Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Say Hello To My Little Friends

JonJon and I have a running email game, simply called "Why I Love Youtube." And we don't throw that term around loosely. We save it for the most ridiculously awesome youtube clips we find- so every time I receive an email from him and see that in the subject line, I buckle up, because I know it's gonna be good. I stumbled across this video last night, and right after making it my latest entry in the "Why I Love Youtube" library...I realized it's better than that. It needs to be seen by more than just JonJon.

First, the clip.

Things that are awesome about this video:

- The kid playing Tony Montana's accent (surprisingly good, probably because he really is Cuban) and his scar (pretty decent, that school's drama department must have a sizable budget.) I would have called it a four-star performance, except he totally butchered the "Say hello to my little friend!" line. Maybe next time, when his school performs The Godfather: Part II or Heat.

- The gratuitous use of "Mother fudger" and other curse word substitutes. (Best ones: when the Michelle Pfeiffer character stands up and screams "You son of a B!" and when Tony Montana grabs his gun and yells "OK Sosa, you wanna fudge with me? Then you fudge with the best!")

- The huge pile of popcorn on Tony's desk, representing cocaine. If that comparison was realistic, then that would make me the biggest cokehead on the planet.

- The plastic toy guns with sound effects.

- The "security cameras", i.e. dry erase board, showing the rebels laying siege on his house. Combined with the stuffed tiger sitting on the floor, it's surprisingly good attention to detail for a kindergarten re-enactment. Did they hire Brian de Palma as a consultant?

- The character of Tony Montana's sister comes in for just one line: "Fudge you, Tony!" And then she gets shot. Classic.

- When I saw this for the first time last night, it only had 192 views. It is officially blowing up today. It's exciting to get in on the ground floor of something, even if it's only youtube. I feel like by writing this, I'm selling stock in a dotcom in 1998 or something.

- After watching this, I'll never be able to watch Scarface the same way again. Is this real? Did some school REALLY do this? What was their next choice, Eyes Wide Shut? Goodfellas? Showgirls? Hostel? On what level is this appropriate? Do I need to be worried about my future kids doing this kind of stuff in school? What the shit?

My mind is officially boggled. This really is why I love youtube.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Sold My Dead Bird To A Blind Kid?

This happened almost two weeks ago, but between the ol' booze-brain that night, and March Madness starting shortly after, I kinda forgot about it:

So JonJon, Schne, Alex and I are hitting the sauce at Louise's West and talking about random stuff, and the conversation turns to fake names (shocker, one of my favorite topics.)

Me: I've been using Billy Enforsee a lot lately. It's kinda awesome, but nobody really gets it.

Schne: Who?

Me: Billy Enforsee....from Dumb & Dumber.....the blind kid that they sell Petey to? Remember?

Schne: Ohhh Billy! Wait, how do you know his last name? Do they say it in the credits?

Me: No, dude. They say it in the movie....you know...."How did you raise 25 bucks?"...."I sold some stuff. To Billy Enforsee....."

~everyone at the table exchanges confused glances~

Schne: You mean Billy, in 4C?

~now it's my turn to look confused for a couple seconds~

Me: Wait, what....

~entire table explodes into laughter, I have no choice but to join in~

The funniest thing is I have watched this movie, at my best estimate, about 125 times. There is no movie in my life that I have watched (or will watch) more than this one. I wrote about it in more detail a long time ago, but at one point in my life I could recite the entire movie from start to finish. And never once, not even ONCE, did the thought even enter my mind that the blind kid's name was Billy in 4C. I didn't take into account that they lived in an apartment building. I didn't think about how the odds were pretty low that they would know the kid's last name (earlier in the movie, Harry calls Mrs. Neugeboren "Mrs. Noogieburger", and Lloyd shows off his last name-remembering-abilities later in the movie....."Samsonite! I was way off! Knew it started with an S though.")

So now I'm wondering if this becomes one of those all-time dumb things you say, that all your friends can make fun of you for like 20 years about. (Currently, I only have one under my belt: when I was around 16 or 17, Bergman, Brother and I saw a commercial for one of those cash tornado booths, where the person is trying to grab as many swirling dollar bills as they can in 60 seconds or whatever, and I remarked "If I was in one of those things, I would just wear a velcro suit." You know, cause paper sticks to velcro. I still get made fun of for that one.)

In my defense: in the movie, it totally sounds like he says Billy EnFORsee, rather than Billy EnforSEE, which initially steered me in the wrong direction. However, common sense needs to kick in at some point and tell me "hey dipshit, it's Billy in 4C." I linked the clip for your convenience, it's around the 30 second mark.

So I'm leaning towards yeah, this is something I deserve to get ripped on forever for. It might not quite be on the same level as Paul saying he taped the 'Donna Martin Graduates' episode of 90210, but it's at least as bad as MyShawn hearing 'Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard' on the jukebox and exclaiming "All right! Cat Stevens!" Just like how we call MyShawn 'Cat Stevens' all the time now, JonJon and Schne have already started calling me 'Billy Enforsee.'

