February 27, 2007

So...what'chu got?

Hell, I don't know, we have a few weeks to go before they even announce who---

I'm thinking possibly 7 from the Big East. Take them and 5 from the ACC, you have the East bracket right there.

Well, sure, maybe. But we'll see after the--

How many will the Big Ten get? 4?


As a college basketball fan, it's obvious knowing the big steak dinner comes in late March. We wait for it, if not that patiently...like a hefty man who devoured his potato skins with the arrogance of King Kong swatting airplanes, as if to say "Fine. You put cheese covered taters in front of me, I'm gonna eat them, but that's not why I'm here." Me? Well, I can't get into college basketball's pre-season...watching North Carolina play at home for the millionth time against Southern West Delaware doesn't do a thing for me. So, I wait as the games get better and more important. When there's more at stake, the more exciting it gets.

Did you say steak? Dude, what's Missouri Valley? How many wins do they have?

Time, my human rotunda. Sure, I'd like the tournament to start right fucking now, but that's not how it works. By this time next week we're pulling for Wright St. to sneak in. We're seeing Championship games being played in front of hundreds while arena workers scramble to turn off the lights in the upper deck. But then...then...when the brackets are there, and when Billy Packer gets angry about being irrelevant AGAIN...when Potsy has Oral Roberts in the Sweet 16...that is when the steak will be served. It will be tempting to devour this 64 oz. immediately, but it's best to take your time. Because, before you know it, it's April; you have no steak, and no desert. From there it's a long road to another meaningful college basketball game. You're talking 2008. That's a whole world from now, and who knows what the world holds for us. Larger dippin' sauce cups, perhaps?

Sweet - do they have Ranch?

Yes, they do. But give it time...the feast will be here soon enough.

February 4, 2007

Plus When They're All Dead, I Can Cut That Jerry Juice And Get A Bald Head

Woah there horsey! What's all this? Posts from across the blue???? Well, I finally found a fairly reliable place to watch ESPN, and they saw fit to give me Bulls-Sonics. I have no idea when these games are being played. I type these posts on my laptop and then port them directly to email at the internet cafe, leaving me completely in the dark about the timeframe. Whatever. If this game happened two weeks ago, just bear with me. I'm a day ahead of you anyway...

Here's what I see with these two teams:

Bulls - Wow, these cats are good this year. Does Big Ben Wallace fit with them though? He looked pretty sulky coming off for halftime. Guys like Gordon and Duhon straight ghetto the game up, and Heinrich's got sick hands like Johnny Chan (OH POKER REFERENCE WHAT!!!!). The big boys know their place, but they seem soft in the middle, besides Big Benjamin. And we all know how he plays offense. Not at all. So they rely on Deng and PJ Brown... that's not going to do it. But otherwise, wow, they're ballers. Tyrus Thomas definitely shows potential. I'd look up their record, but of course, that would cost me another two dollars in internet time. Let's just say they are "good".

Oh, and who knew that PJ Brown was that old? And speaking of old, Ray Allen's boyish looks are starting to be creepy. For the most part, he's still Jesus Shuttlesworth, age 18. But then he bows his head and looks puzzled, like he didn't understand what Ben Gordon just said to him, and you realize he's over 30 and the legs might not carry him for much longer. Strange is all I'm saying.

Sonics - They aren't nearly as shite as I was expecting. Maybe it's the home crowd. Collison is a walking talking bastard of a ballplayer. Allen is entirely and completely comfortable in his game... he's a short KG, always knowing what he can do and always getting his numbers, even in a shooting slump. Ridnour is damn solid. I think the problem is their defense, in that it sucks big time. Chris Wilcox: WOW. He's somehow gotten more ghetto since I last checked in. Who knows what's in that duffel bag.

