But I’ll get to that. First, let’s talk about our new mascot, the infamous Sasquatch, or “Sasq ‘ets” as he’s known in some circles. I was highly suspicious when he was first unveiled at the end of October, mostly because he seemed vaguely familiar. I figured administration had bought a Quatchi costume at a post-Olympics fire sale, ripped off its earmuffs, changed its name, and dressed it up in a Cascades jersey.
I still have that suspicion, although now tempered by the knowledge that “Sasq ‘ets” has soulful, warm, human eyes, whereas Quatchi had evil, beady, rodent eyes. Otherwise, the two are exactly the same.
Unfortunately, neo-Quatchi does not seem to have inherited his clones’ ability to inspire patriotic fervour. I say this because, despite his presence at the basketball game, not a single player, coach or spectator actually sang during the “singing” of the national anthem. The music played, everyone turned to face the flag, and… nothing. It was as if an anonymous killer in the crowd had threatened to mutilate the first person who opened their mouth. Perhaps it’s because I’m American, but I get uncomfortable when people don’t sing their own anthem. I mean, do you not know the words? Or what?
But back to basketball. I love basketball. I love the give ‘n go, the jump-hook, even the baseline three. I love watching the explosive power of someone like Joel Friesen as he blows past a defender, and I love the cruelty of dunking over a beaten opponent (I’m talking to you James Elliot). I don’t love watching the Cascades lose to a team they beat only the night before, but that’s only one story out of many that unfolds during a game of basketball.
Take the sideshow that is Zeon Gray for example. The fourth year UFV guard kept the Cascades in Saturday’s game with some big points in the third quarter, but his contribution to the team was much larger than that. From the opposition’s perspective, Grey is the most irritating thing in existence that doesn’t lay eggs and suck blood through a proboscis. He’s always yapping at the refs, always buzzing around the perimeter looking for a clear lane, and when he finds one, he’s lightening fast. He drives, he shoots, he scores, and then he’s flying sideways, fouled by mysterious forces from alternate dimensions. The immediate yell of anguish almost always draws a whistle.
Or consider Ryan Fahandeg, a third year forward from Kelowna. His Hail Mary at the end of the fourth quarter was completely unnecessary considering the Cascades were down by six with a half-second remaining. Yet he drained the buzzer-beater anyway, with a cool competence that suggests the results from the two teams’ next meeting will be very different.
And don’t even get me started about the half-time show, in which “Sasq ‘ets” demonstrated the ancient Native American art of air guitar.
Pop Quiz: What is the new Cascade Mascot?
a. A carpet with lips
b. A muppet
c. A wookie
d. A muppet wookie
e. Politically Correct