Friday, June 29, 2007

A Rough Draft Of The Draft

NBA draft night is always one of mine and Danny's favorite nights, as it combines his love of the NBA with my love of college ball. Thank you Danny for getting back to town so we could enjoy our umpteenth draft in a row together. Thank you Shawn for representing the Sonics, and Chris for representing Golden State, with old-school NBA apparel from Danny's closet. With all the good players taken and quite a few big names traded, the draft didn't disappoint. As a bonus, for the second year in a row, the Knicks seem to be moving in the right direction. Here is one man's humble breakdown.

Things I loved:
The Knicks getting Randolph while getting rid of Francis and his huge salary. Losing Frye pissed me off initially, but his lack of improvement from year 1 to year 2 was noticeable.

The T'Wolves drafting Corey Brewer. I think guys like Brewer are relatively bust-proof, because if absolutely nothing else, he will be a defensive stud. And I don't think he will have a problem scoring at the next level.

The Brandan Wright trade (from Golden State's perspective.) Fits exactly what they needed. Plus the word is that it could be a lead-in to a trade for Yi, who fits their team even better.

The Hawks' draft. Never thought I would write that in my lifetime. They got the third-best player at the 3 spot with Horford (as opposed to last year when they got probably the 19th-best in the 5 spot with Shelden Williams) and still got their point guard with Law in the 11 spot. The future could finally be bright in Atlanta.
Josh McRoberts falling all the way to Portland #37. I had money on Minny at #41.
Things I liked:

Portland's draft. This would've been something I loved....until they drafted McGayberts. Still, getting Oden, Rudy Fernandez, whose grainy European footage had Danny, Shawn, Chris and I (repping Julian below) pretty excited, and Channing Frye is not a bad night.

Julian going to New Orleans. I figured he was going somewhere in the 9-16 range. I was deathly afraid of him going to Sacramento, Atlanta, Philly, or the Clippers. I would've liked to see the Bulls or the Wizards, and I was cool with New Orleans and Detroit. So I'm fine, and don't have to deal with the awkward 'Chicago has my two favorite players but the Knicks are my team' scenario.
Sean Williams for the Nets. That risk will pay off. He is one of the scariest defensive players I've ever seen in college. Just a monster.

Things I hated:
Noah to the Bulls. First, from my selfish perspective, I hate that one of my least favorite players, ever, is going to a sweet up-and-coming team that features my hero as its point guard. Secondly, from a basketball perspective, they already have Ben Wallace, who can rebound and defend but can't score, and they already have Tyrus Thomas, who brings energy, youth, and hustle but can't score. So what does Noah bring to this team? Besides shitty hair, I mean.

Milwaukee drafting Yi. Not only did he not work out for you, Milwaukee, but he prevented you from coming to watch him work out. He DOES NOT WANT TO PLAY FOR YOU. Milwaukee is like the nerdy kid who continually asks out the hottest girl in school. She lets him down easy at first, then is a little firmer about it, and now it's leading to Yi throwing a carton of milk in Milwaukee's face and screaming "Get a life, you loser!!!" as the entire school watches.

Aaron Brooks to the Rockets. Please someone tell me how that makes sense for them.

The Spurs having another great draft. Tiago Splitter will end up being a great role player for them in a few years, and Marcus Williams was a typical San Antonio steal at #33. Fuckin' Spurs.
Things I Am Too Scared To Offer An Opinion About:

The whole Boston/Seattle trade. I definitely like two of my top four favorite players playing on the same team (Allen and Pierce) but did it help Boston that much? Allen is getting up in years. However, in the East....
....And from Seattle's side, they had to trade Allen, and they got a good pick for him, but I think #5 might have been too high for Jeff Green. Plus they had to take on Wally, who is so gay he should've gone to Duke. But Green could definitely turn out to be stud. Hence the too scared to commit to a strong opinion here. One thing's for sure, I am a fan of the Celtics now.

