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Old 01-10-2006, 12:39 PM   #1
Ben E Lou
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Thought you'd appreciate this.

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Old 01-10-2006, 07:45 PM   #2
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Good thing Buffalo's closed, or else you might have to buy him a Miller Lite every now and then also.
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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Dola...

I love it, by the way.

Of course, I might have ended it "and you get the 4-1-1 straight from Bud's mouth and stuff."
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Old 01-10-2006, 07:55 PM   #4
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by digamma
Dola...

I love it, by the way.

Of course, I might have ended it "and you get the 4-1-1 straight from Bud's mouth and stuff."
"and you get the 4-1-1 straight from Bud's mouth, yes you do," would work, too.

For those not familiar, Bud is sort of the "Radio" of Tucker. He's much more "normal" than Radio, but he's definitely "off." No one has ever told me a name for Bud's disorder, but the word "savant" comes to mind: he's a freakin' statistical guru, but in other areas, he's just barely at a functional level.

For more info on the legendary Bud King:

hxxp://www.fortunecity.com/marina/hornchurch/611/id36.htm
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
JonInMiddleGA
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Originally Posted by SkyDog
For those not familiar, Bud is sort of the "Radio" of Tucker.

I swear, I think every town in Georgia has one of those. Dunno if it extends past Georgia, or the South, or if it's pretty much everywhere, but definitely a familiar sight around here.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA
I swear, I think every town in Georgia has one of those. Dunno if it extends past Georgia, or the South, or if it's pretty much everywhere, but definitely a familiar sight around here.
The original S.I. article about Radio mentioned this very thing--that most Southern high school programs have a guy or guys with some form of mental handicap who thrives and has a sense of belonging and responsibility due to being allowed to be a part of the program. Good stuff.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SkyDog
The original S.I. article about Radio mentioned this very thing--that most Southern high school programs have a guy or guys with some form of mental handicap who thrives and has a sense of belonging and responsibility due to being allowed to be a part of the program. Good stuff.
Are there tryouts for this sort of thing? What do they say to the folks who don't quite make the cut?
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NoMyths
Are there tryouts for this sort of thing? What do they say to the folks who don't quite make the cut?

It's sort of a war of attrition. You hang around long enough and you'll get your shot.

Bud has been at Tucker for at least 20 years. He actually went to high school where I did (five miles away at Stone Mountain), but his best friend in high school "Slick" Rick Gross had the inside track on the Stone Mountain "job," so Bud ended up at Tucker. It may not have happened exactly like that, but it's pretty close.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by digamma
It's sort of a war of attrition. You hang around long enough and you'll get your shot.

Bud has been at Tucker for at least 20 years. He actually went to high school where I did (five miles away at Stone Mountain), but his best friend in high school "Slick" Rick Gross had the inside track on the Stone Mountain "job," so Bud ended up at Tucker. It may not have happened exactly like that, but it's pretty close.
There's something weirdly fascinating about all of this.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:30 PM   #10
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by NoMyths
Are there tryouts for this sort of thing? What do they say to the folks who don't quite make the cut?
No such thing. There's always *something* that they can do. Currently at Tucker there's:

Bud--as stated above, operates at a barely functional area in many areas, but is the stats man extraordinaire for football, basketball and baseball

Tony--mentally "slow" kid in his early 20's but is in pretty good shape, has been the ball boy for as long as I can remember. SPRINTS the balls on and off the field

"Doodie" (sp?)--older guy (50's?) who doesn't seem functional in really any area, rambles when he talks, wouldn't be surprising to learn he can't read or write, but he's takes very seriously the responsibilities of picking up discarded athletic tape on the sidelines, and of making sure we don't get penalties by keeping all of our players in the box

Evan--late teens kid with Downs' Syndrome. Puts the dummies up after practice on Thursdays. No game-day responsibilities that I've noticed (but travels with the team)

Johnny--high school kid who seems somewhat "normal" mentally (Although very "quirky"..not sure if he's in special ed or not), but is very small...i mean tiny...maybe 4'6", 80 pounds...waterboy on game day

All travel with the team, are on the sidelines (or in Bud's case, in the booth) during the games, and are generally held up in a very positive light due to their involvement with the program.

