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Requiem for a College Basketball Season

APPLEBEES Photo by: Newscast/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Long before this college basketball season started, I spent plenty of time at the local Applebee’s.

Final Four. Cincinnati Bearcats basketball. It didn’t matter.

It especially didn’t matter four springs back.

Especially during the Alliance of American Football season of 20 and 19.

The Alliance of American Football only lasted eight weeks and I spent all eight of those weekends at Applebee’s.

I worked my way through the Classic Combo platter during each telecast, loading up on boneless wings, quesadillas and mozzarella sticks as I watched the Apollos, Hotshots and Iron toil away during the 4 o’clock Sunday time slot.

I took notes too. I listened to my fellow fans and documented what they had to say about our beloved AAF.

I learned that Apollos quarterback “Gilbert Grape has a lot of potential. A lot of upside.” That Birmingham Iron running back Trent Richardson is “the best running back that never deserved a shot at the NFL.”

Hotshots quarterback John Wolford was called “noodle arm” by a man that was just starting a Budzilla. By the end of that Budzilla, he told me that John Woolford “was better than John Brady.”

I once compared Birmingham quarterback Luis Perez to USFL quarterback Fred Besana. The barkeep at Applebee’s was unfamiliar with Fred Besana but knew that Memphis head coach Mike Singletary used to be in football before he coached the Express.

Johnny Manziel, I was told by a possible Scientologist, “joined up here after he failed out of the Mexican League,” which reminded me of the end of former big league catcher Jake Taylor’s career.

“Jets can’t wait to pick up the pieces of his career,” a Dutchman told me of Christian Hackenberg.

“Bill Polian could probably win a fight against Ted Danson,” I told him.

“That Terry Hanratty. He’s going to retire,” the Dutchman said in Dutch. “He’s going to start a bakery and put those cupcake makers from the Titans out of business.”

“Matt Simms,” I told him. “That is one of the most successful Simms of the era. He tried to cancel his Sirius subscription but it still worked in his car. And they didn’t even charge him.”