The Knicks' pick of Wilson Chandler. I haven't seen him play much, and it seemed like #23 was too high, but I certainly know better than to argue with Isaiah's drafting skills.
My Favorite Second Round Picks Of College Studs:

Glen Davis to Boston (though I was hoping the Knicks, giving them the fattest frontcourt EVER with Randolph, Curry, Jerome James and Big Baby;) Derrick Byars to Philly; JamesOn Curry to Chicago; D.J. Strawberry to Phoenix; and finally, Sun Yue to the Lakers. Just kidding. It really says something if not even Danny knows a single thing about a draft prospect.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Farewell, Culligan Manor (Part 3)

One quick sidenote, before we dive right into the Charter: I don't know why both Danny and I forgot this amazing fact until last week, but when we did our mock draft during the car ride to Kansas in April (interestingly, the exact same thing Simmons and Ford did yesterday, only we did the whole first round) we did a mock lottery as well. Our top three picks: Portland, Seattle, Atlanta. Weeeeeird.

The Culligan Manor Charter (after a few amendments)

1. Roommates don't lie to other roommates.

2. Roommates respect other roommates.

3. Roommates don't keep secrets from other roommates. Chicks do that.

4. Respect the apartment. It is, after all, an extension of Mike Noland.

5. No shoes on Horp's bed. Apparently, Horp, however, is allowed to pee his bed.

6. All visitors of the opposite sex must have an escort after 9 p.m.

7. Visitors of the opposite sex determined to be "randoms" are not to be treated with the same level of respect as girlfriends of roomates. They must earn that respect.

8. All visitors that are picking up food on the way over must ask the current tenants if they want anything from that establishment.

9. Safety. Stroller. 'Nuff said.

10. There can be no resisting a proper "Katoosh." If the "Katoosh" is improperly demonstrated, the offending party receives one punch.

11. There is no "stirring the pot" from a third party once the involved participants have sufficiently ended the argument. The offending third party receives one punch from each of the aforementioned participants.

12. Only 4 text messages allowed in one sitting. After any combination of 4, you must do one lap around the apartment before you are allowed to send or read another texty. *This does not apply to Big D, who has not yet entered the exciting world of text messaging.*

13. When participating in any competitive arena; be it Madden, Star Wars Monopoly, Cribbage, Tiger Woods, Clue, etc. remember that the two characteristics vital to a gentlemanly contest are mental toughness and integrity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Farewell, Culligan Manor (Part 2)

This was gonna be a huge list of memorable events from the last few years, but after it threatened to rain today for about 10 hours, it did not, so our 5 on 5 outdoor league is not cancelled, and I have to leave it at just a couple of my favorites. Annnnnygay.....

October 2003: The staircase leading up to our place has approximately 25 steps, carpeted and very steep. So the fact that it took over a year to involve said staircase in any kind of drinking game is beyond me. The game is simple: Go down the stairs on a saucer-style sled with a full keg cup. Try and keep the cup full. So after a few of us guys go, spilling beer everywhere, getting rug burns, cuts, and bruises galore, St. Aubyn's then-girlfriend Jen wants to go. After making her verbally release us from all liability, we let her go. A couple stairs into her magical journey she flips over, and tumbles head over heels the rest the way down. Russell, at the bottom of the stairs, thinks quickly and opens up the door to the outside as she slides past, and she finally comes to a stop after crashing into my car a few feet outside the door. As we sprint downstairs to survey the damage, Jen, who by this time has burst into tears and has multiple open wounds all over her body, proudly holds up her cup between sobs. "Look! I didn't spill anything!" As we stood there and stared at her completely full keg cup, I thought, 'this is what it must have been like to watch Jesus perform miracles in biblical times.' Easily, EASILY, one of the most indescribable things I have ever witnessed.

