My Friday Five: On Jim Boeheim, In The Heights & Town Halls

1. A Night to Remember

In case you missed it, I posted some thoughts about my experience at the UNC/Duke game this past Saturday in Chapel Hill. It was a heck of a time and I was glad to be able to help my buddy cross this off his bucket list. The post includes a photo gallery so be sure to check it out!

2. Reunited

Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson have been reunited! The former Tar Heels are teaming up in the NBA D-League's Salt Lake City Stars. Paige has been playing for the Utah Jazz affiliate for a while now and Johnson was just assigned to the team by the L.A. Clippers. This is exciting on many fronts, especially for me, since I'm going to see the Stars take on the Greensboro Swarm later this month. It should be a lot of fun! 

3. What You Talkin' 'Bout, Boeheim?

The ACC Tournament kicked off in Brooklyn, N.Y. this week. Brooklyn. Ugh. You already know my thoughts on it being played there but I wanted to sound off on a comment made by Syracuse Men's Basketball Coach, Jim Boeheim, after the Orange lost to Miami on Wednesday. Boeheim said that there is no value to playing the ACC Tournament in Greensboro and would rather have the tournament in "big cities" such as Brooklyn, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Boeheim's comment was met with quite a bit of resistance, starting off with a snappy (and absolutely perfect) tweet from the City of Greensboro...

But the embarrassing of Boeheim didn't stop there. The folks at Greensboro-based Our State Magazine offered him a subscription with this tweet and MiLB club, The Greensboro Grasshoppers, announced a "Jim Boeheim (No) Value Night" where some of the festivities include honoring Boeheim during a special "Whine of the Game" segment. Boeheim tried to patch things up in an interview on "The Scott Hamilton Show" Thursday afternoon but too little, too late.

This is the most craptastic and utterly disrespectful thing I've heard come out of Boeheim's mouth. It's also interesting to me how he feels he has authority to make such a statement given Syracuse hasn't won an ACC Tournament game since joining the league in 2013. Not to mention, Boeheim's team was fresh off getting thumped from a tournament being held in his and his team's home state. Oh I can't wait for the jeers from Tobacco Road fans to rain down on Boeheim next season!

4. Republican Ridiculousness

There has been much talk - and criticism - over some Republican lawmakers not holding town hall meetings with constituents after some of those town halls have become rather testy. These are in-person meetings organized for constituents to voice concerns with their lawmakers, debate issues and hear about upcoming legislation. Many Republicans in Congress have chosen to either wuss out of the in-person town halls and hold "telephone town halls" or just not hold town halls period. And let me be clear, I'm pretty sure that this practice is not exclusive to Republicans. I mention Republicans only because it has to do with what I'm about to tell you.

North Carolina Senator, Thom Tillis, is one of many Republican lawmakers who decided to wuss out of a true town hall. Tillis announced on his social media accounts that he would hold one of those lame "telephone town halls" but here's the thing: it would be held at 6 p.m. On a weekday. On 90 minutes notice. Those who wanted to "participate" submitted questions through an online form and I'm sure questions were cherry-picked by Tillis staffers. Plus, take a look back at Tillis' official Twitter, and you'll see many people experienced problems listening to the "telephone town hall" once it commenced. Tillis is for town halls, apparently, just not the ones that include shouting. Of course, he said this at a special, $25/plate luncheon hosted by the Durham Chamber of Commerce earlier in the week. This has added even more fuel to the fire for critics since town hall meetings are generally free to attend.

I emailed Tillis' office and received the same, canned response. Mr. Tillis, if you truly care about your constituents, hold a real town hall. Not this cockamamy junk you want to call a town hall. Is that hard to ask? The reason people are shouting is they are fed up with government officials representing their own interests as opposed to those of their constituents. If you cannot man up and hold a traditional town hall meeting, please step aside so someone else can.

5. Happy Ann'y, In the Heights

Photo of the In the Heights marquee in 2010. | Photo: Chris White

Photo of the In the Heights marquee in 2010. | Photo: Chris White

On March 9, 2008, In The Heights took the stage. The Tony Award-winning Best Musical premiered on Broadway and that was the first time I, and perhaps, much of the world heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Of course, Miranda has gone on to win Emmy's, Grammy's, Tony's and a Pullitzer Prize. In fact, he almost became the youngest E.G.O.T. (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner in history had he won an Oscar this year.

In the Heights was the first Broadway show I ever saw in person. I took a trip to New York City in 2010 and was front row at the Richard Rodgers Theatre - where Hamilton is showing now - for what would be an incredible experience. I had no clue who Lin-Manuel Miranda was at the time but I knew I loved his music and his show, so you can imagine how stoked I've been to see Hamilton do so well. In the Heights is still my all-time favorite Broadway musical. My favorite song from the show? "96,000" as displayed in this PBS documentary. Happy Anniversary!

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