At five-foot-six, Brad makes Jason Gardner and Will Bynum seem like power forwards when he stands next to them for interviews. And while he is a die-hard lifelong Wildcat fan, his taste is more along the lines of the Southern Illinois and the Kent States of the college basketball world.
True story: Brad and his younger brother once had a budding rivalry between each of their favorite teams. No, it wasn't Arizona and Duke, and no, it wasn't even Kansas and UCLA. How about Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo and Weber State? The two brothers actually chose those schools as their favorite teams. Or co-favorite along with Arizona, of course.
If you wanted to know anything about Brad Allis, that should say it all. Maybe he should join former Wildcat All-American Jason Terry and get a tattoo of "Underdog" on his shoulder, that would only be appropriate.
When everyone's NCAA Tournament bracket started going to hell with all the early upsets and shocking wins, all Brad could say was, "I should have rode Tulsa! I've been riding them every single year until now and look what happens?" For the record, Tulsa upset fifth seeded Marquette in the first round. I couldn't really feel bad for him seeing as how half of my Final Four got dumped on the first day (USC and Gonzaga).
In his daily life, Brad does his best impersonation of those little schools like Southern Illinois and Kent State by working harder than the next guy. He works at least as hard as anyone in the business, and that's including the big names like Hansen, Rivera and Pascoe. An average week for Brad consists of 70-80 hours at the office, where he and fellow WWF fanatic John Schuster discuss the finer points of Triple-HHH's technique as well as putting together a damn fine weekly magazine.
When he is away from the office, Frodo (whoops, I mean Brad) has a little bit of time to spend cooking for his girlfriend of two-plus years, Stacey, and then it's right back to the grindstone. If you've ever read our magazine, you'll notice that I write generally one or two stories per week. Brad writes the remaining 607 and then edits, helps with layout, gets the ads placed and keeps things civil just in case Schu drank 20-too-many RC's throughout the day and tries to go "Godzilla" on the office.
True Story II: Brad, Doug, Jim Davidson (Cat Tracks' award winning photographer) and I have been on eight road trips together over the course of the basketball season. Not once did Brad take a day off or complain about having to get the magazine put together by Sunday afternoon, even if it meant driving 12 hours through the night, as we did coming home from Stanford and then again from San Jose the other day. Just like his beloved small schools, Brad simply finds a way to get it done and does so without the accompanying adulation most 13 seeds get when they knock off an Illinois or a Florida.
On our trip to UCLA and USC a month or so ago, Brad got an idea. It was Friday, the day between games and we had nothing to do. Brad is a huge heavy metal fan (and we're talking speed, death, black and scary heavy metal, folks) and he decided to take a walk to the local Tower Records store in lovely (trust me, I'm not being serious) Buena Park, California. Nine miles later, Brad returned the hotel with the new Hoobastank CD and a arm full of heavy metal magazines. The good thing (for those of you not in the same vehicle as Brad) is that Brad generally only turns the volume on his CD player up to 104 when he sits next to you on long trips. I am now a huge heavy metal fan, thanks to the wonderful process called osmosis.
I understand why Brad listens to that kind of music though. It keeps him going. Throw Brad a good Megadeth CD and a 24-pack of Diet Pepsi and watch him get warm. Sometimes he even falls asleep to that sonic madness in his earphones. Or wait, maybe it's because it's so downright terrifying to be a passenger while Doug is driving that he figures falling asleep would kill the pain should we actually hit the semi that we just passed (on the right shoulder!) on the on-ramp. [NOTE: Doug is the only driver I know who actually speeds up to slow down. Brad and Jim will attest under penalty of perjury, so help them God, amen.]
True Story III: There wasn't a single fan in America any happier than Brad Allis and his girlfriend Stacey when Creighton hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat powerhouse Florida in the first round. We were all in our rooms in lovely (again, not serious here) Albuquerque, New Mexico when the shot went down. Brad was so loud that he could be heard on the next floor. And what did he do to celebrate his favorite underdog's victory (not to mention Arizona's two wins at the Pit)? He worked a combined 49 hours in four days at the sub-regional. WOO-HOOO!!!
But even the hardest working and most littlest of little guys get rewarded in the end. Brad was no different this past weekend in San Jose. Apparently he phoned the hotel we were staying at in Sunnyvale ahead of time and requested some tailor-made accommodations. Doug, Jim and I had no idea that he had planned it out so well. That is, until we got into our rooms.
Immediately after walking through the door, I was quick to notice something was wrong. Brad jumped on his bed and, to my shock, was just as long as the mattress! I had been reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I suddenly thought I had been transplanted into "The Shire" because Brad had booked us a room that only a Hobbit could love.
Brad slept wonderfully on the five-and-a-half-foot bed that night while my 6-2 frame was tucked in the fetal position. The next morning Brad got out of the shower with a big smile on his face and said, "I can finally see over the shower curtain!" I had no idea what was such a big deal about that. But when I got into the shower, I'll just say that in order to get the water on my entire body, I had to do my best Johnny Bench impression because it took crouching like a catcher to get under the four-and-a-half-foot shower head.
Brad "Mid-Major" Allis got the last laugh. He booked us all into Hobbit rooms while he slept peacefully to the sounds of "KillYourMutha" on his CD player, dreaming only of Diet Pepsi, Stacey, his beloved Salukis, WWF Smack Down and which ad to run on page twenty-four come Sunday.