wrecked the first day of practice.  Cash, who never stopped encouraging ME after I double-sprained my ankle last week against Eastern.  “Ya gotta learn to live with the pain, Steve,” Cash told me – as he has had to do.  Cash: Thank you for making me 100%. Even if I don’t think I was 100%.

Yesterday after Spring Garden it seemed that around the school a lot of people sympathized with us. Lots of “Tough game, Steve,” “Nice try,” and all that. Felt good.

Over the summer I read a Sports Illustrated article on the new football stadium for the Dallas Cowboys. I was repulsed as they described the two tiers of $50,000 “boxes” and the general appearance of the stadium itself. They showed one picture of a party in one of the boxes as a game was played outside. Disgusting. Roman gladiators reincarnated. Then & there I decided that the only people an athlete has the obligation to perform for is himself, his teammates, and his coach. Everybody else, all the people in the partying boxes in the middle of the stadium, who take pleasure in occasionally watching those sweaty beasts locked in mortal combat, they can get screwed. By the time I’d finished the article, I decided that fans are of no consequence to the athlete. An athlete is not an entertainer. He should be dedicated only to the achievement of his own personal goals.

But right now I am praying fans come to our game tonight.

[FORTY YEARS LATER, AN ESSAY ACCOMPANYING THE SI PICTORIAL ABOUT BRAND-NEW TEXAS STADIUM READS WITH REMARKABLE INNOCENCE.]

I’m writing this sitting in The Atrium. Now would be as good as any: To be concise: The hypocrisy of colleges who push their athletes through in order that they may produce for them on the basketball court repulses me.

Today Allentown College started exams. Tonight, we have a game, against Philly Bible. Dave and Joey have Natural Science at 3. P.J.’s got an exam from 5 to 7, the game at 7. I’ve taken one so far, have another at 5 to 7. (I admit it’s rather ironic that I’ll probably flunk my French exam at 5. But I can still graduate if I go to summer school. That’s what’s important – graduating in four years.)

And Bobby Stormes is going from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. — exams at 1, 3 & 5; game at 7. Mental and physical. If he can’t hack the mental, he won’t be here next semester to hack the physical. And so it goes.

[IN ENTRY #9, BOBBY STORMES REVEALS WHY PLAYING FOR THE CENTAURS WAS SO IMPORTANT TO HIM.]

Coach made a tactical move at practice two nights ago. Whenever we go anywhere, we run. Run into line. Run out of line. Run through the line. Run, tun, run. Sounds like a first-grade reader. He also made this move. The starting five will be determined by the performances of the players in the practices prior to the game. And he said tonight against Philly Bible we will use the towel all the time. When he is holding the towel we are in a man-to-man defense. When he doesn’t have the towel we are in a 1-2-2 zone press. Against Spring Garden we became really stagnant on defense, too.

We know nothing of this Philly Bible team. But as Chris Cashman said: We must go into Christmas on the winning side. He is right. We must.

[THE CRITICAL MATTER OF WHOM WE CENTAURS HAD ON OUR SCHEDULE.]

I’m tired – mentally – but not really worried about things. I’ve found that that when you need it – it comes. During games the strength is usually there. But we is gonna be quite the exhausted team at 11 tonight.

My mind won’t be on that French exam at all. We gotta win. We gotta be on the winning side of the chart for Christmas.

Final score prediction: Centaurs, 84 – Philly Bible, 67.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 54, Spring Garden 66

NEXT GAME: Philadelphia Bible College, tonight

1972-73 CENTAUR SEASON Schedule and Results:

12/1  — at Lehigh CCC — W/81-71 — 1-0

12-4 — at Northampton CCC — W/87-50 — 2-0

12-6  — EASTERN BAPTIST — L/73-75 — 2-1

12-12 — SPRING GARDEN — L/54-66 — 2-2

12-16 — PHILLY BIBLE

1-18   — at Baptist Bible

1-19  — WILMINGTON

1-25  — at Philly Pharmacy

1-30  — at Spring Garden

2-3   — at Messiah College

2-6   — at  Wilmington

2-13  — RUTGERS, S. JERSEY

2-16  — LEHIGH CCC

2-20  — MESSIAH

2-22  — NORTHAMPTON CCC

2-24  — PHILLY PHARMACY

2-27  — BAPTIST BIBLE

On December 17th, 2012 at 8:15 am, Steve McKee: Centaur Season said:

[…] “EXAMS AT 1 & 5, GAME AT 7″ — entry #10 from “A history of the events of… […]



 
     

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS: A ‘memory blog’ of the basketball beginnings of a half-good, half-bad, all-new college team.

Once, I was a Centaur.

I played basketball for Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pa. I was on four of the school’s first seven teams, was MVP senior year and in 1974 graduated in the fifth class.

My junior year I kept a diary: A History of the Events of the 1972-1973 Allentown College B-Ball Season, as Chronicled by, and With the Personal Memoirs + Occassional [sic] Philosophizing of the Author, One Stephen J. McKee.  One-hundred-forty-five hand-writ pages. (Yes, I was an English major.)

But it occurs to me now: Were I today a “Bulldog” playing for “DeSales University” (both mascot and name changed in 2000), my private “History” would be not a diary but a blog.

So starting November 30  “…Personal Memoirs…” will be re-imagined as CENTAUR SEASONS

A blog before its time, posted 40 years after in real time.

Meanwhile, beginning on September 24, here at CENTAUR SEASONS the preseason has already tipped off, with stories, interviews and reminiscences of the people, the place and the purpose of those early years of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales.

Check back often. Sign up for CentaurSeasonAlerts. Email CENTAUR SEASONS to friends.

We were not a bad team, we Centaurs. We just weren’t very good. Winning was always the goal, if never exactly the point. How could it be, with victories so few?

Back then Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales was a couple of buildings in some cornfields.  Our commitment to the school’s basketball program was far greater than was the school’s commitment us. So what? We got to play college ball – and paid for the privilege! In return, we got to be part of a team, wear the red and blue, be Centaurs. And we got to create a place that was, right then, as much concept as it was college, making itself up as we went along.

What we got was a once-in-a-life-time chance.

All we had to do was keep showing up -- next practice, next game, next season. And so we did.

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS.

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