Monday, March 31, 2008

Final 4!!!!

Annnnnnd exhale. I guess I didn't expect it to be easy, but c'mon. If that shot goes in yesterday, I am in my car and halfway to Mexico by now. That might have been it for me. As it stands, we play arguably our worst game of the year (except for Sasha Kaun, he lived up to Lane's hype for the one of the few times this year. Be proud of your boy, Lane) and still advance to the Final 4. It was a gut-wrenching couple of hours, that's for sure. You could tell about 3 possessions in that we were gonna have one of those games where we almost seem like we're begging to lose. Let's hope we got that out of our system before next weekend.

We headed downtown a few hours before the game, to assure ourselves of a prime spot at Harbour Lights. I was starting to have some bad premonitions, the more people we talked to personally, and the more conversations we overheard. There was a lot of looking ahead to playing Carolina going on, like we had already beaten Davidson. I was guilty of this as well. Our whole reasoning for going downtown was so that we could join in the celebration afterwards. But things turned out OK, and the celebration afterwards was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Just an indescribable blur of hugging strangers, high-fiving people in cars as they pass by (until the amount of people in the streets completely shut traffic down), and yelling and cheering. I even crowd-surfed for the first time since the Sugar Ray concert/drinking debacle. Was that freshman year?

As we marched up and down Massachusetts street, Kyle and I did a fantastic job of running into a bar, buying giant beers, chugging them down 1/3 of the way, jamming them in our pockets and peg-legging it back to the street. Actually, I should say I did a good job of that; Kyle is probably still wringing beer out of his pants right now.

I gotta say, I don't understand the bracket standings. I had 7 of the Elite 8 teams correct, and all the Final 4 teams correct (I took a lot of shit from everyone telling me that all four 1 seeds couldn't do it; I told you they were the best four teams almost a year ago***) and yet there are three people ahead of me, all of whom had less of the Elite 8 teams and less of the Final 4 teams correct. How am I not in the lead? I guess I don't really care, though, if I end up winning, that means that KU didn't. So screw it.

I'm not even going to mention the matchup with He Who Must Not Be Named and North Carolina in the semifinals. Not yet. I'm not even close to being emotionally ready for that. For now I'm going to just enjoy the taste of Final 4 in my mouth right now. In case you're wondering, it tastes like a combination of day-old keg beer and coughed-up lung tissue, and it couldn't be more delicious. Days like yesterday are the reason I moved down here. Rock Chalk.

Me, Lane, Kyle, Kyle's mullet, and Jud. I had that same goofy grin on my face for about two and a half hours straight. Not pictured: the girl who got hit by a car sometime during all the chaos. What an idiot.

***That was my Memphis Tigers "We don't get any respect" impression. You suck, John Calipari.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Letter To David Padgett

Dear Mr. David Padgett:

Let me be the first to apologize on behalf of all Kansas Jayhawk basketball fans for our actions in the fall of 2003/spring of 2004. It was classless of everybody to treat you the way we did. To take a fresh-faced, eager-to-please 18 year old with a neatly-tailored game and equally neatly-gelled haircut, and mercilessly ride him until he chooses to transfer, well....that was just wrong. Our bad. I will say that I personally had no part in the newspaper trashing you, or your fellow students bad-mouthing you behind your back (and to your face, I'm told), but I am surely not innocent. I can recall many instances where I was sitting in my living room, screaming at you to get your head in the game. I am as guilty as anyone.


Let's get one thing out on the table, David: you were kind of a little bitch. Let's be honest. You were a highly touted McDonald's All-American. You always had your hair spiked and gelled. You looked like you had just arrived at the game straight from your frat's spring formal, and you acted like it too. You chose number 44, which, along with your physical appearance and on-court abilities, immediately reminded every KU fan of Eric Chenowith (if there is ONE player in KU's storied history you DO NOT want to be compared to, it's Eric Chenowith.) You picked up silly fouls and whined to the refs, then looked over to the bench with a confused expression; very similar to how one frat brother would look at another when it was taking an inordinate amount of time for the hot-but-shy freshman girl to start getting sleepy after you put roofies in her keg cup. You complained about Bill Self not letting you "play your game" which was being a face-up power forward. It is at this point that I will remind you that you are currently playing center, with your back almost exclusively to the basket, even when you catch the ball at the top of the key.

But all that is neither here nor there, David. That was yesterday, this is today. Yesterday you were a freshman struggling to find his niche, under the microscope, playing for one of the top programs in the country; today you are the most important player on an Elite 8 team coached by the legendary Rick Pitino. Yesterday you were a boy; today you are a Man. Yesterday we were at odds with each other; today we share a common goal. Today yourself and KU fans alike are united in wanting to beat Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Take out all your aggressions, which have been buried deep in your psyche for four years now, and unleash them on UNC. Take the faces of all those fans, classmates, boosters, and media who verbally tore you apart for the better part of 6 months of your life, and put those faces on your opponent tonight. That's not Ty Lawson coming into YOUR lane for a layup, that's the newspaper writer who called you softer than the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. That's not Tyler Hansbrough you're battling with for a rebound, that's the punk-ass kid in baggy jeans that told you that you "fucking sucked donkey dick, queer!" on your way to your Political Science class. Today is North Carolina's day of reckoning.

So do it David. Don't do it for me, don't do it KU fans all over the country, hell- don't even do it for Louisville. Do it for yourself. You've earned it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


"Appraisal Fees

Fees that you pay to find the fair market value of donated property are not deductible as contributions. You can claim them, subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit, as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040). See Deductions Subject to the 2% Limit in Publication 529 for more information.

Contributions to Donor Advised Funds

You cannot deduct a contribution to a donor advised fund after February 13, 2007, if:
The qualified organization that sponsors the fund is a war veterans' organization, a fraternal society, or a nonprofit cemetery company, or
You do not have an acknowledgment from that sponsoring organization that it has exclusive legal control over the assets contributed.
There are also other circumstances in which you cannot deduct your contribution to a donor advised fund.
Generally, a donor advised fund is a fund or account in which a donor can, because of being a donor, advise the fund how to distribute or invest amounts held in the fund. For details, see Internal Revenue Code section 170(f)(18).
Partial Interest in Property
Generally, you cannot deduct a contribution of less than your entire interest in property. For details, see Partial Interest in Property under Contributions of Property, later.

