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NCAAM Basketball – 1980 – SWC Game Of The Week – Texas Longhorns VS SMU Mustangs – 2nd Half

DOG COMMENTARY: 

Bone Daddy started on his path to becomming a Sportsphile as a 9 year old outfielder for the Braves of the Central Little League in Midland, Texas in 1956….for this path to being distinguished as the Original Sportsphile continued to grow and fourish from the mid-1950’s all the way to when he graduated from high school in 1965….as during this decade of growth he was defined by the successes of his three favorite sprots teams….the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball….the Boston Celtics of the NBA….and the Baltimore Colts of the NFL….cuz without a doubt, his very favorite players were Yankees CF Mickey Mantle, P Whitey Ford and C Yogi Berra….Celtics G Bob Cousy, F Tom Heinsohm and C Bill Russell….along with DT Big Daddy Lipscomb, WR Raymond Berry and QB Johnny Unitas of the Colts. 

These three sports franchises have remained at the top of Bone Daddy’s list of his all time favorite teams throughout the years….but it wasn’t until 1976 that he finally met the man who would become his all time favorite coach and/or manager….when the University of Texas hired Coach Abe Lemons to head-up the University of Texas mens basketball team. There had always been coaches/managers like Yankees Casey Stengel, Celtics Red Auerbach and Colts Weeb Eubanks….whom Bone Daddy still loves today….but none of these guys could fill the shoes that Abe Lemons brought to the table.

During Coach A. E. “Abe” Lemons first week on the job at Texas University in Austin, TX….Bone Daddy walked into Coach Abe’s office at Moore-Hill Hall on the University campus….when he would being  unannounced walk right past the secretary’s desk and knock on Lemons door….to which Abe would reply….“Who are you?” and “What are you doing here?….as Bone Daddy responded by saying….“Coach, I am the owner of Austin’s finest sports bar and restaurant….and I have an idea that I think would help your program….as well as helping my business grow.”  That is when Bone Daddy told Coach Abe Lemons about his idea to sponsor a Thursday luncheon at The Sports Place, Madison Square Garden at 302 E. 6th Street in Austin, TX…. whereby The Garden would promote a buffet luncheon every Thursday during the UT Mens Basketball Season…and Coach Lemons would come and talk to any and all fans and supporters of his program who wanted to attend.

Lemons was apparently impressed by Bone Daddy’s ability to circumvent the desks of secretaries in the UT Athletic Department and get to the door of his office without going through any “red tape”…. plus his confidence and cojones once he gained entrance into the new head coach’s office….but whatever the reason, Lemons told Bone Daddy he would come down to The Garden and look at the facilities, and if he liked what he saw….he might be inclined to do so.   

One week later, Coach Abe Lemons showed up at MSG and fell in love with the facility and concept….as MSG featured a bleacher section that would hold some 250 persons…and an additional upper level that would seat another 250 folks….with a 10 foot rear-projection TV screen to view SPORTS ON THE BIG SCREEN….in addition to a 10m Scientific Atlanta satellite dish to provide a plethera of live sporting events that could not be seen on local television or cable in 1977.

Abe told Bone Daddy he had a deal based on two pieces of criteria to move forward….with the 1st criteria being that Coach Lemons players could come to MSG to eat any time that they chose to do so….and that Bone Daddy would pay Coach Abe $100 per speaking engagement….to which BD agreed….if Coach would allow BD and three others access to Longhorn games at the UT Erwin Center (17,000 seat basketball stadium) through the doors that the team players and managers entered for each game….which Coach agreed to….so, for the next six UT basketball seasons….Coach Abe Lemons would speak at the Thursday Booster Luncheon held at The Sports Place, Madison Square Garden in downtown Austin.   

By the 1980 UT Mens Basketball Season….Coach Abe Lemons was drawing some 500 fans and boosters of his program to The Garden on each and every Thursday during season….plus Bone Daddy had gotten to know dang near each and every player to played for Coach Abe throughout his tenure at Texas….cuz they loved to come to The Garden and stuff themselves with MSG Specials (dbl meat, dbl cheese & dbl bacon hamburgers with tator tots and gravy)….while sitting in the bleacher section and watching replay of videos like the one seen herewith….so, Bone Daddy personally knew every member of this 1980 UT team including Ron Baxter, John Danks, Fred Carsen, LaSalle Thompson, Henry Johnson, Bill Wendlant, Rob Cunningham, et al…. but what he did not know when he boldly knocked on Coach Lemons door that 1st time in 1976….was that not only was Abe Lemons a phenomenal basketball coach….but he was also one of the best stand-up comedians he had every heard….and that is why the crowds came every Thursday….cuz they would leave The Garden with big smiles on their faces after spending a joyous hour with the incomparable Abe Lemons….basketball coaching legend and comedian extraordenaire… for it did not take long for Bone Daddy to admire and adore the indominable one…A.E.”Abe” Lemons.

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