Both Hutcheson and his team are exceptional. The Bisons, the No. 1-ranked NAIA team most of the season, finished with a 41-5 record; they're the first college team ever to win 40 games in a season. And Hutcheson, who's looking more toward law school than a pro career, is a true student-athlete. He carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average (he's majoring in political science communications) and works part time as a sportswriter for the
Nashville Banner. When asked last week how he would headline his basketball achievements, Hutcheson replied, with his usual self-effacing humor, "Big Dork Does O.K."
It's hard to say which was more disturbing: the tasteless performance of the Miami Heat's mascot during a home game against the New York Knicks on March 11, or the glee with which fans in Miami Arena cheered it. The mascot—actually Wes Lockard, 29, who dresses in an orange feathered costume that makes him look like a distant cousin of the Phillie Phanatic—was attempting to poke fun at New York City. During a fourth-quarter timeout, as Frank Sinatra's rendition of
New York, New York
blared over the P.A. system, Lockard walked onto the court wearing an outfit of rags on top of his costume and pushing a shopping cart. In case any fans didn't recognize that he was imitating a stereotypical bag lady, Lockard pulled out a bottle in a brown paper sack and pretended to guzzle from it.
There was more. As Lockard drank, a coconspirator slowed down the music on the P.A. system to make Sinatra's words sound drunkenly slurred. Then two other participants in the skit dashed out, pretended to club him on the head, snatched a giant wristwatch from him and ran off, disappearing under the stands.
Someone should inform Lockard, the Heat and their fans that homelessness, alcohol abuse and violent crime aren't joking matters.