Mike Wise: Wow
An important note about this post: This is pretty much the tip of last night's iceberg. What lies below the surface, mostly stories from John Feinstein at a WaPo staff dinnfer at Morton's, cant' be printed and, really, I can hardly remember some of the best stuff. Just a total overload.
But what I can tell you is the following slice of life from Mike Wise.
After dinner, Wise got a call from photographer Jonathan Newton, who instructed us -- Prisbell was there too -- to meet him for pool upstairs at a bar called Maxey Lager's. Newton had been there for a while, and what he didn't know is the bar had closed to the general public because Bill Raftery was hosting a charity Pop-a-Shot contest. So there list at the door with names who could come in; needless to say, ours were not on said list.
The woman at the door flipped through a few pages of names as Wise peered down at it.
"What's your name?" she asked.
"It's uh, uh, Chris Turner," Wise said. "And these two guys are with me."
"OK, great," she said, handing us lanyards with some sort of credential. "Drinks are free at the bar over there and upstairs."
Prisbell and I nearly fell over each other, from laughter and shock. How did that just happen? We asked Wise. He explained he just saw a random name on the list, then said he was that person. He was very pleased with himself, as well he should have been.
"Hopefully Chris Turner doesn't show up," Wise said, "or he's going to be really mad."
We went upstairs, free drinks in hand and the blissful knowledge more would follow. We shot some stick with Newton, who is a tremendous player. Prisbell called one of his buddies from another paper and told to come and say he was with Chris Turner. And it worked.
After a time we went down stairs, where there were a bunch of Pop-a-Shot baskets standing. Prisbell and I started playing (I won) and a woman told us we had to stop. Five minutes later, we started playing again, and the same woman told us to stop. Again.
By this time, the actual contest had concluded, and Bill Raftery himself addressed the crowd and congratulated the winner.
"Hey," Wise said, tapping Prisbell and me and the shoulder. "Should I go up there and take the mic?"
Thirsting for the maximum amount of Wise debaucery, Prisbell and I of course egged him on. So he weaved his way through the crowd, which was pretty dense, and within a minute found himself standing right beside Raf, who wore a look of abject horror as he realized Wise was about to take the microphone from his hands.
"Hey everyone, let's give it up to the best college basketball announcer in America!" Wise shouted. "Onions!"
I mean, really. That actually happened. Wise gave the microphone back to Raftery, who said, "Oooookay," and moved on.
I've got nothing else to add, expect to say thank you, Chris Turner. Thank you.
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