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Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas in Boston, I hope I don't Break IT!

Posted March 26, 2009

Oh yes, Boston. Home of the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Patriots, the Bruins, and of course the place they filmed "Cheers. "There’s a lot going on in this town. It’s a happening place!! Why am I here again? I had to check with the lady at the radio station WBZ, who was so kind to let me use a studio to do our regular radio show the Insiders from 3-7. Mrs. Mary is as sweet as she can be, and boy does she love her sports! But guess how long it took here to guess why I was in town. It was right after, "Are you doing a story on Doug Flutie?” No joke.

I talked with Bob Ryan from the Boston Globe yesterday, and he said that the tournament was sold out. So I can’t criticize too much about why the NCAA would choose Boston as a location for a regional. But it is interesting the number of people in this area who are unaware that college basketball has rolled into town. Of course, cities do all they can to bring the NCAA tournament to their town - and not for the people who live there, but to bring in the out-of-towners and their money. (Please, remember this the next time Raleigh gets a major event at the RBC Center like the NHL All-Star game or the NCAA tournament. That’s “money” coming into your town locking up traffic).

I digress. At the shoot-around, one of the four teams thad more fans than all the rest. Guess which one that was, Mrs. Mary. That would be North America’s team (thank you TO), Duke University. About 5,000 fans came to watch Duke. There were kids dressed out in Duke jerseys yelling out names I had never heard of before. “Jawn Shi-ya!” and “Je-rld Hen-da-sn!” The smile was a mile wide on Coach K’s face. He’s loves to tell everyone that Duke University is a “national school” and that he recruits “nationally.”

Well, apparently his fans are, too. Trust me those kids weren’t from Spivey’s Corner.

Back to the basketball. I can tell from talking with the guys in the media that the Boston bracket is going to be a doosey. The top four seeds are here. No Cinderella may mean that every game will be a nail-biter. I got a chance to catch-up with Xavier head coach Sean Miller after his shoot-around. He came to N.C. State in 1996 as an assistant to Herb Sendek. I told him “Congratulations, on his success as a head coach.” Oh, and whether or not he would ever consider coming to coach at … Wake Forest.

And last, what every has been waiting for from me, the food. The media buffet line was short, and so was the taste of the stuffed pasta shells they were serving, YUCK! I was a little disappointed in Boston. Until I saw the desert corner. Holy Smokes. Five different kinds of pies, Boston Cream Pie, banana cream pie. They apparently blew the budget on the desserts. No complaining here.

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  • TarheelTurtle Mar 26, 3:16 p.m.

    Wow! Great stuff there, Mark. Did you take a Journalism 101 class on the plane ride up there? Duke has alot of fans in the Northwest? No! I'm shocked! Are you certain? "I talked to some guys in the media." You mean an ACTUAL journalist, not a pretender such as yourself. Did you learn anything? (Rhetorically speaking, of course).

    There is much more to Boston cuisine than the media buffet at the Tourney. Spoken like a true hick from Smithfield. Is this your first time in the big city? What's that you say? You played in the NFL?

    (Empty pause)

    Excuse me, I choked on my lunch. Back to you, though. It's bad enough when listening to your pedestrian commentary on the radio. Please, I beg you, stay away from the keyboard. Get out with a smidge of dignity.

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