Celebrating Basketball Success While Calling Out New Lows in the U.S. Senate
Good-bye to Chris Jans, an excellent college basketball coach. A small blip in his career led to a five-year diversion to NMSU, not a top-tier NCAA program. Jans succeeded. He also seemed a stand-up guy.
Teamwork and speed are essential to basketball. Players move fast, and need to sense where their teammates are and where they’ll move, making split-second decisions on the run. A coach today has to build that teamwork fast. Players aren’t here four years. Many start elsewhere or move on after a year. Each year, Jans had to meld into a team guys who had talent (and sometimes problems) but were new to each other. He did well.
Teddy Allen, a redshirt junior, got NMSU its first official NCAA Tournament win since about 1970. (Back when I was a young fella, friends with several players.) I hope Allen returns, A deeply appreciative au revoir to Johnny McCants: a local kid with miles of heart, a great beard, and a month-old son. Taking over NMSU’s second NCAA game, with Allen double-teamed, McCants did everything: made his shots (including a thundering dunk and a key three-pointer), took about five charges, blocked a shot, passed and defended well, and kept NMSU close. You could see this committed young man will his underdog team nearly to victory.
Speaking of local kids, it was great to see Bill McCamley back for a short visit. A great guy who represented us ably in the Legislature, then got a raw deal from some folks when he tried running Workforce Solutions during a pandemic. (Like herding cats through an aviary?) We miss him.
Meanwhile, the white male Republicans attacking Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson are exposing their intellectual limitations. Lindsay Graham threw a tantrum because they didn’t pick his Black woman. Another embarrassed himself by asking (with feigned outrage) why she hadn’t written something in a decision, only to hear her point out, “if you read down two more sentences, Senator, that’s what I do say.” (“Wanna get away?”) They asked all about 1619 and Critical Race Theory, because, well, what else ya gonna ask a Black woman, after you’ve discussed fried chicken? North Carolina’s Thom Tillis hit a new low, saying (in attacking Roe v Wade) that whether to allow Whites and Blacks to marry each other should be left up to the states! Tillis knew the cases, but didn’t care. The disbelieving reporter kept offering him chances to climb out of the hole he was digging, but Tillis doggedly kept clutching the shovel. I’ve heard he’s now trying to deny he meant what he said.
Are these questions for an experienced federal judge who was a star at Harvard? Or racist ones? Sure, those guys are cynically playing the roles they think will maximize their political popularity; but they’re racist, too.
Thursday our Progressive Voters Alliance held its first in-person meeting since February 2020. I saw some wonderful folks, heard from state and local officeholders and younger folks running for office, and heard about worthy local causes.
Leaving, I stood in the Munson Building entryway, staring at the portrait of Bob Munson. Recalling Bob and Diana, with love. He looks so incredibly young! How very many years life has gone on since that plane crash, years Bob never got to experience! He’d have loved PVA.
That’s this moment. Can’t say it matters. But I’m sure grateful for it.