View Full Version : Meehan's blog: MissippiZag, is this you?

03-27-2009, 12:49 PM
Maybe not, because the fan says he's a Memphis native, but since you mentioned being interviewed by Jim Meehan, just wondered if you're the guy named in this Meehan blog (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/mar/26/gu-updates-memphis/) from yesterday afternoon:

MEMPHIS – Chris Shackleford sat in the front row in his Gonzaga sweatshirt, outnumbered by fans of Syracuse, Oklahoma and North Carolina as the four teams in the South Regional held practices Thursday afternoon at FedExForum.

Shackleford is used to it. As a Memphis native, Shackleford’s affinity for Gonzaga basketball always draws curious stares from friends and classmates.

“My great grandma is the only who really got me started watching Gonzaga,” the 17-year-old high school student said. “She’s always liked them, from the time they first made the (NCAA) tournament in 1995.”

Shackleford’s devotion deepened when the 1999 Zags made an improbable run to the Elite Eight before falling to Connecticut in Phoenix. “Casey Calvary’s tip in,” he said, nodding his head in remembrance of Calvary’s game-winning basket against Florida in the Sweet 16.

Shackleford attended Gonzaga’s road games against Memphis in 2005 and 2008, only to see the Zags lose to the hometown team.

“My classmates are all Memphis fans,” he said. “If Gonzaga had won, it (the reaction from classmates) probably would have been a little worse, but they lost both times.”

That hasn’t slowed Shackleford’s Gonzaga shirt collection (15 and counting). His family ordered a special package to be able to watch as many Gonzaga games on television as possible.

“I like Josh Heytvelt, all the starters really,” said Shackleford, who will sit in the third deck at FedExForum for tonight’s game against North Carolina. “I think they’re going to win.” There's a lot of other good stuff in that blog, including this tidbit about Alex Hernandez:

Retro photo

The text messages started arriving on Alex Hernandez’s cell phone Thursday morning. The Memphis Commercial Appeal ran a photo of Hernandez and teammate Mark Spink from a 2001 NCAA game at the Pyramid in Memphis as part of an article on the city’s tournament history. GU knocked off Virginia and Indiana State to advance to the Sweet 16.

“I haven’t seen the picture yet, but I’m getting text messages, even from people back home,” said Hernandez, now an administrative assistant with the basketball program. “It was the best time of my life and an exciting time for the program. The program was up and coming and for us to come in and win two games – we did what we needed to do to move on.”I need to track down the photo that ran in the Commercial Appeal, but in the meantime, this is one of my faves from that 2001 trip to Memphis, after the second-round win over Indiana State:


I have to think Alex was giving a little praise up to the one who made it possible!

Alex today: Is the bald guy behind Meech and in front of Ira! Alex?


Lots more stuff in the blog here. (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/mar/26/gu-updates-memphis/)

Also see a later blog by Meehan here, with a preview of today's game (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/mar/27/minds-on-carolina/), which includes this:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Gonzaga senior guard Micah Downs grew up in the West, but he dreamed of playing for North Carolina.

“I don’t really talk about it much, but North Carolina was my favorite team when I was a kid,” he said. “They were like the only major school that didn’t send me a letter. I still root for them when we’re not playing them, but it’s going to be cool to play against them.”

As a Chicago native, GU guard Jeremy Pargo knew what words were coming before every Chicago Bulls game for years. “At 6-6, from North Carolina…” said Pargo, imitating Bulls P.A. announcer Ray Clay’s distinguished introduction of Michael Jordan. “I mean you had no choice but to listen to it when you lived in Chicago. I thought I was going to be 6-6 and go to North Carolina.”There's lots more good stuff in that blog here (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/mar/26/gonzaga-north-carolina-preview/).

Photo Album of practice in Memphis here. (http://www.spokesman.com/photosets/2009/mar/26/gonzaga-practice-memphis/)

03-27-2009, 01:09 PM

03-27-2009, 01:12 PM

LOVE IT! Way to go Mississippi....represent tonight!

03-27-2009, 01:15 PM
I was unaware of the reporter being Jim Meehan. He looked different than his photo. His hair was shorter. He was a really nice guy. We talked afterwords about GU and it's history over the last 15 years. A very intelligent basketball fan. Is he a GU fan, or just a dedicated reporter? Or both?

It was pretty fun at school today. The Memphis fans were heart broken. Actually I wanted them to win, but it's nice knowing you can go further than the home-town team. :)

03-27-2009, 02:04 PM
Jim is a super nice guy. He actually lives just across the state line in Idaho. He is a dedicated reporter but I think he's a bit of a Zag fan.

Somehow we're gonna have to get MZ here for a game in K2.

03-27-2009, 03:43 PM
Jim is a super nice guy. He actually lives just across the state line in Idaho. He is a dedicated reporter but I think he's a bit of a Zag fan.

Somehow we're gonna have to get MZ here for a game in K2.


03-28-2009, 07:08 PM
Bob, I think I would really enjoy that. I tried to convince my family for one of the games over Christmas break, but the timing as well as the money just didn't work out.

One day I will make it to K2. Well, maybe I will just move to Spokane.:D

03-28-2009, 09:48 PM
I always wondered who that man is. I sometimes see him with recruits on campus, and he seems very energetic during the games.

And way to rep Gonzaga, MZ!