WOLVERINE TRAP – CHRIS “CHISE” MCMAHON
This week’s guest is none other than the Franchise himself, Chris McMahon. Chris is widely considered the best basketball player ever to grace the CRFC courts, and that probably includes Travis Knight, who evidently used to play here in the early 1990’s. I have known Chise all of my life so I don’t really have too much to learn here, but you certainly do.
Wolverine: Thanks for being on this week’s Trap, Chise.
Chise: Thank you for having me. I was a bit reluctant to do this since I still hold a grudge against you after your last second shot beat my squad in the Winter 2002 Finals.
Wolverine: My greatest moment in sports history. Did you ever think while we were cheating on that 10th grade Chemistry test that we’d ever be in this situation?
Chise: Who would have thought? Most people at Saugus High probably thought you would end up on the world class tennis circuit and I would be playing for the New England Revolution. Maybe not…
Wolverine: I will start with the easy ones, as always, like where are you from, what sports you played in high school/college, how many classes you actually attended at Tufts, etc. And don’t try to lie because I know all the answers.
Chise: I grew in the hoops hotbed of Saugus, MA. I went to Saugus High where I played basketball and soccer for all four years. Our hoops team topped things off with a 20-2 senior year. Yes, Matt, you were the key to that team’s success –
Wolverine: Remember in the Beverly High game when I…
Chise: We can bring up your performance against Beverly some other time. I went to Tufts, played basketball there and graduated in ’95. I had a good first three years and a very good senior year.
Wolverine: I remember when you used to get alley oops freshman year on a regular basis. Knowing you got me into a lot of parties.
Chise: Senior year I was a first team All-American, averaged about 25ppg and 10rpg while Tufts played in its first-ever NCAA Tournament game. I attended approximately 30 classes per semester… maybe.
Wolverine: Sounds about right.
Chise: I got married about five years ago to my wife Susan and have a two-year old daughter named Vivian. She already has a better left hand than her father.
Wolverine: I haven’t seen you since the League night out at Tonic. Have you gotten a haircut yet, or at least had Susan trim the back?
Chise: My hair is even longer now and it is really getting embarrassing. I guess I am trying to bring back the mullet…all business in the front and a party in the back.
Wolverine: Seriously, the girls loved that in high school. What was the highest level of basketball you have ever played?
Chise: Division 3 college.
Wolverine: Did you ever think of playing in Europe?
Chise: I thought about it and I had one legit opportunity but I was a bit burnt out on basketball when I graduated so I didn’t pursue anything. A good example of the burn out is how I blew off an all-star game after my senior season to drink 40’s and smoke butts. The part I now feel badly about is that I was supposed to receive an award at halftime for Player of the Year (Lou Roe shows up to get the Div. 1 award and I blow it off – who did I think I was?) but really didn’t care enough to go. Oh well, I will blame that decision on youthful ignorance.
Wolverine: That is hysterical. Wasn’t there a time long ago when I was actually considered better than you at basketball?
Chise: I am sure this doesn’t surprise anyone, but you were by far the top player in Saugus until 8th or 9th grade. Should I mention that you hit puberty when you were about 7 years old?
Wolverine: And you came back from Hoop Mountain the summer after freshman year 4 inches taller, dunking and blocking everyone’s shot. I hear Congress has subpoenaed you to testify next week about your activities that summer. Do you think we will ever get over the fact that we were bounced at home in the 2nd round of the State High School Tourney senior year when we were ranked #1 in the Northeast, Division 2?
Chise: That was quite a disappointment but we were prime to get upset. Top-notch talent, but not much basketball intelligence. I have come to blame your free throw shooting for the loss.
Wolverine: We all have to come to grips with it somehow. How many times a week do you tell people that we played against current NBA player Rick Brunson in high school and beat him on his home court?
Chise: This comes up at least once a week. Togs (one of our Saugus buddies) sends me his stats every couple of weeks and then asks what happened to Scoonie Penn.
Wolverine: Ok, no holds barred here. Of all the Captains in the league, who would you least like to be drafted by and why?
Chise: This seems like a loaded question and I assume most expect me to say Jim DeSilva due to our lack of success together. But I would never want to play for Joey Diesel because there really isn’t anything better or funnier than beating up on a Joey Diesel lead team. My favorite is Edwin.
