Norm Stewart is 78. The booming voice that got the attention of generations of players, officials and sportswriters is a little thinner, requiring a lean-in to hear over the lunch crowd at Booche's. He hasn't felt all that great lately, if you want to know the truth of it.
But ply him with a cheeseburger and the eyes twinkle and the stories flow.
In the old days, back in Shelbyville, he used to play basketball wherever he could. He would play in a friend's barn in the middle of winter, with his winter coat on, shooting over tractors and combines. On summer nights, when the school was locked, he knew the way in.
"I would jump in the coal shoot, dark as hell, run through the janitor's room, turn on a light, go up the stairs, go down a long hallway, another hallway and then open the front door for everybody else to come in," Stewart recalled.
The kids would lower the blinds in an effort to conceal the pick-up game going on inside. When they were done, the basketball would be returned to Coach C.J. Kessler's office and they would sweep the floor to ensure they stayed on the good side of the janitor.
"Coach, who was also the superintendent, knew what we were doing," Stewart said. "He made it available. I had to jump down that coal chute, but it was available."
I have no idea how there wasn't already a statue of him at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, but be sure to read all of both of these pieces. Outstanding.
2. Pinkel had a busy bye week
3. Other in-season stuff
4. Damn, this story didn't magically disappear over the weekend
6. Another great weekend for volleyball
Mizzou 3, N.C. State 0
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Sweeps NC State, Moves to 9-0
Mizzou 3, Rice 0
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Improves to 10-0 with Sweep of Rice
Mizzou 3, Houston Baptist 0
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Wins Rice Invitational, Improving to 11-0
The Trib: Tigers win event, improve to 11-0
7. An okay weekend for soccer
Mizzou 3, Eastern Illinois 0
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Soccer Dominates Eastern Illinois to Record 3-0 Shutout
The Missourian: Missouri soccer borrows motto from NBA champions
Mizzou Network: Highlight Reel: Mizzou takes down Eastern Illinois
Portland 3, Mizzou 2
MUtigers.com: No. 17 Portland Defeats Mizzou Soccer, 3-2
MUtigers.com: Get Involved in Tiger Paws
9. Okay, creepy
So the new Janelle Monáe album (The Electric Lady) is out, and it's what it was supposed to be: weird, frantic, and awesome. It hits cruise control over the last half of the album, but the first half, from "Givin Em What They Love" with Prince to "Dance Apocalyptic" is pretty incredible.