This years Hardwood Banquet is approaching. It is this Sunday, and I will be attending for the second straight year, third time overall. The first time I went was in 1987. Rubbing elbows with the likes of Coleman, Seikely, Douglas, and such. I'm not sure why we didn't go again until 2012, but I'm glad we did. It really is a great outing. As this year's event is upon us, it reminded me of something that happened last year that is worth sharing.
At last years event, the first hour was basically spent waiting in line for player and coaches autographs. I had the players and Coach Boehiem sign a matte that I later framed with the program from the evening. At the end of that table there was a table of legends, otherwise known as the assistant coaches. Those four gentlemen provided me this gem. Although there was a "rule" that they would only be signing team posters (for a fee), they were breaking the rules. I also had McNamara sign a #3 jersey from his era. While he was doing that, this happened...
Before I can finish you need the back story. A local radio station, TK99, had weeks earlier been taking a poll online of hottest wives in sports. They were talking about this on the radio, and updating the listeners as to the poll results so far. The choices were Julie Boehiem, Gisele, Tiger Woods old lady, etc. A little strange I thought that there was all these national figures, and then Julie. Obviously being in Syracuse, Julie was in the lead. They started taking calls from listeners as to who else was thought of as a hot sports wife. Someone called and said Daryl Waltrip's wife, and a few other calls I don't remember. Then I called. I got through, and said "with all due respect to Julie Boehiem, the top prize goes to Katie McNamara". They agreed, and we had a few laughs. Now, a few days later, Gerry was in for his regular weekly in-studio visit. They brought this subject up, and then played him the clip of my phone call. They had some laughs, as did I, and he jokingly said something along the lines of "Hey Now!". That's the end of that, or so I thought.
On the way to last year's banquet, I was telling this story to my sister, brother-in-law, and my niece in the car. As Gerry signed my jersey, my niece says "do you remember the phone call to TK99 where the guy said your wife was the hottest sports wife? This is him!", as she points to me. Mortified, I watch Gerry look up from my jersey, with a bit of stink in his eye. I could not believe she did this to me. Not knowing what else to do, I just said with a shrug of the shoulders, "just call 'em like I see 'em". Obviously he wasn't really bent, and Hopkins sitting next to him was dying laughing at the whole exchange. I shook his hand, thanked him, and went on my way. Embarrassed as hell.
Hopefully, this year will be as entertaining, without the awkward moment. Etan Thomas will be on hand to receive the Conrad McRae Endowment Award, so it will be cool to see him again also. Perhaps I'll fill you all in afterwards, and provide some sweet pictures.