July 2006: This was about 2 days before Horp left for Phoenix, or, put another way, about 5 days AFTER he peed the couch and didn't tell anyone. Horp and Jon-Jon go out boozing, and Horp picks up a girl who had been phone-banging him for quite some time. For the sake of protecting identities, we'll call her "Nikki Weber." Cons: Nikki is borderline crazy, plus she has already made out with a few of our friends. Pros: Not bad looking, plus Horp leaves in 2 days, which relatively mitigates the crazy factor. So as they drive back to Culligan, Horp asks Jon-Jon not to hang out in the living room, as he needed some alone time to close the deal, rather than heading straight to the bedroom. Jon-Jon's legitimate response: "Where the fuck am I supposed to go?" Horp's plan: "Go to Jim's room, pretend it's yours, so she doesn't assume that I'm making you hide in there."

So about 20 minutes later, I come home, a little tuned up myself. I go into the living room and see Horp and a girl on the couch (Horp of course being careful to avoid sitting in the pee spot), getting a little cozy. Here's what transpired next:

I burst into my room. (Quick sidenote: in the summer, without a fan on, it's approximately 113 degrees in my room.) So picture a seven-foot guy, sitting in my bed, sweating like Patrick Ewing during warmups, watching Family Guy with no volume because A) he is trying to listen to Horp run game, and B) he can't find the remote, and can't turn on the light because he is supposed to be sleeping.

Me, shouting "What are you doing in my bed? You're sweating EVERYWHERE!!"

Jon-Jon, whispering "This is MY room, sshhh"

Nikki "What? Whose room is that?"

Horp "Fuck"

Me "What the fuck is going on?"

Jon-Jon, finally deciding he has sacrificed enough for Horp tonight "Horp told her that this was my room cause he needed some time still."


Horp, quietly to Nikki "C'mon, let's go to my room now"

After they exited stage right, Jon-Jon told me the whole story. We then made big signs that said "Go get 'er, Horp!!!" found her digital camera in her purse (which she foolishly left out in the living room, and had ourselves a good photo shoot. Nikki was not impressed with these pictures the next day, and boy did Horp hear about it.

October 2004: Halloween. Unfortunately, we really do have to protect some identities in this story. Our friend "Doug" is in town, and looking for love in all the wrong places. At this party are two girls he has history with. Girl number one, "Mary", is a huge question mark. She is totally and completely insane, which obviously increases when she drinks. She is decent looking, but given her history with Doug, is not at all a guarantee. The other, "Dorothy", is a sure thing, but much less attractive than Mary. So Doug plays it like any guy should: put in some face time with Dorothy early, then spend most of his efforts seeing how Mary feels that particular evening. At one point, I find Mary alone, behind the water heater in the cellar, crying. "Doug is such an asshole!" She screams to me. I agree: yes, Doug is an asshole, do some consoling, and bid her adieu, as we are leaving within 10 minutes. Details are sketchy on what the fuck exactly happened next, or what Doug was thinking or doing in the ensuing 10 minutes, but next thing I know, our car ride back to Culligan looks like this: ADawg driving, Doug in the passenger seat, Mary, Dorothy, and me (trying to slit my wrists) in the backseat. Each girl is only vaguely aware of the other at this point. Worst. Car ride. Ever.

We get home and I literally sprint for my room, to listen and wait for the inevitable to happen. After a couple minutes, Mary figures out what is going on, and the jig is up. Dorothy takes it like a champ, and since her and I are friends, she then comes to my room (not for that!!!) to wait out Tropical Storm Mary, which quickly escalates into Hurricane Mary. As we tune in with wonder and agony, Mary unleashes a barrage of personal attacks on Doug, and when that doesn't please her, she begins the plate-throwing portion of her fury. It was like the fucking Real World Denver out there. After a brief struggle, Mary is subdued, and after a few minutes even starts laughing with Doug. This proves to only be the eye of the storm. It eventually ends with her storming out, walking 3 blocks, turning around and demanding a ride, Doug refusing to give her one, and Doug and Dorothy making out shortly thereafter. Good stuff.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Farewell, Culligan Manor (Part 1)

In May of 2002, four men with a little bit of beer money and a lot of big dreams gathered their belongings and set up shop in the three-bedroom beauty that the Culligan man Mike Noland had been keeping a secret, while he toiled countless nights to make the place inhabitable. Now, just over 5 years later, Culligan Manor will be back on the market as of July 1. It is, quite simply, the end of an era. One that will never be forgotten, neither by its tenants nor by anyone who ever partied there. As part of Culligan Appreciation Week, I will be doing a three-part farewell to the "Pound-For-Pound Greatest Apartment In Town."

