Monday, March 25, 2013

The Night Nick Souder Became Jordan Smart

After detailing a night out at UK in my last post, I am going to take you through the most fun night in my manager career. It took place last February in Gainesville, Florida, and what a night it was. The night started off with us landing in Gainesville at around 9 PM Eastern time and heading to the hotel for a post-flight snack. On the bus ride from the airport to the hotel, myself, Rob Cross, and Nick Souder determined we were going to go out.

I really wanted to go out in Gainesville because I had visions of beautiful women serenading Tim Tebow and him turning them down for Sunday Mass, and that all of these women were just looking for someone else and I thought maybe I could be their Timmy T. It also didn't hurt that Chandler Parsons graduated the prior year, because I always imagined CP being on a Monday-Thursday schedule. He would get girls while the rest of campus studied then take weekends off. He could just reverse the normal operating procedure because he was a 6'9" good looking White guy who was going to the NBA. And he won SEC Player of the Year, he was probably living the life. So with Chandler and Tim gone, there was a vacuum of stud White guys in Gainesville that I thought I could fill and convinced Rob and Nick to tag along.

So we got to the hotel and we thought about changing before going out but decided against it. So we all went out in some form of Vandy gear, with me personally wearing a long-sleeve pullover and a pair of practice shorts. We made the calculation that we could dress like a Florida frat guy and blend in or wear Vandy stuff, try to convince people we were walk-ons, and get noticed in a crowd. It was a brilliant strategy that paid significant dividends later on in the night, but first we had to get to the bars.

We asked the hotel desk clerk where the best place to go was and she said Midtown was the best on a Friday night so she called us a cab, and what a ride we took. Our cab driver was an ex-soldier who got dishonorably discharged from the Army for smoking weed one too many times. Instead of owning up to his mistake, he apparently threatened to assassinate President Reagan because of his "hypocrisy" and "pro-gay attitudes". Our driver didn't understand why "I couldn't suck on a joint but two guys were allowed to suck each other's sticks, and they got to stay". To him the real issue was gays in the military, not smoking.

In addition to being homophobic, this man was also a racist. I can't remember why exactly he said he didn't like Black people, but he threw the N-word around quite a bit throughout the ride. At one point he asked if we were offended by it, obviously we were, but we just said no because we feared the man. As a Jew, I was personally fearing for my life. After he made the observation that there were no Blacks in the car, I was quite certain he would ask if there were any Jews in the cab. It seemed like a logical next step. I was half-expecting him to to do a Heil to Hitler and to find a copy of Mein Kampf beneath his seat next to a DVD of "Birth of a Nation".

This driver was completely insane, like legitimately nuts. He was spewing hatred to people he barely knew, but once he neglected to ask if there were any Jews after the first two minutes I felt somewhat safe, assuming in his eyes I could pass as a certifiable White WASP. Once I got past my fear, I was highly entertained. He was like the KKK, the owner of Chick Fil A, and Ann Coulter rolled into one, it was the funniest cab ride I'd ever been in. When we got to our destination, I was almost upset we had to leave him behind, but it was for the best.

So once we got out of the Klan Karavan, we were in Midtown Gainesville. The weather was really nice and there were a few outdoor bars on the block, one was called The Swamp and the other was called O!o. We decided to go to O!o, the line was pretty long and we were unsure whether or not the age was 21 or 18 to get in but we got in line and never found out, they just let us in. The place was packed, and it wasn't just packed with regular old girls. These girls were freakin' gorgeous and they were everywhere, and many of them approached us.

The first girl to approach us was Marisa, a member of the Dazzler dance team at UF. The Dazzlers are one of the top dance squads in the SEC right there with Mizzou's Golden Girls for best looking and Marisa was gorgeous. She asked if we were with the team and I tried to say we were walk-ons before Rob blew our cover. Then we talked about the game and if the UF basketball team was treated as Gods on campus. She went through the characteristics of each player (she hung out with Erving Walker a lot she said), and when she got to Erik Murphy, she was either really impressed or slightly creeped out that I knew he was dating a tennis player. Probably the latter.

After our conversation with Marisa concluded with her revealing she had a boyfriend, the three of us went in different directions. I started to talk to a girl who acknowledged the Vanderbilt gear I had on. Vanderbilt was her first choice over UF, so I think she might have been living out her fantasy of going to Vandy by talking to me. While I was talking to her, Rob was talking to a girl named Caro. She was very cute and it was clear she was attracted to Rob, but at the time Rob had a girlfriend so he refrained from doing anything he might regret, though he did get her number. Nick was third-wheeling Rob at the time.

