Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Great Scott!"

Well, UCLA may have "pounded" us in 1973, but I'll have you know, Ms. Christian-Science-Monitor writer, we loved that team and we were nevertheless, as you point out, part of the first NCAA basketball tournament that was televised. I still remember my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Lubin, at Bartlett Elementary gathering us all around the black-and-white television in the classroom to watch live footage of the team, led by Larry Finch, returning from St. Louis.

There's much more to say about the Tigers' complicated run to the final and white Memphis's pleasure in it. (Indeed, there's a book waiting to be written about race and basketball in Memphis.) The run occurred barely five years after the epic sanitation workers' strike (superbly chronicled in Joan Turner Beifuss's At the River I Stand) and Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in the city. When Larry Finch, who was black, died in 2011, every commentator in town tripped over each other to pronounce--predictably--that he and the 1973 team had "healed" the city, uniting black and white.

Here are ten minutes of audio from Jack Eaton's exciting call of the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment