For those who read the Star-Ledger, you might recognize the byline "M.A. Mehta" from his coverage of Rutgers women's basketball, Georgetown men's basketball (for any reason at all) and outstanding feature writing (TigerBlog does not say this casually; M.A. is one of the best sportswriters TB has ever read).
What you might not know is that M.A. Mehta is actually Manish Mehta (pronounced "mah-NEESH" by the rest of the world and "muh-NISH" by Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson). Before he was ever M.A. the sportswriter, Manish was simply Manish, a member of the Princeton Office of Athletic Communications staff.
Back in those days, Manish was the volleyball contact, a distinction that earned him a trip to the 1999 NCAA men's final four in Hawaii. As is the case with anyone who came in contact with retiring coach Glenn Nelson, Manish was immediately drawn to him.
Now that Nelson has announced his retirement, Manish sent an email looking for funny Glenn Nelson stories for a feature that he wants to write. TigerBlog (this TigerBlog, not the TigerBlog who has spent way more time around Glenn) responded that most of the ones he had weren't fit for print in the Star-Ledger, but TB would try to come up with something.
As an aside, the first thought TB had about Nelson is that despite the fact that he walks with a limp, he still moves faster all the time than perhaps anyone TB has ever been around. But that's not what Manish was after.
So, here are this TigerBlog's two best printable Glenn Nelson stories:
One, ironically, has to do with when Manish was the volleyball contact. Back then, computer stats were new to sports information, and the volleyball version of the stat program is by far the toughest. Seeing that Manish was struggling with the program, Nelson called timeout. Why? So his sports information guy could get caught up.
The second story has to do with Nelson and his long, long, long-time tennis partner, Pete Carril. When Carril left to become an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings, Nelson badgered him for years to get him some Kings gear. Finally, one day, years later, Carril showed up with a bag in hand for Nelson. The next day, Nelson saw Carril again on the balcony in Jadwin and said: "Hey, Coach. You know those Kings shorts you gave me yesterday? Your wallet was in the back pocket." He then flipped Carril his wallet.