Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Camping In The (Galesburg) Lane

I went to Galesburg last night to watch the Quincy High School girls basketball team play. I had a really nice talk with freshman Amy Wentura, who was called up from the freshman team to play in the JV game because of some injuries. Amy did a great job and has a bright future as a Blue Devil.

Amy reminded me I coached her on a YMCA basketball team six years ago, when she was in third grade. "I didn't score a point the whole year," she said. "You told me to get under the basket and camp out in the lane, so I went under the basket, sat down and crossed my legs. That's what I thought you meant — camping in the lane!"

Galesburg does a nice job supporting girls basketball. It helps to have one of the best programs in the state, of course. The fans filled the gym and actually cheered after the awesome pep band cranked out pre-game songs. They actually have an announcer DURING the game, and two Galesburg radio stations broadcast every girls basketball game.

The best part was before the opening tip, when they selected a student to raise the flag during the national anthem. They recognized the student for her grades and athletic accomplishments in track and cross country, and she got a huge ovation from the crowd. She pulled the flag up on a rope as the pep band played a spirited rendition of the Star Spangled Banner — NOT a taped, grindingly slow and overwrought anthem.

At this point I could say something about how it was a much more appropriate pre-game ceremony than using an occult symbol with horns and a pitchfork, but I love living in Quincy so I'll just shut my mouth now.


PPGA Commish said...

What have I told you about Galesburg? It's the class of the Western Big Six Conference. And they have Happy Joe's there!!!

Anonymous said...

wgGalesburg is the armpit of Illinois.

It's one thing to compliment Galesburg on what a nice job it does with its girl's program but then going on to trash Quincy's devil mascot and the pregame ceremony is another.

I recognize you are from Michigan and we have to cut you some slack from time to time but I think you have been here long enough to know better.

rodney hart said...

Congrats on the unbiased and complimentary view of Galesburg. Well done, Anon.

I didn't trash the mascot itself. Better read the blog again. I knew that would touch a nerve. I also know it's part of the tradition and Blue Devil basketball experience. The last thing I'm going to do is become a book-banning zealot. It's part of the whole deal and I don't particularly care for it, but it is what it is.

And .... I have been here for 10 years. And you are right .... I haven't been here long enough to know better.

Read the last sentence of the previous blog, too.

Anonymous said...

Saying you don't particularly care for the whole deal is similar to saying I really don't care for the music of the Funions but it is what it is.

rodney hart said...

Actually, it's exactly the same. Our music is what it is. If you don't like it or it isn't your cup of tea, I have no problem with that. I like a lot of different music, and I don't like a lot a music.

If you think the Blue Devil pre-game ceremony is a fantastic and awe-inspiring way to get fans and QHS up for a game, good for you. You have to admit it works .... just ask the many teams which skip pre-game introductions because of the ceremony. You might as well put 10 points on the board for QHS before the game starts.

The comment was aimed directly at a very select few fans with "Blue Devil Blinders."

One thing that is bothering me is that I really shouldn't comment about how appropriate something is or isn't, because I've been burned by that particular approach on more than one occassion. I probably should have just left the last paragraph out, it didn't really serve any purpose.

But ... it is what it is!

PPGA Commish said...

Anon 11:32

I believe either Danville or Decatur would be the armpit of Illinois. Both are much worse than Galesburg.

Anonymous said...

Whatever Mr. Honorary-Member-of-Augusta-National now thinks, you can't go home again. G'burg has been almost destroyed by assembly plant losses. The two paycheck families are unable to support the effort of the school system and the City is just not thriving. It's really sad to spend any time there now.

The progression is not upward.

But if we're talking enema site for Illinois, Decatur and Danville aren't even in the bottom ten. Cairo has a strong cultural claim, with Maywood coming up in the stretch. If we include small towns, take a spin around the town square in Plymouth, another tragedy.

Rockford's not exactly nirvana, either.

Rocky Cola said...

I grew up in STL, the QHS pregame deal is pretty cool.
My father-in-law is from Southeast Missouri and he goes to many, many high school games-in fact two years ago he followed Tyler Hansbourough around (North Carolina sophmore stud from Poplar Bluff, MO) and finally witnessed the QHS opening ceremony.
He thought it was very unique.
So, it is what it is, which is unique and very Quincy.

rodney hart said...

First time I saw it 10 years ago I thought it was unique, too.

PPGA Commish said...


You are correct about my hometown, it's pretty sad state of affairs in Galesburg.

The local newspaper just started a series in Sunday's paper on Galesburg's homeless. It was a four-part series that was to go through Thursday. Great way to kill the mood for a holiday trip home.

I used to think of Quincy as Galesburg on the river, but the Gem City is light years ahead of the Burg. Quincy seems to be thriving, while Galesburg is regressing (even with the new Super Wal-Mart they're building up there. And Q-town trumps them with Sam's Club!)

And you're right about not being able to go home again. I had the chance to go through my boyhood home over the weekend (No, the local policital honchos haven't put a landmark up yet. Must not have heard about my birdie at Augusta.) Anyway, my bedroom has been turned into a new bathroom with a jacuzzi. Where was that at when I lived there. I could have slept in a jacuzzi!!!

Merry Christmas