Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lessons from the Bahamas

My family traveled to the Bahamas over Thanksgiving to watch the University of Louisville play in the Battle 4 Atlantis basketball tournament and to enjoy some winter warmth. Here are a few things we learned during our trip.
Leap of Faith or Atomic Wedgie?
  • Southwest Airlines “can’t control the weather.” At least that’s what they told me ad nauseam after I missed connections because of fog in St. Louis. I’m still trying to figure out what fog in St. Louis had to do with either Louisville or Fort Lauderdale.
  • A $12 mango daiquiri is good, but not $12 worth (with tip) of good.
  • Forget Chris, everybody hates Duke. My U of L gear always evoked a refrain from fans of other schools of “Beat Duke.” Wish we could have.
  • Treat yourself to the grouper at Twin Brothers, even if you have to go outside to find the restroom.
  • Senior Cardinal guard Peyton Siva is not only a terrific player, but an outstanding leader. When I peeked underneath the bleachers at halftime of the championship game against Duke and saw him bring the team together for a players’ only huddle, I knew the Cardinals were going to make a run at it, which they did.
  • Get your bearings before you get on the rapids / wave attraction at Atlantis or you may get trapped in some kind of time space warp.
  • Before the season, I figured Gorgui Dieng was the player the Cardinals could least afford to lose. That’s before I knew of the talents of Montrezl Harrell and the heart of Steven Van Treese. Van Treese’s story is particularly compelling. If Rick Pitino had had his way, Van Treese would’ve been playing for Division II Bellarmine instead of going toe to toe with Duke’s Mason Plumlee in a battle of top five teams.
  • They ought to change the name of the “Leap of Faith” to the “Atomic Wedgie.”
  • VCU fans are fervent. I particularly enjoyed the big guy with ram horns and cape, although I don’t think he possessed any actual super powers.
  • When cars drive on the wrong side of the road, you’re never sure whether they’re coming or going. Just to be safe, apply “look both ways” liberally.
  • Sometimes it’s a good thing when you can’t find the Big East Network. (Think football).
  • Heed the wave warnings. Those things hit like Michael Bush.
  • The only thing in the Bahamas with bolder and more unpredictable moves than Russ Smith is a Bahamian taxi driver.
  • Just because you can charge everything to a room key, doesn’t mean you have to. Otherwise, you might order a second $12 daiquiri.