My only consolation is that you can google 'Billy Enforsee' or 'Billy Enforcee' and all kinds of things will come up, so I know I'm not alone. Tell me there's someone out there in my shoes, and whose mind just got blown by this post, at least as much as mine was last week.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

...Except This Girlfriend Doesn't Let Me Smell Her Hair

OK here's the best way I can explain why I fall into such a funk when KU loses in the tournament (especially when expectations are high like this year.) I threw this at Paul as kind of a half-ass explanation the other day, kinda making it up as I went along....but the further I took the analogy, the more sense it seemed to make in my mind:

Every new KU season is like dating a brand new girl.

We start casually dating in April or May (I spend a little time each day reading about the new recruits, off-season workouts, etc. etc.) However, I've got plenty of other stuff going on in my life (Red Sox, golf, eventually the Titans and NFL gambling) so she's not the main priority or anything. I do enjoy her company though, and always look forward to the next time we hang out.

Then around October or November, things take a step up. She has started leaving toiletries and whatnot around my apartment (regular season starts) and I'm starting to see the potential she has for being a long-term girlfriend. She enjoys cooking me dinners and cleaning up afterwards (Xavier Henry proves himself as a solid 2nd scorer and long-range shooter) and she added a couple of new moves in the sack that completely take me by surprise (all of a sudden Marcus Morris is unstoppable?!?!?!)

As the calendar turns to January, things get a little more serious (conference play begins.) We now spend most nights together, and we're very close to each other emotionally. We know what the other one is going to do before they do it (watch Tyshawn drive into traffic and force up a floater that doesn't even catch rim right here......here comes the extra pass from Brady to Tyrel in the corner for the three!) We have met each other's families, and have had the discussion of moving in together (should we buy tickets to the St. Louis regional now, or hold off a bit?)

Then once we hit March, it's the real thing, baby. Love. We rarely spend a night apart. We have exchanged those three little words (Number One Seed!) and it's complete bliss. Marriage, kids, (Final Four, national championship) we're not scared to start talking about these goals with each other. Sure, there's a hang-up here or there: she got drunk and pissed the bed one night (the Oklahoma St. game) but she made it up for it by cooking me steak dinners and throwing a beejer my way every day for a week (running the table and winning the Big 12 tournament.)

And it's not like she doesn't have a couple of bad habits; when she clips her toenails they go flying around the room and she doesn't pick them up (every time the opposing team goes on a 8-0 run, you know Sherron is going into hero mode and jacking up a bad shot on the next possession) and when she talks on the phone, she is really, really loud (if the object of free throws was to make exactly one out of two every single time, Markieff Morris would be the best in the world at them) but this is just nitpicking; she really is the best girl for me.

Then, without warning, she dumps me for some dude in cutoff jean shorts she met at a gas station (the loss to Northern Iowa in the second round.) And I'm left to pick up the pieces.

So yeah, it's a little weird that I go off the deep end for a couple days after the season is over....but after investing that much time and effort into a relationship, wouldn't it be more weird if I didn't? What am I, some heartless bastard?

That's my theory, and I'm sticking with it.

Other thoughts related to the first couple rounds:

- The last couple years I have sucked at picking a bracket. Just horrible. When I was a kid, up until about 2008, I was awesome. I rarely won, but you would never find me outside the top 3. I was a beacon of consistency. And now I have to deal with trash talk from 40-year-old women in my office because their bracket is doing better than mine. I feel like Sammy Sosa once he was off the juice.

I think I know why I suck now, but unlike Sosa, I can fix this without the help of illegal drugs: my problem is that I'm more willing to listen to other people's opinions, and I've generally calmed down as a sports fan (which makes my reaction to the UNI game a little more distressing, no?) It's not a bad personal trait; it just doesn't serve me well when picking a bracket. When I was younger, as a kid especially, I was more of a know-it-all prick, particularly when it came to sports (one of my elementary school nicknames was 'The Human Encyclopedia.' Dude, I got so much ass back then.) I didn't care what anyone else had to say. Whatever, I know that Western Kentucky is underseeded as an 11, I'm picking them to go Sweet 16, so fuck off, bro. Your bracket sucks.

However, as a result of my newfound zen attitude, I will give any opinion a chance, and even let it influence me in some cases. I watched in person a couple months ago as Cornell almost beat KU at the Phog, and said to myself "I can't wait to nab Cornell as my upset pick this year; that's a Sweet 16 team for sure." And I had them all penciled in after the brackets came out, and I was thisclose to pulling a Jay Bilas and putting them in the Elite 8....and then I read an article about how everything Cornell did well offensively, that was what Temple was great at taking away defensively. ONE fucking article. Boom, erase Cornell, enter in Temple. Totally ignoring my own instincts.

