It takes a fast shutter speed to freeze Joe Anderson.

Have you ever been too tired to do anything other than write a column with a replay on of last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live?

Of course not. The other remaining weary sportswriter can’t stand Kimmel.

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Monte Dutton

I’ve got to write a column, though. There’s too much good stuff lying around idle that Bob Richey or one of his players said after the game.

Times like these are fleeting. Enjoy them.

I’ve enjoyed watching the Paladins, mostly from afar, since Richey took the helm. Now that I see them at courtside, it’s as indescribably delicious as any Mounds bar.


Blink and you'll miss Jalen Slawson.

By collective realization of Richey and his players, what this team has that others lacked is a depth that has expanded all season into something akin to a perpetual motion machine. Richey put it perfectly while standing amid the smoldering ruins of Spartanburg’s Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.

Okay. Maybe that was a dream.

What Richey did say, which was not a dream because it’s on my iPhone recorder, was: “Our depth fresh is better than our starters tired.”

In the past week – during which Furman has thumped Western Carolina 88-50, Wofford 75-50 and VMI 79-64 – not only have the Paladins raced up, down and around, plundering all opposition, but they have exhibited method in seeming madness.

It is beautiful. It is splendid. It is inspiring.

I race around, too, though mostly my fingers are racing, either by shooting shutters or forming words. I aim at everything that moves for about a half in the hope that my acceptable-photo percentage matches the Paladins’ in the mythical land beyond the arc. Then I load them in my laptop to see the awful truth. I chip away at a tentative, preliminary incarnation of a story as the 2nd half progresses. After the horn sounds, I peruse the stats and go to the media conference, there to pose mostly obvious questions to Richey and his players.


Alex Hunter sees someone open.

Then I drive home and commence to photoshopping, writing, editing and making that all-important tactical decision: whether to have a mug of coffee in the interest of alertness, or nah, because when a man finally goes to sleep, he’s got to be able.

On the way back to the crib, I muse about the game and whether to stop for coffee at one of four QT’s I pass. There’s a 5th an exit past where I get off. Last night I ran the full gauntlet and didn’t fill a mug till it was my own.

At my age and degree of mobility, that’s discipline. That’s the part where the Paladins still inspire me. They run up and down the floor, shoot, pass, rebound, assist, steal and occasionally have a swig of water. I turn into a coffee-guzzling machine and nitpick into the hours when silent movies are on TCM.

I’m still amped. I’m thinking seriously about shaving before the women’s game tonight.

It occurred to me that I was wrong all those years when I was monitoring the progress of stock cars racing around and around. I thought that was what I was born to do.

Right now I’m doing what I was born – and, notably, educated – to do.

Next goal: making a decent living at it.



Clinton native Monte Dutton is Furman-educated and has been a sportswriter for most of four decade. At DHK Sports LLC and its three website, Monte is committed to filling the void in local sports coverage created by the decline of other media.