Last night was one
of those miserable times when I just couldn't get to sleep.
Im not sure what caused it, but a leading suspect is the
lemon-drop martinis I consumed earlier in the evening. A friend
stopped by after work, and when I offered her a drink she said
my wife had told her that I had gotten pretty good at making
lemon-drop martinis. (One of our new cocktail lounges here in
Santa Fe features them on the drink menu.)
I told our friend
that I just happened to have a lemon available and would be
glad to accommodate her. Except for the vodka, this drink is
nothing remotely similar to what most of us know as a martini.
It tastes like lemonade, which masks the liquor and makes one
want to drink them by the gallon. Bad idea. The result was that
I didn't feel much like walking this morning. In spite of my
condition, however, I was out the door by 6.
Chugging along trying to clear the cobwebs out of my head, I
thought about the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship
game earlier this month, between Indiana and Maryland, which
I had watched on television. Indiana was the Cinderella team,
and Maryland the heavy favorite. Maryland proved to be too much
for Indiana, but the Hoosiers gave the Terps a run for their
Then I asked myself:
Why can't the University of New Mexico have a competitive team,
which the fans so richly deserve? The Lobos last coach
recently resigned after three disappointing seasons, and a new
coach has already been selected. But the new coach comes to
UNM with a losing record from his previous two schools. Why
would the selection committee think that he will suddenly have
a winning record here?
Several high school coaches from around New Mexico had shown
interest in the job, along with a former Lobo player who went
on to become a professional basketball star. The former player
was dropped from consideration because he had not completed
his college degree, a requirement for the position. The high
school coaches were given little or no consideration, even though
they had long-established winning records.
A frequently heard
argument is that high school coaches lack the ability to recruit
quality players for a major university program. But it seems
to me that high school coaches who have very little choice in
determining who will come out for their team and yet produce
winners year after year deserve some consideration. After all,
these guys aren't ignorant they know they would need to
hire staff with recruiting experience. They certainly couldn't
do much worse than some of the coaches that UNM has hired in
This year the Lobos
played in the National Invitational Tournament , a second-tier
affair, and lost their first game.
I guess the thought
of not hiring a high school coach is like not believing that
the next-door neighbor could ever be president of the United
States. And yet every president has been someones next-door
Have a great day.