And I did the same with KU. In my heart of hearts, I knew this wasn't a national championship team. There were too many flaws, and I almost never pick them to win it all anyway, even when they have a better team than this year. But after reading and hearing about everyone in the world picking them to go all the way, I finally caved and did it too. Just stupid. So next year, it's back to 12-year-old Jum attitude for me. I don't give a shit what anyone else says, my bracket is awesome.

- Here's one of the things I hate about the tournament these days: every court is the same now, with the black baselines and sidelines, the arena name and city in blue lettering on the baselines, and the blue NCAA logo at center court. The only exception is if the arena normally holds college games- so I would hope that Salt Lake City and Syracuse are their normal courts tonight and tomorrow. I hate it because it's generic and it takes away the individuality of each game; because it's tough to tell them apart; and most of all, because it's not the way it used to be. You don't go changing the NCAA tournament on me- that's like changing my childhood. Some people are really worried about the tournament expanding to 96 teams, but there's another silent threat to tradition: what if CBS loses the rights to the tournament to ESPN? Then there will be no more CBS theme song, and I will probably cry for like three days. F you ESPN/ABC, you already robbed us of the NBA on NBC theme song, don't take this away too. I'm serious.

- How long did it take you guys to get sick of the Ivan Brothers commercials? For me, it was 1.25 times. Get bent, Ivan Brothers.

On the flip side, how awesome is the Miller Lite commercial where the guy struggles to name what he loves about his girl? (Imporant clarification: NOT the one where the guy struggles to say the words "I love you"....that commercial sucks, and besides, that girl is waaaay out of that dude's league. He was probably wanting to say "I love you" on the first date- like he wouldn't be jumping at the chance to say it now.) ANYWAY, when he grabs her hair and says "I like what you're doin' with this...I love all your teef!" Classic. I love how there has been a run of Chappelle-like black guys in commercials ever since Chappelle's TV show blew up.

- I'm weird when it comes to movie previews and their influences on me. Por ejemplo: months ago, I was really pumped to see the movie Shutter Island. Scorsese always cuts right to the core of me, and of course, there's the Leo Factor. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, we laid around hungover and watched a seven-hour marathon of Jersey Shore, and I saw probably 35 previews for the movie. Annnnnd I didn't want to see it anymore. (Editor's note: I ended up seeing it anyway, and it was fannnnntastic. It came highly recommended, and managed to beat those expectations. Scorsese, you did it again.)

But right now, the opposite is happening. Despite the fact that I know- hell, that EVERYONE knows- that it is 100% guaranteed to be a shitty movie.....the more times I see a preview for Hot Tub Time Machine, the more I want to go see it. While watching tournament games, I've seen the preview around 40 times, and I've pretty much convinced myself it's an Oscar winner. I can't explain how my brain works.

- Last Saturday morning, I was working at the golf course and got talking about sports betting with Craig. He's only like 19 years old, but a big sports fan, and looking to maybe get involved, but had no idea how it worked. So you've got me, red-faced, rambling and excited because I got to explain how the spreads, moneylines, over/unders and odds worked (I realized that day what I want to do when I grow up: go to high schools around the country to give presentations on the wonders and joys of sports betting. They have those right?) And you've got Craig, red-faced, giggling and excited because he was learning about how the spreads, moneylines, over/unders and odds worked (a landmark moment in any young man's life.) One of the prime examples I used was that day's New Mexico/Washington game, and what it meant that New Mexico was +2.5. And he was incredulous. "I think New Mexico is going to win that game, and you're telling me they're GETTING 2.5 points?!?!"

"Why yes, Grasshopper. They are. And I've got $50 on it." And Craig was ready, right then and there, to open up an online account, just to place a bet on that game. The only reason he didn't is the golf pro didn't want him opening up the gambling sites, in case of computer viruses on the business computer. And so then what happened next? Washington beat New Mexico by 18.

And THAT, my friends, is why it's called gambling.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Living In A World Of Darkness

I'm still pretty much catatonic today. I'm Charlie from It's Always Sunny after he gets kicked out of the band. I'm Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers after Vince Vaughn no-shows and he gets beat up by Sack in the alley. "Does anyone ever feel like they're just...disappearing? I feel so much like giving up." I'm too depressed to come up with a third pop culture analogy.

So I'm going off the grid for a couple of days to regroup. All attempts at communication will most likely be unsuccessful (as some of you have already found out.) Unless, of course, they are gambling-related, as that is all I have left in this tournament to keep me above water. Thank you for your consideration during this difficult time.

All best,


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tell Me How You Feel

This time of year, everyone gets to read what I think about my KU's chances, but never any of my friends, even though they're all as diehard as I am, and we spend 85% of our waking hours between Selection Sunday and tomorrow morning discussing it amongst ourselves. Plus this year worked well, with everyone's team having such good years. Except, of course, for the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels.....but we'll get to them. So here's their opportunity to give their thoughts and feelings on their teams' chances this year.

