February 15, 2010
Last year, I saw the Princeton Vikings lost a nail biter to the Northland Vikings in the boys basketball state finals. In 1996, I saw the New Albany Bulldogs fall in two overtimes in the state championship game to Ben Davis. I wasn't in Indianapolis for the 1980 championship defeat of New Albany by Broad Ripple, and there was no way I was able to see New Albany's lone boys basketball championship in 1973 over South Bend Adams.
But I have proof, record that it happened, because I have the stein to prove it.
Originally, I'm sure my dad had the stein to prove it, and I'm guessing he was there at the game to see the high school where he worked - where he works - where he attended - win their only boys basketball championship. I know him well enough to know that he wouldn't have missed that game.
I saw originally because the stein is mine now. (No clue whether I'm effectively outing myself to my family here, but I do have some things in my house that weren't exactly asked for when I left home.) It's been my stein since I left for Wabash in 1992, and I think it was in my room, on my shelves before that even.
The flip side has the team roster and all of the tournament scores.
We're going to forgo wondering whether a championship won in the 2000's would ever be commemorated with a drinking stein (we can't even give out glasses as prom favors) and just revel in the coolness of that mug.
The gold accents, the bulldog shield, the jackboot stomping of Clarksville, the lack of classification in the title Indiana State Champions all are just little glimpses at the awesome.
I took the stein with me to Wabash - and my high school yearbooks, too - because I was and am proud of my time at New Albany. I dug high school. Dug the high school radio station, dug the hometown, dug tennis road trips and home basketball games.
I know I left the hometown, but I still love visiting and love having the stein on my shelves.
Oh, and by the way, NAHS also won a girls basketball championship in 1999, but they didn't make steins.