This feature column is brought to you by Sharky's Urban Sports Grill. Sharky's is Tucson's latest and greatest place to watch all of your favorite sporting events. Sharky's has something for every sports fan, great food, a tv everywhere you look, great service and both smoking and non-smoking areas. Convieniently located near campus Sharky's is the best place to watch the Cats, catch a pre-game meal or watch any other sporting event.
**(DISCLAIMER: This piece is JUST FOR FUN. I happen to like Steve Lavin very much and, as I've said before, he seems imminently likable. What follows is hyperbole and exaggeration at the maximum level. It is NOT WHAT I REALLY THINK OF STEVE LAVIN. Once again, this is just for fun.)** Thanks.
* * *
6:00 a.m.-Lavin wakes up and finds that, for the 983rd day in a row, his pillow is stuck to his hot-wax and Prestone-treated hair. He gestures to his still sleeping wife for her to help him remove the pillow but all she can say in her half-sleep is, "I ain't touchin' that sh--!"
6:15 a.m.-The Bruin head coach calls in sick to work but later is informed by his wife that he doesn't have a secretary and all he just did was call and leave HIMSELF a message on his office line. He drives to Pauley Pavilion in his brand new cherry-red Porsche Carrera.
8:02 a.m.-After stopping for directions twice, Lavin finally pulls into a parking spot in front of the arena. The problem is that he parks in a handicap space. Good thing for him that former UCLA quarterback Cade McNown hooked him up with one of those fake placards. The bad thing for him is that the entrance closest to his office is on the other side of the building. But hey, he got a primo parking spot!
8:44 a.m.-Almost immediately after the janitor unlocks his office door for him—again! —Lavin is on the phone checking his messages from the night prior. He's been expecting a call from UCLA recruit Evan Burns' guidance counselor in regards to his latest attempt at the ACT. Instead, there are only two messages: one from his dad reminding him to teach his players discipline and one from his assistant coach, Jim Saia, calling in sick. This is what Lavin heard:
Male voice: "Hey coach, this is (cough!) Jim Saia, I'm your assistant coach at UCLA. Anyway, just wanted to touch base with you and let you know that I'm really (cough! Cough! Sneeze!)…sick today and I won't be coming in. I'm sure you know my phone number, so…"
Female voice: "Steve! Get off the phone and go to work…"
Lavin thinks for a minute and concludes that the woman's voice on the machine was his wife's. He gets upset, because what was she doing at Saia's place anyway?
10:17 a.m.-The REAL Jim Saia comes into Lavin's office with three tapes-worth of game film on Stanford, which is UCLA's next opponent later that night. As Saia puts the tape of Stanford vs. Washington in the VCR, Lavin stops him.
"Hey, hey! Come on now," Lavin says. "We really probably shouldn't be watching movies while we're at work, should we?"
Saia is taken aback, but not overly surprised at the question. "Coach, these are the game tapes. We need to watch them so we can get a better feel of how to prepare for Stanford tonight. It's like last weekend against Arizona, remember? You wanted to watch Seinfeld reruns all night because you said ‘The Cardinals are never any good anyway'. We really need to watch these films."
Lavin reluctantly agrees. "Whatever you say, Don."
JIM Saia quietly shakes his head and pops in the tape.
12:31 p.m.-Lavin wakes up in a puddle of his own drool six inches in diameter on his desk. He finds himself alone in his office with the TV still on, showing only static lines. He looks at the clock and remembers that it's lunchtime.
12:59 p.m.-After trying no fewer than fourteen different cars, Lavin finally finds the one that accepts his key into the door.
1:15 p.m.-Lavin is back from lunch and is in his office when he hears a knock at the door. It's UCLA All-American Jason Kapono and he's asking what time the shoot-around is later that afternoon.
"Who the hell are you?" Lavin asks.
Kapono, although stunned, tells him who he is and that he is a player on his basketball team and that he needs to know what time to show up for the shoot-around.
"Oh," Lavin says, softening. "I don't know. Let me ask coach."
"You ARE the coach," Kapono says. "Look, nevermind. I'll get the guys together and we'll be on the court at 2:30. Don't forget this time, coach."
As Kapono leaves the room, Lavin whispers "whatever" to himself and then presses the intercom button on his telephone (he loves the intercom button and uses it often).
"Note to self: Find out about this Kapono guy."
2:37 p.m.-Shoot-around time.
Bruin freshman guard Cedric Bozeman asks Lavin what he wants the team to do first.
"I don't care," Lavin says. "How about you three ride those bikes over there and you five play basketball on the court. Stay in shape!"
3:01 p.m.-Lavin calls practice off. He's got a tee time at Torrey Pines set for 1:45 that afternoon and he can't be late.
7:07-9:40 p.m.-UCLA beats Stanford 89-72 and has the national audience in awe of its performance and togetherness. Lavin runs into the press conference, eager to be interviewed.
Reporter1: "Coach, you guys played a great game tonight; how are…"
Lavin: "We sure did. Next."
The reporter sits back down, completely in shock as to what just happened.
Reporter2: "Steve, Matt Barnes…"
Lavin: Don't know him, don't want to know him. If he can't help this team win, well, answer that question yourself. Next."
Reporter2 (hesitantly): "Steve, that wasn't even a question. But c'mon now, Matt Barnes had 37 points tonight and his defense on…"
Lavin: "Anyone catch the score of the Dodgers game?"
UCLA Sports Information Director (into Lavin's ear): "It's not baseball season yet, coach."
Lavin: "Oh…So who won?"
UCLA SID: "Uh…Arizona."
Lavin: "Wow, I guess those Cardinals really are good. First they beat us and now they beat the Dodgers."
Reporter3: "Coach, when your team plays like it did tonight, is there a team in the nation capable of beating you?"
Lavin: "I'll tell you what. If you want an answer to that question you'd have to ask it again. I'm out of time now. Thanks a lot guys!"
Lavin exits the interview room and finds his wife waiting for him in the hall.
"Hi hon," he says. "How's my hair look?"
"Great," she says.
"Did you see the game?" Lavin asks.
"Yes, of course I did. It was great!"