We'll start it off with Dunph, representing Duke

This year I don't know how to feel about Duke. I am very excited about the bracket they have been put in, and feel it is the easiest bracket a number one team has to make the final four this year. Looking back at this year, everyone has been second guessing how good Duke is, including myself at times. I think they are better than they are given credit for. They lost 5 times this year, AT ranked Georgetown, AT ranked Maryland, AT ranked Georgia Tech, AT ranked Wisconsin, and AT NC State...there are no road games in the tourney and Duke has a strong national followng which makes me feel good about them in the tourney. Also, they have 3 bigtime scorers on their team which besides maybe Kansas no other team in the tourney can say. Nolan Smith, Scheyer, and Singler all average around 18 a game which is ridiculous. A lot of people question their depth, but really how deep do you go in the tourney. The tourney nowadays is won by one or two superstars, it doesn't matter how deep you are. 3 bigtime scorers and a 7 footer. Their bracket is fairly weak as well. I think Purdue is downright awful now as a 4 seed without Hummel, and Baylor is a pretty weak 3 seed, that lacks tourney experience. Duke also has the most experienced and winningest coach in Coach K in tournament history. All that being said I think they will have to shoot the lights out for 6 games straight to win it, which no one ever does. They will be only as good as they shoot. They also will struggle to match up against teams like Villanova because they lack some of the athleticism teams like Nova have. I mean let's be honest it looks like a blizzard on the court when Duke is playing, and the bench looks like a snow drift. I have them making the final four, but could also see them taking a large, steaming, shit and shooting 20 percent against Louisville and being out in round 2. Either way don't be surprised if they do better than most people think they will. They are pretty damn good!

-JonJon, representing Northern Iowa

This is my nightmare.

UNI is better than and deserves better than a 9 seed. I have a hard time understanding the logic behind Notre Dame being a 6 (what I think UNI should have been.)

Let's look at the facts; UNI: 28-4, RPI of 17, 10-1 v. Teams with RPI of 100 or better. ND: 23-11, RPI of 48, (don't know off the top of my head their record against the top 100.) Also, even giving them a 7 seed, which is closer to what I was expecting.....here's how the 7 seeds match up against UNI in top 100 RPI games. UNI: 10-1, Richmond 10-7, Clemson 10-9, BYU 8-5, OSU 5-9. Why am I focused on the teams records v. Top 100 RPI teams? Because in the post selection sunday interview, that's what the committee supposedly focused on.

"How did you seed the teams?"
Committee member: "We looked at their record against Top 100 RPI teams"

Now obviously there are many other factors, but it just felt like the committee was pissing in my hand and trying to tell me its raining. Enough with the seed complaints. It is what it is.

Now on to my nightmare. UNLV is athletic, long, plays high pressure defense. I don't want to play a team that is defensive minded. Because UNI's offense can disappear faster than Jacob Wetterling on its own, they don't need 5 athletic guys forcing their offense into the trunk, telling them "I will f*cking kill you if you make a noise." Also UNLV is deep. Plays 10-11 guys consistently. I don't like that either. Means more prep time for UNI's defense. UNI is great at making teams go to their weakness, and making that weakness beat them. I don't know enough about UNLV to determine their weakness yet. But early reports are is that they are streaky shooters, who thrive on pressure defense. That's good, but that's the standard recipe for UNI's tournament games. Give the athletic team 3's because they are supposed to make them. Then they do. And UNI loses by 5. So in sum, UNLV is defensive minded, which means they should be ready for the 120 or so set plays UNI will run at them (negative.) They are athletic, long, and deep (negative, negative, negative.) But they're streaky (positive) and UNI is more balanced and more experienced (positive, positive.)

Also, it could set up a dream round 2 match-up with KU. The best two big men in the country going head to head. Go Panthers! Thanks selection committee for placing UNI in OKC. Spring break in Oklahoma is exactly what I wanted, and I got it. But no thanks for the 9 seed and with the chance to play the overall number 1 second round.

-Noles, representing Duke

I went to espn.com the other day to see the bracket again and I saw the best headline “UNC, Connecticut highlight NIT fields”. Stuff like that can really carry a guy through a Monday. Have fun in the NIT. Duke will have a tough matchup in the second round with a good Louisville team that has beat Syracuse twice this year. If they can get past L’ville I think Duke has a good chance of making it to the elite eight or final four. I think Duke was deserving of the #3 seed considering Syracuse lost their last two games; however, I think it could have went either way with the 3rd or 4th #1 seeds. KU got a tough draw in their region with very good teams and some All-Americans that could carry their teams far. Duke has the best region for any #1 seed to make it to the final four. I just hope they play well and can make a run.

