Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Mr. Belding Makes a Triumphant Return to RVA

I came across this little snippet this morning in between gorging on Pop Tarts and trying to ignore the Kellerpenter Decisiongate.
Dennis Haskins, aka Mr. Belding from the television show "Saved by the Bell," will speak Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 8 p.m. in the W.E. Singleton Center. Haskins will deliver anecdotes from the show, talk about the business in general and answer questions. The show, sponsored by the VCU SportsCenter, is free to all members of the VCU community.
Pretty freaking cool for a school without a football program, although if they had one they probably could have gotten the entire cast together. Mmmmmm, Kapowski. This is not the first time our princi-PAL has graced fair river city...anecdote time!

There is an annual charity golf tournament in Richmond every year sometime close to Labor Day. Two years ago, it was scheduled on the second Monday in September, which happened to coincide with the afternoon arrival of Tropical Depression Gaston. It was some of the hardest rain I've ever witnessed, and it was sustained over an eight hour period. Gridlock ensued due to flooded streets, and I was stuck on the VCU campus. Rather than try to drive home, I walked to a friend's house nearby to watch Monday Night Football and crash for the night. Since the local ABC affiliate couldn't pass up the opportunity to show the same 45 seconds of footage every other local channel was showing over and over, the game wasn't aired here. We took this opportunity to go to Buddy's, a neighborhood bar and Richmond landmark. The story starts getting interesting here.

We have a few cocktails and shoot the breeze for awhile, and suddenly hear a large roar. We turned around to acknowledge the ruckus and saw Charles Barkley making an entrance. He apparently plays in the golf tourney every year (and poorly, I might add) and is known to hit up a few bars while in town. On this particular evening he had a couple of friends in tow: espn's David Aldridge and the BIg Bopper himself, Mr. Belding. DA was pretty cool- very approachable, a beer drinker, and happy to talk to the locals. The round mound of rebound lived up to all expectations- he was the life of the party, had hot chicks hanging all over him, and consumed shots-a-plenty. I honestly didn't talk to him, but it was hard to miss a 6'4" black man dancing on a table.

Speaking of dancing on tables, Belding did the same, but he had the rest of us laughing at him, not with him. He wielded his celebrity like a dark lord of the sith, pushing himself on chicks half his age and way out of his league; these girls were only at his table to get to CB. He consumed at least as much alcohol as I did that evening (which says a lot) and it started to show after the midnight hour. He really started staggering around, and he had that self-important look in his eye that says "I'm Mr. Belding, get the f@$k out of my way, I used to be important, dammit!" I think he caught on to how unimpressed all of us were with his presence and chose to leave, but on his way out he shoved a guy, and a fight almost broke out.

Ok, so it's not Rick James (rip) and Charlie Murphy, but it was still pretty cool. I'll have to do a little research, but this might actually be from that night!

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