Monday, January 09, 2006

CIS Basketball
Quoth the Ravens

A lot of wacky things happen to you in this business, but this past weekend may top them all.

After a month-long break in The Globe and Mail's weekly CIS coverage, it was time to get back on the horse, so to speak, and bring the feature back for today's paper. My subject of choice for the kicking-off-the-new-year article? Coach Dave Smart and his basketball team, the Carleton Ravens, who had won 87 straight games dating back to 2002. Why not start with the best, I reasoned.

I'd talked to Smart previously for a story I had done at the Post, and I knew talking to the media — and about the streak in particular — wasn't exactly his idea of good times. Even still, he's one of Canadian university athletics most interesting, and well-known, personalities, and I thought a brief excerpt of some of his musings would be worth the copy.

After an interview with Smart on Saturday afternoon before the Ravens game that night, I was pretty pleased with how the story would turn out. One of the main themes behind the questions I asked him was: 'What exactly happens when this team finally loses?' After winning for more than three straight years, people had become quite ho-hum about the team — but surely once they lost, the 'end of a dynasty' talk would begin.

Little did I know at the time, that talk was to start soon after I'd gotten off the phone with Smart. After three national championships and beating pretty much everyone there was to beat in university basketball, the Ravens lost 69-67 to the Brock Badgers on Saturday.

Suddenly, an interview with their coach about his team's dominance wasn't so relevant any more.

Out with the old copy, in with the new.

The good news was that I was able to track Smart down yesterday, ask a few more questions and cobble a story from the weekend that not a lot of other publications had. It's amazing that for all of the copy dedicated to the Ravens the past three years, hardly anyone was there when it came to an end.

As it was, I just happened to be.


At 5:29 p.m., January 10, 2006, Anonymous dad said...

sometimes that's the way the 'ball bounces' heheheh.


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