Media timeout: Football team, celebrities seem to flock to Connecticut

The Ball State football team had a couple of brushes with greatness last weekend in Connecticut.

I would venture to guess that there are only two to three celebrities in Connecticut at any given time. If that is indeed the case, the football team ran into all of them.

On Friday a member of the coaching staff and assistant athletic director Joe Hernandez caught a glimpse of Sir Paul McCartney at Bradley International Airport in Hartford. According to The Star Press of Muncie, their view was blocked due to a presidential-size entourage.

That night, the team stayed in the same hotel as basketball coaching legend Dean Smith. The Ball State Cardinals were just a hotel elevator ride away from immortality.

These things in and of themselves cannot provide enough material for a column, but it did make me think about something. If I could stay in a hotel with sports celebrities and perhaps a knighted musician or two, whom would I chose.

My first and easiest choice would be Larry Bird. I would get a kick out of the Hick from French Lick. One of the greatest basketball players of all time (who cares if he's goofy), and I could share a bagel at the continental breakfast and exchange pleasant nods when we pass each other in the hallway.

And forget Sir Paul. Give me Sir Charles.

Charles Barkley would be a perfect hotel-mate. He has more bogus opinions than this publication's opinion page, and he is funny to boot.

Quick sidebar: did you know that the knight who invented King Arthur's round table was named Sir Cumference?

Back to reality, who else would I not mind meeting at the ice machine, tiny bucket in hand?

Give me Joe Montana. This guy could play. You don't hear much about him anymore, but he is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.

Okay, now prepare yourselves for the last choice. Since we are on the subject of knights, I can't help but include the General, Bobby Knight.

I know he is controversial, I know he may choke me or shoot me at any time, but I want to talk to the guy. His numbers show that he is a fantastic coach, just a bit insane.

He is not a big fan of sportswriters either. Knight once said, "All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us move on to better things."

But I'm prepared to handle the attitude and the language. I'm sure he and Charles would get along just fine.

And I'm sure neither one of them would have an entourage.

Write to Jay at


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