I’d been bandying around the idea for a week, a month, a year, 10 years. Whatever hand guides the universe had it in mind, too. That guiding hand has a sort of patience and would reveal the plan, all in due time and when I was ready.
Clues were left.
The story I love to tell about the Power Hug, the giddy dancing embrace between me and my then-girlfriend and now wife, when Eric Maynor’s Dagger went down. It was a two-person baseball dog pile. We almost went down, tumbling about 20 rows of concrete steps.
This bit about First Four to Final Four. Shaka Smart, not quite yet the rock star head coach, showing me a text of encouragement as we walked to the plane to head to San Antonio. Smart was excited because a kid he worked out several years ago–a kid by the name of LeBron Somethingorother–wished him luck.
Will Wade, who may not remember but I do, telling me he really enjoyed something I wrote in San Antonio. Wade came back to run the show at VCU.
Sellouts. TV. Trips to the NCAA tournament. Conference move. Sign. Sign. Sign. Sign.
And digging in the attic a few weeks ago I unearthed this number–the VCU Athletics Strategic Plan from 2008, the year after The Dagger:
Finally, I was able to see the signs and one more dinnertime conversation with The Beautiful One cinched it.
I’ve decided to work on a second book project: tracing the growth of VCU basketball, and athletics in general, in a locomotive collegiate athletics landscape and in a dynamic media, marketing, and revenue-opportunity world.
This March marks the 10th anniversary of The Dagger and The Hug. A lot has changed–significantly–in those 10 years. I admit I don’t fully have a feel for how this will play out and I’m still getting organized.
But we’re doing this book about VCU basketball.
Your help is appreciated.