Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 10:42 a.m.
Another Tuesday, another high school basketball game. Another Monday, another national championship football game. The Clinton High School boys won. They’re 8-4. The Clinton girls lost. They’re 1-13.
It’s about right in both cases.
Some occurrences don’t often occur in the ACC. Last night marked the first time I ever remember a timeout being granted one team while another was already dribbling up the court. The referees did the best job they could, though. They didn’t make any more mistakes than everyone else did.
Last night we had some additional excitement at brightly lit Clinton High School Gymnasium. The crowd wasn’t large, but the visiting fans generally sit on the same side as the scorers’ table, and the Broome contingent made up for its lack of size by means of one heckler.
At one point, this fellow apparently listened to what the Clinton coach was saying during a timeout, or claimed he did, and then started yelling at the top of his lungs that Chris Wofford, the Red Devil head coach, didn’t respect the Centurions.
“Hey! Y’all gonna take that!?”
I expect it was all a ruse. Wofford’s team has one victory. He respects everyone else.
He later accused the clock operator of trying to cheat Broome by giving a foul to one player meant for another. Such a ploy, in the unlikely event that any veteran of keeping score would try it, has nothing to do with the clock operator, who was understandably insulted because he was just trying to do his job, and there were two keeping books, one representing the Red Devils and the other the Centurions, and the problem had been that the referee gave the scorers the wrong number. This was corrected, and the Broome player went to halftime with three instead of four fouls, and went on to spend most of the rest of the game on court.
Then the Clinton High School football coach arrived to try to cool things down, and the irate fan said the clock operator had tried to “intimidate” him. I was sitting there, aware that I was a journalist and had no business being in this line of fire, but all the clock operator had done was seethe quietly. I don’t think they’d even exchanged words. The fan was trying to play the “best defense is a good offense” card. He was the victim.
The woman sitting on the other side of me had warned earlier that “he can get rough.”
As much as I wanted to tell that fellow that, if he eavesdropped on the Clinton huddle one more time, I was going down to the Broome huddle and tape-record every word its coach said and play it on the loudspeaker, but, of course, I didn’t. I just fancied doing it in case, this morning, I wrote a blog.
Well, pilgrim, somebody oughtta tell you a thing or two, but I won’t, I won’t … the hell I won’t.
John Wayne said something similar to the above in McLintock. It was just before the big mud fight.
Broome won the girls game, 39-30. Broome would have won it, anyway.
Perhaps the little standoff behind the table did some good. The fellow behaved during the second half of the boys’ game, or maybe the crowd was larger and louder, and it wasn’t as noticeable.
In retrospect, it was a good no-call.
Clinton is off to far Lancaster on Friday night, and I’m not too upset to eschew that trek. I’ll be in Laurens, where the Raiders are entertaining Greenwood.
Or maybe the entertainment will come from the fans.
Here’s my story on Tuesday night’s games: http://www.golaurens.com/sports/item/22672-cook-leads-red-devils-past-broome
The next novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out soon. I hope you’re as excited as I am, but I’d settle for half as much.
Check out my other page, www.wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, every now and again. And join my Facebook group for loyal readers of my books, Similarly Crazy, or become my close personal friend through monte.dutton. I’m on Twitter @montedutton, slightly more irreverent @wastedpilgrim, and slightly more literary @hmdutton. Instagram? Why, Tug50, of course.
I ask a lot for a person from South Carolina.
Crazy of Natural Causes has only been out since late summer. It’ll only set you back $3.49. 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
My first novel, The Audacity of Dope (Kindle version $2.99), is about a songwriter who gets on a plane a free-thinking stoner and gets off it a free-thinking national hero. Complications ensue. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=0G1646HCQ562QP6C7JCP
The Intangibles (Kindle edition $4.99) is set in the 1960s, with an integrated high school football team at the epicenter of the local civil-rights volcano. 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=0RG9JJ51G715SBNV9BZH