May 2002-May 2003: St. Aubyn, Fundy, Russell and I move in, paying just $440 a month. Since Russell and I share a room, we're paying a whopping $85 a month. Not too shabby. These early days are the heyday of the Manor. For a bunch of 19 year-olds, an apartment whose only neighbors are an abandoned business on the right, and a dirty-old-man bar, Charlie Brown's, on the left, is a sanctuary for avoiding cops. The parties and rooftop drinking in the summer are spectacular, and when school rolls around in the fall, Culligan quickly establishes itself as one of the best spots in Grand Forks. Keggers on the weekend net us literally hundreds in profits. However, as winter turns to spring, it is apparent that sharing a room is not an activity I wish to pursue anymore, and Russell is out.

May 2003-August 2005: The Manor undergoes no roommate changes. St. Aubyn, Fundy and I turn 21, and the siren call of the bars lure us away from parties, except in summer, where we find a greater appreciation for rooftop drinking in the evenings. We briefly make Charlie Brown's, or Chucky B's as we called it, the place to be on Friday nights, to the point that the owner of the Down Under (the previous Friday night place to be) was asking college kids what the hell was going on.

August 2005: St. Aubyn moves out, and a little piece of me goes with him. We had been together since the dorms freshman year, and even though the Shoebox Room is in good hands with Nate Noland moving in (his dad offered him the place first while it was still being remodeled, he turned it down, and regretted it for the next 3 years) it isn't quite the same, especially since St. Aubyn becomes a highway cop.

August 2005-July 2006: Noles and I are in our final year of Accounting at UND, and school is kicking our ass. However, it is during this stretch when Horp entrenches himself as the Guy On The Couch, and soon Jon-Jon and Big D are frequenting the place every night. With anywhere from 3-6 guys over at any hour of the day, ball-busting reaches new heights during this era. Arguments lead to rules, which leads to the legendary charter (which will be made available to the public on this very blog!) and best of all, one of my longtime dreams of dual TVs is fulfilled. Stadium seating, however, does not occur, much to my disappointment.

July 2006-December 2006: A time of turmoil for the Manor. Noles gets a big kids' job in Fergus Falls, and Horp graduates from Guy On The Couch to actual roommate. However, just two days later, he gets a job in Phoenix and is gone (but not before he pees the couch and keeps it a secret until he is no longer in the Central Time Zone.) A co-worker of mine, Travis, moves in (much to the chagrine of Jon-Jon, who felt unfairly passed over.) New furniture abounds. Culligan has undergone a makeover.

December 2006-Present Day: Travis gets a job in Minneapolis, and the revolving door Shoebox Room continues its cycle. Jon-Jon's complaining from the previous summer results in the roommate application, made solely to appease myself and Fundy. My only regret is that we didn't come up with it sooner. In March I announce my upcoming move to Kansas, and the dominoes begin to fall. Finally, in May, it's official: Culligan will not be home to anyone in our friend group. It had crappy outlets; it was an icebox in the winter; it was an oven in the summer, but it was the place I lived for the best years in my life. It will be sorely missed.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Too Long For A Mere Comment

I started to leave this as a comment from yesterday, but too much to say. I'm just brimming with replies here.

First, to Ponch, yes I like the Sox and Knicks. Doesn't make much sense, and if I lived somewhere besides North Dakota, it wouldn't have happened. My best guess is that, when I was about 8 years old, I thought it would be a pretty neat idea to pick favorite teams that would go on to torture me throughout my childhood (and now into adulthood.) This contributed to me also cheering for KU, Phil Mickelson, and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. And oh yeah I'm moving to Lawrence, Kansas, to live the dream. By "live the dream" I mean "upgrade my obsession over a college basketball team to near catastrophic levels."

