Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dick Enberg and the Upside-Down Cheerleader

As is obvious from the title, what I'm about to relay deserves its own post. The UCLA-VCU game really packed in every possible element you want in an NCAA tournament game. An underdog with game versus a blue-blood basketball power. A dynamic star player in Eric Maynor. A fantastic fan section and band for VCU. Clutch threes, a comeback, and a thrilling ending. And also very, very good seats. 

But if there was one thing that will stay with Shankar and me from this weekend, it's this incident. At one point late in the game, with the excitement up throughout the building and the VCU fans in a lather, the VCU cheerleaders went over in front of their fan section to do their routine during a timeout. One part of this routine was one cheerleader walking on her hands. All the way down the court. And back. With no breaks! As she crossed halfcourt the first time, the crowd started to stand, and the whole arena was cheering her on. When she reached the far baseline, she turned around and started back without coming down from her handstand, and we all went completely nuts. As she crossed back over halfcourt, she was right in front of CBS's announcer team of Jay Bilas and Dick Enberg. Shankar suddenly told me to look at Dick Enberg, and what I saw changed my opinion of him forever. All day we had been making jokes about Enberg thinking he was calling the French Open, mistaking Hispanic players for Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario etc. He seems so proper in his way, and calling golf and tennis seems to be the best fit for him at his age. I mean, his signature phrase is "Oh my!" But we love the guy. 

Well right then, as the VCU cheerleader passed in front of his table a second time, the man had jumped up behind his table, with his headset on, and was whipping his right arm around in a frenzy again and again as if to push her on, and he continued until she finally came down from her handstand to a huge ovation. Dick Enberg, rock star. It was incredible. You have to love March Madness. 

1 comment:


    Boston: Lundquist/Raftery
    Glendale: Enberg/Bilas
    Memphis: Nantz/Kellogg
    Indy: Johnson (unless he's dismissed for fighting in a bar) /Elmore