Ed & Me

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Last night I walk into Niketown on 57th street, to look for some gym-stuff, like shorts and t-shirts. I'm in the basketball section trying to figure out if I'm an XL or L for shorts and I'm quizzing one of the Nike employees on the waist size of an L vs. XL...when in walks two guys.

One is a white kid, not sure how old he was, and next to him was a gi-normous black man wearing a Villanova hat.

I perk up, because Villanova was my alma mater, and the Nike employee walks over to the guy in the white hat and at first just does the standard "Can I help you look". The employees stops, looked at the guy in the white hat and his bored demeanor switches to 'excited' and he shakes the guy's hand (the kind of informal side-street-ball-urban-hip-brother-handshake).epick.jpg

So, me being me, (which means i'm fairly direct and straightforward)...I get their attention up from about 10 feet away, saying "Hey, Villanova is my alma mater - do you go there? First off, I had no idea how old this guy was, he just looked like a regular (yet very tall) black guy. Secondly, he was 10 feet away and since he like 6'10 - I had a strong feeling he played a sport, and it wasn't fencing. But honesty, I was just more enjoying that I was meeting a fellow alumni.

He replied back, "You went to 'Nova? When did you graduate?"

I said, "1994."

He says back, "That's cool! I was 1985."

1985. Villanova. Nope, my brain is still on auto-pilot. Again, I'm kind of clued in that he was probably sports since Villanova is also known as "Vanillanova" - we weren't a very diverse school - many of the athletic black students were on the sports teams.

"1985? That's cool, my cousin was there around that time - maybe you know 'Joe so-and-so'."

His eyes light up and he thinks about it, and seems to sound familiar to him - but he wasn't sure.

He asked if I was going to the game tomorrow (which is today), and I said no that I would be at work. I told him it's hard to root for Villanova...

"Because like all Philly teams they keep breaking your heart..."

Yes. I said that. Later on I wonder why the guy didn't slap me (I'll get to that later).

He asked my name and I told him, and he told me his name was Ed. We chatted a bit for about 2 more minutes, shook hands and I walked away. By this time the little gears were starting to turn in my head a bit and it was only starting to dawn on yours truly a few thoughts:

"Hey, that guy Ed was tall. He must have played ball at 'Nova. 1985? Let me think that is 9 years before me, and...OHMYFUCKINGGOD!"

I ran home and fired up my trusty internet...and go to google.com. I type in "Villanova Basketball Ed 1985" and get this link:

http://villanova.collegesports.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/pinckney_ed00.html

I was speaking to Ed Pinckney, the GOD of Villanova basketball - the guy who shut down Patrick Ewing - on the team that won the Championship - Villanova's one claim to fame.

I had no idea; I just thought it was some alumni named Ed, who was in the Nike store. I feel really bad now telling him that Villanova basketball would break my heart every year.

But then again. They play today. Maybe he is sitting in the locker room and telling his team, "I met this guy FUREY last night and he was an alumnus of Villanova. He told me that EVERY YEAR the basketball team breaks his heart! He says that he wishes he could root, but it hurts so much - what are we going to do about that? Let's win the tourney for Furey."

Hey, that is catchy.

So if Villanova goes all the way - you can thank me.

If Villanova loses. Well.

I told you so, Ed.

Yes, I'm clueless sometimes. Honestly I know many of you must be shaking your head thinking "YOU DIDN'T KNOW ED PINCKNEY?!"

In 1985 I was more worried about how I was going to lower the Armor Class of my monk in my Dungeons & Dragons game than watching Villanova (or any college) basketball. My weekends were spent worrying about Dr. Who being on PBS than the Wildcats being a Cinderella story. I was 13 and I was a nerd....deal with it. :)

Ed - if you read this one day when you Google your name - it was nice to meet you.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on March 10, 2005 11:59 AM.

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Top 5: Embarassing Moments: High School is the next entry in this blog.

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