Thursday, March 27, 2008

Come one, Come All

By Preston Davis

The CBS Early Show made it to town, and with them a blurred understanding of who or what is actually causing all the raucous: outside media attention or our boys on the hardwood? It’s obvious the ‘Cats are the catalyst, but all the recognition makes for quite the hullaballoo. For Davidsonians, it’s like the circus just wheeled in—no elephants, just cameras and CBS Weather Anchor Dave Price with his production entourage.

They fawn over us. We fawn right back. I suppose when good news is in the air, we all become sycophants to a degree.

Staring at 6:30 this morning the Alvarez College Union became the place to be. Between the Early Show’s main story on the evolution of wedding cakes, the CBS studio shot to us to provide the nation’s weather report.

“Where’d all these people come from?” one soccer mom says to another soccer mom. Doesn’t she know? When the circus comes to town, everyone comes to town.

Scan the crowd. The parents and kids are back. The pep band plays the chorus of Sweet Caroline over and over; We scream it back at them, “SO GOOD! SO GOOD!” There’s a portly 20-something, shirtless, painted red, wearing a whiskered cat nose, tail dangling and some sort of domestic animal floppy ears—he looks like he escaped off the Island of Dr. Moreau. Suits and slobs intermingle to get a glimpse of Dave Price, everyone’s new best friend.  We all politely jostle for better position to see and be seen on national television.

Isn’t it funny that when a camera of consequence enters a room all bets are off and most all faculties of reason leave the mind? With our sheer numbers (400+) and our fervent screaming, Davidson, a gem of higher education in the south with its 23 Rhode Scholars, probably looked like a gaggle of maniacs on TV this morning.

Ain’t it grand?

But really, most of the time we grinned at the spectacle, made small talk and ate our Krispy Kreme. We watched Dave shoot basketball (he missed a lot); We watched him try to talk about Davidson basketball (he mispronounced Stephen’s name); We watched him play a pep band horn (children covered their ears). Despite all of that, we loved him every minute, and once the red light flickered on: SHOWTIME! Dave led the chant and we fell right in. LET’S GO CATS!!!... and on and on.

The TV cameras are nice, and we’re excited about them. But I don’t think focus has been lost. It’s still about our boys. And they in turn helped bring everything under the Davidson bar and diamond into the nation’s view. We know that all of this is a finite thing whether we go to finals or lose tomorrow.

We know come middle of next week CBS could easily be in someone else’s student union while we shake our heads, saying, “would you look at these maniacs.”

But for now we’ll take it all in. It’s all icing on the cake, wedding or not. It’s sweet and so good, so good.

Most likely I’m on the road now, somewhere between Davidson to Knoxville or Knoxville to Detroit with my 4 compatriots. When the sun wakes up tomorrow, I hope I will have beaten it to 8 mile.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


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