Random Memories of KU's Last Final Four Trip

KU makes it to the Final Four; their coach's alma mater fires its coach; KU's coach spends time answering questions about the opening.....sound familiar! It was 2003 - the last time KU went to the Final Four, and we all remember how it turned out - Coach Roy Williams saying he didn't (care) about North Carolina, only to later leave. I was assigned to cover that Final Four in New Orleans with Mark Ewing, and that infamous interview with Coach Williams wasn't even something we were aware of until the drive home. You see, we were running around like crazy to meet our deadlines after that game. I was with Photog Doug in the hallway outside the locker rooms, so he could shoot the team leaving the court and walking into the locker room. He got his shots, and we busted over to the hallway to shoot a quick report with Mark and I for that night's newscast. While Mark ran it out to the satellite truck, Doug and I went to the lobby, where we'd arranged to meet Gov. Sebelius for a post-game reaction interview. Two minutes there, then Doug and I ran for the locker room to interview players. I remember twisting like a pretzel to get our microphone close. So many random memories of the experience have been coming back this week as KU returns to the Final Four. I recall how hard it would rain. The corner of the satellite truck parking lot had this pile of plywood sheets, and Doug and our truck operator Elmer backed up our two SUVs, popped the back hoods, and put one of those plywood sheets across it for Mark and I to stay dry doing our live shots one night. During another live shot, a big city bus was waiting to turn the corner. Problem was, a car was on the inside lane next to it. While Mark is talking, I hear this sound of tearing metal and see the bus turning short into the car's bumper - the bumper caught on the underside of the bus, and the bus sorta drug the car several yards before finally stopping. Mark is such a pro it didn't phase him - while my jaw was dropped, he finished up and said, "What just happened?" New Orleans, of course, meant visits to Bourbon Street to do stories with fans. I remember fondly the two men from North Carolina who proclaimed they were there to "take Roy home." How prophetic that became. I remember how happy the fans from my alma mater, Marquette, were - even after they lost! I remember a particularly frisky fan who surprised me while shooting a standup. And I'm quite sure I saw an alligator in a swampy area off the side of the highway on the way into town - only no one believes me! It's funny the things that stand out years later. If I think of more, I'll share. Meantime, Lindsay, Dave, Mark, JB and the rest of the crew are making new memories and sharing new adventures. Enjoy their thoughts while they are still fresh on their blogs.
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