Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More Marquette...

Ok, so another link, but only because this one contains a first hand account of last night's game.

Secondly, I got to work today and who is in my elevator but Steve Novak. This isn't too unusual because I work at the hospital right next to Marquette's campus and the hospital has the top sports medicine clinic in the area.

But honestly, what are the odds of this happening after the kid had a career game? I didn't say anything, mostly because he got off on the next floor and also because I just never want to be that person. I suppose I could have said something like "phenomenal game last night" but since that would have been the extent of the conversation, I decided it better to just leave him alone. I suppose he's gotten enough random strangers annoying him today.

There is a mitigating circumstance to my not saying anything. I have embarassed myself before to Steve Novak, and though I'm absolutely sure he doesn't remember me, I felt the need not to repeat the experience.

Let me take you way back to March 2003. Marquette has made an unexpected run, toppling such teams as Kentucky, and has landed in the Final Four. In New Orleans. Being the sports editor of my school's paper, I received a press pass and had full access to Media Day. We watched shoot arounds, we went to press conferences, we got to visit the teams in the locker rooms. Aside from my Super Bowl Experience, seriously the coolest thing I've ever done. Texas, Kansas and Syracuse were the other 3 teams. I interviewed Carmelo and Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich. But mostly, I stuck around Marquette. I'm in the transcript from Diener, Wade and Crean's press conference. I interviewed each of them individually. It was fabulous.

So to set the scene, I've done all these things and there's about 15 minutes left before they kick all the press out of the Marquette locker room and I'm looking to see who's free and Steve Novak is standing by himself. So he's like 7 feet and I'm barely 5 feet. Awkward enough interview. Plus, I dont really know what I want to ask the kid. I just saw he was free and went for it. So we're talking and he's from the suburb next to mine and went to school with a bunch of my friends. Brown Deer High. So I ask him about what it's like to be a hometown kid and so young and being the surprise in the Final Four and being in New Orleans and I actually ask him what it's like to come from BD ... what everyone around here calls Brown Deer. The kid looked at me like I had horns. So I quickly explain that I went to a rival high school. You'd think this would establish a comfort level or repartee. No way. The kid looked like I was an alien. I wrapped that interview up so quick my head was spinning. Extremely strange.

I suppose it's not a very good story, but you have to remember I was a 20 year old with a notebook standing next to ESPN cameras most of the day. I was a bit overwhelmed and felt pretty novice. I was nervous as hell and also trying not to waste such a great opportunity. And this kid who was younger than I was looked at me like "who the hell are you?"

So that's my Steve Novak story.

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