As most of you know, I grew up watching Carolina basketball. My Pappy, my mom, my dad ... they all enjoyed watching Dean Smith lead the Heels, and I followed suit. Spending that time with my family either in front of the TV, or listening to Woody or at the games is such a fond memory. Watching this Carolina team, with so much youth, evokes memories of my own youth and the Tar Heel teams of the past. They are hard working. They listen to their coach. They play great team defense. They take good shots (ok, Terry had one terrible shot last night). The fire and passion Roy Williams has brought to his team is just what the Carolina faithful has needed. Yes, there was that little National Championship win last year, but this season might end up being more rewarding for Tar Heel fans.
We concluded our regular season men's basketball schedule yesterday with a home loss to Tennessee. Needless to say, there are always fireworks when UT and Vandy occupy the same facility. I just didn't think those fireworks would involve me.
I take a lot of pride in my work, and I take pride in the fact I am diligent with my prior planning. With yesterday serving as Senior Day, it was important for me to get information to UT earlier in the week so they could prepare properly. To make a long story short, their prior planning wasn't up to par, and it cause a heated conversation between me and their head coach. I'm not proud of myself for getting into the exchange, but the pride I take in my job wouldn't allow me to just sit around and allow them to disrespect us. It as bush league and they know it was. I understand the rivalry. Hell, I just watched the greatest in sports last night. However, there should always be a certain level of respect. I was disappointed in their staff, that is for certain.
Work will pick up the next few days. Nashville is host to the SEC Men's basketball tournament later this week, and then we host 1st and 2nd rounds of NCAA Women's basketball next week. In some ways I am dreading it, in other ways I'm sure it will be fun. Time flies when you busy, right? Please tell me it does.
This past Wednesday, the SEC lost one of its Associate Commissioners to a short battle with cancer. In turn, I lost a great mentor. Brad Davis was a great man. Working with him over the past 2 and a half years, I realized just how important he was to this conference. I was fortunate enough to work with him for numerous SEC championships, as well as various event management meetings. He was just a kind soul who always wanted to help others. Brad will be missed by so many people, I just feel fortunate to have known him and worked with him.