“LONELY AND DEJECTED” — entry #11 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-BALL season …

Posted on Dec 17, 2012

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

This CENTAUR SEASONS post was written on December 17, 1972.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 72, Philly Bible 79, yesterday

NEXT GAME: at Baptist Bible, January 18, 1973

CENTAUR SEASON: 2-3

I doubt I have ever been so disappointed, disgusted, embarrassed and frustrated as I was last night.

Needless to say, we lost, 79-72. They were not a good team. Making us a worse team.  So much for my 84-67 victory prediction yesterday. We should have blown them out the door and down the street. But we didn’t. We blew, instead. So much for going into Christmas break with a winning record.

The only person who played a good game, and he played exceptionally, was Bobby Stormes. He played in a daze all night. Coach always says the game is 80% reaction and 20% thinking. Well, Bobby used up all his thinking in his three exams in the afternoon and had to rely completely on reaction. And react he did. He was all over the court. He’d score a layup on a fast break, then block a shot on a fast break at the other end on the very next play. After the game Bobby said he was mentally and physically dead.

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

Gary Cacciatore, a sophomore who’s played very little, got about 17 minutes. Long enough to collect five fouls. But he played a tough ball game. Pound for pound & inch for inch Gary is probably the most durable and rugged player on the team. He’d go head-to-head with Muhammad Ali if that’s what it took.

I didn’t play good, or long. I can’t figure out why I didn’t play more, though.  Didn’t start, which didn’t bother me. But I only played about eight minutes of the first half. Played half of that in the second half. Their big boy was 6-foot-8 and big around. He had lots of pounds on me. In the first half I got pushed all over the place. Coach told me to get him off my back, so I did – first time down in the second half (when I was in) I knocked him over. The ref told me to take it easy. Next time, I boxed him out, and did a damn good job of it. I had him under control. Then the ref called a foul on me. For what?! HE was on MY back.

John Cooper had another big night. Seventeen points. Meaning another big night of me on the bench. He really does have a nice shot, soft shot. I question how effective he was against their big guy on defense & under the boards. But then, I wasn’t very impressive either.

Poor P.J. Brennan. His sister & father and his High School Coach were at the game. He + we played definitely less than our potential. He leaned over to me as we sat on the bench and said how embarrassed he was. Well, as Chris Cashman once said, such experience is good for the soul.

Cash played about six minutes tonight. He looked good, but it still looks as though he has little of his timing and he is very out of tune, his ankle a problem. We have a four-week break before our next game. He better use them to his advantage.

Dennis Ramella had 24 points last night. Couple that with his 25-point performance the previous game and, as far as I can ascertain with my quick new math, he needs 42 more points to become our first 1,000-point scorer. For his sake I hope he can get it at home.

I was never more lonely and dejected after a game as I was last night.

[WHY FOR ME A BAD GAME WAS ALWAYS A TRIP TO THE DUMPS.]

As Dave Glielmi and I walked up the steps to our room, I confided this to Dave and dreamed that when I opened the door to the room, there, waiting for me with comforting arms would be “Cabrini.” Dave and I, as roommates, have concocted our own room 311 Tocik Hall private code-word language. “Cabrini” is the girl I took to prom senior year of high school. She now attends Cabrini College, outside Philadelphia. She isn’t my girlfriend now, but I still spend time pining for her.  Cabrini wouldn’t say “Tough game” or “Nice try.” She’d just hold me, and I’d feel like somebody again. Or, at least, I’d know that there was one person in the world who still thought I was somebody.

Another teammate (that’s whom I ended up with!) said about the same thing at four in the morning as we sprawled on the floor in the dorm lounge, neither of us able to sleep. Women!

There’s a lot to be said for women. That’s why Coach Sabota is so much luckier than we are. During the game I noticed Jeannie, his wife, sitting in the stands. She was by herself, with her legs crossed and her elbows on her knees and her hands alternatingly shading her eyes and clutching her chin. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a lot of what love means to me, and I hope I’m lucky enough to have the same thing someday.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 72, Philadelphia Bible College 79

NEXT GAME: Baptist Bible College, January 18

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 — L/72-79 — 2-3

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

 

 

 

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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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