Archive for the ‘basketball’ Tag

Orange You Glad We Met?

With the ascendance of Syracuse  University to #1 in college basketball, I’m reminded of an indirect brush with greatness.

I grew up in the ’60s and early ’70s in Delaware one house away from a cul de sac — we kids called it The Circle. One of the dads on the block was the older brother of Syracuse coach and former star player Jim Boeheim. Boeheim (pronounced BAY-hime) has been involved with the Orangemen basketball program for, well, forever. Actually since 1963. He has been the head coach since 1976 and coached Syracuse to the NCAA title in 2003.

I don’t recall if Jim Boeheim ever graced The Circle with his presence. Maybe a couple of my dedicated readers will have some recollection on that score.

Pity I ripped this picture removing it from the photo album, but the boy is coach Boeheim’s nephew — one of the three Boeheim kids I played with in The Circle. In fact, this picture was taken in The Circle. Chez Boeheim is in the background. Notice his not-so-athletic pose. This picture was taken after he broke his leg in a skateboarding accident. The poor guy had a difficult recovery and seemed to lose his inclination toward the sporting life.Here I am circa 1967 with two of coach Boeheim’s nieces. We are posing with my family’s new puppy, Terry, who is chewing on a toy steak. This shot in our minds — well all but Terry’s I suppose— was the “album cover” for our band named, with great originality, Terry and the Pirates. Never mind that we didn’t have any songs or instruments, what was important was that we had an album cover. I hope Terry wasn’t our lead singer …

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Yo-die, Adrian!

Oscar Palmer Robertson

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

This one falls in the realm of what my sons refer to as “Dad’s stupid stuff”. In the ’60s (mostly) there was this NBA player — an all-star — named Adrian Smith. His nickname is Odie.

So in the playground in my mind every athlete named Adrian becomes Odie.

I alternate between finding this irritating — and amusing.

The most prominent case currently is Adrian Peterson. I should say two cases because, as unlikely as it may seem, there are two Adrian — uh, Odie — Petersons in the NFL:

While I was recently reading the excellent book Looking Back 75 Years of Eagles History: Special Edition by Eli Kowalski, which I received as a birthday gift from Mrs. QC, I was reminded that my favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, once had a quarterback — back in the ’50s before I was born — named Adrian Burk. He shares the league record for most touchdown passes in a regular season game, 7, with four other quarterbacks. I’ve rewritten his tombstone, so to speak, to read “Odie Burk.”

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Think of “The Zink”

UPDATED 6/25/09, 9:54 pm:
I found this 1984 Sports Illustrated article on The Zink. (H/T “rlee” on the Association for Professional Basketball Research forum)

As many Philadelphians know, the 42-year old Wachovia Spectrum arena — simply “the Spectrum” to aged purists like myself — is scheduled for demolition later this year. The Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, one of the Spectrum’s principal tenants from its opening in 1967 until the opening of the CoreStates Center (now the Wachovia Center) in 1996, will return to the Spectrum for a single nostalgic farewell game this Friday night, March 13, against the Chicago Bulls.

I am happy to pass along word that the Sixers will not neglect to pay tribute Friday to their legendary former public address announcer, the late Dave Zinkoff. I loved “The Zink”. He worked the Sixer games at the Spectrum and before that, Convention Hall, until his death on Christmas Day, 1985. (In this 1982 picture, from Wikipedia, he evidently was working a pro wrestling event — look at the build of the athlete next to him.)

As reported by Dan Gross in the Philadelphia Daily News via

Late great PA announcer Dave Zinkoff‘s voice could be heard booming through the Spectrum the other day. It wasn’t Zinkoff, or a ghost, but comedian and master impressionist Joe Conklin, who was rehearsing and recording classic “Zinkisms” that the Sixers will play Friday when they face the Bulls in the team’s final game at the Spectrum, their longtime home.

Awesome! I’ll skip the game, as fun as it would be to be there, due to budgetary constraints (tickets were still available as of this morning starting at $19.76). I will, though, count on Conklin’s recordings eventually finding their way online at or

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Raining in Baskets

What a day brightener! Only minimal basketball knowledge is needed to enjoy this CBS Evening News clip (running time 2:45):

Thanks to my friend Pete S. for posting it on his Facebook profile.

An ESPN clip on McElway has more detail and the game footage is in color, but the cheesy music is distracting in my opinion — plus it’s twice as long as the one I’ve embedded. The detail I thought most interesting is that McElway actually missed not two but six shots. But that hardly detracts from his achievement.

I can imagine Tom McGinnis, the excitable Philadelphia 76ers radio play by play announcer, calling McElway’s hot streak. By McElway’s third three-pointer, you’d hear McGinnis’ trademark “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?”. The fifth would cause McGinnis’ head to explode — leaving you to deduce from the crowd reaction and buzzer that McElway hit a sixth to end the game.

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Yeah, But Can He Do It with Hands in His Face?

In this three-and-a-half-minute video, Australian David Black proves shooting baskets is easy when no one’s defending you.

“Wow” seems insufficient. Talk about honing a skill …

(Music: “Good Times” by Tommy Lee)

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