Common Sense: Hornets will get revenge
Common Sense says the greatest moment in Hollywood history occurred in Paramount’s 1982 epic “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”
Forget “Gone With the Wind, “Casablanca” and ‘Ben Hur.” Forget “Bull Durham.” You can forget “Ghostbusters” even.
This is the movie and the moment, and we have the late, great Ricardo “Rich Corinthian Leather” Montalban to thank for it.
Montalban, cast in the role of the psychotic Khan Noonien Singh, his surprising biceps and pectoral muscles bulging out of tattered garments left over from some caveman flick, has a golden opportunity to destroy his arch-foe James T. Kirk and the crippled starship Enterprise.
But Khan can’t pull the trigger on the photon torpedoes without first announcing over the viewscreen to his mortal enemy, “Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish best served cold? And it is very cold in space!”
Wow. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Those seven words, enunciated crisply by the greatest villain in cinematic annals, sent shivers up and down the spines of audiences in 1982. Many spilled their popcorn.
Fast-forward now 27 years to Salisbury High School, where coach Joe Pinyan had a golden opportunity this week to talk to his team not only about winning another playoff game ó Salisbury hasn’t won three in a postseason since 1974 ó but also about revenge.
Evening the score, fixing the wagon, getting back, reprisal, reciprocation, redress, repayment, an eye-for-an-eye, vindication
Payback is the term most commonly in use now, but basically it’s all about getting even.
Salisbury travels to Canton tonight for a rematch with Pisgah High, and it will be almost as cold in the mountains near Asheville as it is in deep space.
No one has forgotten November, 2008. Salisbury didn’t lose a regular-season game, but four forfeits sent the angry and embattled Hornets on the road as a No. 11 seed for the first round of the 2AA playoffs against No. 6 seed Pisgah.
Without taking anything away from Pisgah, which had a fine team, it was tough being a Hornet player or coach last November and having a hard-earned CCC championship taken away as if they were mouthy pro wrestlers being stripped of title belts on pay-per-view.
Wins of 60-0 magically turned into losses overnight. The Hornets’ season was taken away from them by the powers that be, who enforced the letter of the law while ignoring common sense. It was like slapping someone in jail for six months for jaywalking.
The Hornets lost their titles, lost their undefeated season, lost their home games and were exiled to the mountains ó in much the same way Khan Noonien Singh was once exiled to Ceti Alpha V.
A lot of those Hornets were sophomores and a lot of them were still in a state of shock, feeling overwhelmed by the injustice of it all, when they went to Pisgah last year. Pisgah won on the scoreboard 17-14, can’t take that away from the Black Bears, but the Hornets they played weren’t the Hornets people had watched all season.
Now Salisbury gets a shot at redemption. Both schools won last Friday in upsets, at least according to the brackets. No. 8 Salisbury won at No. 1 Shelby. No. 5 Pisgah prevailed in a tight one at No. 4 Forest Hills.
Pisgah (9-4) didn’t mind Salisbury (9-4) advancing because that got the Black Bears another home game. Still, Common Sense says Pisgah will see a more focused, more mature bunch of Hornets this time.
It isn’t often the Knute Rockne speech works in football because emotion, at some point, must give way to execution. But if Pinyan has a Rockne moment tonight, no one will blame him. He can let his players know you don’t get many second chances in life, and they’ve been handed one. It’s up to them to make it count.
Back in 1982, Kirk and his crew ó Mr. Spock proved to be even smarter than Peyton Manning ó faked out Khan, eluded his considerable wrath and went on to many lucrative, although far less awesome, sequels.
It’s possible Pisgah will duplicate the Enterprise’s escape, but Salisbury’s sophomores are juniors now and they are more prepared for the big stage. They should be ready to serve that revenge and to serve it cold.
Last week’s picks were 5-0 for a season record of 132-26.
The picks could be 3-0 this week, but they also could be 0-3. Once you get to Round 3, there aren’t any sure things.
Salisbury 31, Pisgah 21
The area where Salisbury appears to have the edge is defense. Both teams light up the scoreboard.
W. Rowan 21, Asheville 14Everyone’s gotten to the point where they assume the Falcons will romp, but they’ll be challenged tonight. Unbeaten Asheville will be their toughest opponent to date óby far. Ken Massey’s power rating system says these are two of the top 14 teams in the state, counting all classifications. He picks the Falcons 30-25.
West, which owns 27 straight wins, hasn’t been pushed since it played at Salisbury in September.
South Point 24, A.L. Brown 17These programs staged a classic in the 2000 playoffs, with the Red Raiders prevailing in two overtimes.
Even at home, Brown was the underdog at full strength, and tailback Travis Riley, the team’s most productive player, may not be available.