The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘Championship

the morning cram [smog…well I reckon it’s a small hog edition]

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The U.S. has more carbon emissions than anyone but China, and that may not change anytime soon.

NPR reports as United Nations climate talks begin in South Africa, the US has more carbon emissions than ever. And the political climate isn’t helping.

Kentucky~ A Paducah teen left the scene of an accident.  Toys for Tots needs more of the former. Murray State wins a shootout. Ballard County remembers superintendent. For profit colleges get millions from the state.

Tennessee~ Gov Haslam wants smarter kids. Montgomery County wants weather warnings.

morning cram (in gov we distrust edition)

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govment luvin

Who do you trust in?

KY~ The weekend storm downed some area trees and flooded several Hopkinsville streets. Paducah’s Quilt Show is deemed a success. The Reidland-Farley Fire board is patient. There will be some traffic congestion in Lone Oak over the next few days. MSU cops plan roadblocks over the next 10 days. Hopkins County Schools axes 23 jobs. The state begins to canvas the Commonwealth’s internet connections.

TN~ An (alleged) hammer-wielding Clarksville murderer is captured in a barn.

IL~ Metropolis votes tonight on helping fund upcoming Harrah’s concerts.

OVC SPORTS~ (Baseball) MSU < EIU, UTM < EKU, APSU > SIUe; (Softball) MSU > EKU, UTM > TSU, APSU = EIU; (Golf) MSU Women’s team wins its 8th Championship.

A Slightly Sunnier Afternoon in Murray

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By all estimates, I’ve had a pretty darned good day.  Morning Edition went well enough, work on tomorrow’s Front Page went swimmingly, I had a wonderful conversation with Berry Craig, an old friend and teacher, and everybody seemed to be in the kind of genuinely good mood that makes you think Something Is Up.  I made it home, got some research done for an upcoming feature and a book idea I’m tinkering with, and even managed an all-too-brief nap.

Turns out my day was rather pedestrian.

When I awoke from that nap, I found that the MSU Racers Men’s Basketball team, had beaten Number 4-seeded Vanderbilt in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament with a last-second shot from forward Danero Thomas.

Let’s just savor that for a moment.

We can also savor New York Times sportswriter Billy Witz’s statement that Murray State’s 66 to 65 victory over the Commodores is the biggest upset of the tournament so far.  See for yourself.

According to the Associated Press, Coach Billy Kennedy dismissed the idea that it was anything other than darned good basketball.  “They can say it was an upset,” he said, “but we’ve got a good team. They’re a very good team. We’ve got good toughness and good character. It definitely wasn’t about a coach drawing up a great play. It just goes by what the feel is.”  Well said, sir.

Nevertheless, I detected more than a little bit of surprise from the national sports punditry.  The first sentence in Sports Illustrated‘s Ann Killion piece read, “He (Thomas) wasn’t going to get off the shot, was he?”  Killion went on, however, to enumerate the reasons why Thomas had every right in the world to not only get the shot off, but sink it too.  After all, the President of the United States himself predicted a Racer win.

I do have to confess that I liked the way she ended the article.  “Jeffery McClain — in the game because Tony Easley had fouled out — inbounded the ball because Kennedy wanted a big guy who could see the court.  McClain got the ball to Miles. Miles dribbled it and swung it around to Thomas.  Who dribbled it, pulled back for the jumper, and changed the history of Murray State with one motion. He got the shot off.”

I liked it because of what it said, not just directly, but in its subtext.  These guys played like a team, the gods of good sportsmanship guiding every movement of the players and the ball.

And on top of all of that, consider what the Racers are doing for the University in a very real, and possibly lasting, way.  The hard work they’ve done has placed Murray State front and center before a lot of people.  They’ve made the aforementioned New York Times and Sports Illustrated, but they’ve also appeared on websites like mental_floss and  Publicity like that might bring in more and better student athletes from around the country and it may even draw a second look from those less concerned about basketball.  With all that could come from Murray State’s presence at the tournament, with all that it took to get there (our thoughts are with you, Picasso), the satisfaction of beating Butler and giving Syracuse the fright of their lives is the least these guys deserve.

Wait a minute…a 2010 NCAA Championship trophy is the least they deserve.

So, my hat’s off to Coach Kennedy and the Racers.  I don’t know if they’ll make it to Indianapolis and win it all, but I hope they d0, even if they have to beat my beloved Kentucky Wildcats to do it.