Blue Hen Fever

Over 16 years, I’ve covered tons. Six or seven World Series. Same number of MLB All-Star Games. I’ve driven through Ada, Oklahoma with bull riders and surfed with Barry Zito and spent four mid-February days in Yellowknife, Canada, the coldest North American city on record. I’ve seen people laugh and cry, scream and moan, burp and fart (once—thank you Wes Helms—near my face).

Yet the most memorable journalistic time of my life came in 1991-92, when I covered the Delaware men’s basketball team for my college paper, The Review. Man, what an amazing time. So young, so carefree, so exciting, so naive. Alex Coles (the guy dunking repeatedly in the above video) struck me as a young Dominique. The team’s two other slashers, Mark Murray and Alex Coles, were sure-shot NBA prospects. I just knew it. The Hens had a pair of unparalleled three-point gunners (Rick Deadwyler and Kevin Blackhurst) and a freshman point guard, Brian Pearl, who ran the team with a casual coolness. Once they beat Drexel to win the NAC Tourney, I was pretty sure Delaware would advance at least two rounds in March Madness.

They lost to Cincinnati.

By 38.

Still, the greatest run of my life. The greatest.

3 thoughts on “Blue Hen Fever”

  1. This is Exhibit A as to why the tournament should NOT expand. With 65 teams, it means something to get in – with 96? How can you possibly get excited about being one of the top 96 teams in the country?

  2. Jeff, Spencer Dunkley (a great hoops name) is now running the boy’s basketball program at a school in my hometown – about 30 minutes from the U of D.

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