Contributions of Property

If you contribute property to a qualified organization, the amount of your charitable contribution is generally the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. However, if the property has increased in value, you may have to make some adjustments to the amount of your deduction."

The preceding is an excerpt from IRS Publication 526. I apologize to those of you who actually read that whole thing. I felt it was necessary. Regrettably, this is a clear-cut case of the actions of few resulting in the punishment of many.

Apparently, I have been writing too much about college basketball lately, according to a couple of female readers who shall rename nameless. Hey, it's mid-fucking-March, what do you want from me? You're reading the blog of a guy who didn't go to Cancun for spring break with all his roommates when he was 19 years old because he "didn't want to miss a single minute of Kirk Hinrich's last tournament run." What do you think I'm gonna be writing about right now? Here is a breakdown of what is running through my brain all day during March:


45%......College basketball

8%........My next chili cheese wrap from Sonic

1%.........Whether or not it would be appropriate to hang up a poster of Kelly Kapowski in my office

1%.........Everything else

So, ladies/non-college basketball fans, unless you want me to write about the deductability of energy-efficient improvements to building property, or the exclusion rate of employers' annual contributions to simplified employee pension plans, or how bad I want to bang Kelly Kapowski (which I'll probably write about anyway at some point) you may just have to deal with the college hoops for a bit. I'll leave you with this picture, which has been making the rounds through facebook/email. I think it's hiiiiii-larious, me being a Star Wars geek and all.

This is great partly because of the half-empty bottle of booze on the nightstand, like the Stormtrooper has been drinking himself to sleep every night. Additionally, Stormtrooper costumes are just awesome.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rise And Shine, Short One. Kung Fuuuu Today!

I'm now entering the brutal stretch where I spend four days thinking of all the flaws in KU's team, and all the different ways Villanova could pull an upset. To be honest, though, I'm pretty upbeat. We're playing well, we match up well with 'Nova, and Stephen Curry & the Davidson Family Band got rid of Georgetown for us, so I like the path KU has to hopefully make it to San Antonio. I am physically, mentally, and alcoholically spent from March Madness/work, so I'm not doing a huge breakdown of the first two rounds. Jon-Jon already did a wonderful job of that anyway. I'll give you a couple quick thoughts, though:

I don't generally blame refs for losses; it's a total bush league move. But for real, can UCLA get any more end-of-game bullshit calls in their favor? Sloan got crushed at the end of that game with no whistle. If you don't believe me, ask Jay Bilas. He never lies.

North Carolina looks really, really good. I'd say most impressive-looking teams so far goes 1) Carolina 2) Louisville 3) Davidson 4) Washington St. 5) KU.

That guy for Western Kentucky gets the 'bad-ass of the year' award with that triple-teamed 26 footer he made against Drake. He knew it was good as soon as it left his hands. Crazy.

Stephen Curry wanted to go to Virginia Tech coming out of high school, and they didn't want him. Remember that as Curry is averaging 35 a game and playing in the Sweet Sixteen, and Va Tech is shooting 37% in the NIT.

Has any team (in any sport) ever quit harder on a coach than Indiana did this year? The only team I can think of is James Van Der Beek and the West Canaan Coyotes, who literally refused to take the field until Jon Voight agreed not to coach the second half. Good lord.

It's awesome that Duke lost to West Virginia, but I would've loved for it to have been Belmont, just so Dunph could never, ever give me shit about Bucknell again. Unfortunately, Belmont forgot to practice inbounds plays this year.

"Commercial of the tourney that I see 11 times a day but still laugh at every time" is the one with the Sven guy in the turtleneck sweater who drives a scooter around the house and helps the family stay organized. Awesome.

Thank you Schneweis family for feeding me all weekend. Those who have ever seen me eat know that this is no small task.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

...You're Running For Your Life! You're A Shooting Star

I hope everyone is strapped in for what could be one of the best tourneys of our lifetime. There are plenty of teams that are very capable of going all the way. Here are the serious contenders, in my opinion, from least likely to most likely:

Just a disclaimer: I know that these are all great teams. The only reason I write negatively about most of them is because I'm trying to explain why I think they WON'T win the title.

Duke: I will give them some props, because they're much better than I thought they'd be before the year started. I don't see them making a Final 4 run, though. Smaller teams that live and die by the three almost never make deep runs in March. All it takes is one off night shooting, or one matchup against a dominant big man, to put Duke in bad shape.

Tennessee: Fun team to watch, great regular season team, no chance of winning a title. No way a team that resembles the Grand Forks Air Force Base city league team for at least one 5 minute stretch every game is winning the national title. It's almost like Bruce Pearl tells them during a TV timeout "OK guys, until the next huddle, you are allowed to play absolutely out of control, playground, Above the Rim-style basketball, but then you have to go back to running our offense. Promise?" It's all fine when their fast-break 1-on-3 three pointers and alley-oop dunks are working, but it's another thing when they're turning it over 6 times in a row and finding themselves on the wrong end of 14-2 runs to teams like Arkansas. Still scared of Chris Lofton, though.

Texas: After the unreal Big 12 championship game between Texas and KU, everyone is starting to pile on their bandwagon a bit, at least in part because lots of people are dying for a reason to pick against Memphis. I was driving the Texas bandwagon earlier this year, but if this makes any sense, I actually feel worse about them after that game than I was before. They played out of their minds, and still got beat by 10. I was more impressed earlier this year when they won at UCLA and hammered Tennessee. Either way, a team with wins over 3 top 5 teams has to be taken seriously. Add in the home court advantage in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Texas in the Final 4.

Georgetown: Big East teams are usually tough to beat in March, and this team is the prototype. Lots of seniors, lots of high-basketball I.Q. guys, lots of guys who know exactly what their role is and follow it to a T, without doing anything stupid. That's maybe one of the biggest compliments you can pay a college team. Even the best teams in the country are prone to doing dumb things, that's just the way it is when it's a bunch of 19, 20, and 21 year olds are playing basketball. But watch G'town play and count how many times you say "that was fucking dumb." It's not often. Just a tough out. I'll be just fine if someone feels like upsetting them before the Elite 8.

