Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Strained Literial Mitisimis Dorsi"

My partner's recall of the February 4, 1998 Missouri-Nebraska hoops game is dead-on. It really was one of the great all-time Norm Stewart moments. At the post-game press conference, when quizzed about the nature of Hardge's injury, the coach deadpanned that Monte had suffered a "strained literial mitisimis dorsi." It's the rare basketball coach who can provide that level of medical insight.

One thing that caught my eye about the Columbia Tribune story, though, is the mention that Eric Piatkowski shot the free throws in Belcher's place. Piatkowski, of course, was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers in February 1998, and thus unavailable to come off Nebraska's bench. I can't put my fingers on the original game story (I used it for True Sons), but my very strong assumption is that Piatkowski's younger, far less-talented brother Troy (who played for Nebraska in the late 1990s) was the shooter in question.

The best part of the whole sequence was the expression of mildly amused acceptance that crossed Husker coach Danny Nee's face when he realized he'd gotten the full Norm job.