Monday, February 26, 2007

Mr. McCoy, meet Mr. Coover

So over the weekend I saw an old episode of Law & Order. In this particular episode, a professional basketball player was accused of killing a heckler. It was an average episode by L&O standards, but there was one piece of the storyline that probably hits home to Coovo and his dad.

The player in question had a deep bond with his high school basketball coach, and often consulted him when in trouble. Many of you already know this, but Tim's dad, Mr. Coover, was the 6th grade basketball coach for reigning N.L. MVP Ryan Howard.

He looks happy doesn't he? Well, you can thank Mr. Coover for that. Tim's dad was the man who single-handedly transformed the 200 lb. power forward into a cleanup hitter. And to this day, Ryan maintains frequent contact with Mr. Coover, and relies on his sage advice.

Last November, when Howard barely beat out Albert Pujols for the MVP award, Pujols had this to say, "Ryan Howard did not deserve the MVP. He is big and fat and should have stuck to basketball. I hope the Cubs don't sign Soriano." Well, it was something like that anyway.

Soon after that statement was released, Ryan placed a call to Mr. Coover and consulted his mentor on the best way to handle the situation. Mr. Coover responded, "Say nothing. Pretend he doesn't exist. Albert Pujols is a flash in the pan. He's 43 years old and will be out of this league by 2008. And he would have never started on our 6th-grade team. Marty (Coover) would have dunked all over him. If anyone believes differently just look at Marty's game film.... Checkmate."

As we all know Howard held his tongue.

The mentor/mentee relationship is a precious one that few are fortunate enough to have. If it weren't for relationships like the one between Ryan Howard and Mr. Coover, there would have been one less episode of Law & Order to watch. And frankly, I don't think I could live in that world.

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