As JIMGA and the SI article mentioned, this isn't in any way, shape, or form unique to Tucker. For whatever reason, this is a pretty common thing around the South.

Well, Bud is a bit of a unique case in that most of the college coaches in the southeast seem to know him by name. Heck, I knew who he was before I got involved at Tucker. I was at a Tech basketball game in the early-mid 90's, and about 10 minutes before tipoff, I noticed Bud wandering down toward courtside. Nobody stopped him, and Cremins smiled, waved him through security, and shook his hand when he got there
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:33 PM   #11
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Yeah, I didn't mean to imply there were cuts.

Bud has separated himself from the pack though, and I'm not sure if he could have done that at Stone Mountain with Slick Rick there too.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:41 PM   #12
Ben E Lou
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Originally Posted by digamma
Bud has separated himself from the pack though, and I'm not sure if he could have done that at Stone Mountain with Slick Rick there too.
I haven't been around Slick Rick, so I can't compare, but what makes Bud interesting is that within 5 minutes of talking to him you know that:

1. he's not quite all there
2. he *really* knows his stuff when it comes to sports

Another Bud anecdote:

I have a friend who is also on YoungLife staff. He's around 31 years old, so he must have graduated from Tucker in around '93. He told me that he ran into Bud at a college football game, and, as Mike put it: "Here I am, a kid who sat the bench in basketball over a decade ago. It never occurred to me that Bud would even remember me, but when he saw me, he called me by name, and asked about my family and most of my friends, all by name. Then he started reminding me of funny stuff that I'd forgotten that happened in practice and games back when I was in high school. It was unbelievable."

He's really a unique person.

EDIT: ...and I doubt there's an adult in Tucker who is connected in any way to the high school's sports program who hasn't bought Bud a meal at some point.
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Last edited by Ben E Lou : 01-10-2006 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:47 PM   #13
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When I went to college, my dad put Bud in charge of following Ivy League sports for him. Sure enough, every time I came home for Thanksgiving, Bud and I would talk Ivy League football, and he would know the standings, who beat whom and a few of the top players.

I know SkyDog can picture him saying something like, "Man, are y'all ever gonna beat Dartmouth?"
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by digamma
I know SkyDog can picture him saying something like, "Man, are y'all ever gonna beat Dartmouth?"
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:16 AM   #15
Ben E Lou
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Credit to JIMGA for pointing htis out to me. Nice article on Bud in the AJC today.

Bud's a king of sports fans *| ajc.com

Quote:
Wherever Tucker High's football team has gone the past 20 years, James Jefferson King has witnessed every tackle, every pass and, most important, every blown call by an official. He'll keep an eye on things once again Friday night from the pressbox for Tucker's playoff opener at Dalton High's Harmon Field.


King, as almost everyone points out, is synonymous with Tucker sports, particularly, though not exclusively, football. Tucker’s nickname is the Tigers, but as longtime friend Trae Hurst said, “The Tiger is just a mascot. Bud’s an icon.”


Which brings up a second point: Nobody calls him by, or is likely even aware of, his birth name. He is always and everywhere known as “Bud.” There are variations such as Bud of Tucker, or Better Deal Bud, or Buzzer-Beater Bud (a basketball-exclusive nickname) and probably a few others.


No matter the designation, Bud is known, and in a wide contextual variety. A couple of weeks ago, while boarding the team bus to Chamblee, the driver said, “How you doing, Bud?” Bud spun around, nodded and said, “How you doing, Mr. School Bus Driver?”


Chuck Lewis, a former Tucker player from the late 1970s, now owns Copy Atlanta, which has employed Bud for the past 11 years. “If you take Bud to a Braves game,” Lewis said, “it takes 45 minutes to get to your seat. Almost every section has somebody saying, ‘Hey, Bud,’ which means he has to stop, like the king acknowledging his court.”


Hurst, who’s known Bud for nearly 30 years, adds, “If you go down to Cairo, Georgia, on a Friday night and, let’s say, Cairo’s playing Bainbridge. If you get there about an hour before the game, I guarantee you both head coaches would leave their pregame warm-ups and come over and speak to Bud.”