The Kobe situation has me really concerned/bummed out. The three teams I probably enjoy most in the NBA are the Knicks (my team), Chicago (Hinrich), and Phoenix (who I enjoy due to their style of play and their rivalry with Kobe and the Lakers.) And who are the three frontrunners for Kobe? Yep, pretty much. Although at this point Kobe might as well go to the Knicks, as it can't get any worse, and then Danny and I would be reunited as Knick fans, as we were in '99 when they made the miracle run to the Finals. The scenario that French described, where Chicago drafts Julian and then trades for Kobe, is just about my worst nightmare not involving Elizabeth Shue and Daunte Culpepper. The only thing that comforts me is that three years ago, Gay-Rod ended up not going to the Sox.

Dunph, thanks for the support. Wasn't expecting anything else. Don't be bitter because the bottom is falling out of the Braves' season, and you cried yourself to sleep while doing the Tomahawk Chop last night. You'll always have 1995.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This Is My Concerned Face

Here's why I can't get excited about the Sox yet, even though they have the best record in baseball: they suck when I watch them. Besides the weekend with huge comeback against the Yanks's bullpen and the four-homer game, I have seen them win a grand total of twice. After Monday, they're now 4-11 when I'm watching. For a team with a winning percentage of .643, that's just dumb. I have watched Schilling get roughed up three times; seen Ortiz hit two dongs and Manny none; probably not seen a hit out of Lugo or Varitek (Crisp just left that club with his 4-4 night on Monday) and barely even seen Papelbon, period.

Getting excited for the draft, and it's still a week away. Very excited to see where Julian goes. As a Knick fan, the last few years have been spent enjoying other teams, rooting for close series and exciting moments or performances. However, if Julian somehow goes to the Bulls, resulting in my two favorite players on the planet playing on the same team...we won't get into that. Deal with it if it happens.

What has me most worried right now is the fact that I have not played a single round of golf yet this year. Not one. It's almost July! Usually by now I have paid off my season pass 1 1/2 times over. The reasons I can think of for this travesty are listed here:

1) No time due to working two jobs and studying. Least likely reason; I dealt with this time constraint last summer as well.

2) Other hobbies. I am still in noonball mode, and have been playing a lot of tennis, after not playing at all last summer. Softball and 5 on 5 league at the new "Rucker" take up a night each week as well. This reason is bullshit. There is no way that tennis should come before golf, and usually I scale back noonball as well.

3) I broke par my last round of the year in 2006. This could be the most likely reason, but it worries me the most. Breaking par has been my holy grail since I started golfing when I was 14 years old. Every round the last couple years (since it became a possibility) was geared around that. I had countless legitimate chances to do it, but choked every time, including the round in 2003 when I was -2 going into the last hole, only to drive my ball into the water, triple bogey, and then go home and try to slit my wrists with a golf tee. When I finally broke par last year, I knew I could relax and enjoy the winter. What I was not counting on was spring coming around and me failing to get the fever, which usually hits right after the Masters. I am last season's Pittsburgh Steelers, personified.

So it has me worried that I have not got the itch to go play; plus the fact that I am letting down my dad and others who want to enjoy one last summer of golfing with me before I move. I am scheduled to play a round tomorrow morning, but I would be lying if I said I was properly excited for it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vegas On My Mind

Went and saw Ocean's 13 last night. It was pretty good, still not near as good as 11, but much, much better than 12. Anyways, throughout the movie they showed multiple aerial shots of The Strip, and I could feel my heart rate increase every time. And as I predicted to Jill as we left the theater, I had trouble sleeping last night, and when I did fall asleep, I dreamt about playing blackjack in the high-roller area of Caesar's Palace.