Memphis: Normally this is where I would go off on Memphis for not playing anybody good, Conference USA sucks, blah blah blah. Not true this year, they played a great non-conference sched. But don't worry, I still have problems with them. One is their free-throw shooting. You can't tell me that you can be one of the worst couple teams IN THE ENTIRE NATION at shooting free throws and that it won't haunt you in March. One of the funny things is that the guy who is most guilty of trying to convince me that it won't haunt them is their coach, John Calipari. Normally a coach is the first guy to point out his team's shortcomings. Well, at least good coaches. Not Mr. Calipari. He tells everyone who will listen that their free throws will be fine when it matters. So what happened in the one game they lost this year? Shitty free throw shooting down the stretch. This ties into my second reason they won't win the title: John Calipari. No doubt he can recruit, but I'll never take his teams seriously in March until he actually turns his talent into a championship, or at least more than an Elite 8. The last reason I don't think they'll win it all is their character. This is another reflection of their coach. When the coach whines/talks shit/takes shots at other coaches, well then, it's pretty clear how his players are gonna act. Watch Memphis's body language if the other team is going on a run, or if their shots aren't falling. It's brutal. What happens if they are in the Sweet 16 against Pittsburgh (a very mentally tough team) and Memphis gets down double digits early in the second half? Are they coming back from that? Maybe, but I'm not betting on it. You'd have to go back to the Larry Johnson-era UNLV team to find a bad character team that won a title. You can go far in the tournament (see: Fab Five) but you're not winning the whole thing.

Kansas: If I'm picking on pure basketball ability, KU is the best team in the country. They can put up 100 points without making a three pointer, grind it out on defense and win ugly, win with their guards doing the scoring, win with their bigs scoring, basically do everything you could ask a basketball team to do. Alas, it isn't just about that, especially in March. The last few years have been rough as this team has grown up. The first round loss to Bradley in '06 was excused because the core of the team were freshman and sophomores, and Bradley was a tough team from a scrappy conference. The elite 8 loss to UCLA last year was excused because, well, UCLA was just the better team. But this year, we are the better team. Anything less than a Final Four this year and the season will be considered a failure by many. You know the players are feeling this pressure, and as much as I love Bill Self, you can't say that his teams have responded particularly well to pressure. If this team proves to be mentally tougher than the last couple, I'd have to say that they would be cutting down the nets. Let's hope.

North Carolina: I'm more and more scared of this team every time I watch them. It seems like they are finally starting to play D now, which goes along nicely with their 85-points-a-game-offense. Hansbrough is going to get his points, and Lawson is going to do his thing (even if he isn't 100%), that's a given. Most games they play, that alone is enough to win. Their X factor is their outside shooting. It's what cost them in the second half of their Elite 8 game last year when they fell apart. I think the only way this team loses a game is if Ellington and Green are struggling, because there is no one else to hit 3's. This team is deep, talented, and motivated....

UCLA: ....But still not my favorite to win. Since last April, I've said this team was the scariest in the nation, and despite a few iffy games lately, I'm not ready to back off that statement yet. Forget Derrick Rose, I'll take Darren Collison any day. I think he's the best all-around point guard in the country (although Augustin is making it close.) If he is hitting his jumper he is unguardable. Their defense is stifling, their shooting is timely, and with both Collison and Westbrook to handle the ball, they rarely turn it over or take dumb shots. Kevin Love, only a freshman, plays with the level-headedness (probably not a word), smarts, and maturity of a fifth-year senior. This team isn't very deep, but every player in the rotation is skilled. Back-to-back final four trips don't hurt anything, either. This team won't be scared of any situation. And most of all, they find ways to win. Whether it's clutch play down the stretch, brutal foul calls in their favor, or illegal shots from behind the backboard, they just get it done. I'm more impressed that they win these close games than if they would just blow everyone out, because after the first round, there aren't too many blowouts in the tourney, and you're gonna have to win the ugly ones.

Only a couple of hours left.....has anyone else had the CBS college basketball theme song running through their head non-stop for the last 76 hours? Yeah, me neither.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Ball Is Tipped....And There You Are

We've got an online pool for March Madness set up now. Here's the address:

The password for our group is jamesleighton. I should point out that Noles created this group, not me, so I don't want to hear a bunch of shit about me making the password my own name. What the F Noles, get bent. Next time I create a league of some sort, the password is gonna be "I saw Noles dancing like Mark Madsen on top of Culligan's living room table with a questionable-looking girl we graduated high school with"

You'll have to create a CBS account first, settle down, it takes two seconds. Except it didn't for me because there's some other guy who has jimhammen as a user name. Probably some big douchebag. Or else maybe Jon-Jon? I wouldn't put it past him. Anyways join the group, especially those of you without facebook (the Schneweis brothers, Horp, French, Bowen, etc.) This will be our main vehicle for shit-talking for the next few weeks. At the risk of sounding really, really sexist, please no females in this group. You always fill in a bunch of garbage and make us feel like assbags when you beat all of us guys. Plus, you've got the facebook bracket to fill out. Except Jenna, you're pretty legit. All other females, I'm sorry, but if this was like 100 years ago, you wouldn't even be able to vote, and an online March Madness pool would be the least of your concerns. And thank God for that, right ladies?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Longest Three Days Of My Life Begin Now

Kyle and I made the short trek into Kansas City to watch the Big 12 Championship yesterday. It was, simply put, the best basketball game I've ever seen in person. Just a couple of teams hitting every shot they put up. D.J. Augustin is ridiculously good. Chalmers and Rush were unbelievable. Sasha is the man now in his newfound role of....not having to be the man. It was good for KU to win a tough, close game against a quality opponent. The only negative of the day was the lack of alcohol being sold in the Sprint Center. Lame...I was looking forward to the difficult decision of whether or not I was sober enough to navigate downtown KC and 35 miles of I-70 successfully. For the record, I would've been able to do it. Lots more thoughts on that game but no time. Knee jerk reactions to the brackets:

KU gets a great draw for the first time since I can remember. It seems like every year they get F'd somehow by the committee (last year it was being the one seed, yet having to play 2 seed UCLA in the elite 8 in San Jose. Have fun playing Texas in Houston this year, Memphis.)

