Stuck in my head for days.
Pete — if I knew selling packets was news, I’d have written it myself. Surprisingly absent from the article — the players’ perspective when suddenly they are getting phone calls at all hours of the night and boxes full of mail:
Coaches have been especially irate at tournaments where the packet is a mandatory part of admission, in some cases making it cost hundreds of dollars to watch one game. They point to the N.C.A.A., which approves all the tournaments coaches can attend, as an enabler.
Not all packet purchases double as admission costs. But this week in Las Vegas, where five tournaments featured thousands of players, the packet costs ranged from $180 to $275, with cash being preferred.
A black market of bootleg packets and copies of receipts flourished so freely that tournament directors policed copy centers to prevent coaches from making duplicates. At numerous events this summer, coaches have changed out of their university-logoed shirts to watch games disguised as fans to save hundreds of dollars.
“It’s a crazy racket,” said Yale Coach James Jones, who once paid $350 to watch one player play a single game in South Carolina. His other option was to buy the tournament organizer Jeff Schneider’s $600 recruiting service.
“It’s extortion,” Jones said.
“Listen, Parfyon, you asked me a question before, and here’s my answer: the essence of religious feeling doesn’t depend on reasoning, and it has nothing to do with wrongdoing or crime or with atheism. There is something else there and there always will be, and atheists will always pass over it and will never be talking about that. But the important thing is that you recognize it most quickly and clearly in the Russian heart–that’s my conclusion.”
“When I’m with you you believe me, and when I’m not you stop believing me at once and begin suspecting me again. You’re like your father!” the prince replied, with a friendly smile and trying to conceal his emotion.
“I believe your voice when I’m with you. Of course I realize we can’t be compared, you and I.”
“Natassya Filippovna did not spurn luxury, in fact she liked it, but–and this seemed exceedingly strange–she did not succumb to it; it was as if she could do just as well without it; she even took pains to make a point of this fact on several occasions.”
After the ceremony, Duardu’s many widows lined up to offer Mortenson and McCown their condolences. They pressed eggs into the Americans’ hdans, begging them to carry these tokens of grief to the faraway sisters they longed to comfort themselves, the windows of New York Village.
Mortenson looked at the pile of freshly laid eggs trembling in his palms. He cupped his large hands around them protectively as he headed back toward the Land Cruiser, thinking about the children who must have been on planes, and his own children at home. Now, he thought, walking through the crowd of well-wishers, over a carpet of cracked apricot husks that littered the ground, unable, even, to wave good-bye, everything in the world was fragile.
“You tell me I’m not an original person. Observe, my dear Prince, that there is nothing more offensive to a man in our age and race than to be told that he is not original, that he is weak of character, without special talents, an ordinary man. You don’t even give me credit for being a good scoundrel, and you know, I was ready to tear you apart for that!”