-Paul, representing Syracuse

I think Syracuse is the most talented team in the tournament. They have an excellent frontcourt transition. If Syracuse comes to play I think they can beat any team right now. The very concerning thing to me is the injury to Onuaku. Hopefully Syracuse will be able to come together without Onuaku. Another thing is Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense. They have always been using this defense, but this year they are really shutting out the offenses of other teams. I think by utilizing the 2-3 zone, and with their transition offense, they will have a good chance of winning the tournament.

(Back story on Paul: he never followed college basketball until he moved in with me freshman year, when he realized it was gonna be a looooong six months of watching college basketball unless he had a horse in the race. So since he already owned a couple Syracuse shirts from relatives from that area, he chose The Cuse as his team. One year later, he was rewarded for all his dedication with a championship (beating KU in the title game, no less.) I think he was excited for a solid 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, I skipped my classes for three days so I didn't have to interact with any human beings. Shortly thereafter, Paul stopped following basketball again. Then when we met in Colorado last month, with Syracuse ranked #3, all of a sudden this kid is busting out his Syracuse t-shirts, and texting me the morning of big games. Hilarious. I may still be a little bitter about the events of 2003. Just a little bit.)

-DH, representing Kentucky

Don't you just love it when the whole world hates your coach? I've listened to everybody in Kansas hate on my team for the past 10 months now, but it will all be worth it when John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and the Big Blue are cutting down the nets in a few short weeks. Everyone says they can't handle the pressure of a close game in March. Hmmm, did anyone watch the SEC Championship? I'd say they handled that nail-biter pretty well. Everyone says Calipari can't win a championship with his dribble-drive offense. Well, Coach Cal has never had a point guard as good as John Wall. Yes, he's better than Derrick Rose. This team can run, rebound, and play defense as well as anyone in the country. And the 3-point shooting will be there when we need it. Everyone in Lawrence talks about how they want a rematch with Calipari in the championship game. Well guess what? The Big Blue Nation wants that rematch too. Jum, after listening to all your hating on Calipari, I'm never gonna let you forget about it when the Wildcats are clipping the nets and your boy Brady is crying in the locker room. Pussy.

And now for a special section from some North Carolina fans.

First off, Horp:

For a team that wins it all and then falls off the face of basketball, it was like the Japs bombing Pearl Harbor. A complete suprise. I was sleeping on an early Sunday morning looking forward to a little R&R and all of a sudden Kamikazes are hitting my snooze button. They are not a good team. Too young, too weak, too everything that makes a team rebuild. It was hard to watch a game. Even at the beginning of the season when people thought they were good, you could just see Roy would not be crying at the end of the year because of a suprise loss. I will maybe pay attention to the NIT, but unlike JonJon, that is not the tourney I'm use to being in (zing.)

I am really looking forward to the tourney though. Like every year, it's my favorite time of year (since the parents went skimpy on the presents at X-mas a few years running.) I was thinking of taking a few days off from work to watch games..... but I probably won't. Just a few movie days for the kids instead.


eff you.


2009-2010 University of North Carolina Tar Heels Season in Recap:

5 Reasons that they sucked:

#1- No Leadership- I hope I don't ever have to see Deon Thompson in another UNC jersey. The entire season it looked like he was just going through the motions and didn't give a shit about leading a young team.

#2- No Heart- When you're getting out rebounded by Brian Zoubek (who shouldn't even receive a scholarship to UND) and get destroyed in a rivalry game that is usually close no matter how shitty the other team is, you have no heart to even put on a UNC jersey.

#3- No Big Time Shot Maker-As I said at the beginning of the season, what is going to hurt them is they have no guy who can make a big shot when they needed it.

#4- No Point guard to run with- Larry Drew II just wasn't that great of a ball handler to run with a young team. Roy should've slowed it down this year a little and worked more on the half court sets and worked it into the big guys.

#5-INJURIES- its hard to be a good team when you have three guys hurt every game. This lead to no chemistry within the team and a bad season.

This season was a hard and long one for me to watch. A lot of things went wrong but watch out for John Henson next year! Wait till this off season when he puts on 20 lbs of muscle and becomes a force inside. Roy finally gave him minutes mid-way through the season and showed what he can do. His only weakness was his strength. Tar Heels will be back in the 2010 as one of the top teams in the nation. Slam Jam Bam!


As for me, for only the third time in my life, I'm picking KU to go all the way.....even though there's like six different teams in just the Midwest region alone who are more than capable of knocking them off. Screw it, they've been eeking their way through games against good teams all year, no need to change now. Final Four of KU, Syracuse, West Virginia, Baylor. Elite 8 of those four, plus Georgetown, Kansas State, Temple, and Duke.

