As opposed to that story. Here we have Mark Titus, a bench rider who walked on to a great team and made a name for himself through blogging. Of course this story charmed me. In fact, reading this story about Titus's antics--how he begged the managers for water when a time-out was called right as he was to be put into the game; how he reminded his coach before the tip-off of the 2007 championship game that he had "five fouls to give"--totally reminds me of me and my teammate/college bff RG. Like Titus, we put in lots of time on the bench (though neither of us had that many trillion-games, because we tended to go for it whenever we got put in the game, and somehow I always managed to get fouled and hit my free throws). RG and I were both on scholarship and sometimes (though rarely) started, mostly when Pat was mad at someone, whereas Titus is a walk on and doesn't seem likely to start.
But like Titus, we were very much what they call "role players," and we had very similar senses of humor--in the high-pressure situation of such a successful team, someone needs to lighten things up. Like the time we mimicked the coaches' athletic-tape labels that told them where to sit after a time-out by putting our own on our preferred bench seats. (One of the assistant coaches made us take them off before Pat saw, but she was laughing and laughing as she did.) Or like the time during a really tight game at Stanford when the ESPN camera panned the bench no doubt looking to display our somber faces and instead RG mouthed "I love you" to her fiance. We were good for a little comic relief, which OSU's coach obviously recognizes the value of (and so did ours).
And we had our fans. I think it might be a cultish thing for devoted fans to begin to root for the non-starters. RG's held up two signs, one that said "R" and one that said "G," and mine held up two as well, one that said "HAW" and one that said "HEE." (Only once did they get mine mixed up.) Then there was the developmentally disabled woman with a little sports-fan crush on me named Carol, whose season ticket was RIGHT behind our bench. She would wait until all the noise died down and yell "Hey Pat! Put Hawhee in!" Sometimes Pat thought it was funny, but sometimes, understandably, it bugged her, and I had to motion to Carol to cut it out. That often made her worse. For the most part, it was objectively funny, though I'm pretty sure Carol's persistence did nothing to help my playing time.
Neither RG nor I was as well known as Titus to the opposing teams, though. I'm pretty sure had blogging existed when we played one of us would have wanted to have a blog. What's not clear is whether we would have been allowed. But as with Titus's blog, there would have been a whole lot to say.