Being the editor of a college newspaper’s sports section has its perks.
The biggest one, of course, is that I have a courtside seat at every basketball game. I can even be late and my seat is still there. If I get to the game early, it’s usually only so I can swipe a few pieces of free pizza in the Smith Center’s press room.
Then there’s getting to talk to the coaches and the players, and knowing some things before other people do.
But all of these benefits seemed secondary about a week ago after I got a package in the mail.
First, you have to understand that people like to send you stuff when you are an editor at a college paper. Most of it comes in the form of press releases that usually find their way to the bottom of the garbage can in short order. But sometimes, I get interesting reading material, like ESPN magazine.
So when I got a Federal Express package last week, I thought my ship had come in. Inside was quite possibly the best thing any editor at The Hatchet has ever received – a Playstation game.
OK, maybe I am exaggerating. But seeing as I had just gotten a Playstation over Christmas, I was ecstatic that someone had sent me NCAA Final Four ’99 in the mail. Of course, they probably wanted some kind of favorable review or story about it, but I wasn’t going to oblige them with any kind of press.
That was until I played the game and found out how much it sucked. So let me explain.
Naturally, since Final Four ’99 is a college basketball game, I figured I would be GW. And impressively, the game has nearly every Division I team.
So I had the Colonials on the court – which has at least a passing resemblance to the Smith Center – and I soon figured out that something was very wrong with what I saw on the screen.
Mike King, the shooting guard for GW who I am sure many of you know by sight, was white. Oops.
Of course, none of the players look like the real players anyway, but you’d think you could at least get the color of their skin right.
But that’s not the worst experience I had playing this game. My girlfriend, who had played the game a few times earlier in the day, decided to be Duke University when I sat down to play it with her for the first time. So what do you think the outcome of a game between GW and Duke would be. Yep, you guessed it – GW prevailed in a rather easy win, 85-70.
(Reality check: If GW and Duke played I am pretty sure GW would never win by 15 points. I’m not saying GW couldn’t beat them, but a lopsided win like that is a little hard to swallow.)
On top of the final outcome, there were several other comical moments. (Any players I mention, please don’t be offended.) Albert Roma swatted superstar Elton Brand a couple of times. Antxon Iturbe did a 360-degree dunk after taking off from just inside the foul line.
But the icing on the cake, believe it or not, was that Shawnta Rogers brought down the house with a rim-rattling dunk. I stopped, not quite sure of what I had just seen. The 5-4 Rogers, who literally looks like a little bowling ball on this game compared to the other players, had just thrown one down. Simultaneously pigs flew, the Cubs won the World Series and the temperature dipped below 32 degrees in hell.
Considering everything else I had seen in the game, I was surprised Shawnta wasn’t 7 feet tall. But he was awesome in the game – at least they got that right.