As many of you know, this is our first summer at the current venue and we are still finding our way. In case you'e interested, we started off in 1988 at a YMCA that no longer exists. It was at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, where now stands a big, giant apartment building. From there, we went to Green Fields for a couple years, then to St. Gregory, then to the Steve Daru Boys & Girls Club for quite a while. Then it was back to Green Fields for a decade or so and now here. A year ago this coming weekend, it was the hottest day of the year in Tucson (it hit 116 degrees). It was also Father's Day and Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The "air" wasn't working really well that day and it got up close to 100 in the gym. Plus, we got hit with an onslaught of bugs big enough to carry off small children. And, despite all that, we had one forfeit out of 14 scheduled games.
Ah, the good old days.
As in life, each place has its benefits and its drawbacks. Our current venue has by far the nicest court(s) and a really nice staff, but it's also (by far) the most expensive. We're working on that. As I have mentioned, in past summers, the venue has hosted youth tournaments (which I despise for several good reasons). When they have those tournaments, we can only play night games. I'm working with the staff to see if, when they have such tournaments next summer, we can have at least one court in the daytime and a couple courts at night. I think we can make it happen. This is still a learning process for us and we appreciate your patience. At the end of the current season, we will have been at the current venue for a year and we will be aware of all the ins and outs.
**A quick note: Last week, I mentioned that I had been spending time in the hospital with a friend of mine who had terminal cancer. He passed away late last week. I appreciate the messages of condolences from league members.**
I've written over the past few years about how tedious it gets hearing the same old excuses and promises for not paying. My least favorite is "You know I'm good for it." Well, yeah, in almost all cases, I do, but that's not the point. Some guy threw that line at me on Sunday (adding that he had been in the league for several years) and I said, "I've been eating Popeye's Chicken since the 1980s (and it shows). But I can't walk in there and expect them to say, 'Here's your chicken. You can pay us next week or the week after. We know you're good for it.'" It's just so lame.
At the same time, I realize that I am partially responsible for the behavior. For decades, I let people slide, but, because of the aforementioned cost situation, we simply can't do it any more. We have already dismissed four teams from the league for failure to uphold their responsibilities and it looks like there may be a fifth, a team that is one of my favorites. They show up, they play hard and they don't complain. But they also haven't paid and they won't be scheduled again, if ever, until AFTER they have done so (in full). It's very disappointing.
Now, for some good news. We'll start posting league standings and stats this week.
(I'll be adding some game highlights when I get back from my girls' team summer-league game.) Thanks.