Syracuse vs. Oklahoma. The Sweet Sixteen. A game of this magnitude deserves only the best. And when you talk about the best in sports journalism, you're talking about the big gun. You know what I mean, the writer that every newspaper turns to when they need to take a ham sandwich and turn it into salad niçoise. The writer who can turn a seemingly ordinary chain of events into a treasure trove of hyperbole and metaphor that would make Shapespeare piss his pantaloons.
I'm talking about the featured columnist.
You know ours. Buddy "Big Show" Poliquin. And Bud gets off to a rolicking start this morning, referencing Hercules within the opening paragraph, drops a John Bunyon reference by the third, works in multiple Terminator nods and even finds time to refer to Blake Griffin as "the sculpted Sooner." If God is in the details, Bud's column is the messiah come back to life.
But Bud's not the only featured columnist working this beat. The Oklahoman still has one too. And his name is Berry Tramel. You might possibly remember Berry or wonder why his name sounds so familiar. I've give you a reminder...
Yes, Berry is the newspaper writer who once compared people who peruse message boards to terrorists and exclaimed that they, not corrupt boosters and shady athletic departments, were the true villains of college sports. Good luck with that thesis, Berry.
Alas, we lost touch with Sir Tramel until recently and now he's come back into our lives when we needed him most. To see what kind of metaphorical, world-changing spin the Oklahoman folks are putting on a basketball game involving teenagers.
Berry builds his column around the Superman conceit. Not just for Blake but also for SU's own notable Man of Steel, Carmelo Anthony. But Carmelo didn't win the 2003 title alone. Oh, no, he had help. Although, SU fans might be confused as to actually who that help was...
So Willie Warren and Austin Johnson and Taylor Griffin will have to play the roles of Billy McNamara and Hakim Warrick and Kueth Duany, Anthony’s lieutenants in that 2003 Syracuse run.
Ah, Billy McNamara. So many memories. I wonder where Billy is today. I just hope that he takes some time out of his busy day doing whatever it is he does to say a little prayer for the Orange.
H/T: Andy K.