Last night was the annual House vs. Senate basketball game at Siegel Center to benefit the Massey Cancer Center.
Before that game, there was a brief under card match between the Capitol lobbyists and the Governor’s staff, which arrived in an armored car with State Police at the ready. Escorted down the Court by multiple troopers in flak jackets, the Governor and his minions had no problem breaking down the defense of the intimidated lobbyists.
The main event came next.
In front of a screaming crowd of House and Senate pages, the Senate “Ultrasounds” took the floor with a curious mixture of has-beens and never-wases. On the other side stood the House “of Pain” Delegates, who warmed up for the game with their ritual grunting and chest-thumping.
Coasting elegantly down the Court, the Senate got an early bucket from “Doctor Ralph” Northam to grab a 2-0 lead. Buoyed by that unexpected good fortune, they spent the next twenty minutes amicably discussing a budget compromise and bipartisan comity. The Senators crept into half-time only down by 10-9.
In the second half, the younger and better House team began to pull away, stretching the lead to 19-9. Then everything changed in a matter of moments …
At the direction of Coach Phil (“On my signal, unleash Hell”) Puckett, the Senators came roaring back to outscore the House on a 15-2 pace.
The key component to Puckett’s bold strategy was a three guard combination of George (“Barking Dog”) Barker, Ken (“No Conscience”) Cuccinelli, and Chap (“No nickname necessary”) Petersen which ran furiously around the Court and occasionally threw the ball towards — and even into — the basket. Just as critical was the soft touch of Emmitt (“Hang Time”) Hanger, who nailed a couple key jumpers.
Amazingly, the Senators headed into the final two minutes ahead by 24-21. Two thousand miles away in Las Vegas, professional bookmakers frantically tried to lay off the action, as the Senate was poised to upset impossible odds.
Destiny intervened in the shape of Delegate Manoli Loupassi, whose height, weight and basic social skills distinguished him from his House colleagues. A Loupassi put-back, with a foul, led to a three-point play that tied the game at 24-24 with a minute left.
On the ensuing series of possessions, the Senators lost the ball, then stole the ball back and even hoisted up a last-second jumper which clanged off the back rim. The final result? A draw, 24-24.
(Allegedly, an overtime period was played. However, it occurred too late to be included in this edition. Anyway, nobody cares that the House won that part).