There just is no better time of year and not just because of such a roll of great hoop.
I just had to chuckle Thursday night when stopping for a usual late fast-food fix on Polson hill.
Lined up about five deep at the order menu when I finally got to the window, the gentleman who seemed a bit out of sort asked if there was something special going on.
Of course I just smiled and said well there’s basketball tournaments.
“I guess I didn’t plan for that,” he said, almost breathlessly.
It is an example of what I have come to realize – old dog new tricks ya know – if sports of any kind are a part of your soul, you realize what is occurring at mostly every corner.
But there is a large part of the populations that either pay little attention locally, favor professional sports instead of local or just either has no interest in hoop or any sports at all.
I’m a political junkie and while I could argue that sports has dominated my leisure, I pick and chose and last night there is a chanced I didn’t know the number of games or athletes that were gathered in Ronan for Divisional Tournament action.
But here’s what I like most.
At any large gathering there is that opportunity, especially at the smaller school level, to exchange just pleasantries or extended conversation with those folks you either haven’t seen for years or occasionally encounter.
In the mid 80s I used to feed games to the Libby radio station (KLCB?) when the then AA Loggers played in Missoula.
First up pops the Peck name. Now I apologize I have been too busy to identify what relation they are but am sure they are related to former Griz Tom and Gary Peck of Libby, teammates of Griz players like coaches Eric Hays and Robin Selvig.
Griz footballer Allen Green is the AD at Anaconda and Ron Estes, Wayne younger brother, is an assistant as is his son and the Copperheads are coached by Bill Hill a star Montana football player whose daughter played for Selvig and currently coaches at Florence. His son is the star junior point guard who eventually won Divisionals with a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining.
That’s just my first game.
Don’t get me started on the other two opponents, Loyola and Bigfork.
And on and on it goes.