Earl Watson is not a very good basketball player. Sure, come on in here and give me the stats, but he just doesn't gel with this team, and I don't think he ever has. Ok, can you ever say you were scared of Earl Watson? Has he ever given a defender "fits"? From what I can tell, Earl has spent his career being a short, quick point guard who lacks passing skills, and jacks up ill-advised shots at a Troy-Hudson-like clip. What I don't understand is why Ridnour is riding the bench. You ask me, I'd point to that as their big mistake this year. Watson's got a rep, and lord knows we all got excited about the trade rumors last year (hey, it beats Anthony Fuck Carter), but I'm glad he's not on our team. He jacks up threes and he's an awful shooter. His defense isn't great. I think he sticks around with teams because of his scoring, but it's not everything it's cracked up to be. Just name me an Earl Watson team that others were scared of.

Wait a second, they just said Minnesota vs. Dallas on Saturday night, christ I hope that means this saturday. Which will actually mean Sunday here. Which is tomorrow. Oh man, if they're not lying to me, and this game isn't being presented in a time vortex, then I am a lucky man. I mean, even if not, I watched the sun set into the ocean tonight, so I guess luck is a relative thing.

Both of these teams have guys who can shoot, and I think they're both fairly consistent. Seattle has really evened out from two years ago when they missed 6 shots all season, and from last year when Ray played the season with a constant stream of the mellow yellow running down his leg. Bob Hill however, wow he's pathetic. Scott Skiles (who is looking an awful lot like a college wrestling coach these days) is at least a decent tactician. I think Bob Hill's job is to just look surprised at calls and misfortunes as much as possible.

The Sonics ride the home crowd to recover from a 10 point deficit, but they can't pull it together at the end, due in large part to some pretty horrible decisions by Earl Watson and Another Wilkens. Christ, is this Nique's second nephew? Anyway, for awhile Ridnour was raining down like Thom Yorke, but the Bulls held them off at the end. Tom Tolbert said "To close out games on the road, you need to do two things: defensive stops and make your free throws". Right. I think that applies to every team, home or away. As well as "score more points than the other team". They credited Bob Hill with a smart decision going with a smaller line-up, as if he had a choice. His small line-up meant taking Chris Wilcox out. I'm guessing that's a good decision no matter what. All right, I'm out for now. Like I said, any time I can watch an NBA game, I'm posting, even if they're showing games from last season. I don't care. I'll watch Junior Reed's coming out party against Atlanta again.

February 2, 2007

Who Were Found Bound, Gagged, And Shot, But They Blast The Spot, Victims Took Off Like Astronauts

Lucy, I've got some 'splainin to do.

Tonight, as I sit here in a rented flat in Blenheim, New Zealand, I am watching my first NBA game since I left the Land of Guns in November. So, I apologize for that, I really do. Anyone who is still checking this blog - and I assume that is not one soul - has been grossly neglected. I offer only the excuse that I am 8000 miles away, in a land where there are 10 times as many sheep as people.

I'm watching the Jazz play the Spurs on ESPN, a game that probably happened a week ago and they don't tell me. They broadcast these games on Sky Sports, which is the New Zealand sports network. Basically, they jack the ESPN feed and edit out all the halftime and timeout banter, keeping only the game. So that means I get 15 minutes of action, then we go to commercial, I see an ad about snowboarding in Queenstown, and we're back... sometimes with a different score than we left. Whatever. I'm getting the fix, even though it's with two remarkably boring teams.

Ok, and I don't know if this is just this country, but they occaisionally run ESPN-sponsored commercials "explaining" american football. I can't even paraphrase this, but I'll try... they are saying things like "Unlike soccer, there are 15 minutes per period, and once the clock runs out, the game is over" and "Often, the team with a lead late in the game will try to run the football, which keeps the clock running. On the contrary, the team who trails will often pass the ball, and try to get out of bounds, extending the game." I'm honestly not making that up. Is that just here, or is ESPN running ads for invalids and fundamentalists who just happen to have a yearning for american football that has recently been awakened? What soul has ever tuned into ESPN and not known the rules for american football? Whatever... them explaining the sport just makes me think it's stupider.