I have always enjoyed gambling. First it was innocent one dollar bets on baseball games with my dad when I was 8 or 9 (remember Sid Bream scoring ahead of Bonds's throw? Yeah, that cost me a week's allowance.) Then it was college basketball pools, and random bets (usually with Dunph or Bergman) as I got older. Then I turned 18 and Gamblor (the feeling in our stomachs we would get when we wanted to go the casino, as coined by Mike Haley) took over. Our senior year of high school consisted of geting out of class at 12:30, jumping in Ike's truck and driving 100 mph to Mahnomen to make it there in an hour, gambling til 5, and racing back to make it to basketball by 6:30. A couple years later the poker craze hit, and I got the fever like everyone else in the country. After that cooled off, an online gambling account with Dunph and three trips to Vegas within 12 months ensued. This progression was all fairly predictable, and probably inevitable. With my personality, gambling was gonna be in my lifestyle. I probably enjoy gambling too much, but despite the recent shellackings that Vegas has handed out, I am still up money over my whole life, and I know when to quit (with a couple memorable exceptions.)

However, Vegas has undoubtedly taken it to a whole new level. I enjoy gambling, I enjoy drinking, I enjoy joking around and busting balls with buddies, and I enjoy bullshitting with random people. When all these things are together in one setting, it's no surprise I love Vegas as I do.

When I sift through this rambling and try to find my point, I guess it's this: I don't think I can wait for Ike's bachelor party next May. Vegas must come sooner.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jersey Love

Fantastic post by French on his favorite jerseys; see it if you haven't. Here's mine:

Honorable mention: Early 90's Portland Trail Blazers, Montreal Canadiens, the aforementioned Dallas Maverick jerseys designed by P. Diddy, the old Quebec Nordiques, and the 1998-2003 Kansas Jayhawks.

#10. Phoenix Suns. The Barkley era.

#9. Anaheim Mighty Ducks. I mean, it's an old-school goalie mask in the shape of a duck. Who knew purple and green went so well together? Gordon Bombay, apparently. Bonus points for this jersey being born in the Goodwill Games against the Iceland team.

#8. Ohio St. Buckeyes Basketball. The white and red ones are pretty cool, but the gray does it for me.

#7. Houston Astros. Unreal that this was an actual jersey. How could you play well wearing that?

#6. Michigan Wolverines Basketball. Specifically from the Fab 5 era. The jersey itself is decent, but this one ranks so high because without the Fab 5 introducing baggy shorts and all black shoes, who knows if we would be out of the nut-hugger era yet. And for that I am grateful.

#5. Atlanta Hawks. Just really, really cool. The Hawks need to go back to these, and quick. They haven't been good since they got rid of them. In a related story, the logo pictured below the jersey took me about 9 years to comprehend, for some reason. That thing was like a magic eye or a Where's Waldo for most of my childhood. Don't ask me why.

#4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That is the sweetest shade of orange ever, and any helmet featuring a orange-skinned, winking pirate with a knife in his mouth is OK by me. Did they have models audition for that helmet? Is there a guy who looks like that? If so, I want to meet him.

#3. Minnesota North Stars. Great colors, great logo.

#2. Denver Nuggets. Yes, the same Nuggets jerseys that French hated. Love the rainbow skyline that wraps all the way around, and the Rocky Mountains look downright majestic in those things.

#1. San Diego Chargers. I can't even begin to describe the awesomeness of these baby blue beauties. Every time I do a season with San Diego in Madden, it is guaranteed that they wear these throwbacks every game.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Shannon Stewart Didn't Just Break Up A No-No, He May Have Broken Up A Friendship

I just want to get this out, right now, right after it happened, so maybe the forgiving process can begin.

First of all, I found out the absolute WORST way to watch a potential no-hitter is by GameCast. Just excruciating. From the 7th inning on, every time the little bottom line gave the message "Incoming pitch has been hit into play" I suffered a minor stroke. By the 9th my eyes were an inch and a half away from the computer, both hands were pulling my hair, and I was tapping my feet and rocking back and forth like I was on speed. My dad's partner, on her way out the door, glanced over at me, did a double-take, and made sure I was OK. I wasn't, but I lied so she could drive home in relative comfort, not having to blame herself if the resulting brain anneurysm killed me.

