My name is Kevin Owens and I have been playing professional basketball for the past six years. I decided to start a blog documenting my daily life. I have a degree in journalism and haven't written anything since college, so I figured why not. I don't particularly think I am that interesting, however when telling people about the traveling circus that is my life, they seem very entertained. I'll be contributing some of those stories once a week here at HHR. You can also now catch me on Twitter @Waiting4Godunk. Hope you enjoy!
I was watching wrestling Monday night, a typical night for any twenty-nine year old, and I saw Bret “The Hitman” Hart make his long anticipated return to the WWE. Now I was a huge wrestling fan back in the day, so anytime an old timer comes back into the ring I am fairly excited. I spent the remainder of the evening online looking up YouTube clips of the “Montreal Screwjob”. During this time I was reminded of the biggest screwjob I have ever been a part of.
I was playing in Australia at the time for the Cairns Taipans. We had advanced to the quarterfinal where we would visit the Perth Wildcats. A few days before we won our first playoff game in which I played extremely well in. We came into Perth as underdogs. Now I have no proof besides the tape of the game, however I firmly believe someone did not want us to win.
I have never seen a more poorly officiated game. The entire game I was being roughly guarded by an assortment of Perth players, to the point when after the game I didn’t know whether to take a shower, or a “morning after pill.” Despite the physical play that was allowed on me, I was called for fouls they wouldn’t enforce in a 3rd grade girls game. I played a total of nine minutes that game and fouled out.
Now I am not an idiot. I know how to play this game; I’ve been doing it my entire life. In an enormous match like this I am going to use my head and not commit dumb fouls. But something that day told me no matter what I did I would be watching the game from the sidelines.
I, like Brett Hart, have an animosity that I hold deep in my soul for those referees that day. Every game you play as a professional basketball player will influence future jobs. This was not just about the team that night, especially since we ended up winning. This was about messing with my life. If I played a dominate game in Perth, which I am more than capable of doing, I could still be in Australia playing in a league that I loved. Who knows what could have happened if the “Perth Screwjob” never took place.
I wish that I could say that was the end of the story and wrap up my article this week with a well worded summary; however the most embarrassing part has yet to be told.
I would be referring to, as my friends like to call it, the “towel incident”. After "apparently"committing my final foul, I found my mind in a state of great rage. As I walked towards the bench I was tossed a towel to wipe off the nine minutes of sweat I had accumulated. Needing an outlet for my anger I took the towel, bit down on it and tore it asunder.
This would have been a lot less embarrassing had no one noticed. Unfortunately the camera that had followed my journey to the bench stayed with me during my little temper tantrum. And that camera was transmitting a signal to the entire country of Australia.
Back in Cairns the entire town had gathered at the famous Rooftop Casino to watch the live broadcast on the jumbo screen. My wife Sara and my teammate Scott’s wife, Erica went to every game together so naturally they made their way to the casino to watch. When the infamous towel incident occurred my wife was mortified. Not just because I had fouled out, but because everyone watching me rip the towel apart now slowly turned towards her. According to my wife she slunk down into her seat and ordered another drink.
I had no idea this incident was televised nationally until I picked up the phone and called my wife after the game. I believe her first words were, "Should I make a dentist appointment?” She then described to me how the entire country had seen my hissy fit. Embarrassing, to say the least.
The news of this incident made its way to America before I could even call home. My one friend found highlights of the game on some obscure Australian website. He passed it along to a few more friends who witnessed my towel homicide first hand. The next day I received an email telling me to search my name on Wikipedia.
When I did I saw that not only had a made up version of the towel incident made it onto the page, but several other ridiculously embellished stories from my past. This page alludes to a ridiculous prank my “friends” played on me when we went to see the Phillies during spring training that year, which I will publish in a future blog.
Long story short…I know too late…If you ever get the chance to play in front of a nationally televised audience, make sure your towel is used for its intended purpose only.