CLASSIC REDUX: “Losing is kinda bad for a person…”

Posted on Nov 19, 2013

MY JUNIOR YEAR I KEPT A DIARY OF THE BASKETBALL SEASON.  DEEP IN, I ASKED CHRISTOPHER CASHMAN, SENIOR CO-CAPTAIN (WHOM I PROFILED YESTERDAY) TO WRITE AN ENTRY. WE WERE THEN 2-AND-9, ON A SEVEN-GAME LOSING STREAK. WE HAD SIX GAMES LEFT, ALL AT HOME. HERE’S WHAT CASH WROTE:

Well, post-Wilmington (88-54?) [88-52, actually], my last away game ever at A.C. I am 22W and 43L in four years. Four long years at that, filled with 43 too many “Well, we’ll get ’em next times.” For me there are only 6 more “next times.”

* * * * *   ‘ LOSING IS KINDA BAD …’ CONTINUES BELOW   * * * * *

Welcome to a CENTAUR SEASONS “Classic Redux.” Every day from October 15 (March Madness!) through Thanksgiving Centaur Seasons is reposting shortened versions of last year’s efforts. (Click here to read today’s original.) Come December, CENTAUR SEASONS II will tip off with brand-new Centaur stories.

* * * * *  NOW, BACK TO ‘LOSING IS KINDA BAD …’  * * * * *

As much as I will hate for this season and career to end, I must admit that February 27, 1973, will come as a relief to me. Ya know, losing is kinda bad for a person. Oh, I admit that a loss once in a while is probably an asset to the building of character and all of that (those poor immature, uncharactered bastards at UCLA!) but chronic losing, or let’s say habitual losing, tends to destroy confidence and belief in one’s self. … Flash on that awhile, Big Boy, and try to realize how tough things will be next October 15 [the first day of practice my senior year].

What is the secret to winning these next six at home? How the hell do I know? All I know is that we must win them this year, and maybe we won’t have “to get ’em the next time.”

That’s all for now!!!

P.S.: Today is a big day, maybe the biggest day since I enrolled (at my own expense, of course), but today, plans were approved to begin a program of scholarship assistance to basketball players at A.C.

— DON’T TELL ANYONE YET, STEVEO –

P.P.S.: These scholarships, unfortunately, are NOT RETROACTIVE – especially as applied to second-semester senior co-captains, even ones that are your friend and regardless of how mature they are!!!

COMING WEDNESDAY: WHAT I SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEAMMATE WHO PLAYED ME ONTO THE BENCH JUNIOR YEAR

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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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