Game #9-152: Milwaukee at Fairfield StagsDecember 12, 2012 7:00 pm
Arena at Harbor Yard
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - One of the surprising breakout stars of TMM Season 8 was the Webster Bank Arena black curtain
. It is just so ostentatiously huge and intimidating that people gravitated to it and couldn't stop staring.
Every time I mentioned The Curtain
, people wanted to know more about it. Unfortunately (and I take much of the blame, obviously), it became known as The Evil Black Curtain in these circles, and took plenty of heat accordingly
The e-mail came Wednesday morning. All it said: "8:30, next to the inflatable jersey. - Mac"
I knew immediately what it was. I'd been hearing rumors through the summer that The Curtain wanted to tell his side of the story; that he thought my coverage was one-sided. The game was nearing the end by the time I made my way over to the spot. I was slightly nervous, but I knew he wanted to talk, so I figured he wouldn't try to bully me.
Sure enough, he didn't. Here is my exclusive interview with the Webster Bank Arena
Black Curtain:Ray Curren:
Thanks for doing this.Curtain:
No problem. I just want to set the record straight.RC:
Mac is your name?Mac:
Well, MacArthur for short. Long story, but I go by Mac.RC:
So how did you get here? Have you always been here?Mac:
Well, I was made in China 20 years ago, but I've been around to different stadiums over the years. I lived in Chattanooga and Greensboro before coming to Bridgeport when it opened 11 years ago. I'm just happy to have work. This economy, a curtain my size at my age, it's not like I can work in on an elementary school
stage or something. The people here have been very good to me.RC:
You understand, though, why people at the Mid-majority might not like you, right?Mac:
I get it. I know most of you would like smaller arenas, but I think you're shooting the messenger here. I just do what they tell me. My main gig is with the concerts anyway, that's where I really shine and really get to meet some cool people. Just this fall, Rush and Neil Young have been here. With Crazy Horse, too. I mean, awesome stuff. I'd rather they didn't need me for the Fairfield basketball, either, but I can understand why they play here. They think the big arena with all the flash and this new huge scoreboard is going to get people to play here. And they've been pretty good for a few years now.RC:
Do you and the scoreboard get along?Mac:
Yea, he and Chuck, the curtain down at the other end, came in this year. Can be tough on rookies, though. During a WWE show, Chuck made a mistake and got absolutely reamed out by Vince McMahon. WWE is based down the street, so it was in front of all the big WWE execs, too. Felt bad for him that day. But he's learning. And that scoreboard is going places. He's got talent, you can see it.RC:
Are you even a basketball fan?Mac:
Absolutely. You were right about that, I do like Fairfield basketball. And I love your site, by the way. I see how hard these guys work behind the scenes. Sydney Johnson is a great guy and a great coach. They've struggled a little this year, but I think they'll be OK.RC:
What do you think of this year's squad?Mac:
Well, this is only the second home game, so I haven't seen too, too much of them. But you see what they're doing tonight. The defense is their key, they don't have too many reliable scorers, although Derek Needham is a gutsy point guard. This kid Justin Jenkins is having a great night, too, with the other freshman Marcus Gilbert out injured. Colin Nickerson is an underrated player, too, does all the little things. Really funny in practice, too. Milwaukee isn't really offering too much resistance tonight, but if they can defend like this instead of that crap I saw against Canisius
, they can play with anyone in the MAAC.
(As we were talking, Fairfield opened the second half with a 28-9 run to pull away from a listless Milwaukee squad, who was making the trip as a return game from last year's Bracketbusters game. Falling to 3-8 with the loss, it doesn't appear like the Panthers will be the threat they were in the past in the Horizon, even with Butler gone.)RC:
Can you keep up with the team on the road?Mac:
Usually, someone around here will have the game on the radio, although if there's an event or hockey game going on, it's tough. But I'll see a boxscore over the shoulder of someone's computer or I-phone.RC:
It turns out we know some of the same people. Mike Foley, Communications Director here, used to work with me at the New Haven Register as a reporter.Mac:
Really? Small world, isn't it? Mike's good people, really works hard to get good shows here in a tough market. Those damn casinos are always trying to give better and better deals.RC:
They gave most of the banners to Chuck. Does that bother you?Mac:
Not really. If we ever get an NCAA Tournament banner, though, I'm getting it. They have to take the banners down for concerts and stuff, so it makes it easier on me, especially at my age, with less weight.RC:
You can understand why people think you're a bit intimidating if they don't know you?Mac:
I get that I'm big, but I don't get the black part. I thought we were past that in 2012. Just because I'm black, I'm evil? That's ridiculous.RC:
Anything else you'd like to set the record straight on?Mac:
Not really. Like I said, I just want people to know that I like basketball and I like people. I'm just trying to do my job, and I'm sorry if it rubs you guys the wrong way. Look, I thought your original Raven story
was funny, but then you and your readers just kept piling on. I even saw myself mentioned a few times in the summer. I can take criticism like anyone else, I just wanted to make sure all the facts were out there, and hopefully now they are. So thank you.RC: Thank
you. I'll try for you at the MAAC Tournament again this year?Mac:
Please do. Yea, that St. Peter's game here a couple of years ago (MAAC semifinal loss) was a real heartbreaker. Like I said, though, I think Sydney has them going in the right direction. Go Stags! at FAIRFIELD 62, MILWAUKEE 46
MILWAUKEE 3-8 (0-0) -- P. Gulley 1-6 2-3 4; K. Kelm 4-7 5-6 13; J. Aaron 2-11 3-4 8; J. Haarsma 2-11 4-7 8; D. Harris 2-5 3-3 7; A. Arians 1-3 0-2 3; R. Haggerty 0-1 0-0 0; T. Niang 0-1 0-0 0; M. Roelke 1-1 0-0 3; J. Panoske 0-1 0-0 0; C. Wolf 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-47 17-25 46.
FAIRFIELD 6-5 (1-1) -- D. Needham 4-12 3-3 13; M. Barrow 5-10 0-0 10; C. Nickerson 0-5 1-2 1; A. Sidibe 6-8 0-2 12; K. Matthews 1-4 0-0 2; D. Wade 3-7 0-0 8; J. Jenkins 4-7 0-0 9; J. Mikulic 3-6 0-0 7; C. Johnson 0-1 0-0 0; S. Johnston 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 4-7 62.
Three-point goals: MILW 3-18 (J. Haarsma 0-5; K. Kelm 0-2; M. Roelke 1-1; P. Gulley 0-1; J. Aaron 1-5; T. Niang 0-1; A. Arians 1-3), FAIR 6-22 (D. Wade 2-6; D. Needham 2-8; C. Nickerson 0-1; J. Jenkins 1-3; J. Mikulic 1-2; S. Johnston 0-2); Rebounds: MILW 33 (K. Kelm 14), FAIR 35 (A. Sidibe 9); Assists: MILW 4 (J. Aaron 2), FAIR 18 (D. Needham 7); Total Fouls -- MILW 10, FAIR 23; Fouled Out: MILW-J. Haarsma; FAIR-None.