That award, however, goes to Carolina. They got screwed pretty good, considering they're supposed to be the #1 overall seed. Tennessee/Louisville in the Elite 8, Indiana/Arkansas in the second round, not easy games. But at least they get to play in-state the whole time. Either way, fuck you Roy. I hope there is not a Carolina/KU final 4 matchup, for as fun as that matchup would be, some of my oldest friendships may be crushed in the aftermath. Just kidding....kind of. Is that bad?

Did anyone else see the look on Bobby Knight's face after Dickie V suggested that Knight take back his old job at Indiana, and hire Dickie V and Digger as his assistants? Classic. +4 bonus points for Bobby....which he promptly gave back by predicting Pittsburgh would go all the way. Good lord. Oh yeah and then Dickie V picked UNC as his champ. Weird. Looks like his Carolina/Duke coin came up heads this year. East is hardest region top-to-bottom, West is easiest (UCLA will walk to the Final 4) and South has most potential to be scary (I wouldn't want to play Pittsburgh or Texas right now.)

For the first time in my life, I may have all four 1 seeds going to the Final Four. I know it's gay, but I've been saying since last April that UNC, UCLA, KU, and Memphis were the four best teams in the country. I can't help it if I was right, bitches. Rock Chalk.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

All-Ugly Team 2007-2008

Forget the All-American teams. Here are some teams that don't win any nationally recognized awards, but they do win awards from me, which some might say is more prestigious. My mom would say that, anyway. These are subject to change, as I'll probably see a bunch of ugly dudes from some tiny 15 and 16 seeds in the tournament, and I haven't been able to confer with Fundy on these teams, for the first time in many years. For now:

The "Entourage on HBO" Team (I have NO IDEA what it is I like about you, but I just like you and I can't fight it anymore)

Wayne Chism - Tennessee
Juan Palacios - Louisville
AJ Abrams - Texas
Jeremy Pargo - Gonzaga
Patrick Ewing Jr. - Georgtown

The "Spencer from The Hills" Team (I know exactly what it is I don't like about you: you're a giant douchebag)

Bill Walker - Kansas State
Ramel Bradley - Kentucky
Levance Fields - Pittsburgh
Jonny Flynn - Syracuse
Robert Dozier - accepting on behalf of the entire Memphis roster

The "Don't even look at me the wrong way, bitch. I've fucked guys bigger than you in prison" Team (Bad-ass tough guys)

Joey Dorsey - Memphis
Patrick Patterson - Kentucky
Shaun Pruitt - Illinois
James Gist - Maryland
Bambale Osby - Maryland

"When you're in my house, I better not catch you peeing standing up, aight? You sit down when you pee!"

The "Fat girl at the bar on St. Patty's Day" Team (You're kinda scary- I don't want to run into you in March)

Chris Lofton - Tennessee
Wayne Ellington - North Carolina
Darren Collison- UCLA
Michael Beasley - Kansas State
Stephen Curry - Davidson

The "All-Rudy" Team (white guys who wrongly convince other white guys that they could be good at Division I sports, too, if they just try really, really hard)

Tyler Hansbrough - North Carolina
Luke Harongody - Notre Dame
Kevin Love - UCLA
Drew Neitzel - Michigan St.
David Padgett - Louisville

And finally, the All-Ugly Team 2007-2008:

Kyle Singler - Duke (GEEK)
Steven Hill - Arkansas (Fabio hair + homeless man beard)
Sasha Kaun - Kansas (uncoordinated Russian, plus he grew a brutal half-fro, only cause the black guys on the team tell him that it looks 'cool', then bust out laughing as soon as he leaves the room)
Bryan Davis - Texas A&M (Brontosaurus-head)
Deron Washington - Virginia Tech (he'd be starting if he hadn't cut his shitty hair)
Tyler Hoffmeister - Texas Tech (might be 43 years old)
Nick Calathes - Florida (might be 11 years old)

Starting 5:

Russell Robinson - Kansas. Looks like his dad was an alien and his mom only made it out of Ethiopia because some family gave Sally Strothers 39 cents a day to feed her.

Drew Naymick - Michigan St. I don't usually put red-heads on the team, as Fundy and I determined long ago that if you open up that Pandora's Box, you'll end up with nothing but bench-sitting red-heads dominating the All-Ugly team every year. But still....

Esmir Rizvic - Texas Tech. Looks like this was taken in a Kazahkistan prison. Is this the town rapist that Borat was talking about?

Tajuan Porter - Oregon. I almost didn't put him on the team, because it's already mean enough to make an All-Ugly team. I shouldn't need to take it a step further by making fun of people's deformities. But seriously......WHAT IS GROWING ON HIS EAR?!?!

Lorenzo Mata-Real - UCLA. For the most part, as All-Ugly teams go, this isn't that bad of a team. There's no Joakim Noah, Adam Morrison, Shelden Williams, James Augustine, etc. etc. However, all those teams didn't have this guy, who I am ready to crown captain of the All-Century Ugly team right now with no questions asked:

When he had his nose broken a couple years ago, he became the first person in human history to actually look better with the mask on. For real.

Here's wishing everyone a happy Selection Sunday. May everyone's team get a high seed, a region close to home, and a matchup with a Big Ten team.

Seriously, the Big Ten sucks.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The All-Random Team

Maybe it's because it's mid-March, or maybe it's because I've watched 20 years' worth of "One Shining Moment" in the last week, but either way I've got college basketball on the brain. So now I'm going to take it out on you.

Here are my favorite college basketball players of all-time, the only criteria being no KU players, and no players who went on to "star" in the NBA. As soon as I started thinking about it, one thing led to another, and pretty soon I had three teams plus honorable mentions. I really wanted to find a spot for Luke Schenscher somewhere on this list, since nightmares of him cause Jon-Jon to snap awake in the middle of the night; covered in sweat and yelling out loud, "C'mon, Coach! Can we start doubling or something?!? Where's my fucking weakside help? I'm getting killed down here!" Alas, there wasn't any room for him.

