Friday, March 20, 2009

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 3/20/2009, Part 3

News & Notes from Thursday, March 19th, 2009

-Thursday was the first day of the NCAA Basketball Tournament a.k.a. “March Madness”. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I was determined not to finish last in my pool this year as I do every year. I have lost in the past to people who have never actually watched a full basketball game. So I did my research.

-The research paid early dividends. At the end of the day, I had accurately picked 15 of 16 games. The only incorrect pick came in having faith in Mississippi State. Fear not. I am not overconfident. I realize that I tend to find ways to collapse in this event.

-The game I was most invested in on this day was not in the NCAA Tournament. I listened attentively to Bearden High School’s first round game at the Class 3-A State Basketball Tournament on the TSSAA web site. Bearden entered the game ranked first in the state and were heavy favorites to win the tournament. Unfortunately, they suffered an uncharacteristic fourth quarter collapse against unranked Clarksville Northeast (27-6), which was making its first ever appearance in the event. Blake Jenkins’ free throws with 5:33 remaining gave the Bulldogs an eleven-point lead (48-37). The Eagles then went on a 15-0 run and outscored Bearden 25-5 the rest of the game. Bearden lost 62-53.

-Bearden shot terribly. They shot only 36.2% from the floor, including a first quarter in which they scored only five points. Bearden was whistled for more fouls (28) than it had made field goals (17). Bearden was also an abysmal 15-of-31 from the foul line. It was a disappointing finale to the best season in school history (35-3). (Note: This photo is of Northeast’s Dermetrye Brown who led the Eagles with 22 points and nine rebounds).

-At 10:45, I met JTH and JDM at Applebees. We were also joined by three of JDM’s friends from Kroger: Jamie, Nathan , and another girl whose name escapes me. We sat in Caroline’s section which is a rarity. Her section had a view of the television.

-JDM had just returned from a four-day trip to Gatlinburg. He brought back a souvenir - a henna tattoo of a purple dolphin on his right forearm. It was the consequence of losing a go carting race to Jamie. She hustled him. It does, however, explain a recent Facebook Status Update: “my dolphin's name is Splash and he’s my boy!” (Note: This is a piece of art and not JDM’s actual henna tattoo.)

-There was also a Santa Claus convention in Gatlinburg while he was there. Why? I have no idea. This does explain why we saw a Santa Claus at the Apple Barn the day before. (See this “In Eckleburg’s Eyes” post for details. In the midst of all of the Santa Clauses, JDM saw a sign representing the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santa Clauses. New career goal.

-JTH had just come from a shift at MoFoS. The store continues to make random personnel changes under the direction of JBT and the store manager. JBT fired JAD, the manager at Halls. We both feel this is a terrible move but no worse than the usual illogical decisions made at MoFoS. We just felt bad for JAD.

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