That little voice inside my head worked for me again. This time I was looking for a youth basketball game to cover last week. I knew it was the last week of the regular season in the Huntsville recreational league.
My Redstone schedule showed two games set for the night of Feb. 8. So I showed up early in the parking lot at the Youth Center. No other cars were there. I knocked on the front door of the locked darkened facility. A lady who was cleaning up answered the door and told me there were no games that night. So I left.
I figured my last hope for finding a game the rest of the week would be maybe catching a 17-and-under game at the Susan Moon Complex. That was the former Grissom High School about a mile or two away from my house in southeast Huntsville.
On the afternoon of Feb. 9, the little voice inside my head told me to go jogging in the old Grissom parking lot. The little voice told me to take an extra shirt just in case I’d have something to wear if I needed to cover a game inside the building.
I did my usual slow trot around the parking lot. I asked two people walking their dog if they knew what time the games were. They said no.
I finished my first lap and saw a few cars parked in the lot in front of the gym. I asked a guy walking toward the building if he knew the games schedule. He told me there was a 12U game at 5:30 p.m. and another game at 7. Then I heard someone call my name and I turned around.
Johnnie Irby, coach of Redstone’s 12U Rockets, was sitting in his car. He had just pulled up. I asked him when his team might be playing. He replied that they had the 5:30 game.
I was pleasantly surprised. I told Irby I’d do one more lap and then get my notebook, scorebook and camera from my car so I could cover his game.
The Rockets beat Liberty 39-17 in their final game of the season. I had my story. What were the odds of the team I was looking for to happen to be playing at my neighborhood gym on the afternoon I happened to be jogging around the building?
That little voice was right again. I’ve already recounted in previous writings here how the voice had saved my life in the past. It told me to speed up at the finish line of a marathon seconds before 1,000 pounds of metal blew down from the clock scaffolding. It told me to turn toward home instead of going to a jewelry store before the store’s roof collapsed from a tornado that evening.
Always listen to the little voice. It works in sports reporting, too.