And you are …

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

“I’m going to need to see some ID.”

Nothing good ever happens after you hear these words.

In my case, it wasn’t that I was about to get arrested or anything.

But my plans to take in the Duke-UVa. basketball game last night would have been made harder to bring to reality.

It had to do with my press passes – we cover the games for The New Dominion and our ACC Nation radio show-web magazine.

Patrick Hite, my regular accompaniment to the games, was unable to attend – so I had regular New Dominion and ACC Nation contributor Stephen Winlsow with me.

Since the name on the ACC Nation pass is Patrick Hite … well, that question about ID was going to be a problem.

“Um, well, you’re not Patrick Hite,” Deputy Dog in the media check-in area spoke in the direction of Winslow.

“I know I’m not,” he said, seemingly innocently, but actually with a purpose.

His purpose – he just wanted to get into the game, as he had several other times this season.

I’ve been covering games over there for 12 years – and I had never been asked for ID.

“This guy here is trying to get in with somebody else’s media pass …”

“He’s a contributor to our show and to our magazine. I’m the editor. Hello! Is anybody listening to me?”
It appeared that nobody was – so we did what came natural, and asked to speak to Deputy Dog’s superior.

Meanwhile, the commotion drew the attention of several other employees in the vicinity in the bowels of the John Paul Jones Arena.

The swirl of activity made me feel like I was a terrorist trying to get away with something.

Oh, yeah – I felt guilty, of what, I don’t know, but of something, definitely.

“Hi – this guy is not named Patrick Hite, and …”
“Excuse me … this is a media pass. You don’t check IDs on media passes,” the supervisor-type told Deputy Dog.

“But …”

“Who told you to check IDs on media passes?” the supervisor lit into the deputy.

“Gentlemen, I apologize for the inconvenience. You can go. Please, enjoy the game.”

“Well, my heart is beating again,” I said to Winslow as we made our way toward the inside of the arena.

“What was that all about?” he asked me.

I’m still hoping to figure it out myself.

But hey – at least we didn’t get tazered.


Chris Graham is the executive editor of The New Dominion. He deserves the chair.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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