Ok, so basketball then, or?

Here's what I'm thinking:

Jazz - what the fuck? Who are these guys? AK is having a shit game, but these other unshaven gravediggers are giving the Spurs all they can handle. What is this, 1991? Is Sean Elliot checking in soon? Anyway, Deron Williams is getting some big boys, and Mehmet Okur just jacks up threes when he feels like. I guess the ring gives him the nuts to do that. I don't know about this guy named Milsap, but he scores a lot and looks like he fits right in with the Jazz, which is to say he looks dumb and like I would never want to cheer for his success.

And Derek Fisher? WHEN DID THIS SHIT HAPPEN???? And he gets playing time? And they are kicking ass? Guys, guys, seriously. If the Wolves can't put something together and make the playoffs, I don't know what's going on anymore.

Spurs - What else is new? Tony Parker might be the most effective "first step" point guard of all time.... I'm sure someone will come in and shoot that down, but I went to the beach today, so I'm better than you. No, but he's a fierce son of a bitch, that's what. And then there's Timmy D, sporting an Ice Cube beard, with a bit of hate in the old eyes. Duncan is indescribable, one of the all time greats at his position, and so horribly consistent that it hurts to think about. All of this you already know. Which makes watching the Spurs like watching a lamb try to screw a dog. Sure, it's exciting, but you know what's going to happen, eventually.

Enough about this game though. It's giving me a headache. Hubie's helping, but not enough. Can't they pick a better color scheme in Salt Lake City? Christ, enough with the blue.

Now, when it comes to the Wolves, I honestly can't comment on anything. I haven't seen one minute of action, only been reading box scores and recaps. There was quite a sniff-up about AI, which of course didn't happen because Nice Things aren't allowed to happen to the Wolves. I honestly don't understand how they could've ever made a fair deal to Philly... what, were they throwing in Madsen? Anyway, it looks like Denver has turned the corner thanks to that trade, and rightfully so. I think the Wolves are finding quite a bit of talent in that young Foye character. He could be quite a gamer, from the stats I've seen and comments by Mr. Bliznewski. When in doubt, I rely on good NBA knowledge, and he definitely has it. Anyway, is there potential here? Is the team sufficiently ghetto enough to enjoy a run? I don't think so, but we still have Buckets (unless he's been traded in the week it took for this game to beam across the Pacific), so we still have the potential for an afro. Don't count them out yet.

March Madness is almost upon us, and Wisconsin... christ I can't even fake my way through it. You know I'll be drinking on St. Pat's day, but should I have a choice between swimming with dolphins and 12 hours of round-ball, I'm going to have to reach for my wetsuit.

They have basketball here, it's especially big in Auckland, being played in a fairly large stadium and attended by big audiences. I don't recognize any of the players, but they can ball pretty well. It's not really a dumping ground for NBA failures as much as a rec league by guys who are wickedly athletic but for some reason have been turned away by the rugby clubs.

Hubie just talked about power forwards in the western conference, and he threw out Duncan and KG, then said "and Carlos Boozer and Zach Randolph, who do it every year". Do what? Fail horribly at life and all of its trials? Cry while they sit on the toilet? Slip roofies into skanks' drinks?

Wow! Jerry Sloan raising his voice! This game's getting loud. Unfortuanetly, I am running out of patience for this, and I'm on a nearly empty battery. I can say though, before I blink out, that they still love their basketball in Utah, and it seems like this crowd is going to deliver a victory to the Boozer-less Jazz. Whatever, it's not like anyone's reading anyway.

I'll sign off for now, but honestly for anyone stumbling upon this blog, feel free to make comments or send me an email and I'll give you post access. I don't want this thing to die out, and I promise that for every game I am able to watch, a post is not far behind. And it will be undoubtedly as funny and riveting as this one.

In closing, they don't tip here, and at any bar that you see TVs, you can bet on sports through the bartender. And they only rake 8 percent. Take that, Stardust.