As a boy, my Pop use to listen to any sports when we have somewhere to go like a restaurant or picking us up from places with our friends.
He controlled the radio so we use to listen to a lot of Sports Radio. I believe his station was WIGO on your AM dial.
The commentators were the best they had you so involved, with the game it was like you were there.
Spud with has the ball, passes to Doc with the assist to Nique and Nique with the shot and he misses.
I could have listen to that game all night with my Pop, but we had to go in the restaurant or back home.
I was fine going to the Varsity because of the TVs but my mother wanted to go Red Lobster or Dante’s by the river.
By listening to those games made me a fan of the Atlanta Hawks.
We listened to that station because my uncle Coach John Merkerson told the scores for all the high schools, colleges, and professionals scores of that day.
I of course was like other kids in Atlanta, my favorite player was Dominique Wilkins. You couldn’t tell me that I couldn’t windmill.
I used to practice every day doing that move and every day I wasn’t never close not a little, but I kept trying hoping either I grow or the goal gets lower.
Nique still was my favorite player as a little boy growing up in his favorite city but when I couldn’t windmill I started shooting jumpers like Doc, Spud and Battle they don’t need any other names because you knew them well.
Practice all there moves, shooting techniques and there dribbling. I was the next rising star for the Atlanta Hawks.
So when my Pop told me I was going to a real live game it was the most happiest time for a seven year old kid that would ever happen.
I went to the Omni several times for Wrestling, Circuses, Disney on Ice, and Ice skating lessons that probably will be a time that me and my therapist will go over when that comes up again.
However, this was my first Atlanta Hawks Game Center Court we are playing at the time our hated nemesis the Boston Celtics. I was full popcorn hot dogs and soda my father didn’t care his boy was happy.
Suddenly the lights go dim and the music was roaring and Cannons to the left of me some people would get that joke.
The starting lineup for your Atlanta Hawks at 5’6 a point guard from North Carolina State Anthony Spud Webb, at shooting guard a 6’4 from Marquette Glenn Doc Rivers, at Center standing 7’2 out of Clemson University our protector of the rim our shot block leader Wayne it’s good to call him Tree Rollins, at Power Forward at 6’8 from Wichita State University Cliff don’t call him Huxtable Levingston….. then it got really quiet.
Well I thought it did because he’s my favorite player standing at 6’8 our leader in points per game and number one in our hearts from our own University of Georgia Dominique the human highlight film Wilkins.
The crowd goes wild I’m jumping screaming to the top of my lungs jumping with my soda in my hand and wasted that $3.00 soda all over my Dad I thought he was going to kill me but when he saw the joy on my face it didn’t bother him because his son was at his first Hawks game.
This was the best game I seen in my whole life at the time.
However, we lost to those Celtics 102 to 97 I still have my ticket in my memo book somewhere in storage.
From listening to the game and seeing the Hawks play was how and when I fell in love with my Atlanta Hawks.
When I left Atlanta to live in Virginia the first thing someone would ask who’s my favorite basketball team when I say the Atlanta Hawks many people laugh or say why?
First I tell them that’s my home town and I always root for the home team good or bad. Secondly and lastly I tell them listening to the game with my Pop and going to the games with my Pop made me love the Hawks no matter if we in the playoffs or strapping the bottom of the division.
I’m a true fan and will always be a real Atlien.