Smokey And Summitt's Bandit

By Jeff Lippman - April 05, 2008


Where was Smokey, the Tennessee mascot, when Pat Summitt needed him?

The Blue Tick Coonhound was nowhere to be found when coach Summitt dislocated her shoulder trying to chase one of the rascals off her porch.

The story is definitely worth telling, and nobody tells it better than Summitt herself.

"Well, it wasn't a Wade Trophy winner," Summitt said of the raccoon in question. "Actually, I had my two labs with me, took some trash out."

Summitt was about to walk her dogs when she noticed her eldest Lab Sally and the ring-tailed intruder engaged in a staring contest of epic proportions.

"I heard raccoons go for the eyes, they're vicious," Summitt said, scared for her pooch.

Summitt snapped and reacted quickly - don't mess with her dogs. "Fortunately, I've never done this with a player," she quipped.

Summitt stealthily came around from the raccoon's side and smacked it. As she went to sweep the raccoon off the top porch with her arm, pop, the shoulder dislocated and Summitt was in a world of pain.

Did the winner of seven national championships seek immediate medical assistance? Anyone who knows Summitt knows that's not her way.

"Because this is my personality, I thought I could get it back in myself," she said. "I went and sat in the recliner and sat there and moved my arm. I probably sat there, I don't know, 30, 40 minutes."

It didn't work. The shoulder remained out of the socket.

Summitt's next course of action was to take a hot shower, hoping the hot water would solve her problem. That didn't help, either.

Did she see a doctor yet? Nope. Next Summitt tried sleeping it off.

"I decided I'll just lay down and see if I could get it back in by putting a pillow under it," she said. "That didn't work."

Finally, not able to take it any longer, Summitt called Dr. Becky Morgan.

"I wish I would have called her right away," she said in retrospect. When Candace Parker dislocated her shoulder just days later, Summitt certainly felt her pain.

As for the raccoon?

"Never saw the raccoon again," Summitt said. "He's probably thinking, 'that's the craziest woman I've ever met. I'm out of here'."

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 03:49 PM on April 05, 2008
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