Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SoCon Dork Non-Tour: UNCC

(posted by graveline)
  • There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.  GW Bush 9/17/02

Sometimes, you just have to learn your lesson.  I think the dork tour has finally gotten there with Halton arena.  My Halton experience began on 12/1/1999, during my senior year.  Two of my female freinds had a crush on Fernando Tonella, and well honestly I did too, so we decided to head down I-85 to Niner-land.  Alas, 1: I had never been to that part of Charlotte, let alone UNCC's campus 2: this was pre-GPS technology.  It was cold, dark, and raining when we finally found somehere to park and headed in the general direction of Halton.  Their campus is VERY spread out, and the basketball arena is tucked in the middle.  It might have been for the best if I had kept on driving.  We started the game in a 20-2 hole, with our only points on a technical foul for a niner hanging on the rim after a monster dunk.  Michael Bree, our freshman Irish point guard, literaly could not get the ball bast the half court stripe. Fern was in a foul mood and didnt respond to my friends romantic overtones.  The final was 74-55, and it wasn't that close.

My next sojourn was 12/11/03.  After graduating UNC law school I was living in downtown Charlotte.  I had a GPS and a newfound Magellan-esque command of the Queen City.  A number of of my law school chums also lived in Charlotte.  One's brother was a UNCC grad, one had gone to Davidson with me, and two more were random sports fans.  UNCC offered $5 tickets so I "got the band together" and once again headed to Halton.  We kept it close, but lost 76-65.  My friends got to see me pitch a fit.

11/30/05 brought a new way to lose.  We came into the game 2-1, having lost at Duke but defeated tough A10 opponents UMASS and St. Joes.  This was in the heady pre-Curry days when non-conference wins were few and far between.  In those two games our left handed postman Ian Johnson had carved up the interior for both wins scoring 20+ in each.  However, come uncc he couldnt hit the broadside of a barn, going approxamatly 4-20 from the field as we lost in 2 overtimes 85-81.

In 2007 the Dork tour was actually the dork tour.  Dorp and me had come together like voltron in the name of mid-major basketball.  In preperation of the game we decided to make a replica of the brain on a stick aka the hornets nest trophy, the hideous award given the the winner of this battle.

Dorp, and me met with my friend Al (another alum) at the flying saucer homemade brain in hand.  The young lady at the breastaurant seemed confused.   Alas, i had a similar look on my face as we lost 75-68.  A precocious young freshman named Stephen Curry was making threes with ease.  Unfortunately, a future Bojangles assistant manager named Leemire Goldwire was his better, going unconscious from beyond the arc. Dorp drop kicked the faux nest and two trash cans on his way out
A rare shot of the Wildcats holding the nest trophy

My final visit was 12/10/11.  Dorp was in Charlotte early for a swim meet, so I took the train down (er, up) town to meet him.  We met up with some rowdy Phi-Delts, chugging beers in a ditch on the way over from the parking lot.  Recognizing us as the message board legends that we are, we were invited to partake.

We were tied or up two at half time, then the wheels fell off.  we ended up losing 84-61.  It sucked.  At that point, Charlotte O'Hara style, I pledged that as God as my witness, I would not return.  As such, this Wednesday, I will be listening on Teamline or watching on Espn3 if available.  And I am at peace.

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