Saturday Night Massacre

May 21st, 2024

Back in October of 1973, way before most of you were born (and when I was playing college football; I would play college basketball the following year), Justice was closing in on the Crook President, Richard Nixon. The Department of Justice had hired a Special Prosecutor (Archibald Cox) to look into the criminal activities at the Watergate Hotel and the many criminal activities that followed as Nixon's cronies tried to cover up what had occurred at the Watergate Hotel. Nixon knew he was done for, so he tried to get the Attorney General (Eliot Richardson) fire Cox. Richardson refused, so Nixon fired Richardson and then he fired Richardson's replacement. It went downhill from there and became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

I always think of that phrase the evening before the first day of a new season of the Tucson Basketball League. I have to make a new list of the teams, keeping the returners, adding the new teams, and deleting those teams that will be taking the season off. The vast majority of teams are really good about it. They let me know their plans early on and almost all of them stick to them. But then, the night before the season opener, it starts. I get a text, "Hey Tom, I know we said that we were ready to start tomorrow, but can we start in a couple weeks?"

"Hey Tom, my guys all flaked on me. We're not going to be in the league this season. When does the next season start?" (Yeah, like I'm going to tell you.)

"Hey Tom, we're a new team. Can we play tomorrow to see if we like it and then maybe pay you in a couple weeks?"

And they all wait until Saturday night. And then, to round things out, there's always a team that doesn't show up on Sunday. No text, no nothing.

Now, this is completely my fault for being so trusting. When Tom (the venue leader) runs a league, all of the teams have to pay in full a couple weeks before the start of the season, with no refunds. That's crazy beyond my scope of understanding. Can you imagine the organizational skills necessary to do something like that? Actually, it might not be that hard, but I'm the poster child for ADHD, so I do things on the fly. All I can do is make sure that the dropout teams don't play in the League and that we apologize to the teams whose schedules are adversely affected.

One other thing: Seeing as how it was the first week of the season, we had some seriously lopsided scores. You know that I love close games and it will always be my goal to have as many close games as possible.