Honorable Mention:

Julius Hodge (NC State), Mike Gansey (West Virginia), Harold Arceneaux (Weber St.), Carmelo Travieso (UMASS), Shammond Williams (UNC), Walter McCarty (Kentucky), Rodney Rogers (Wake Forest), Luther Head (Illinois), Taquan Dean (Louisville), Shaheen Holloway (Seton Hall), Exree Hipp (Maryland), Miles Simon (Arizona), Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga), Anderson Hunt (UNLV), Charlie Ward (FSU), God Shammgod (Providence), Darvin Ham (Texas Tech), Kris Clack (Texas), Lawrence Moten (Syracuse)

3rd Team
G- Tony Delk - Kentucky '96
G- Khalid Reeves - Arizona '94
F- Chris Porter - Auburn '00
F- Dontae Jones - Mississippi St. '96
C- Yinka Dare - George Washington '94

2nd Team
G- Randolph Childress - Wake Forest '95
G- Travis Diener - Marquette '05
F- Rico Hill - Illinois St. '99
F- Kenny Thomas - New Mexico '99
C- Devin Davis - Miami of Ohio '97

1st Team

G- Jason Kapono - UCLA '03

G- Khalid El-Amin - UCONN '00

F- Scotty Thurman - Arkansas '95

F- Kerry Kittles -Villanova '96

C- Loren Woods - Arizona '01

Happy Championship Week. Rock Chalk.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Rundown

Here's a transcript of last Friday night, not soon to be forgotten by its particpants:

Bergman, Sara, Alex and I eat dinner at joe schmo's. I start out with $1.50 PBR's with my turkey sammage. It's fucking game time.

We meet Lane, Skye, Jud, and Jud's buddy Dustin at Sandbar, one of my favorite watering holes in Lawrence. We have proven, multiple times, that it is impossible for us to drink there in a constructive manner.

First round of drinks for me: skinny pirate. This is the second time I've met Dustin, and it's been driving me absolutely insane trying to figure out who he looks like. Stay tuned.

Lane makes it clear that the techno ball is NOT coming out tonight (foreshadowing.)

Second round of drinks: skinny pirate. Make that a double. And a shark attack. The pilot just turned on the fasten seat belt light.

Jud, Bergman, Skye, Sara and Alex go play darts. Lane, Dustin, and I take the jukebox hostage. I am disappointed that there is no Wu-Tang among the selections. There is, however, Apache by the Sugarhill Gang. You better believe that is getting played, and quick.

Third round of drinks: two double skinny pirates and a shark attack. Hey, if I'm going up to the bar, I might as well maximize my trip, right?

I jokingly brag to Dustin that I have a pretty bad-ass dance for Apache. He tells me to prove it. I tell him I will if it plays again that night...(foreshadowing.) He also has a Wu-Tang background set for his phone. Word up.

Bergman wanders over from the dart board with darts in hand. He offers me three chances to hit the board from where I stand by the bar (about 25 feet, a couple of stairs, and a doorway stand between me and the dart board.) $100 a throw. Forgetting about the time when I was 17 and a carney took $180 from me, 5 bucks at a time, I am ready to accept. The bartender, sensing what was going on, assures us that won't be necessary. Would the bar be liable if I plugged an innocent patron in the forehead with a dart? C'mon, I was three-time all state. I can put those darts wherever I want. I'll make it rain in here.

Next round of tasties: two double skinny pirates, a shark attack, and a beer. It's a slippery downhill slope, friends...and I'm on a double black diamond tonight.

I play The Macarena on the jukebox, then immediately announce to the entire bar when it comes on that it was Lane who played it. Everyone turns on him. I start a "It's all your fault!" chant, which is always fun. I am delighted by this, as it is precisely the kind of stunt that Lane would pull on me. I am running around the bar now, telling any stranger that would listen that I "out-Laned Lane." Sara, Alex, and Skye stand on their bench and dance to some dumb Hurricane theme song that sucks. They give you directions on the TV screen on how the moves go, but that shit is harder than Dance Dance Revolution.

Shazam! I finally realize who Dustin reminds me of: Billy Madison's third grade buddy, the one who pees his pants on the field trip. Now all I have to do is make it through the night without pointing at him and yelling "You had an accident? What's that supposed to- GOOO!!!!"

Apache comes on again, somehow. I turn on Dustin, "What the fuck! Are you kidding me?" He reminds me that I am the one who re-played it. Bergman and I dance Apache. Video is is my self-respect.

We discover that Jud currently has a challenge going where he must get laid before his roommate. He tells us any help is welcome, and he, um, won't be too picky tonight. Not 3 minutes later I plop myself down at a table of about 8 moms, out celebrating one of the ladies' 38th birthday. My opening line: "Raise your hand if you want to be shamelessly flirted with by a guy at least 12 years younger than any of you!" The two ladies nearest me raise their hands. Gaaaaame oooooooon!!!! Inside my head, Wayne and Garth are dragging the hockey net into the street.

A few minutes later Lane and Jud wander by and try to inject themselves into the group. Not right now, chief. I'm in the fuckin' zone. Then I remember I am only doing this to get Jud laid, and my girlfriend is less than 20 feet away. I let Jud take over.

Behind the bar is a surfboard with three shot glasses glued to it. Apparently they are called "shot-skis." Lane, Bergman, and I do one of those. And another. And another. I'm now drinking vodka beers for the first time since freshman year, on top of everything else.

Skye's purse is starting to rattle on the table a little bit. Could that be.....techno ball? I thought that wasn't coming out tonight? I just lost a buck. To myself.

I participate minimally in techno ball. Between our group and all the randoms that want a part of the madness, things are in good hands. I begin unabashedly hitting on less fortunate looking girls, as Jud has not fared so well with the table of Cougars.

Lane exacts his revenge for the Macarena incident when, introducing ourselves to some randoms, he says his name is Adam Banks. Now anybody who has grown up with me, drank with me, hell- people who have no idea who I am but have read this blog- everyone knows my fake name is Adam Banks. I am caught completely off guard, and in no state of mind to be making up names on the spot. I stammer and mumble for a bit before saying my name is Chip. The ladies aren't buying that shit, and I strike out looking. Ballgame. Lane is pleased.

