on Sports
Annikas Summer


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

Add salad-bar bickering to the long list of Bobby Knight transgressions. It doesn’t quite rank up there with Neil Reed neck-tie checking or delivering a floral arrangement to the side of a secretary’s head or shooting a buddy on a hunting trip but for Lubbock, it’ll do.
    I’m betting this grocery store with a salad-bar is regretting the day they removed Whack-a-Mole from their handy game room. Or they might regret even worse having a waiter who’d say, when Coach Knight asks for a jar of cashews “We don’t serve nuts, here.”

    All of this leads to one of my favorite Bobby Knight discussions with one of my favorite psychiatrist friends, Doctor Max Shrinkenfraud. Whenever we discuss basketball, Dr. Max constantly laments that, just once, he’d like to get the Coach on his couch.
 “You, and every other Freudian,” I let slip.

“No, seriously,” My favorite shrink says, “Anger like that is deep seated. It would take miner’s picks to probe his id. It’d be like drilling beyond the Anadarko basin to the core of his viscerogenic needs…”
“Hey,” I say, knowing the good Doc likes potato soup, “You should try the vichyssoise at the Deli.”   

“I would do a crossover on his ego,” Doctor Max gestures, dribbling “And then go straight for his superego.”
“For breakfast,” I say, “Today, I had a Super Eggo. It’s much better than a plain Eggo.”

“Must we always have such silliness? How do you expect us to affect significance? I could cure this man… in less than twenty sessions.”

Salad Bar

Then I tell Max I have Bobby Knight’s direct line. Except Knight has caller ID so he doesn’t pick up when I call. However, if a doctor called… hmmm… he might think it’s a donor and you could tell Knight you’re the president of the Amarillo Red Raider’s club and you want him out to speak and could he answer a few questions. I give Max the number on one condition – he records the conversation - for you, my loyal readers.

Max makes contact. Pleasantries are exchanged. He explains he wants Knight to address his club and Knight asks him if there will be a dinner. Max says “Yes, we even have a salad bar.”

“That’s good.” Knight says, “I like salad bars, contrary to what you may have read. A salad bar has discipline. It has order. The pudding knows it’s place.”

“Let me ask, just one thing,” asks the Doc. “Is it true you grabbed University Chancellor Smith by his neck-tie and pulled him toward you at this salad bar?

“I did,” answers Knight, “but you have to understand something. I want to make this clear – the salad bar had a sneeze guard, you know that slanted plastic thing… so I couldn’t grab Smith by his neck and his tie was almost going to land in the pudding.”

“You can’t beat a good pudding, Mr. Knight. We have a wonderful peas and carrots salad. Did your mother make peas and carrots for you?”

“I like peas. I like carrots, but not mixed. I like my carrots all in a line, military file. And my peas, I want exactly forty-four peas in a bowl.”

“Ringed around the bowl?” Max asks “Or piled in the bowl? Is this the way your mother made it?”

“My mother? Do you want me to bring signed plaid basketballs? Do you want me to bring my new book – Chicken Soup for the Ill-Tempered, Potty Mouthed,  Basketball Soul?

Doctor Max says “I didn’t know you had a new book out.”

“I DON’T!” Knight screams. “You scumbag. You always asking about my mother. You’re some kind of head doctor aren’t you? You worthless sack of puke. You think you can get inside me, don’t you. You’re not big enough to be digging in my head. I’ve got to go now. I’ve got a Patton movie to watch.”
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