Cigar smoke is not for everyone, as Bill Kintner learned a few years ago when former Wright State assistant basketball coach Will Rey started calling him "Cigar Boy."
The nickname seems to have stuck. "I don't think (St. Joseph's coach) Phil Martelli even knows my name," said Kintner, a 47-year-old WSU graduate who writes about college basketball for various Web sites. "Every time he sees me, he calls me 'Cigar Boy.' Hey, I've been called worse."
Kintner, a one-time high school baseball coach, is an acquired taste to some. Could be the cigars; he favors Macanudos. Might be his conservative political leanings. He jokes that at 275 pounds he's starting to look like Rush Limbaugh.
He is not blowing smoke, however, when he says he gave his girlfriend an engagement ring last summer on the floor of the Republican National Convention following Sarah Palin's speech - and she said yes.
"She was a delegate," Kintner said. "I had a guest pass. I was just there smoking cigars and partying."
A part-time political consultant and gym teacher, Kintner is a fixture at WSU basketball games, but his true passion is the book he's putting together ranking the top 100 college basketball arenas. He's been criss-crossing the country for the better part of six years.
By summer, he hopes to have found a publisher. Meanwhile, he applies the finishing touches at his Cincinnati apartment, a place he calls the "Cigar Boy Bachelor Pad and Sports Museum."
In his words
"I got out of sales because I wanted to write this book. I'm listing the top five arenas in every conference and every state, the top 10 new arenas, top 10 dance teams, hotdogs, etc. It'll be a book that will be discussed on talk radio for a year. Because everyone loves lists.
"I can come close to a top five. Probably Kansas, Oregon, Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler), Maryland and either Wisconsin, Arkansas or Duke. UD Arena will be in the top 100, but not the top 20. It's probably No. 2 in Ohio behind the Cintas Center (Xavier). The Nutter Center compares pretty well, especially this year, after they fixed it up.
"I've been to 267 arenas. I guarantee you I've seen more arenas than Dick Vitale or anyone. Dick Vitale doesn't go to Elon College.
"I was on the road two months solid in 2005-06. Started in Omaha, drove to Minneapolis, Wichita, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, then down the California coast. Pauley Pavilion (UCLA) is a dump, by the way. Not a comfortable arena.
"Three years ago, Sports Illustrated was going to do a story on me, but I got all excited for nothing. They sent a photographer down, paid him for the pictures, then bumped the story.
"I've seen all the Division I arenas that will make my top 100. I'll see all 340 eventually, but I'll be seeing the rest as the guy who wrote the book on arenas."
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Source: Dayton Daily News