So once again I'm watching the local TV guys, and once again the James-Blackmon-to-Marion stories have surfaced.
This is an oldie but goody that's been making the rounds for several months now, and the latest twist is that he's applied for the now-vacant job at his alma mater. It might even be true.
What I know is this: If, 20 or 25 years ago, a boys basketball coach at Bishop Luers had been tapped to coach Marion, it would have been a no-brainer move. Now, not so much.
Look, I get that the man's an icon, and should be, in his hometown. But frankly, in 2011, Luers-to-Marion is a sideways move at best, and perhaps not even that.
I realized that a couple of years ago, when I drove to Marion to cover the Giants vs. North Side in the sectionals. Back in the day, I worked in Anderson for 10 years, and so covered my share of games in Bill Green Arena. Even covered James as a player.
This is not then, however. When I covered Marion 20, 25 years ago, if you didn't get to the gym an hour before game time, you were parking blocks away on the street. This time, I pulled up 30 minutes before the tip and parked 20 yards from the door -- and the Giants had a good team that year.
In other words, the gym, instead of being packed for the game, was roughly half full. Not even the Marion crowd could fill its section. And it drove home the point that Marion isn't Marion anymore. It's just another school with an occasionally decent hoops team.
Contrast that to Luers, where, if Blackmon stays, he's going to have a shot at a state title every few years. Won't happen in Marion. Not anymore.