Majerus’ passing seems to hit me a bit harder than I thought it would. I mean I didn’t know Rick Majerus. I sort of met him a couple of times and saw him speak on campus a few others. I know people who loved him and people who despised him and I think I’ve been on both ends of that. I loved Rick for what he did and I blamed Rick for his later failings and being a part of what has hurt Utah Basketball for the the past decade.
But for someone I don’t know, Rick sure seemed to be a big part of my life. And if you were a Utah fan in the 1990′s I don’t know how you can’t say the exact same thing. I briefly mentioned being at the 1997 WAC Tournament with my dad. I was also at the Elite Eight game against Arizona. An Arizona fan behind me freaked out so bad when we went up 25, his buddy drug him out because he broke down. With one minute to go in that game Majerus walked down the bench and shook every players hand, thanking them.
It took me 10 years to rewatch the Kentucky game. So I kind of understand how that game haunted Rick. Judging from the outpouring on Twitter and the internet tonight, Rick just might have been one of a kind. So instead of me going on and on, here are some fantastic tributes to Rick Majerus. And below that I’ll list just a few of my favorite moments.
My Favorite Moments
The 1997 WAC tourney will always be at the top of my list because as I talked about in an earlier column, there was a great deal going on in my life. Keith Van Horn scoring with less than a second on the clock to beat SMU, then Van Horn’s put back to beat New Mexico, well it did a lot to make my life right. The Majerus jump.
1998 Elite Eight against Arizona. I was at this game so it really seems to stand out. Before hand Arizona fans were jerks I’d say, but the idea that Utah could possibly win this game against the defending national champions seemed laughable. Honestly in the stadium it didn’t actually come over me that we were going to win until we’re up 20 with about 5 to go. It was surreal.
1998 Final Four against North Carolina. I watched this game with friends. After the game we ran downtown like idiots screaming on street corners holding a Utah flag.
I forget the year but it was after the whole Roger Reid debacle and Steve Cleveland had been hired. Utah went to BYU and BYU thought that is finally when they’d get a win. Utah won and Rick was rumored to say, “I’m Still King of The Effing Hill.” Only he didn’t say effing. BYU fans claim he also flipped of the crowd. I don’t have proof but I hope both are true.
1989 Utah loses to Purdue. No one remembers this game. Somehow I had front row seats and watched just a terrible Utah team almost beat a solid Purdue squad. Rick would have heart surgery a few days later, but that game both told me we had something special in Rick and is what probably made me a Utah Fan.
1991 NCAA second round. We went several overtimes against Michigan St., Byron Wilson ended up with a four point play late and sent us to the Sweet 16 to play eventual national champion UNLV. And we gave them a solid game as well.
There are so many I’d be writing for days. Between the 1992 NIT team being screwed, Andre Miller being clubbed in the Pit, Rick’s answers in the post game shows that had nothing to do with any question he was asked.
Thanks for the Memories, there are too many to count.