The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Basketball Fan Suddenly Knows Everything About Butler
Originally posted 3/31/2003

Butler "expert" LeRoy Martin with students
ST. LOUIS - Co-workers said that LeRoy Martin, a junior high school social studies teacher from suburban St. Louis, became an overnight expert on the Butler University basketball team this week after the 12th-seeded Bulldogs beat first Mississippi State and then Louisville to make the Sweet Sixteen of this year's NCAA championship, leaving them the lowest remaining seed and the tournament's biggest surprise. Labeled a "Cinderella" team by some, the Bulldogs' run ended on Friday when they fell to 1 seed Oklahoma 65-54.

"Butler is always tough when [guard Darnell] Archey is hitting threes, which he did against Louisville, and when the refs let [center] Joel Cornette play the physical style he likes," said Martin, who as of last Wednesday had heard of neither of those players. "That's why Butler getting as far as they did wasn't as big a shock as some people thought."

"I like LeRoy normally, but he always does this," said math teacher Olivia Holland, who runs William Clark Junior High School's NCAA faculty pool. "He watches 'SportsCenter,' jumps on the internet for maybe ten minutes, and then all of a sudden he's some expert. Here, look at this: he picked Mississippi State to beat Butler in the first round. He's just talking out his ass."

"Butler's underdog story is oddly appropriate," said Martin to his students on Thursday. "They play in Indianapolis at Hinkle Fieldhouse, the same building where they filmed the state championship game in the movie 'Hoosiers.'"

"I thought that was pretty cool when he told us that," said Kevin Wilkes, a student in Martin's 6th period American Government Studies class. "Then I got home and read that same thing in 'Sports Illustrated,' so, you know, no wonder he knew it."

Other parents who sat near Martin at his son Troy's AAU basketball game on Tuesday night reported similar incidents. Martin apparently compared Troy and teammate Steve Cristien, who are best friends, to Butler teammates Archey and Brandon Miller.

"He was like, '[Archey and Miller] met when they were seven, they're still friends and now they play basketball together, just like Troy and Steve,'" said Cristien's mother Joyce. "And the rest of us are sitting there going, 'LeRoy, who cares?'"

"Oh, you just have to give him a few days," said Martin's wife Renee yesterday. "Now that they lost, he'll forget all about them."

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