Author Donovan Potts

38 entries

Belmont vs Memphis: Marathon Part 1 - Delta Blues and Joni Mitchell

"He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determines the end." -Harry Emerson Fosdick We were up before the sun and on the road by the time the first light filtered through the low, gray sky. We drifted south through the southernmost part of Illinois and then...

St. Louis at SIU: Marathon Part 2 - You Can Go Home Again

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned... I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." -Maya Angelou The last rays of daylight coming through the gray sky guided our way back over the Mississippi River and into Illinois....

Coach's Decision

When it gets down to it, basketball is basketball. -Larry BirdI know what you're asking yourself, and the answer is yes. There is a shrine to Larry Bird at Indiana State's Hulman Cente...

Showtime in Peoria

The phrase "Will it play in Peoria? " traces its roots to the days of Vaudeville. Performers believed the inhabitants of this city on the banks of the Illinois River to be the ultimate "focus group": far enough from the East Coast that most of the latest trends hadn't reached them yet but close enough to Chicago...

You Must Fight It

I didn't expect to meet him so early in my travels. My hopes were to finally come face to face with him sometime in January, when a trip to Cedar Falls or Indianapolis loomed before me. I really hadn't anticipated him showing up in late November, just three weeks into what will be a 17 week journey through the...

The Waiting is Easier With Soup

Previously, we discussed Resistance, the ugly voice inside everyone's head that keeps them from chasing after what they really want to do. It's the enemy of our hopes and dreams. But what I found as I rolled over the Ohio River and into Evansville five hours before tip-off was an entirely different, yet familiar...

We Are the E

The E is what makes it different. The E sets it apart from its older sibling. Some even say the E makes it better. But as advertisements in the St. Louis area like to ask: What does the E equal? In 1957, the E stood for essential. As the Illinois communities east of St. Louis - locally referred to as the "Metro...

What Do You Mean, That's Not Steve Perry?

If I may indulge my inner hipster for just a moment, allow me to say that I liked the band Journey before liking Journey became cool. I'm not old enough to say I was there from the very...

Double Duty

Videographer. Photographer. Photojournalist. "Hey, Camera Guy!" I've answered to all of these. According to my current employer, my job title is Cameraperson. I work at a television station, and I go out to where the news is happening and get the video of that news which runs on your local newscast. You name...

The Southern Illinois Showdown Throwdown!

This was a game I had been looking forward to for a while: The C vs The E, Little Sister vs Big Brother, the matchup to show which SIU reigned as the dominant basketball force in the southern tier of the Land of Lincoln. As we've discussed before, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville started as a satellite...

Far from Normal

If there's one gripe I can come up with about the otherwise wonderful set of games I've had the honor of attending this season, it's that few of them have been, shall we say, interesting games. Don't get me wrong, any college basketball game is interesting in its own way, if you look for it. And I have been rapt...

When You Say Saint Louis...

They came filing into the Jewel of Midtown slowly, each one wearing their trademark blue and white rugby shirts, carrying an instrument case in one hand and a music stand in the other. Slowly the grouping filled in: drums in front, flutes and clarinets behind them, then saxophones, trombones, then trumpets, sousaphones...

The Dual Nature of Fans

At first blush, I thought I would be in for a rather enjoyable experience when I took my seat at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The fans around me streamed in slowly during the preceding women's game, chatting happily with others as they made their way to their seats. As the men's teams warmed up, the...

Semper Fi

In 1926, Ray Hanson arrived in Macomb, Ill., as the new Athletic Director at the Western Illinois Teachers' College. Nicknamed "Rock" from his friendship with Knute Rockne, Hanson's earliest goal was to change the name of the school's athletic teams from the Howlin' Teachers to something a bit tougher. Hanson...

Remember

"So, why are you taking notes? " The first time I heard it was last month in Moraga, Calif., while watching St. Mary's dismantle Jackson State. It was from a middle-aged man seated just to my right, the one who had just berated the poor young lady usher for making him and his wife take the long way to his seat...

I'm Glad You Asked

It's walking through a neighborhood of quaint houses on a brisk January afternoon, turning the corner and coming face to face with history made of brick and glass. It's hearing the ...

Road Advantage

As inspiring as the trip to Butler may have been, the true fun from this Hoosier State expedition was being able to share the basketball travels with three of my friends. Wes is my best friend from our college days at Missouri. Drew is the Southern Illinois grad who has already made trips with me to Memphis and...

The Path to Redemption Avoids Thursday

"The Week from Hell" was what the Southern Illinois radio announcers were calling it as Drew, my friend and SIU alumnus, and I made the drive into Carbondale. In the seven days that made up the third full week of January, the Salukis suffered a solid McDermott-ing (Doug with 25 points and 11 rebounds) in a 19-point...

Dance With Me

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music." -George Carlin Great sports traditions share common traits. They are organic in nature, as they derive from simple beginnings. They also spread through the surrounding culture in a spontaneous, natural way. And once the tradition has...

SEMO, SIUE, AND RAISINS IN MY TOAST

I actually wasn't supposed to be at this game, but once again my employers surprised me. They changed my schedule in order for me to cover the above-the-red-line game 120 miles west of St. Louis, which delighted me, as it still is my alma mater, and I like to see them play. But doing the math in my head -- 12:30...

