Went to the Brown-SMU basketball game yesterday, got my first look at the new Moody Coliseum and actually first time I ever saw Brown play basketball. Somehow I managed four years in Providence without once making it to the gym. Sure, the revamped Moody with all the $$ accoutrements says “big time” (along with Larry Brown’s recruiting violations), but I can think of better uses for all that remodeling money. Maybe saving the SMU Press? Further adornment was provided by the sappy visage of fan #1 GWB, with Laura, projected on the Jumbotron. Seated next to them courtside was school prez R. Gerald Turner. I believe the term “courtside” in this case has more than one meaning. I understand the chief function of university presidents today is raising money, but with ISIS in the air and the debacle in Iraq resonating anew, I thought, how unfortunate for SMU that its president be aligned so publicly and proudly with the face of American infamy. Not that everyone in Dallas would share that view of course, including the sizable portion of the crowd of 6,000 that stood and applauded his introduction over the PA. What, did I think I was still in New England or California?
The game was a nice surprise for scattered alumni on hand to cheer their overmatched Bears. SMU is ranked #25 (and looks it) and I figured a final point spread of not more than 20 would be a good afternoon. But with luck and fruitful perimeter shooting, Brown took an early lead, led by Steven Spieth — brother of Masters champion Jordan — and managed to hang around against all odds until the end, losing only by 8, 77-69. SMU was missing its top player, someone said. No need to bring that up.