So now there's two outs in the 9th, me on the edge of insanity, when Danny decides to give a call. Against every single shred of good judgement, I answer the call. I wish there was a black box or something to re-listen to this conversation:

Danny "Are you watching Sportscenter?"

Me "One more more out...whyaretheyshowingitonTVnow?noI'mintheofficewatchingitonGameCastit'sgonnahappenhe'sgonnadoit"

Danny "Yeah they're show- Ohhh my!!! Oh they just broke it up!!!"

Me "What?!?! Shut the fuck up!! Shut up! No he didn't!!!"

Danny "I'm serious I'm watching it right now!!"

Me "Shut up! Shut up! You're lying! Shannon Stewart?!?"

Danny "I don't even know who Shannon Stewart is-"

Me (as the GameCast catches up to real time) "No!! No way! No fucking way!!! YOU!! YOU DID THIS Danny! You did this! I'm hanging up now!!!!!"

End transmission.

So Daniel Vincent John Sondreal, you have blood on your hands. The blood of a Curt Schilling no-hitter. I will take partial blame for answering the phone in the first place; but nevertheless, I have already begun constructing my Kobe Bryant voodoo doll.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Noonball Rivalries

This post is for Jesse, Ricky, Chris, Danny, and the other Noonies who were discussing some of the best fights in my noonball career, and who I thought my biggest rivals were. So after some deliberation:

5. Z A new addition to the list. Impressive because he has really only been playing for a couple weeks. He is a football player for the Sioux, so his defense consists of shoulder bumps, two-hand pushes to the back, and just generally running into you when you are driving. When I (obviously) accidentally poked Danny in the eye going for a loose ball, he accused me of doing it on purpose. Also, he is the kind of guy who has absolutely nooo problem talking shit, even as he is getting lit up, like yesterday when he called Jerome Beasley a "D-League Mother Fucker" as Beasley was in the middle of destroying him.

4. Dr. Tony Even though we no longer have problems (see the post Turning Over A New Leaf from last October, I think) I have to include him on this list because of his ridiculousness when we were battling. The worst thing about Tony (and maybe the worst quality one can have at noonball) was that on the defensive end, he just mauls people. Every time. This is bad enough, but then, on offense, he calls EVERYTHING. At least with guys like Z you can bang him back and he won't call it on you. Tony's snapping point came pretty quickly, and he was a notorious shit-talker.

3. John He was probably one of the least popular guys in noonball history, due to his penchant for being everybody's coach, preaching tough D and smart shots, and then he would get the ball and jack up an airball 3 from the corner. However, he and I were destined to be enemies, stemming from both of us being a lefty and wearing a headband. He didn't appreciate me telling him to "shut the fuck up, stop being a coach, and make a fucking shot" a few years ago, and that was about the end of us being cordial to each other.

2. Joe Also a recent addition; we were never buddies, but apparently he has disliked me for some time, and it came to a head a couple of weeks ago. After he blew a 3-on-1 layup in a close game, both myself and Jim Beal got on his case. Now, if you're Joe, who are you gonna get pissed at: Jim Beal in full-on , pissed-off, tight game mode, or the skinny white guy who wears a headband and talks bigger than he is? Yeah, pretty much. The altercation ended with him being separated from me and yelling "I hate this guy! I HATE HIM!" as I can do nothing but laugh. Always good times when teammates have to be restrained. Jesse also happened to get this on tape; watch it if you get a chance. It's good stuff, and he doesn't pass me the ball for at least 20 possessions afterwards. He is the one in blue looking down at me with a look of total disgust. Keep in mind we're on the same team.

