Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, January 24, 2016, 9:11 a.m.
I make a lot of gametime decisions. A couple weeks ago, I couldn’t make up my mind between the basketball games at Clinton High School and Presbyterian College, so I watched parts of both. Yesterday morning, snow was on the ground, and I figured — in fact, I wrote — that I thought I’d just stay at home like everyone on television was saying.
Two o’clock rolled around, and, there I was, sitting at the Templeton Center media table, watching the Blue Hose women play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
Before the game even started, I noticed, for the first time, that Presbyterian fans dutifully stand for the reciting of the Big South Code of Spectator Conduct. It’s because they know the national anthem is coming, so they go ahead and rise for the whole shebang.
When I watch women’s basketball, I often find myself going through a decision-making process in which I carefully assess which players are the prettiest. This, of course, is because I am a man. It’s just good, clean, wholesome fun.
I couldn’t care less which player is the handsomest man, and, in fact, it never even occurs to me. When it does, it’s more along the lines of, Sheesh, I’d hate to meet up with that guy in a back alley.
An adjective occurred to me. Many women who play basketball are willowy.
About midway through the first quarter — women have quarters, men have halves, in college basketball, that is — two of the three referees pored over video as if it were the Zapruder film, attempting to discern whether or not a foul was merely rough or “flagrant” — having already determined it wasn’t fragrant — and, after folding their arms and thoughtfully scratching their chins as they philosophically reasoned, decided to leave the call as originally called.
Meanwhile, I was thinking, There’s got to be some kind of red flag to throw out on the court. A coach should have to request a review. The continent moved three inches while those two were talking. It was a man and a woman discussing the call. No wonder it took so long. If they’d been married, they’d be discussing it yet.
On the positive side, in all the games I’ve written about this year, it seems as if the referees are calling traveling and double dribbling more often. I applaud this, though not on press row because it’s poor form.
The Blue Hose (11-7, 7-2 Big South) were splendid. Their ball movement — translation: they move the ball around — was the best I’ve seen all year, by any team, in person, and the most impressive part of the performance was how they were unfazed by a wide variety of ploys attempted by the Chants (7-11, 2-7) to slow them.
This is a blog, so I can bury the score if I want. It was Presbyterian 66, Coastal Carolina 42.
With two players scoring in double figures — Salina Virola 12, Rebecca Walker 10 — Presbyterian outrebounded Coastal Carolina, 42-24, and committed 15 turnovers while forcing 21. I would imagine Ronny Fisher, the PC head coach, would have preferred fewer turnovers and a higher shooting percentage than 38.5, but taken as a whole, the performance was impressive.
I’ve got so many books for you to read, and guess what? I wrote them!
The Audacity of Dope (2011) is a freewheeling yarn about an obscure singer-songwriter who finds himself a national hero with all the annoyances that it implies. Riley Mansfield just wants to write his songs and smoke his weed in peace, but that’s not the way it works out. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=1QPG325FX6P3YS6G6QP0
The Intangibles (2013) is a tale set mostly in 1968, but it begins with a cameo appearance by November 22, 1963. It’s got a big cast of characters, black and white, trying to make sense of life in a small Southern town during desegregation of public schools. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=14MDGFY70Z4HJHMR31KB
Crazy of Natural Causes (2015) takes Chance Benford from football coaching to flawed redemption. Set in the hills of eastern Kentucky, it’s a story of a man who loses everything and has to reinvent himself. It’s a fable on the absurdity of our times. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes
Coming soon! A crime novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, about a bad politician and a good cop, with a son going bad to hang in the balance. It’s also the story of a prominent family’s self-destruction. I should know soon when it will be out.
Follow wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, too. You’ll find short fiction, reviews, and essays there. Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, or, more irrevently, @wastedpilgrim, or, more literarily, @hmdutton. I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50.