City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Maryland GreenHawks Coach Dies

snyderThe Maryland GreenHawks latest new coach, Otis Hailey, died early Saturday. The team attributed Hailey's death to kidney failure. He had been with the squad for only two games.

Adam Dantus, general manager of the Premier Basketball League squad, says Hailey had a chronic kidney condition and received regular dialysis treatments. He had a dialysis session scheduled for Friday, but put it off for a day to be with the team as it traveled home from a loss Thursday in Rochester. He never made the rescheduled appointment.

"He ran practice here from 9 to 11 on Friday night," Dantus says. "He thought he was coming down with a cold, but went back to the hotel. I started getting calls at 9 in the morning. I only knew him a week, but, man, he was a great guy. Devoted."

So, after just seven games in their first season, the GreenHawks will now be hiring their fourth head coach. Ryan Krueger, who was the first coach hired by the expansion franchise, left during the preseason for a college job. Rob Spon, a minor league basketball veteran, replaced Kreuger but was dumped after going 1-4 to start the year. Enter Hailey, another well-traveled minor leaguer with short stints — every minor league coaching stint is short — all over the place. Among the teams you never heard of formerly coached by Hailey: the Montreal Dragons, Saskatchewan Hawks,Vancouver Nighthawks, Niagara DareDevils, Tijuana Diablos, Calgary Drillers and Los Angeles Push.

Hailey, who as a teenager set the national prep high jump record at 7' 1" in 1968, went 1-1 in his last coaching gig.

Hours after Hailey's death, the GreenHawks were scheduled to host the Vermont FrostHeaves, a squad made famous by founder/author Alexander Wolff. But that game was postponed, officially because of snow.

The next new coach of the now 2-5 team has not yet been announced. "I'm talking to three people today," says Dantus. "I'll make a decision by three o'clock."

***

I was so wowed by a UDC men's room that I went back with a camera so I could share its majesty with the world.

Shortly after I posted my wows, I learned that I'm hardly the first person to walk away dazed after hitting the head at the Harvard of the West Side of the Middle of the 4200 Block of Connecticut Avenue NW.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Who first blew the lid off the UDC bathroom story? More Potomac swimming? Isn't that where you find intersexual smallmouth bass? DeMatha plays the wrong St. Anthony's? How much would you pay for the Pontiac Silverdome? Wasn't that where King Kong Bundy broke Little Beaver's back? How much would you not pay for a Dan Snyder autograph?)

Turns out that nearly three years ago, before going on to greater greatness at Huffington Post, City Paper's own Arthur Delaney felt a similar sense of wonderment in a UDC restroom, which he described in this very forum as "fit for the Queen."

You get the collar, Art.

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Another day to swim in the Potomac River! Registration opens today for the inaugural Washington, D.C. Triathlon, scheduled for June 20. The new race is put on by the same folks who produce the Nation's Triathlon. Chuck Brodsky, founder of both, put in a big plug for the city's most powerful triathlete in announcing the event.

“We are incredibly pleased to bring a second triathlon to our city," Brodsky said, "which not only boasts the nation’s top triathlete Mayor but also features two unparalleled courses that offer swimming, biking and running tours of DC’s most spectacular monuments and national treasures.  No where else in the world can competitors trace the footsteps of America’s history while competing alongside the nation’s best.”

Absent triathlons, it's still illegal to swim in the Potomac, which has been famously polluted since the 19th century — first with pig parts, later with industrial waste. Brodsky pushed for years before getting a one-day exemption on the swimming ban so he could hold the Nation's Triathlon.

After swimmers returned to the river for the 2008 triathlon, I called Rita Colwell, a former director of the National Science Foundation and a person who had been studying the Potomac for decades, to ask her feelings on whether it should be reopened for recreational purposes. Colwell was appalled that anybody would jump in a body of water whose name so often appeared alongside references to "fecal matter" and "intersexual smallmouth bass."

“When I heard that they were swimming down by the Memorial Bridge, my first reaction was: You wouldn’t get me in there!” Colwell told me.

But, for folks with stronger constitutions, register for the new race at www.DCTri.com.

***

DeMatha was the top ranked team in town at the end of last week. A lot has changed. A night after losing to Gonzaga in OT at AU, DeMatha lost by two points to a basketball factory school from up north: St. Anthony's, the New Jersey squad usually described as being "coached by Bobby Hurley's dad."

'Course, this wasn't the DeMatha/St. Anthony's matchup that local prep hoops crazies coveted four decades ago, back when Stags' coach Morgan Wootten and Tonies' boss John Thompson had the best programs in the area and flat-out hated each other. For years, both coaches claimed the other coach was ducking his team. The closest the matter ever came to getting settled was when a matchup was scheduled in June 1970 for an outdoor court in the Jelleff Summer League. Somewhere between 500 and 5,000 people showed up, depending on who you believe, but Thompson Punk'd 'em all by leaving his real players off the court and sending in a bunch of non-playing students to face DeMatha's powerhouse squad. Final score: DeMatha 108, St. Anthony’s 26.

Because of Thompson's antics, that night at Jelleff is referred to as the The Greatest Game Never Played. And folks associated with both programs haven't been allowed to forget it. The joke around DeMatha circles last week, one even Morgan Wootten was heard telling people, was: "We're finally playing St. Anthony's, but we had to go to New Jersey to do it."

***

Saturday's Washington Post had two stories that paint Maryland as open-minded about drugs. Marcus Curry, a Navy football star, remains on the squad even after getting caught with pot in his system. Curry says whatever made his pee pee dirty came from a cigar he smoked. Smoking a pot-free cigar seems dumber than a joint in 2010, doesn't it? The second story was from Andrew Beyer, about trainer Kirk Ziadie, who was banished from Florida tracks this winter amid scads of drug accusations, only to be welcomed to Laurel Park with his large stable of horses. I bet Beyer's been betting 'em.

***

Amazing story in today's Washington Post about the Pontiac Silverdome. The city of Pontiac just sold the building and 127 surrounding acres for $583,000 at auction. For most sports fans, the building is best remembered for hosting Wrestlemania III in 1987. About 93,173 folks, the biggest crowd ever to see an indoor sporting event, showed up to witness 400-pounder-or-so King Kong Bundy break midget legend Little Beaver's back with a body slam.   (Here's Jesse the Body Ventura's call: "Smash him, Bundy!", plus Bob Uecker telling the audience, "Little Beaver just gave Bundy a shot in the boiler!")

But $583,000 for the 80,300-seater? Remind me not to hire a real estate agent or auctioneer from Pontiac.

***

Speaking of auctions for items the public doesn't want: eBay has an autographed photo of Dan Snyder for just $79.99. An auction of what looks like the exact same photo and signature just got zero bids on the site, even with an opening of just $3.95.

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Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

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