As promised, many of you have been sitting on the edge of your seats to hear of the legend that is Chris "Red" Hughes. Many might remember him from my previous blog about him as the pizza box eater. He pulled a Clark Kent on us in Baltimore, is the voice of the 'toilet ringer', and if you need a place to go out in a D-League city, Red is your man.
The nickname "Red" was given to him when he was young because his older brother and friends used to pick on him like every older brother does. However, he did not back down and his elder statesmen admired his toughness and grit so much they kept calling him Red.
The University of Maryland is where Red went to school and has also caddied on the PGA Tour. Weekdays 5pm - 7pm he has his radio show, The Sports Blitz on Fox Sports Radio 1330 The Fan. I have been on his radio show numerous times to talk Erie Bayhawks, D-League, and all other sports topics. He is a die hard Chicago Bears, Cleveland Indians, and Milwaukee Bucks fan. It seems all I have heard the last month for him has been "Fear the Deer."
A media member traveling with the team is not very common in the D-League. I would have to say in Erie we are the only team to do so. But for whatever reason the entertainment value sky rockets with Red on the road. Let me the be the one to say if he had his own reality show on the road it would be a show many would enjoy watching...
When traveling its almost certain there will be something funny and outragous to happen regarding Red. Imagine telling your son you have ten minutes to pick out all the toys you want at Toys"R"Us. That's how excited Red gets when on road trips.
Red is the guy that is reading "Loose Balls" (pause) in the airport and is the voice of maybe the best/most bizarre call in the history of broadcasting. While I was home the last week with the flu I watched the Bayhawks on Futurecast. Red was doing the game and at one point my Rocker's tag-team partner Blake Ahearn made a 3-pointer that rattled around the basket and went in. The next thing I was about to hear caught me off-guard. Red's exact words: "Blake Ahearn with a toilet rattler on that 3." Huh? What did he just say? Never heard that one before and will just leave it at that.
On the road Red knows where every good bar/restaurant is in every D-League city we go. I guess he deserves to relax and rewind after games especially when he has to broadcast the entire game from his cell phone. Yes, you heard that right. One of our games this year he had to hold his phone and talk into it and do the play-by-play for the duration of a game. Now that's pretty impressive.
Keith Grubbs, our infamous athletic trainer, has the privilage of rooming with Red. When Keith is not around, Red sometimes has trouble with the snooze on his alarm clock to say the least. In late January, we played in Springfield and had to catch a shuttle bus to the airport at 6am the next morning. Keith had to return a rent-a-car at 5:30 so Red was on his own getting up and making the bus. 6am came along and no Red. No answer from the hotel room or cell phone. Next thing you know it is 6:15 now and off to the airport the bus goes - without Red. We fly into Baltimore and no Red on the flight. (we always fly to and from Pittsburgh International Airport and have to bus two hours back to Erie every trip) How is Red possibly going to get back to Erie?
As we are about to board our flight to Pittsburgh out of nowhere Red pulls a Clark Kent and shows up! It was hilarious. Everyone of us was shocked to see him and could not stop laughing as he played it off like nothing had happened. He said he just took the next flight out to Baltimore. How he managed to get to the airport from Springfield and get a new flight is pretty impressive. I guess this is not his first rodeo, as last year when Erie was in Reno the same thing happened.
While it is well-documented about the travel in the D-League, I will greatly miss the entertainment Red provided every trip for us players and coaches. There would be no fun without the legend that is Chris "Red" Hughes.
Talk to you soon...