23rd of November.
Had it been 1963 I would’ve been watching the first ever episode of Doctor Who. If I liked Doctor Who. It would probably help if I was old enough too.
As it happened it was 2014 and the first home double header. One of the season’s booziest games then one of the season’s most exciting games. The story is here .
2 games, 2 wins. Closely followed by an away double header. 2 more games, 2 losses. One of which was a 2nd appalling performance against Cheshire Phoenix.
New York, New York. So good they named it twice.
Paul Egwuonwu. So good we signed him twice! The big man returned and immediately set out to prove us
right, wrong, probably right, not sure. I’ll let you make up your own minds!
Did the losses matter? Did they heck! The following week was a 2 legged semi final against Bristol. I’d like to tell an enthralling tale about end to end basketball and last minute winners, about overcoming adversity and playing with broken legs.
I’d *like* to.
The most exciting thing about this weekend was the Rocks’ plane being late into Bristol. The 2nd leg is up there with the most boring games i’ve ever watched. Oh, and it meant we were into the final. I almost forgot that bit as I fell asleep while trying to recall the highlights from this tie.
We got beat by the Sharks in the annual “nearly Christmas” game. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with the fact that we keep losing to a team with Mike Tuck in it. Fair play to his agent though – he’s just got him a 3 year deal. They should get this guy to negotiate a write-off of Greece’s debts.
The last game of the year was a loss to Newcastle. I’m going to gloss over that as it’s easier than having to deal with it. When I decide to write this I asked some folk what their personal highs/lows were. One of the recurring themes was the desire to not get beaten by Newcastle again. This result made me want to eat my own soul. Or someone else’s. I don’t have one as I ate it during the Cheshire game.
We followed up the Newcastle loss with a…… loss to Newcastle! This one was a little different as it was the BBL cup final. For many, it was the first ever away game they’d been to. It was not to be, unfortunately. We gave a good account of ourselves though. I decided not to go down and instead watched it in the pub. BBL in the pub I hear you say? In a world first we struck a deal to have a live viewing of the BBL cup final in the pub. There was more attendees than a Durham game as the pub rocked (see what I did there) to a different sound.
It’s worth noting that this was the second final we’d reached in two seasons. How we managed to get to a final the season before will forever be one of life’s unanswered mysteries. Rumour has it the Rocks had to offer free counselling with every season ticket purchase at the start of the 14/15 season. I’ve been attending regular hypnotherapy sessions for the last 10 months. The hypnotherapist still can’t block out the memories of Daniel Northern’s shooting or Gareth Murray’s tantrums.
There was little time to dwell on what might have been as 5 days later the Rocks faced the London Lions in the season’s second Friday home game. I’ve already wrote about this previously here . The one thing i’d like to add is that Vince Macaulay ended up with a fiver fine and half a penalty point for his actions that night. I suppose you could argue that having to play Ian Salter is punishment enough.
The weekend was rounded off with a trip to Grangemouth to face Scottish champions, Falkirk Fury. This was, without a doubt, the coldest “arena” I have ever been in. Folk were seen going outside in order to get a heat. It was also somewhat cramped. So close was I to the guy next to me that I felt obliged to take him to dinner and buy him breakfast the next morning!
Grangemouth sports complex also sells great chips at a decent price. Take note, Emirates. 4 quid for half a bag of Asda value tortilla chips is laughable.
The result was never likely to be in doubt, given that Fury’s best player also plays for the Rocks. It wasn’t. We won by 66.
This was JaJuan Smith’s last game for the Rocks. He was released for “discipline issues” a couple of days later. Many folk have since asked me, “What did JuJaun do?”. I’m not one to gossip, but….
I happened to be taking a taxi to an undisclosed location last week. The driver informed me that his dug walker’s gardener used to drink in the Louden tavern. He told him that JJ was apparently filmed secretly by top investigative journalist Donal Macintyre singing a “traditional Irish republican folk song” while wearing a hat stolen from the pope. #FACT
Having seen the video, I can confirm that the Rocks made the right call. His singing was dreadful!!