There are a number of reasons for this broad-ranging intimacy. One is Bud’s natural and sincere gregariousness. “I have never, in my life, known a stranger,” he said. Another is his guttural, instantly recognizable voice, capable of cutting through crowd noise and marching bands in a single stroke.


He’s described on Tucker’s football Web site as “Stat Man,” but this is about as ill-fitting and confining as the shirt and tie he’s wearing in the accompanying photograph (he normally wears a Tucker T-shirt, Tucker cap, Tucker sweat shirt and either jeans or the optional Tucker sweat pants).
He is not really a team manager, or an equipment manager, although he’s acted in both capacities. He does laundry every Sunday morning after a Friday game. He helps grade film on game nights, meaning he’s usually up till 1:30 a.m., then back in with the offensive staff at 10 the next morning.
He drives players of all sports to and from practice. He keeps the book during basketball season, he travels with the football team to the various out-of-town summer camps, and he never misses a baseball game. His various duties tumble endlessly over one another, sprawling from one season to the next.


“I think Bud represents a certain innocence that, thankfully, we still have in high school sports,” said Franklin Stephens, now in his third year as Tucker’s head football coach. “He loves football, and in fact loves all sports. More than that, he loves these players. For me, sports have always provided an instant family, and it definitely does that for Bud. The team is family, and it’s something you can always turn to in time of need.”


By now that family, considering Bud’s been at Tucker High since 1989, numbers in the thousands, counting players and coaches that have come and gone. Out of these come a handful – a dozen, perhaps, maybe more – known as “Bud’s inner circle.” These are usually ex-Tucker players, or coaches, or ex-coaches in Tucker’s celebrated youth football program where Bud worked before coming to the high school.


In fact, one of the most famous Bud anecdotes involves a trip to Daytona Beach a few years back with a travel squad from the youth football league. One afternoon, Hurst and several other coaches took Bud to the dog track. When he bet on a trifecta, Hurst shook his head.


“Bud,” he said, “this dog you picked is so bad they didn’t even put his odds in the program.”




“I’ve been studying this dog,” Bud said. “He just took an unbelievable bowel movement. If you took one like that, you’d run fast too.”


The dog ran very fast and won Bud $700. The unfortunate epilogue is that the next day Bud locked his keys in a rental car and paid $200 of his winnings to a locksmith to extricate them.


The second most famous story is when Bud was called for a technical foul during the 1996 state championship basketball game between Tucker and Westover. “David Boyd was our coach,” he said. “Thank the Lord we won or I might not be talking to you today.


“Fact is,” said Bud, who’s now 43, “I’ve gotten more mature, or whatever you want to call it. I don’t hardly cuss anymore, and I certainly wouldn’t cuss a referee. A lot of them are my friends. However, I keep a close eye on them. If I have to, I will call them clueless.”


The same certainly can’t be said of Bud himself. Hurst points out that “Bud is doing exactly what he wants to do. Very few of us can say that. I truly believe that if Bud won the lottery, he wouldn’t change anything, except maybe buy a new car.”


When asked this very question, Bud didn’t hesitate.


“Nobody really knows what they’d do if they won the lottery,” he said. “I’d like to think I wouldn’t change one bit. But I know one thing I’d do. I’d give a whole lot of what I won to this school, to build a training facility, locker rooms, weight rooms, and a good office for the coaches. Now that sure would be something, don’t you think?”
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:54 AM   #16
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I'm honestly wiping the tears away.
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Old 03-04-2024, 11:59 AM   #17
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Rest in Peace, Bud.
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Old 03-04-2024, 01:58 PM   #18
JonInMiddleGA
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Rest in Peace, Bud.

Oh my Lord, I hadn't seen this story (don't follow much Atlanta news these days honestly). Just awful, beyond words

I'll share the link for those who may remember the original discussion but not be aware of the tragic conclusion

James Bud King missing DeKalb County found dead | 11alive.com
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Old 03-04-2024, 03:18 PM   #19
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That's just heartbreaking.
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