Star of the small screen?
March 14, 2008, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Basketball, Random

LOS ANGELES — For the past two nights, I have been on national television, broadcast into the living rooms of millions of Americans.

Well, at least my spirit has. Because you can’t see me — I’m hidden behind the backboard’s support arm, sitting at a press table along the southern baseline. My seat is located next to the “visiting” (lower-seeded) team’s bench, along with the two other Spokesman-Review reserved seats.

Me 2

At least my seat is closer than the Evergreen’s. Five minutes — yes, five minutes — before the Cougars game started last night, I was walking from the press room back to my courtside table when I hear someone shout, “Eaton!” Huh? No one here knows me that well.

It was reporter Mikey Baldwin and photographer Alicia Carlson, from the Daily Evergreen. They had just arrived at Staples Center after a 45-minute taxi ride from LAX. Why were they so late? They told me Mike Feigen, their sports editor, was going to pick them up at the airport but decided not to because he got a good parking spot at Staples. Way to support your staffers, Mike.

Well, that’s what Mikey and Alicia told me.

At least they made it. I made sure Mikey found his table and Alicia knew where to go as a photographer.

The game was, to say the least, fun to watch. The Cougars exploded ahead of Oregon and built a 20-point lead with 30 seconds to go in the first half. In those final 30, however, they gave up five straight points.

The Ducks kept fighting back and changing up how they ran their offense, and it threw the Cougars for a bit of a loop. WSU had to go with a smaller line-up by taking out center Aron Baynes, and that diminished Wazzu’s offensive ability a bit. Good thing the Cougars had built that 20-point lead, because they needed that entire buffer to escape with a quarterfinal win.

They advanced to the semifinals to play against Stanford at 8:30 p.m. today. Should be a tough game — last time they played, two weeks ago, WSU opened a 16-point lead or something in the first half only to give it up in the second, leaving the Bay Area with a loss. Nevertheless, I expect tonight’s game to be a close one.

Enough about basketball.

Oh wait. I have nothing else to say. Unless you want to hear about my lunch today at Starbucks (grande Americano with room for cream, $2.25, and an L.A. Times, 50 cents) and Quizno’s (regular black Angus steak sub, $8.65).


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