HAMMOND | This sports scribbler had a decision to make back on Feb. 22, 1980. It was a teenage decision which meant, unless I listened to my parents, it was likely to be wrong.
That's how it used to be. Hope it still is.
I could've stayed with the fam and watched Team USA's medal-round game against the Soviet Union in men's hockey. Instead, seeking “art” and “culture,” I let a friend talk me into going to see a movie.
Three hours after watching the gore and depression of “Apocalypse Now,” we walked outside. And every car on U.S. 30 had its horn honking with the windows down and the people inside screaming, “USA, USA, USA ...”
I haven't spoken to that knucklehead since.
Larry Moore Jr. felt a little like Herb Brooks on Thursday night. His Hammond Wildcats hosted Bowman Academy, a sectional preview for the Class 3A Hammond Sectional.
Is Bowman as good as the 1980 Russians? Yeah, probably. Three out of four trips to Indianapolis for state championship games is pretty elite. Cutting down two nets is, too.
The Wildcats were coming off a huge upset of Griffith on Saturday. They're a good team that is starting to peak. But Bowman is another story.
In the first quarter Hammond junior Aaron Haggard kept pushing his hands down and telling his teammates to “Slow down, slow down.” It didn't work.
The Eagles led 38-18 with Davon Dillard being the Boris Mikhailov of the team, the best on the ice (floor).
Despite the final score of 69-43, Hammond played well. The 'Cats bigs – Jeremiah Wilson and Jonte Anderson — competed well. Hammond attacked the basket and got to the line. They missed too many bunnies and free throws.
But remember, the Soviets beat the Americans 10-3 at Madison Square Garden in an exhibition game, just before the Olympics began. That's all Thursday's game was. Maybe.
“Yes,” Moore said when asked if someone had to play a perfect game against Bowman to beat the Eagles. The 'Cats were 15-of-50 from the field, 11-of-19 from the line and had more turnovers than any pen could keep track of.
But Brooks, well, Moore, held his chin up high.
“We didn't back down,” he said. “We went right at them. We just have to clean up some things before sectionals.”
Is there a Mike Eruzione in this sectional? Only time will tell. If there is he'll have to bring his game a block away at the Hammond Civic Center.
As Al Michaels asked, “Do you believe in miracles?” I can't say yes right now. But anything can happen and like a lot of people I'll be at the Civic Center.
I'm never watching “Apocalypse Now” again.