Monday, January 28, 2008
20 years later, jerome lane reveals the truth
Friday was the 20th anniversary of Jerome Lane's Dunk, that famous moment when Pitt's then-junior forward shattered a backboard at old Fitzgerald Field House with a thunderous fast-break slam against Providence. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as one might expect, published a story to commemorate the occasion, the first half of which is a standard boilerplate retrospective that fails to mention the game was blacked out in Pittsburgh, so it was (incredibly) never seen on live TV by anyone locally. [As a 12-year-old at the time, I recall tuning into the radio after it happened, though unaware. I only remember being puzzled as to why it was only halftime nearly two hours after tipoff, when the game should have been close to over. But then Bill Hillgrove explained that there was a 30-plus minute delay because of what Lane had done. I nearly died from anticipation, wanting badly to see the play.] Anyway, the story then gets to a startling revelation about that 1988 Pitt team, which I still believe was the best in the country but was somehow beaten by Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Lane's comments answer a question a lot of us in Pittsburgh have wanted to ask all these years: Why didn't they foul Vandy guard Barry Goheen at the end of regulation, when they had a three-point lead? Lane's answer is incredible. And let's just say I now have a lot more respect for John Calipari, a Panthers assistant coach at the time. Read the story for yourself here. Unbelievable.