As I continued to talk to this Vandy girl, Rob and Nick moved on to talking to these two girls named Lysette and Stefanie. When the girl I was talking to left, I went over to join the conversation. Lysette and Stefanie tried to convince me that the girl I had been talking to was a member of the Florida Quidditch society, and I semi-believed them because I didn't know any better (it turns out she was not chasing the Golden Snitch in her spare time). We were informed that Stefanie had just broken up with her boyfriend and was visiting Gainesville because she needed a weekend away, and we talked with them for awhile and at one point I saw they were on Twitter, and taking the opportunity to up my follower count told them to follow me, which they did.

The two of them left, and me, Rob, and Nick stuck around the bar a bit longer then we left also. We went to a place called Munchie 420 which is apparently the place where everybody goes when they are drunk to get greasy fried food. We really wanted to eat, but the line was so long so we left. I was low on cash so we went to an ATM, and it wasn't a Sun Trust ATM so in a total lapse of intellectual capability I turned to Rob and said, "I can still take money out here, right?" He replied yes, but two girls behind us snickered, "It's cause he goes to Vanderbilt". After the two girls withdrew money, we followed them to Pita Pit which was another drunk hangout for UF students.

These girls were named Courtney and Jessie. They were sorority sisters in UF Theta. Courtney was the sober one, tasked with making sure that Jessie could find her way home alright because she was hammered. She was beyond hammered actually, she was incoherent. We got to Pita Pit and she asked us a bunch of questions, and me, Rob, and Nick decided she would be a perfect person to sell our walk-on story to.

So when she asked Nick what his name was he said it was Jordan and that he was on the team. She didn't believe him at first, but with a little convincing she came to believe that Nick Souder was in fact Jordan Smart. Nick told of his high school days at Lexington Catholic, and how he was a great shooter for the Gold Team, but allowed out because he knew he wouldn't be playing the next day. After filling her in the background of his life, she asked to see "Jordan's" photo on the team website. This is where the cover could have been blown, but she was very willing to believe in the reality that she was dining with Jordan Smart at 3:15 AM in Gainesville.

Other than both being White and both being from Kentucky, Jordan and Nick don't really look alike. So when we pulled up the team photo, she said, "That's not you, that doesn't look like you" and Nick was very quick on his feet, saying "O no that was taken freshman year, I looked way different then". After looking over the photo for a minute or two Jessie made the declaration that Nick looked suitably like Jordan and kissed him on the cheek.

 Jordan Smart            Nick Souder

She was really into Nick, err Jordan. She was feeling him big time. Her friend Courtney even asked Nick if he had a Twitter (she was already following me by that time) and Nick gave her Jordan's account. The thing is, Jordan's account was private so you had to request to follow him so that's what she did. After splitting some gyros with Courtney and Jessie we got in a cab that dropped them off at their dorm and then took us back to the hotel. It was like 3:45 in the morning, but Stefanie the chick who just broke up with her boyfriend was tweeting at me.

We had a convo, first through Twitter mentions, then Twitter Direct Messages, and then got to texting. It took place over 2 hours. I knew it was kind of a fruitless conversation because I knew she wouldn't be coming to the Hilton Garden Inn at 4:30 but she was pretty sarcastic and entertaining so we kept talking. At the same time, Caro and Rob were texting, and she happened to live in an apartment near the hotel, but Rob stayed disciplined and went to sleep in his hotel bed

The next morning when we woke up, the three of us were in the elevator with Jordan. And he goes, "Who's Courtney, she requested to follow me" so Nick filled him in on what happened during the night. Jordan laughed and said his trademark "Wowwww" before allowing her to follow him.

Then during the game, myself and Rob were on the bench, but Nick was in the film deck filming it. However, Jordan was on the bench. So during the game, Jessie texted Nick "I see you on the bench!!" despite the fact that Nick was nowhere near the bench as the film deck was at the top of the arena. It was at that point that Nick revealed his true identity not as the guy on the end of the bench, but the guy filming the guy at the end of the bench. And that concluded our Gainesville festivities, in one of the most fun nights I've had in college.

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