Friday, January 4, 2008

Michael Flowers: Another reason to love him

My brother-in-law Nick sent me a link to a great story today that I might have otherwise missed. It's a Cap Times article about Michael Flowers befriending a leukemia-stricken boy whose favorite player is Flowers because both wear #22. Unfortunately, my brother is now just my third-favorite #22.

Apparently the boy got the chance to meet Michael before the Texas game, and we all know what happened next. Having just read the story, I've got tears in my eyes. Any parent can relate - put yourself in Max's mother's and father's shoes at that game, where your sick little boy just got a huge jolt of hope and inspiration. That's 100 times more important than us having a big road win for tournament seeding come March, or winning a game without Pop, and it makes my thoughts following that game feel somewhat trivial.

Remember how my dad and I commented that Bo seemed more emotional than usual after that one? Maybe this had something to do with it. Less emotional thoughts on this story:

-The basketball program always seems to have no shortage of guys doing things like this. Alando Tucker, for one, was always visiting hospitals and cheering kids up, and I remember Sharif Chambliss doing it too. That's icing on the cake for a program that wins consistently ... or should consistent winning seasons be icing on the cake for a program filled with class acts?

-Schultz's story refers to Flowers as enigmatic and says he has been reluctant to speak with reporters this season. I had totally forgotten about the couple weeks he missed during preseason practice, doesn't seem to have had any lingering effect on his play this season.

-Read the comments following the story. Most of them are nice and supportive. Then there's this "reality" commenter who goes on and on about how musicians and construction workers don't get enough credit for visiting sick kids in hospitals. Well, maybe if that sax player wore #22 he would have been Max Bass's hero, too. Then this "pappie" chimes in with a slander job on Flowers and his family, and Flowers' mom - or someone using her name - responds. Bizarre.

TCT and the Journal Sentinel blog both allow comments, and for every nine reasonable comments, there is one idiot who completely steers the discussion the wrong way. Ahh, Internet anonymity. Why take the time and energy?

Two other notes tonight:

-The Business Journal of Milwaukee reports that Forbes has pegged Wisconsin as the ninth-most valuable college hoops program, with a $15.7 million valuation on $9.6 million in profit. Not that hard to believe, given our sold-out modern arena and expert sales and marketing efforts. We're behind Indiana and Illinois in the Big Ten - a bit surprising since those schools play in older facilities.

The top 20 goes: North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Duke, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina State, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Maryland, Syracuse, Arkansas, Xavier. Not bad company to be in.

-Schwalbach reminded me today that tomorrow's the big high school basketball event in Minneapolis. A request for Schwib, Millie, or Olson to email me a report on Berggren and Taylor, and the event in general. Let's hope you guys see a show like we saw in Reece Gaines back in the winter of '97!


Anonymity Lover (Millie) said...

You'll get no such report from me. Why don't you just tune in to channel 640 on DirecTV (FSN) and watch for yourself, as the whole shebang will be televised. If for some reason you don't get it, then, yeah, I'll report for you.

Scott Tappa said...

I don't get channel 640, unfortunately. How did it go?

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