Now things get interesting. I begin talking to a girl. A little hazy now, but I think her name is Lauren. She is not good-looking. She is only an inch shorter than me, and she's got me by 25-30 pounds, easy. I would say that when she was getting ready to go out tonight, she smeared makeup all over a shovel, lit her face on fire, and then put out the fire by beating herself in the face with the makeup-covered shovel. Needless to say, I am hitting on her for Jud's sake. She is getting a little aggressive. She smells my fake interest like a shark smells blood in the water, which is ironic because I am desparately trying to bury my face in my fifth shark attack at the moment.

Sara tells Lauren that I have a girlfriend, and that she is standing very close to me. Lauren is not happy. She turns to me and says, "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me...if I was angry." At least that's what I think she says, because I can only picture her as the Incredible Hulk at this point. Things are escalating quickly. I mean, really getting out of hand fast. I figure that before I see a man on fire, and Brick kills a guy with a trident, and Ron Burgundy advises me to stay with a relative or lay low in a safehouse of some sort, that we better get out of there. Too late: Alex is pissed. While this is a worse alternative for my short-term future, this is a much, much safer alternative for my long-term physical health. At least if it came down to it, I could beat Alex in a fistfight. I cannot say the same about Lauren.

Once home, Sara has to be carried in to our apartment from the car. Alex and I have our first 'domestic dispute' since moving in together. I fire up the playstation (hey, I had a big series against the Braves, and Dontrielle was pitching!) and have a one-man slumber party in the Fortress of Solitude.

Upon further review:

Even if you're only hitting on: a) much older ladies, b) mediocre-looking girls, or c) a possible transvestite with anger management issues; and even if you're only doing it on behalf of a buddy who needs to win a bet, it's probably not a great idea to do it while your girlfriend is present.

People HATE the Macarena (unless it's a wedding, I guess, because the dance floor is always packed when that song comes on.) The backlash against Lane when people thought he played that song was shockingly severe.

I wish I would've had Dustin going up to girls and asking, "Miss Vaughn, do you like anyone from class, like, more than a friend?" And then the girl would've looked at him all weird and I could've screamed, "YOU BLEW IT!" Man I love Billy Madison.

Dontrielle owns the Braves. The next day I thought I remembered being pissed because I gave up a 9th inning homer to lose the game, but I went back and checked stats, and the D-Train through a 3-hit shutout. Whoops.

Lane's reasoning for why our tabs were so huge at the end of the night: "They charge extra for your babysitting fee and your cougar license."

Sara does a pretty good Lauren impression:

We still can't drink responsibly at Sandbar.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Free Advertisement

Here at the Lawrence Community Recreational Center, you may not be able to play an organized game of pickup basketball; or take two dribbles in any direction without bumping into someone who is most likely handling a basketball for the first time in their life....but if you're looking for a place to shoot some hoops amidst a gigantic clusterfuck of 10-year-olds in Mario Chalmers jerseys (who hope to be like Mario Chalmers someday), 20-year-olds in Tracy McGrady jerseys (who think they are Tracy McGrady), and 30-year-olds in Anfernee Hardaway jerseys (who think Anfernee Hardaway is still good)...then we are the Rec Center for you!

Relax, don't worry about the 45-year-old wearing camo pants and army boots who hits the floor every time there is a loud noise, or the 75-year-old gentleman in the purple sweatshirt and purple sweatpants hoisting up half-courters, or the three Renaissance Era jugglers tossing bowling pins to each other just a few feet away from the main's all just a part of the family-like atmosphere you'll enjoy here at the Lawrence Community Recreational Center. When we say "Open Gym", we MEAN IT!

Don't laugh, this kid was my teammate in 2-on-2 and we held the court for like 7 games in a row. Granted, we were playing against a guy who looked and dressed like the ghost of Jacob Marley, paired with a 14-year-old pushing 300 pounds...but either way, that little bastard can shoot.

It's Friday afternoon, my head is overflowing with numbers, it's time to get special-sauced and watch college basketball all weekend. Holler at your boy when you see him in the street.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Here's a story from today's GF Herald: Lucky Shot.

OK I know that roughly 95% of you didn't just click that link, because you're all lazy bastards. A recent online survey reported that 95% of all internet surfers are "lazy." However, there is a large margin of error, as only about 17 people took the time to click the link and fill out the online survey.

Regardless, I will now reward your laziness by just telling you the gist of the story. Basically, one of my dad's cop buddies invited him to come fire off a couple of rounds at the police department's gun range. My pops went in the back door, sort of a VIP entrance type of thing, and while he was waiting for his buddy to come get him, he dropped his box of ammo and a round went off. Now I'm not a hunter, and I'm only a wannabe gang banger, so I don't really know how guns work, but apparently that's like a one-in-a-million occurrence.

So a bunch of cops come flying at him, guns drawn, screaming, yada yada yada. They cuff my dad and keep him under custody until they recover the slug, investigate it, and determine that it indeed hadn't been fired from a gun. The news and paper get a hold of it, there's a huge mob at the door, and so the cops sneak him out the back to avoid the crush. The media still got some footage though, so my pops was featured on the news for a hilarious story.

The first article in the GF Herald online (posted last night) was pretty bush league, but the one I linked (from this morning) is pretty tame. The first article made my pops out to be a somewhat shady dude, and insinuated that his story could be bullshit. It featured quotes from the police Captain such as "at this point, this supports his story" which at first pissed me off. Like there's a fucking ongoing investigation! They found the slug, it hadn't been shot, he had a permit for his gun, he had numerous friends in the police department vouching for him, and he was released without further incident. Case closed. Get bent, Captain.

But then I realized how easy it is to be biased in these situations. If I had just been reading some random online article from Bumblefuck, Vermont, I would've first told myself to get a life and stop reading online newspapers from imaginary towns in New England, and then I would've been like "yeah sure, buddy, you 'dropped the box of ammo.' Haha, what a douchebag." But since this was about my dad, I was getting slightly offended at the report, so I had to laugh. Then they cleaned up the story this morning anyway. I haven't seen the actual paper, but judging on how it was the top story on the online version, I'm guessing this was front page news, which says a little something about GF, too.