Tomorrow is the greatest day of the year. Enjoy it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Longest Three Days Of The Year

I hate this stretch, after the brackets come out, where we have three looooong days to do nothing but dissect the bracket, until you have every region, every game, every possible matchup memorized. Some random basketball thoughts, mostly non-bracket related, as I will save those for later in the week (here's one bracket thought, though: KU got fuuuuucked. Hard. With no vaseline.)

- I have no idea what the hell is wrong with Texas. Wait, I know exactly what is wrong with them: Rick Barnes. He has made a complete mess of that team. I hate to make everything about KU (no, really) but it's a perfect comparison here. The teams started the year ranked #1 and #2, respectively. KU had 14 players who deserved minutes; Texas had 12. Bill Self red-shirted two of them, gave the other 12 their chance to prove themselves in practice and against the shitty non-conference teams, then cut the rotation to 8.5 guys. And KU has only lost two games so far. Rick Barnes, on the other hand, changed starting point guards about 4 or 5 times, hit the panic button and benched a senior who had started every game in his college career, and regularly played all 12 guys in a single half. And their season completely went to shit. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

I'll give Barnes some credit; he's a hell of a recruiter (Kevin Durant, TJ Ford, DJ Augustin, Damion James just the last eight years) but at some point you've got to be able to handle the x's and o's. This team has more pure talent than anyone in the country, and he hasn't been able to do a thing with it.

And with all that said, I'm seriously considering picking them to beat Kentucky and go to the Elite 8.

- Not totally relevant, since Cincinnati won't be making the tourney.....but after watching multiple Cincy games this year, thank goodness that Calipari left Memphis, which re-opened Xavier Henry's recruiting, which brought him to KU, which used up the scholarship that was being saved for Lance Stephenson. What a punk-ass that kid is. There's no way I could've cheered for that thug; I had a hard enough time trying to cheer for Tyshawn Taylor, who comparatively is like the Usher to Stephenson's Suge Knight on the Thug Scale. You could throw Stephenson onto 2Pac's team in Above the Rim, and he would fit right in- right down to having a gun in his gym bag underneath his bench. Holy hell.

- Along similar lines, a fun game I like to play while watching Kentucky games (when I'm not marveling at how amazing John Wall is) is counting how many seconds DeMarcus Cousins can make it without throwing his arms up in frustration, whining to a ref, sniping at a teammate, crying towards Calipari, or sneering at an opposing player. So far I've made it to 38. I can't remember a more immature player; it's like watching an eight-year-old. It's too bad Glen Davis already has the nickname 'Big Baby', because that is the perfect moniker for Cousins. I can't come up with a better description of him. Maybe I'll go with 'Dipshit.'

- All year long I've maintained that Syracuse is the best team in the country; I think that their 'A' game is better than anyone else's 'A' game. Simply put, when they are playing their best, nobody else is beating them. However, losing a couple in a row to end the season, and possibly being without Onuaku (when they're only 7 deep to begin with) is starting to change my mind.

And I don't really know what to think about KU. On one hand, they have yet to play a complete 40 minutes of basketball (the closest they came was at Temple, and they won by 30.) So while it's promising that they were able to go 32-2 without playing particularly awesome, it begs the question: it's now March, will they ever put it all together for a whole game? Their A- to C+ game was enough to go 15-1 in the Big 12, is it enough to win the championship?

I've only picked KU to go all the way twice in my life ('97, '02.) As of now I'm leaning towards this year being the third time. We'll see, I'm only on my third draft of my bracket, I carry that thing around like Happy Gilmore and his hockey puck.

More thoughts later.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bill Self Plays 'Never Ever Have I Ever'

"Never ever have I ever.....taken the defending national champions and coached them right out of an NCAA tournament bid the next year."

"Ohhhhhhhh shit, finish your drink, Roy! "

I'll be honest; when KU destroyed North Carolina in the '08 Final Four, pretty much all my bitterness towards Ol' Roy went out the window. I could finally let bygones be bygones. But when Carolina got the #4 preseason ranking before this year started, I was mildly pissed. KU won the title in '08, lost everybody except Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, brought in a good (solid if unspectacular) freshman class, and all they got was the token "well, you're the defending champs....go ahead, you can be #25" preseason ranking the next year. Meanwhile, Carolina wins the title, loses everybody except Ed Davis, Deon Thompson, and the injured Marcus Ginyard, brings in a good (though wildly overrated) freshman class.....and they're ranked preseason #4? Four?!?!?!?! What a joke. At least the regular season proved that.

Enjoy the NIT! You should be a solid 5 or 6 seed in that tournament.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Way I See It, We've Only Just Begun

We participated in the 2010 Barstool Open in Omaha last weekend, a miniature golf/drinking tournament. All in all it was a mild success; I say only mild because while it was a ton of fun, we were able to finish only 6 of the 18 holes (there was 1 hole set up at each bar) because of long lines at every bar we went to. And we were among the more ambitious groups as far as finishing holes is concerned- I would bet my one remaining testicle (along with the bouncy ball from a 25-cent machine that doubles as my second testicle) that no team finished more than 9 holes. No way. I feel like we could've pocketed our entry fee, bellied up at a bar with an entertaining hole, and just sat there, heckled golfers, dropped Happy Gilmore quotes, and done our best David Feherty and Roger Maltbie impressions and had just as much fun.

