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Darrell Huckaby: Most important spectator sport taking place in DC

Darrell Huckaby

Darrell Huckaby

It's been a great week to be a spectator -- if you're into that sort of thing.

March means madness for hoops fans, of which I am one. Thursday night through Monday night I spent as much time couch potato-ing as I possibly could. Alas, most of the underdogs in the NCAA tournament had used up their magic, Cinderella had lost her glass slipper and all those other sports cliches we like to use this time of year.

But the Kentucky Wildcats were special. There was a day when I was a huge Kentucky fan. As a small boy I would sit by the old Philco radio in our kitchen and listen to Cawood Ledford call Kentucky games on WHAS out of Louisville. Adolph Rupp, the Bluegrass Baron of Basketball -- the "man in the brown suit" -- had built a dynasty at UK and I have always admired folks who rise about the great unwashed year after year after year.

Ledford was to Kentucky fans as Larry Munson was to Georgia football fans, serving as the "voice of the Wildcats" for 39 years. That's not a bad gig for a boy who grew up in the shadows of the hard, hard hills of Harlan's coal mines. I can still hear the east Kentucky twang in his voice across all these years.

"Put it down! The 'Cats are running!"

"That shot had a lot of iron in it, but it's good!"

"He's bobbing and weaving up the court. Pass to Dampier. Bang!"

I ceased being a Kentucky fan when they ran my friend Orlando Smith out of town a few years back, but even I will admit that this year's squad is something to behold -- and I beheld them Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

At least a little bit on Sunday afternoon. The Baylor uniforms hurt my eyes with all that day-glow trim, and over on another channel Tiger Woods was playing golf the way only Tiger Woods can play golf.

I know. I know. Eldrin is a bad person. He's probably a jerk. He is selfish and arrogant and cheated on his wife -- apparently with dozens of women -- and he didn't give Hank Haney enough credit for all of the success he earned during the first 33 years of his life. And he fired his caddy, Stevie Williams, who is probably a bigger jerk than Tiger.

I don't care about any of that. I really don't. If I want to watch someone because they are a nice person I'll go next door to Colleen Gordon's house. When I want to watch someone who is the best there ever was at what he does, I'll take Tiger -- especially in that Sunday-red shirt. When he's right that is. Honesty compels me to admit that Tiger hasn't been right for a while -- but he was golden Saturday and Sunday, and I enjoyed every drive, chip and putt. When the last one rolled in, giving him a five-stroke win in the tournament that Arnie built, I cheered right along with the rest of gallery. God willing I'll be watching him put on another green jacket Easter Sunday evening.

Monday was ladies' night on my television. Tennessee was playing the Baylor women in a game that would send the winner to the Final Four in Denver and the loser home -- and possibly into retirement. In case you are among the 99.99 percent of the population who doesn't follow women's basketball, Kim Mulkey, former Louisiana Tech All-America, coaches Baylor. The most dominating player in the country, Brittney Griner -- all 6 feet, 8 inches of her -- plays for Baylor. Pat Head Summitt -- the greatest coach ever -- with or without a Y chromosome, coaches the Lady Vols of Tennessee. Pat has been diagnosed with dementia of the early onset Alzheimer's variety. There is a world of speculation as to her future and most people assume that this will be her last season, although no announcement has been forthcoming on that issue.

I am a great admirer of Pat Summitt and if that was to be her last game, I was going to be watching -- and pulling for her team to upset the soon-to-be 38-0 Baptist Bears. It was not to be. Baylor won going away but there was a bit of excitement near the end of the game when a fight almost broke out with 20 or so seconds left to play -- resulting in the disqualification of three Baylor starters.

So I had several great days of spectating. But I didn't get to see the show I really would have liked to see this week. In Washington, D.C., the most significant Supreme Court hearings since 1954 has been taking place. I would purely have loved to have had a front row seat to those proceedings. Some insist that the fate of an entire nation lies on the justices' balance. The arguments are so important that Clarence Thomas cleared his throat at one point and the reporters thought, for a brief moment, that he was going to actually speak.

He did not.

It won't matter what Kentucky does in New Orleans or what Baylor does in Denver or what Tiger does in Augusta -- but what the Supreme Court decides about Obamacare and the power of the federal government -- well, that's going to matter a great deal, to all of us.

Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at dhuck08@bellsouth.net. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.