Apparently my pops was hassled a bit by the Capt. once they found out he belonged to a motorcycle club, and listening to him bitch about this was, I think, the funniest part of the story. He was angry that he was being pigeonholed as a potentially bad guy since he belonged to an "outlaw motorcycle gang" and was upset that these clubs still had negative connotations attached to them. His best quotes:

"I mean, c'mon, it's not 1965 anymore, and we're not the Hells Angels."

and this doozy, which nearly made me hit the floor laughing:

"Now I know how black people feel."

Oh shit I died laughing at that. My dad, leading the motorcycle club member civil rights movement. What a dork. Love ya, big guy.

Annnnyway Big Jack is really, really embarrassed by the whole thing, so if you are still in the Greater Grand Forks area, you should absolutely take advantage of this and make fun of him every chance you get.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Horp Or Scheyer?

The game is simple: each one of these pictures is either Duke sixth man Jon Scheyer.....or Horp. Which is which?

I'm sorry Horp, I just can't get over this. Blame Stenj for putting these pics up in the first place.

1. Horp.....or Scheyer?

2. Horp....or Scheyer?

3. Horp.....or Scheyer?

4. Horp.....or Scheyer?

5. Scheyer working out for some scouts from San Antonio......or Horp and Stenj being Horp and Stenj?

6. Horp at Halloween last year....or Scheyer being mocked on a website?

1. Scheyer
2. Horp
3. Scheyer
4. Horp
5. Horp
6. Scheyer

My main man MyShawn has now been inserted into the 12 hole in the batting order. MyShawn is one of most randomly funny people I've ever met, as well as "top 5 best people to go to a strip club with." To clear up beforehand any questions anyone might ask, "MyShawn" stems from when I first introduced him to noonball, and there was already a Shawn that played there, so he became "MyShawn" since he usually came with me. That and you can pretty much put anything in front of Shawn these days and it counts as a name: Keyshawn, Tayshaun, Rayshawn, Marshawn, etc. etc. This is leading to me naming my first kid BigPapiShawn, regardless of whether it's a boy or girl. Anyways, give him a look.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Duke vs. The Yankees

While bullshitting about sports at the bar a while ago, an interesting argument was brought up: Who is your least favorite team, all-time, any sport? I realized I couldn't answer right away, and have been pondering it in my head for a while now...Duke....or the Yankees? The scoring system is more points = more hated.


For this category, I'm counting Joe Torre as coach of the Yanks. He was in charge for most of the years in question (1990-present) so I'm not counting Joe Girardi or Buck Showalter here. So you've got Torre, an all-around likeable guy, who struggled before coming to New York. He's the kind of guy who I would love to have as coach of the Red Sox, at least before Francona hit his stride. Then you've got Coach K. Pretty classy, and his old Sega game was pretty badass...but there's just something about him that bugs me....oh yeah, he's a robot who hasn't aged since 1986. He bitches an inordinate amount to refs. And a large percentage of his players go on to have shitty pro careers. On an unrelated note, Big D does the greatest impression of Coach K whining to a referee in human history. If you disagree...I will fight you.

On a personal level: The Duke fans I know (Dunph, Noles, Jenna, MyShawn) aren't too annoying (Dunph being the large exception, get bent you doucheface), and for the most part, I can sit back and giggle while they argue with Carolina fans (Fundy, Horp, Bergman.) However, I have had plenty of unnecessary, stupid, drunk arguments with Yankee fans, simply because I'm wearing a Sox hat. The only real Yankees fan I know is Brett Larson's dad, and he's cool about it; we always talk good-natured shit.

On a stereotypical national level: Yankee fans are dirty goombahs with shitty facial hair and ugly girlfriends; Duke fans are nerdy rich kids who are good at math and occasionally wet the bed still. Both teams have a knowledgable, highly supportive crowd at home games. I suppose being a Sox fan gives me more issues with Yankee fans.

"To answer your question: No, I don't really know what The Shocker is, because I haven't ever really "fooled around" with a girl before. I just see a lot of people doing this in pictures on MySpace and have always thought it looks really cool. Plus it combines with my facial expression to really give off that 'I'm a gigantic douchebag' vibe that I'm going for. Hey, do you wanna read some of my poems? No? Fine, I gotta go anyway, me and Adam Morrison have a date to play some online Halo."


Similar here. In my lifetime, the Yankees have been good since about '95, and they've been really good. 9 straight division titles, a bunch of World Series titles, always an outstanding record, generally owning the Sox as well. You just know that they're making the playoffs somehow, someway, every single year. However, the last few years, starting with Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, they've become chokers in the playoffs. This has been enjoyable to watch.

Duke has been good since Terminator K-1000 failed to kill John Connor and instead accepted the head coaching job at Duke. A few titles (including one over KU in '91) a bunch of final fours, and an obscene amount of #1 or #2 seeds in the tourney. When they don't make the Sweet 16 it is a huge deal. However, one of those years was last year, and they have only 1 final four in the last six. I wouldn't say they've been choking, but they haven't been living up to their lofty expectations. One wrinkle in this category is that both sports' postseasons are more fun when they are involved. If my team is eliminated, the next best thing is rooting against one of them. Since the Sox have kind of reversed their fortunes against the Yanks lately, and they are now owners of the biggest choke job in sports history, and KU has only beat Duke once in the tourney since I started watching college hoops, Duke gets the slight edge.


Maybe my favorite category. No shortage for either side. Duke has JJ Redick, Christian Laettner, Danny Ferry, Steve Wojoadflkajfldski, Shavlik Randolph, Bobby Hurley, Lee Melchionni, Greg Paulus, and Josh McRoberts (awaiting membership: Kyle Singler, Craig Horp- I mean, Jon Scheyer.) Just an absolute murderers' row of geeky/cocky white dudes. Not to say that there aren't some black guys that I have hated (Gerald Henderson, Shelden Williams, etc.) but the white guys carry the load here. There is also the aforementioned Coach K and his assistant coaches, who come across as a Frat brother and his freshman pledges. I mean, really, Coach K, you can't even do your own interviews, you make Johnny Dawkins do them?

