Thoughts of Motel 6, Roy
If you're not sick about reading about the "Bulldog Bash," you ought to be. If you still enjoy hearing about the "Bash" I would suggest you visit a professional to have your thought process examined. As I was helping with the final preparations for the event, my thought processes involved Motel 6 and Roy Williams.
This summer, my wife decided we needed to make a stop in Chicago en route to Cleveland to visit former BU trainer Rick Newman. After the "joy" of a 540-mile ride in our '92 Dodge Caravan, we pulled into the downtown Chicago Motel 6 and spent two sweaty nights for the "special weekend rate" of $120 per night!! That's right $120 at the Motel 6 and we got a DEAL!
As I was helping with the "Bash" set up, I was looking around and thinking that we had everything provided for LESS than one stinking night at the downtown Chicago Motel 6! Again, thanks to some very generous folks, the "Bash" was one heck of a financial success. The food and entertainment tents were provided by Jack Metzger, a Baker alum and a basketball official who will actually talk to me in the offseason! Mike Spielman and Ken Wagner kicked in the smaller tents. Besides providing the food, Baker gave us all kinds of things to use including the cookers, stage platforms, and ice chests not to mention full access to all of the BU facilities, including the softball field.
Thanks to Sonic, Walt's, Subway, Taco Bell, Dari Ring and Santa Fe Market, we were able to get over 200 food coupons for ZERO dollars. The Baker basketball players and golfers were lined up to work at the event for the cost of a few polish dogs. Again, I might not be recruiting the best or smartest athletes, but I would say my guys can eat with any team in the country.
The "Bash" also had plenty of people who pitched in with free labor, charcoal and other donations. The Lodge gave us unlimited use of their facility throughout the summer and the list of people who donated time and money to the "Bash" is too long to publish.
Now, back to the Motel 6 and Chicago where the AC broke down the second night. After paying the bill, I was able to get our van out of the parking garage by only paying $53 for two days' parking! Looking at those figures, it's pretty easy to say the "Bash" was a bargain!
On several occasions while getting ready for the "Bash," Roy Williams came to mind. Coach Williams and I have quite a bit in common. We're both about the same age, we've been in the area about the same time and we both like to golf. He has trouble with Duke and I have trouble with Mid America.
We do have a few minor differences, however. Coach Williams' income is probably a bit higher than mine and he's won a few hundred more games. Whereas he had to endure a two-week golfing vacation in Scotland with KU football coach Terry Allen, I took a two-day trip to Canton, Missouri, with Junior Brecheisen. He might have had the chance to play with Coach Allen and a couple good golfers at St. Andrews, but I know it doesn't compare with battling Larry Colson, Jay Kreighbaum and Gary Griffin at the plush Baldwin course in the club tournament.
When I was loading a bunch of tent poles in my van and it was 105 degrees, I was thinking about Roy Williams. By working at KU, he was really missing out on some great opportunities for the many "bonding" activities of the "Bash," including the pounding of tent stakes with a sledge hammer and the popular hauling of the ice chests. He might have Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison and Andrew Gooden, but if he wants to match those three with John Duncanson, Adam Glenn and Brandon Scarborough in a tent-setting contest, I'm ready. Nick Collison might be an All American basketball player someday, but John Duncanson is a consensus All American tent setter right now!
So, what lessons are to be learned from the "Bash," Motel 6 and Roy Williams? Simple first, it's possible to try to feed and entertain several hundred people for less than a night at the Motel 6. Second, high school All American basketball players who are considering Baker and KU need to remember that they'll get the chance to put up tents at Baker.
Thanks to the many people who supported the "Bash" and to those who worked hard to make it a successful fundraiser. The process certainly wasn't smooth and there were plenty of rough edges but it got the job done.
For me, it's been fun writing a few things for The Signal. The thick skin and hard head that I have developed during three decades of coaching have helped me survive the critiques of my writing. Still, the comments about my "double chin" mug shot photo really sting.