I kind of had to think of what I wanted to write about..of course I love to write about polish..but I’m still wearing a CRUNCHY FROG (**smile**) mani with FLOAM (**giggle**) pedi. I know they don’t go together, but my soon to be former shrink, since I talked about Floam so much wants to see it and I see her on Wednesday..soo. No much nail today however I have a great idea for a mani sort of related to what I’m writing. Hmm..I wonder if I’ll be able to post the pics the day AFTER I post this..I guess I’ll find out, more than likely the HARD way.
I thought I’d explain the long long sojourn with my issues with sports. Specifically "REVENUE PRODUCING INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS" "Revenue producing" being the key word. As a kid, I was always a
Universityof Utah fan (Runnin’ Utes). Growing up
in Salt Lake City where the U of U is located seemed like such a fun place as
opposed to the stuff and stogy BYU (Brigham Young University), which is
owned/run by the LDS Church (boo boo).
My Dad’s family were/are big time Boosters for the
University of Utah Athletic Department.
Not that it matters to you, but I want to clarify the definition between an
"Athletic Booster" and a "University Alumni". Athletic Boosters, generally
are NOT graduates of the University they donate money. Many of them are members
of the community and give money only to the Athletic
Department, whereas a University
Alumi's GRADUATE from the school and generally give money to the UNIVERSITY, which if you continue reading my
ramblings but not in this post are two entirely different economic and
socioeconomic entities on a university campus with a Division I athletic
program. I remember sitting at the family restaurant on Saturday nights
“prepping food” at our family owned King Joy Café on Main Street in SLC, to feed the entire football team and coaching staff two
meals (brunch and dinner) every Sunday during the offseason. My Dad’s brother
Harry (Uncle Harry) did this for years, until I was at least 34 when he closed
the restaurant after being in business for over 50 years. University of Utah
So I would help prep the food on Saturday night and then on Sunday, my mother used to put me on an early bus and I’d take the bus to the restaurant where I’d help wait on tables, then take the bus home when I was done with a lot of leftover food. When I got older and had a car, I would get to drive. I never understood why Ryun (my lazy stupid brother) NEVER had to do this. I didn’t object, it was a given fact Ryun was lazy and “delicate”. Mentally delicate and physically lazy..somethings never change. An off story on Ryun was that apparently my Dad’s family while they will never ADMIT IT, never really LIKED Ryun as much as me. Ok..it’s not my ego..but I remember when we were kids and Ryun was 5 years younger than me, we used to go to the restaurant, he refused to go into the restaurant (this continued from when he was a toddler until he was around 5 years old). No reason, but he just didn’t want to go in, and would throw a fit and cry and cry, so my Mother used to leave him outside the restaurant while the rest of us ate inside (true we could have ignored him but there were paying customers in the restaurant too so..out he goes..hehe). So while we ate, Ryun stood outside the restaurant for hours and cried. Pity no one kidnapped him, but then he wasn't worth the money to get him back. Ryun is another blog entry.
So back to the
football team thing. On Sunday’s I’d
wait on tables, and grew up being a “Ute Fan”. I looked forward to going to the University of Utah over BYU but kind of worried because I
wanted a music scholarship but was worried I’d have to go who gave me the
better offer. University of Utah
won. I think. Well, I went to the highest bidder which was the University of
Utah Music Department. Utah
During the years, every year, my Uncle Harry had what he called his “Foster Son”. This was either a Polynesian or Black student-athlete (my guess is because my Uncle was Chinese, and only booster that was a minority at the time…lets put the minorities with the minorities!). This “foster son” would always be a fixture at all family functions and holidays and stuff.
Anyway, in 1987 at the beginning of the school year..which started in September but this was in August before classes started, Uncle Harry had my Aunt Mary (Mary Goo) call me and ask me to take his new “foster son” and show him around Salt Lake. I was thrilled and really excited! I mean..I had played in the UofU Marching Band for football games and the Pep Band for the Men’s Basketball games. Wow..this is MORE than just waiting on tables. Fun! I was given careful instructions, 1. I was to drive to the restaurant to pick him up. 2. I was to take this basketball player out to dinner and show him around town because he was new. 3. I was given 300.00 (which seemed like a lot of money for one dinner in SLC) with instructions at the end of the evening to give him any of the money leftover (yes, I was stupid). 4. My Aunt gave me 10.00 for gas. I was ecstatic! I got GAS MONEY to do something that for me was going to be totally fun!
The night was uneventful, but fun. The student-athlete (Watkins “Boo” Singletary) was charming. He told me he was from NYC (wow!), he was 6’9” and seemed sincere, a little dumb intellectually, but it didn’t matter. I had a good time and he said he had a good time. I gave him the 250.00 at the end of the evening, he thanked me and took the cash, then asked me since he was “new” in town, if I wouldn’t mind giving him my phone number because he didn’t have a car and was it ok if he called me to give him a ride to the grocery store some time. Sure! No problem! End of night! I called Mary Goo and told her the evening went well. She said that Uncle Harry wanted to know how much money I had given him. I told her around 250.00 and I had a receipt, she said it was ok and thanked me.