- Like I said, the day was a ton of fun, but I have one more bone to pick: there were no left-handed putters available for use, except for one hole that had one of those cheap double-sided ones. I expected this situation heading into it (I predicted it the day we signed up and I saw the line on the registration which read PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN PUTTER, THEY WILL BE PROVIDED FOR YOU) but it only pissed me off more because they throw in that qualifier on the registration. It's like no, no, don't even think about bringing your own tools- we'll supply that for you- but 10% of you are going to be screwed. Yep, just go ahead and fill in your credit card information right there at the bottom. I would've been more than happy to supply my own putter- instead I was stuck putting right-handed and cross-handed all day. C'mon bro, how am I supposed to win my skins game against Gangel putting opposite handed? Even though I understand the rationale behind not allowing people to be strolling around downtown Omaha, shitfaced and brandishing a putter, they should at least have a second putter on hand for lefties, or at least the aforementioned double-sided putter. Fucking racists.

Normally I love being a lefty, at least sports-wise: it's good for about 6-8 ppg in city league basketball; and I used to be a pretty good Little League pitcher, even though a four-year-old girl could've been my battery mate, played without a glove and been fine because I threw so soft.....but every once in a while I run into a situaton like this where lefties are discriminated against, and it drives me nuts. You can read more about my feelings on this in my book, "It's A Mildly Cruel World: How To Make A Big Deal About Things That Have Little Significance In Your Day-to-Day Life."

- A great source of fun throughout the day: fashioning our team handshake after the scene from Happy Gilmore after Chubbs dies, when Happy picks Chubbs' wooden hand up off his casket and gives it a three-step soul shake and then awkwardly slaps it. One person would just stand there with a rigid outstretched hand, while the other one would go through the actions. That was almost TOO much fun after 10 drinks or so.

- Apparently at one bar we were at, there was some creeper who was nonstop hitting on Alex. My normal m.o. is to let it play out. I'm not what you would call the jealous type, and I kind of enjoy seeing how Alex handles herself. But this time I honestly had no idea it was happening. Between watching other teams in order to get a scouting report on how to attack the hole, dominating the complimentary pulled pork sandwich, and watching KU piss away a 16-point halftime lead vs. Mizzou, I didn't see the guy at all, until he had finished "laying his mack down" for the 6th time, by the girls' count. Maybe I should've been paying more attention? Maybe I'm a horrible boyfriend? Anyway, he was just a little guy, I probably could've handled it if it came to fisticuffs. One shot, bro! That's one shot, bro! They call me Lil' Ronnie.

- We finished the night at bar about a block away from Ashley's place, and while we were walking home, a lifelong goal of mine was accomplished: we saw a car sideswipe the shit out of a parked car right in front of us. Just CRUSHED it. I immediately reacted like we just won the World Series, and then once we settled down, we proceeded to make Dane Cook "I was in my kitchen, and I heard it, so I came out" jokes for about 15 minutes until we got bored and walked the rest the way home. Pretty awesome though.

- Also, just an FYI, I'm currently on hour 53 of the song from this SNL sketch being lodged in my brain. I'm not saying it's a bad thing; in fact I'm pretty OK with it. I'm just sayin', 53 hours is a long time.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Like A Bat Out Of Hell I'll Be Gone When The Morning Comes

Times in life when Meatloaf's song 'Bat Out of Hell' is almost indescribably awesome:

- Immediately after a huge personal success; such as directly after a job interview that went well, or a fantastic first date with a lady, or shooting a 51 on 18 holes of PGA Championship Golf (15 birdies and 3 eagles back on a glorious summer night back in 2006- and until I have a kid or something, there is nothing in my life that I am prouder about.)

- Kicking off a road trip, but not immediately upon entering the vehicle. You can't waste it on the in-town driving, just play some filler until you're merging onto the interstate. Then you can let Meatloaf's guitar growl all over your stereo system.

- Also on road trips, when it's 4:30 in the morning and you're driving back to Grand forks from Minneapolis after a late flight (probably should've just crashed at Chelsey's and left in the morning) and the Dewskis are wearing off and you're starting to drag a little bit.

- On a Friday afternoon when the sun is shining into your office, the weather is getting a liiittle W-A-R-M, March Madness is just around the corner, and you're finishing up a busy week of work and getting ready to head up to Omaha for a mini-trip with the BFC (Best Friend's Club.) Holla holla holla holla hollaaaaaaaaaaa.