The Inevitable

I'm afraid we have reached that time. It's the part of the story when you realize the pages in your left hand far outnumber the pages in your right hand, when the narrative is coming into clear focus and you understand just how this thing is probably going to wrap up. There are plenty of teams still with much...

Hard to Stay Dry in Portland

I may be in the minority here, but when I come to Portland, Oregon, I want it to rain. I've seen it both ways, and the Rose City is breathtakingly gorgeous when it's sunny, too. The skies turn a crisp shade of clean, bright blue. The hills around the city shine a brilliant jade green even in the heart of winter,...

Home Again, Home Again

Forgive my touristy nature, but the first thing I did upon arriving in Seattle was to go up in the Space Needle. I mean, I did have time to kill before heading to Key Arena, just a few hundred feet away, for a game. And, I can now say I've been in two of the tallest structures in America, the other being the...

It's Been a Long Season

I feel kind of bad that I don t have the time to write a proper obituary on that which was Southern Illinois 2011-12 season. But maybe it s better that way. Maybe it s better to ju...

Can't Dig Out of a Hole

Just as Southern Illinois had the honor of being the team I followed most this season, Drake had the distinction of being the only Missouri Valley team I did not get to see in person during the regular...

Assert Your Dominance

As I made my way into downtown St. Louis, I was met with the spectrum of team colors slowly making their way into a building usually reserved for just blue. Golds and reds, purples and blues all crossed Clark Avenue in front of me and walked into the Scottrade. It was Valley Friday in St. Louis, and when the sun...

Dance, Dance, Revolution

Earlier this season, we discussed the Interlude, the dance craze started by three Northern Iowa students which quickly swept through campus, becoming a UNI tradition as well as an internet sensation. Since my piece on the Interlude was published, the dance received approval from the highest ranks of our nation....

Rise and Fall

One of the benefits of having the Missouri Valley tournament here in St. Louis is that I feel like I have a role as an ambassador of my fair city for those who are here from the various Valley towns. I've helped people find their way around the Scottrade Center. I advised a couple from Illinois State on the neighborhood...

The Thing Runs Itself

My MVC mole friend paid me another visit in the sparsely populated upper deck during the second half of the last game of the night. He has paid me regular visits during the tournament, providing me with game stats and rosters, a whole stack of media guides I'll probably never read, insider dish from the inner...

You Would Rather Play Us, Right?

The line for tickets stretched outside the door of the Scottrade Center, most of them clad in gold. The Wichita State fan base had grown again, this time taking up almost the entire west end of the arena and a decent portion of those in the upper deck, where I was sitting. The pregame introductions now came with...

Just a Little Glory

It seems like a pretty standard line in a play-by-play scoring account when you first look at it: 02:34 GOOD! 3 PTR by Dorwart, Matthew 96-66 Dorwart had checked into the game with 3:04 left, his Creighton team holding a comfortable 93-66 lead. After the top seed of the tournament, Wichita State, had been dispatched...

Insania Omnia Vincit

One might think something that so perfectly describes Our Game during its season's final month was a creation of a slick New York ad agency, working in close cooperation with the highest authorities of the NCAA itself, run through dozens of focus groups. Surely it had to be put through the quintessential sportz...

Epilogue, The Eighth

I. Something Like His"Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they're showing you the way." -Donald Miller, Blue Like JazzI read an article once saying the purpose of writing was threefold: to inform, to entertain, and to persuade. Good writers could do...

The Lone Gaucho

Fresh on the minds of the crowd filing into Redbird Arena was the end of last season. The Redbirds had come up just short of an NCAA berth by losing in overtime to Creighton in the Missouri Valley Championship. Then their coach, Tim Jankovich, left to be the heir apparent at Southern Methodist. Dan Muller, the...

The Showdown, The Throwdown

(Photo courtesy BND.com - ZIA NIZAMI) We knew coming into this game there would be tension. Here we had two schools separated by just 100 miles of Illinois prairie and two letters. One program is starting a rise from the lowest they've ever been. They had heard and read the talk; "Southern Illinois basketball...

When in Athens...

In the middle of Nashville's Centennial Park, a green space among the growing expanse of asphalt, unending traffic, and chain stores that is the West End, stands a slice of antiquity in a modern world. It is a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon, the crown jewel of the Acropolis and the pride of the Athens...

Renovation, Revelation, Resurrection

"More than anything, the old arena felt like a home," my friend Drew said. He was referring to SIU Arena at Southern Illinois, his alma mater and site of some of his favorite memories. "The smell of popcorn was always strong," Drew recalled. "Lining up outside hours before the game to get in, walking up the...

Avoiding the Obvious

"You know, I could always go down and get post-game sound from SIUE and SLU." I had thrown it out there just as a suggestion, an effort to stave off boredom or keep myself from a worse fate. With a light snow continuing to fall around St. Louis, it was only a matter of time before those in charge of determining...

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David & Goliath: A Love Story

A new underdog book about disadvantage, survival, justice and probabilities by Kyle Whelliston, coming late 2019 Q2.