Two days later, I got a call from “Boo” and he asked me if I’d drive him to the local store (Smiths Food 876 East 800 South) I did not call my Dad's family, I didn’t tell my mother (why would I?) I just drove to the guy’s duplex where he was living with 3 other basketball players who were very nice and took him to the store. It was a little late around 10pm and he bought a lot of food. At 6’9” (actually now looking back, he was more like 6’5”) and 230 lbs he needed a lot of food. I remember the exact amount because that was a moment that literally changed my life. The total for all the food he bought was 157.92. It was at that point that he looked at me, and I’m like what? He said “pay for it”. I said “excuse me? You had 250.00 less than 48 hours ago”. He said “you’re supposed to pay for it”. The cashier was getting uncomfortable, and Boo was getting loud and I said “kiss my ass” and walked out. He followed me (it was around midnight at the time) out into the parking lot (without the groceries) and proceeded to beat the crap out of me, telling me I was stupid, that I had embarrassed THE STAR of the basketball team and to never do it again. I don’t remember if there was anyone who observed us, but given that this particular neighborhood had a lot of
of University athletes
living around, I doubt anyone would have intervened. “Boo” stalked off and I
was nursing a couple of what would be two wonderful black eyes, split lip, a
big hank of hair out the back of my head (my scalp was bleeding) and assorted
bruises on my arms and torso from where, well, when he decked me, I dropped
like a rock and he proceeded to kick me while I was on the ground. Utah
Afterward, as I was lying on the ground in the store parking lot, a number of things were going through my mind, well..PAIN, the other was embarrassment and of course I was humiliated that this happened. I was thinking what am I going to do? I can’t go home looking like this, my mother would have a fit. I drove to a fellow band members place nearby and proceeded to tell them what happened. They were upset too, and told me to call the police. We called the SLC Police department who came to the house, proceeded to take a report, but when it came to the point when I told them it was a University of Utah basketball player, I remember they shut their notebooks and flatly told me because I didn’t call them from the place where the incident happened, even though the “event” occurred off campus and because it was a University of Utah student-athlete “it was a University matter” and referred us to call the University of Utah Police Department, “if you feel you need too”. Not knowing any better I called the University Police department and was instructed to come to the police station on campus (3 miles away). My friends and I drove there at around 3am. Waiting was an “old family friend” and Assistant Athletic Director Ned Alger. Now “Uncle Ned” was a long time friend of Uncle Harry, and his wife was my high school counselor. I don’t think I would have made it out of high school without her help, so I viewed “Uncle Ned” as someone I could trust. Immediately the first question out of his mouth (as he was in his night robe) “Did you call the press?” “No, should I?” “No, you don’t want to upset your family”. Next question “have you told anyone in your family have you told your mother or Uncle Harry or your Aunts” “No, should I?” “No, you don’t want to upset your family and your mother has enough on her plate raising you and your brother alone. We’ll take care of everything. Just do what I say.” I specifically asked him, “what are you going to do about Singletary?” Ned replied, “I’ll deal with him don’t worry” “Will he get kicked off the team?”(THAT came from me and my friends). “That’s not your concern your concern or your friends concern. My concern is for you to get better and put this behind you.”
Ok..at the time, this made a lot of sense. I couldn’t go to my mother, who would be totally pissed, I was embarrassed to go to my family. My friends are asking shouldn’t she see a doctor? Ned said that he would take care of it and took me to the University of Utah Medical Center. I was REALLY SCARED then because while I had health insurance it was through my MOTHER and she would eventually get the bill. Ned assured me that he would take care of it and to trust him. Ned asked my friends if they would agree to tell my Mother that I was staying with them (which wasn’t unusual, musicians do that all the time) while I stayed in the hospital and “healed”. They agreed, but only if he would agree that “Boo” would be kicked off the team. Ned told us “I will take care of this personally”.
So, I stayed at the University of Utah Medical Center for almost 2 weeks while my cuts and scrapes healed. The care I received was excellent. No complaints. I had a private room and no one bothered me. The classes I missed “were taken care of and everything would be ok when I went back”. I even received daily notes from my classes. When I was released from the hospital, I still had a few bruises, but I was able to cover them up with makeup and didn’t say a word to my family or my Mother.
Needless to say, zero happened to Watkins "Boo" Singletary. He was the “star” of the basketball team. My friends and I tried to object, but by that time it was pretty much too late and they held my music scholarship along with my friend’s scholarship as ransom basically saying, if you say anything to anyone, no scholarship money. At the time I was getting approximately 3000.00 a quarter. Tuition was a paltry 372.00 for 14 hours. Yeah..the rest was gravy that I could spend as I wanted. My friend’s scholarships were more or less the same amount.
Did I tell my Uncle? Yes I did. When nothing happened to Singletary and he was in full swing as the star of the basketball team, which was particularly painful to me at the time. In addition, the guy kept calling me telling me this had never happened before, that it was because I was stupid that he did it..he would never do it again blah blah yada yada..There is NOTHING worse than having to go the games and hear the crowd cheer for him, seeing
his name on the newspapers and on the local news. In February, I went to Uncle Harry and told him what happened. He said "Maile you were so stupid, all you had to do was come to me for the money and none of this ever would have happened to you" and he hung up the phone.
I learned then I would have to choose my battles more wisely.