No Hoopfest retrospective would be complete without a reminder that Tim O’Doherty once won his bracket.
It was a bona fide Spokane miracle, like a county commissioner admitting a mistake or a pothole getting filled. Irish stew is always on the menu at his downtown saloon, but never a Hoopfest championship – not in 18 previous tries. Yes, he had to bring in a ringer to get the job done – an ex-college star who’d won his school’s MVP award so many times they named it after him.
But O’Doherty made the final basket. After missing somewhere between nine and 100 times.
“His teammates were looking at him as if to say, ‘Can we end this, please?’ “ said his friend, Leroy Burrows.
The game, he meant. Not the world.
We’re happy to report an O’Doherty victory didn’t cause the earth’s crust to split and swallow Spokane whole. Hoopfest continues on its amazing arc, with upwards of 28,000 players a year and no signs of shrinking. The mess gets cleaned up by 10 p.m. every Sunday and life goes on as it always does.
Oh, and Tim O’Doherty hasn’t won again.