Other great Friday afternoon songs I'm really digging without a shovel right now:

Your Daddy Don't Know- The New Pornographers

Atomic Dog- George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

Mary Jane- Rick James

AC/DC- Jailbreak (although any AC/DC song will do; pretty much all of them make me want to drink 34 beers and get in a fistfight with a cop)

White Lines- Grandmaster Melle Mel

Overpowered By Funk- The Clash

Boom Shak A Lak- Apache Indian (the song for the opening credits of Dumb and Dumber, just a great "let's get ready to booze" song for me. I'm easy to please, I don't necessarily need lyrics that make sense- just give me a beat I can dance to and some Jamaican-speak like "rudeboy" "jah" and "stylie" and I'm Golden Richards.)

Happy Friday. Go get your weekend on.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blame Canada! They're Not Even A Real Country Anyway

>> Yesterday, like most everyone else, I watched the USA/Canada game- the first time I watched a hockey game from start to finish since Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals. When I was a kid I was a pretty big hockey fan. My family had season tickets to UND games for years, up until I was about 13, and when my dad was a professor at UND, he had multiple hockey players in his classes. One of my greatest childhood thrills was one of my birthdays (7th? 8th?) when my pops got Russ Romaniuk, Greg Johnson, and Brad Bombardir to come to dinner at our house. (If any NCAA clearinghouse investigators happen to be reading this, don't worry- the players properly compensated my family for the meal, it wasn't free. To the best of my recollection.)

I don't remember the specific day I lost the love for hockey, but it had to be right around the time I graduated from high school, because despite the fact I attended one of the premier Division I hockey schools in the country, I never went to a single game during my five years there. Regardless, after Zach Parise scored with 25 seconds left, I was instantly brimming with school pride, not to mention name-dropping and lying like a mother fucker. I was working at the golf course (kept that as my weekend job, fyi) and the pro shop was semi-full of members and KU golfers who were watching the third period along with me. As soon as Parise buried that goal, I started throwing around a lot of "Yeah, that guy lived on my floor in the dorms freshman year, he's a pretty good guy" (in actuality, I'm not sure he was even a freshman the same year I was, and I've never talked to him in my life) and "My roommate passed out in the shower one night and flooded the whole wing, totally fucked up Parise's room, he was pretty cool about it though" (once again, I have no idea if he lived on our floor or not, all I know is that at least 3 other hockey players did, so in my head I said good enough.) Just totally being that guy. And it worked, everybody was sufficiently impressed. Anyway, kind of a rough ending to the game, but if all hockey games these days are anywhere near this awesome to watch, I might just have to start following it again. At the very least, I'm dusting off NHL 2002 for my PS2 and starting up a season tonight.

>> Friday night was one of "those" nights at Sandbar (anyone who has been there can attest to what that entails) and we ended up getting involved with a bachelorette party. Two things here: I'm ready to anoint myself the Self-Proclaimed World's Best Wingman, especially if we're at Sandbar. If the situation calls for it, I can make magic happen for my buddies almost every time I walk through that door. I'm like Gretzky walking into the Northlands Coliseum.

See, I watched a hockey game yesterday, so now I'm gonna start dropping hockey references all over the place like I'm a real fan.

Secondly, we had a European dude rolling with us on this particular evening, so for the first time in Mighty Ducks fake name history, 'Guy Germaine' was successfully used. You should have seen how excited I was as it was going down. Actually, it's probably better that you didn't.

Don't get me wrong, Guy is still my least favorite Mighty Duck, since he was sticking it to my girl Connie Moreau (looking downright saucy in that Team America warm-up jacket)....nevertheless, it was still extremely exciting to break in a new name, after so many years of Jesse Hall's, Russ Tyler's, Fulton Reed's, Lester Averman's, Dean Portman's, and Julie 'The Cat' Gaffney's.

>> I'm not particularly in a "Canada sucks!" mood from the game yesterday like some people are. I've had too many legendary times in Canada from 2001-2003 to be mad at their country. Plus, I have no personal beef with Canadians in general; as Muhammad Ali said when he refused to go to Vietnam, "I ain't got no quarrel with them viet cong." But the song from South Park that I stole the title of this post from is still pretty funny.

>> It is officially March, the most exciting month of the year. Get pysched. Back when we were living at Culligan, last night was the night every year that I waited until about 3 a.m. to bring out the Dick Vitale life-sized cutout and put him in the living room. Like parents pretending to be Santa Claus for their children, it was so worth it the next morning when I got to see the pure joy on the roommates' faces. One year when Horp was sleeping on the couch, I was a little bit too loud setting up Dickie V, and he slowly opened one eye while nestled underneath his blankey...."Santa? Is that you?"

"No, no, son, it's just me. Go back to bed now, you've got a big day ahead of you tomorrow." And I always made sure to finish the cookies and milk.

Happy March.