1. J.J. This is no shocker to anyone who plays at the 'Slop. I would like to think that over the years, our battles have been some of the most entertaining. I know that I love them, as I usually play better and tougher when he guards me. It has cooled over the last year, but I think his friendships with some of the other black guys (see: Joe) has effectively transferred his hatred of me to them. I am serious when I say that I am downright shocked that he has never punched me in the face before. He is without a doubt the scariest guy at noonball. He looks like Young Buck with a perma-sneer. He plays on the edge of Defcom 5 at all times. The smallest smirk or quietest comment after you score on him could be the one that makes him go Artest on you. Basically, he wants to push people around, talk shit, and intimidate people into playing like a pussy, and while some people let him do his thing, I usually remind him from time to time that he's an idiot.

That, in a nutshell, is the common denominator on this list. I can't keep my mouth shut when I see someone being a douchebag. I am never the instigator; I don't pride myself on talking shit. I hate it, actually, which is why I get sucked into it. I don't let it slide if someone is acting like a shithead. Guys will talk crap, I tell them to shut it; and there you go. This is why I have so many enemies at noonball. It doesn't hurt my feelings; I have plenty of friends at noonball as well. The ones who realize I am just wanting to win are the same ones who I hang out with outside of basketball.

Don't misconstrue this post as pride in my attitude on the court. I have tried to change it, it didn't work, so not everyone is gonna like me as a result. It is what it is, I guess. This post was merely the official answer to an ongoing conversation.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Rush, Bron-Bron, Fantasy Sox, And Beckett

Regarding Brandon Rush, I will take him back any way I can, torn ACL or no. A likely scenario has him back and game-ready in January, just in time for the Big 12 season. Nothing matters until March, anyway. I am fully aware that he would have still gone pro if not for this injury. I am fully aware that coming back is not his first choice. I am fully aware a lengthy, grueling rehab is upcoming. I am fully aware that this is not a feel-good, "I'm so excited to be a Jayhawk one more year, blah blah blah" situation. All that being said, this article remains one of, if not the worst, articles I have ever read in my life. What exactly is the criteria for getting articles posted on Note especially the absolutely meaningless paragraphs of garbage that begin with "Now for some perspective." Are you fucking kidding me? What is he even talking about? The more I think about this article, the angrier I get. I can totally picture this story being forwarded by a Schneweis brother with the subject line "Get a load of this fucker!" Unreal.

Give me a second while I flip the switch from bitter to upbeat....wait a second....little longer...OK. Lebron James. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That series was brutal besides watching Bron-Bron become a superduuuuuuperstar, and I have no other explanation other than divine intervention that the only time I made the decision to turn my TV to cable channel 59 to watch it was the beginning of the 4th quarter of Game 5. Triple AAA just arrived to pull my NBA Bandwagon out of the ditch, and when I told them that I don't have Triple AAA, they replied, "Don't worry, the NBA Gods are paying for it."

I absolutely loved Bowen's post on the non-Red Sox players he would love to see on the Sox, so here's mine:

C: Michael Barrett. He punched A.J. Piersyznski. Works for me.
1B: Nick Swisher. His nickname should be "Half Man, Half Toolshed."
2B: Ronnie Belliard...
SS: Jimmy Rollins. He and Belliard would turn the most gangsta double plays ever.
3B: David Wright. Kinda by default; not a ton of faves at the hot corner.
LF: Carl Crawford. I would take Soriano here, but I already used my Cub on Barrett.
CF: Torii Hunter. While everyone in the tri-state area is busy wacking it to either Mauer or Morneau, Torii continues to be the heart and soul of that team.
RF: Ken Griffey Jr. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Junior. No homo.
DH: Travis Hafner. Some North Dakota love.
SP: Dontrielle Willis. Fun to watch.
RP: Ben Weber. Before this year, I would've said Brendan Donnelly, but we got him, so now I'll take the other spaz from the Angel's 2002 bullpen.

No time for the rest of my pitching staff, I have to put my 4-7 "Watching Red Sox on TV" record on the line. I am especially excited, as I have yet to see Beckett pitch this year. However, given the way Schilling and Dice-K pitch when I'm watching, maybe I shouldn't be so pumped.