"Coach K, we did it! We did it! I love you, Coach. You're the greatest."

"I love you too, Wojo. Now go pull my car around front and pick me up, you little bitch."

"Wh-uhhh, what, Coach?"

"You heard me, Pledge! You wanna be an assistant coach someday, don't you?!"

"Well, yeah, I just-"

"Then go pull up my FUCKING CAR!!!"

The Yankees have a couple of different categories of annoying. There are the players that I would hate no matter who they played for: Gay-Rod (shocker, I know), Jorge Posada, Roger Clemens, Paul O'Neill, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Mussina, Derek Jeter, Joba Chamberlain. Then there are those who I only hate because they play(ed) for the Yankees: JOHNNY DAMON, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams.

For each team, there are only a couple of players I have ever liked. Duke has Grant Hill and Thomas Hill. The Yanks have Robinson Cano and Alfonso Soriano.

For what it's worth, my least favorite NBA player (Kobe) was going to Duke if he didn't go straight to the pros. Just sayin'.

My first thought was to give Duke the point here, but then I realized that a lot of their players are such dipshits that I just laugh at them (case in point: Greg Paulus), whereas I hate guys like Gay-Rod, Posada, etc. with a burning passion, to the point that I am literally furious when they succeed.

Yeah, Horp, sorry that you got jacked in the face, that totally sucks. But, and don't take this the wrong way.... but maybe if you stopped getting shitfaced, going to some innocent family's house thinking that it's yours, and proceeding to beat the crap out of the front door until the police are called, then things like this wouldn't happen....


Rather big for both sides, but in different ways. The Yankees get more coverage since they are on the east coast, they are always good, they have a million fans, and they are more interesting. But it's not like the media is slanted towards them. If anything, they get cut less slack and get ripped in the media more than a normal team, since their payroll is so huge. You can watch a Yankees game on ESPN and the announcers will actually call the game.

Now, Duke.....Holy shit. When I was 8 years old and just loving the announcers at their face value, Dick Vitale was the bomb. Always yelling, saying funny stuff, has a genuine excitement for the game...he was the best. Now I've grown up and I actually listen to what he's saying, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more biased announcer in the history of sports media. And of course he has brought Mike Patrick along for the ride. Listening to those two get hard while commentating Duke games is disgusting.


Duke gets more favorable calls from referees than any team in any sport, and I won't argue about that. It's a fact. However, I don't want any comments from Bergman (or any other UNC fan that may comment) on this topic. ACC refs in general play favorites towards the big name schools. Listening to UNC fans complain about the refs favoring Duke has always drove me nuts; it's like going to 'Dude, Where's My Car?', sitting next to Hayden Christensen in the theater, and listening to him complain about how bad of an actor Ashton Kutcher is.

The Yankees have caused more damage to me personally than Duke. Duke made me cry when I was 8, when they beat KU in the championship. The Yankees sent me into a "Michael Douglas in Falling Down" type meltdown after the Aaron Boone homer in 2003. Alcohol played a major role here, but still...

Don Zimmer charging Pedro in the 2003 ALCS, then everyone making Pedro out to be worse than Hitler for tossing him to the ground. Actually, that was pretty bad. I still blame Zimmer, though.

Gerald Henderson basically punching Tyler Hansbrough in the face and breaking his nose, then Coach K defending him, and going on to blame Roy by saying Hansbrough shouldn't have still been in the game anyway.

Roger Clemens throwing the piece of bat at Mike Piazza.

Christian Laettner stomping on the Kentucky player's chest, not getting tossed or even T'd up, and then hitting his miracle buzzer beater later that game.

Derek Jeter unnecessarily diving headfirst into the stands to make his catch of a foul pop-up look really badass.

"Hey, Jeets, what's up, buddy? You hurt your arm yesterday or somethin?"

"Oh yeah, crazy story actually. I was playing catch with my nephew in the driveway, and one of his tosses got away from him a little bit, and after I ran the ball down- totally sweet catch, by the way, you should've seen it- my momentum carried me right into the street and I got hit by a car!"

"Your nephew is like 7, isn't he?"

"Yeah, but what can I say? Kid's got an arm on him. And besides, what could I have done, let the ball get by me? No way! Uhh, last time I checked, the name on the back of my jersey says Jeter. Well, actually, we don't have names on the back of our real jerseys, but yesterday I was wearing my custom-made Jeter jersey I ordered off the internet. Only $8 a letter, and now I have my own Yankees jersey that actually has my name on it. It's pretty awesome, I gotta be honest with you. Anyways, I'm Derek Jeter, bro! I gotta make that catch no matter what! And don't worry, I popped right up after I got hit by that car and ran the ball back in to my nephew. I even felt good enough to get a pretty fucking sweet fist pump in there, too. He was pretty impressed, I could tell. I dunno, just watch SportsCenter tonight, it'll probably make the top 10 or something."

"Holy cow! What a story! You really do have the heart of a champion. I would never have gone after the ball like that! I would've let it go by, and then just make sure I hit a three-run homer my next time up. Unless it was, like, a close game and it was after the 6th inning. Then I probably would've popped up or something. I guess that's why New York loves you and hates me, huh buddy? Hahahaaaaa......good stuff, Jeets. Good stuff."

"What about you? Your arm looks a little sore, too."

"Oh, my arm? Not really a big deal, I guess....I was in a pretty intense circle jerk last night. Things got pretty aggressive. Good time, though."

The Duke fans using a 'cheer sheet' to make fun of opposing players. You're all a bunch of 4.0 students, but you can't heckle somebody without writing it down and studying first? Let's go, it's not your AP Trig mid-term, it's saying mean things to another human being who isn't allowed to say anything back.

Gay-Rod slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's hand in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, and his reaction of complete innocence afterwards.

Shelden Williams' face, Shane Battier's Ripplehead.


And so it appears we're all tied up. If only I had some sort of tiebreaker.....

Yep. That'll do. Santa-Rod? No thanks. Final score: Yankees 9, Duke 8.