Wolverine: Here is another one from the fans. What are a few things you can tell us about the Wolverine’s youth (on and off the court) that may surprise people to know?
Chise: Matt was ranked number five in our graduating class.
Wolverine: And don’t sell yourself short – you were ranked #13 in a very competitive academic environment.
Chise: He was also the leading scorer for years in Saugus Town Team Basketball. He refused to tight roll his pants in high school and made a huge push for the “loose roll.”
Wolverine: I didn’t own a pair of jeans until college. I preferred slacks.
Chise: He was also the best tennis player to come through SHS in about 20 years. He was adamantly opposed to drinking all through high school and then fell off the wagon hard in college. Could often be found at the back of the bus to games belting out Keith Sweat or Johnny Gill songs.
Wolverine: Things were looking so promising for me. You are a member of the Saugus High School Hall of Fame. Do you know anyone who can get me in? I’d really like to have that free dinner at Caruso’s on Route 1 sometime soon.
Chise: The roast beef dinner is really something special and I sewed the official SHS Hall of Fame patch on to one of my suit jackets. But I have to think that you are next on the list. I will see what strings I can pull.
Wolverine: What is your favorite song of all time to “get special” to?
Chise: This is a tough one but I KNOW that you already have the answer to this. I have a tie…Can You Stand the Rain by New Edition and I Can’t Wait Another Minute by Hi-Five.
Wolverine: The live version of Hi Five, of course. Besides the obvious choices of Sullivan and Dirty, who’s been the best role player on your CRFC teams thus far?
Chise: Very tough call. I have played with some good guys who I wouldn’t consider role players (you, Meldrim, O’Donnell, Cheese, Raj) so I would say Chad Groff. Very solid, dependable point guard. He makes big shots, defends well and steps up his performance in the big games.
Wolverine: And he currently works in Saugus. Who at CRFC gives you a toughest time defensively?
Chise: I completely forget this guys name… I think it was Andy? He was a soccer player?
Wolverine: Andy Sechler. University of Michigan football. He was an animal.
Chise: I was in good shape when he was around and he still made me work for everything. For guys who are still around, Andy Danielson and Shandor do a real good job.
Wolverine: How has the birth of your daughter changed your hoop game?
Chise: I got out of shape and soft for a while but I am trying to get back to normal.
Wolverine: Who keeps a better tally of your stats – O’Cal/Serge now or your mom in high school?
Chise: My mom. She gave me all of your rebounds.
Wolverine: I knew it! Ok, you hear that there is a 5 on 5 hoop tournament at Stackpole Field in Saugus. What 4 guys from CRFC do you bring with you and why?
Chise: Well, I can’t take Ripley, Salazar or Meldrim because I need a LOT of shots when I play in Saugus. And I don’t know a lot of the new guys. So I would take you at the 4 to clean up the glass. Shandor and Poulos at the 2 and 3 to shoot, slash and defend. Well, Shandor will defend. And O’Cal at the point. But O’Cal can’t shoot unless I say so. Tough omissions are Matt Williams (but I am taking the 5 spot), Cheese and Edwin.
Wolverine: Ok, you hear that it is dollar draft night at the Cabaret on Route 1. What 4 guys from CRFC do you bring with you and why?
Chise: What is the Cabaret? I will assume this is some sort of shady establishment that you frequent where the bouncer is, of course, a friend of ours from Saugus. But let’s be honest, does it really matter who I bring?
Wolverine: Ok, really, let’s get old school. Samantha Fox or Heather Thomas?
Chise: I had posters of both, but I got the Heather Thomas one first, so I will stick with her.
Wolverine: New Edition with Johnny Gill or New Edition with Bobby Brown?
Chise: I will keep it real and go with Bobby Brown.
Wolverine: Disappointing. Johnny G has the best voice. His live rendition of Boys To Men cannot be beat. When will you be back at CRFC?
Chise: Probably for the next league. Being a dad, I can only do one league at a time so I usually do the CRFC league in the spring and the fall.
Wolverine: Ok, thanks for being on the Trap. I can’t believe that after all these years, we’ve finally made it.
Chise: This has been my pleasure. I will be back in the Spring.