Attempting to Connect the Centaurs to the 1972 Munich Games, Suddenly a Reminder of All That Hasn’t Changed ….

Posted on Apr 16, 2013

Yesterday, while I was working on today’s post, my wife, Noreen, yelled up to me: “Bombs at the Boston Marathon.”

I put aside what was going to be today’s post. Though the irony is worth noting: Today’s post was going to connect the early-Seventies Centaurs of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales to the 1972 Munich Olympics, the Summer Games where terror first struck a sporting event.

Instead, there’s this:

Ten years after the September 11 terror attacks, I wrote an essay for my old hometown newspaper, the York Sunday News, in Pennsylvania. That 2001 morning at 8:46 a.m. I was at The Wall Street Journal offices, where I then worked, across the street from the World Trade Center.

Here’s why:

Yesterday, safely ensconced in Troy, New York, I went down to Noreen’s home office and watched a bit from Boston on TV. Here we go again.

“We gotta call Katie,” I said. “She could be there, easy”

Katie has been a friend forever and a runner since before that. She lives with her husband, Rene, in New Hampshire. They could be there, easy.

I dialed her cell. Listened to the rings. PickUpPickUpPickUp.

Then, from Katie, pleasantries dispensed: “I’m O.K.”

We talked again last night. “I knew it was you as soon as I heard my phone ring,” she said. She said it felt like 9-11 all over again, when she first heard that news and she immediately called Noreen at her job in Manhattan. “And now here you guys were calling us.”

So in sad and repeated memory I offer my story of what I saw and what it was like to be in New York City and live in Brooklyn on that 9-11 day, that night, that week, that month.

It is not the story of what happened in Boston yesterday. Or what it was like to be there last night, after. Or what it will be like to be living there a week from now. But it feels like it.






















On April 19th, 2013 at 7:12 am, Steve McKee: Centaur Season said:

[…] Attempting to Connect the Centaurs to the 1972 Munich Games, Suddenly a Reminder of All That Hasn&#8… […]


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.