Friday, March 31, 2006

Sociological Analysis of UCONN Students

At the George Mason victory rally this past Sunday, we were advised to "poke" UCONN students on the "Facebook" website, as a means of taunting them. At the time it seemed to be a cruel way of showing support for George Mason. So I did it.

I received messages from some of these University of Connecticut students. Those that understood why I was "poking" them, and were upset about the loss, responded with heterosexist and misogynist comments. They didn't have much else to say, and clearly UCONN has not provided them with the ability to articulate themselves in a more productive or even wittier way.

Several had no idea what was going on. One student congratulated me. I'd like to thank him again.

Here is one of those conversations:


Me: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA have fun watching the game loser

David: fuck you dude! george mason is pussy! and you it, they were invited to the tourney, INVITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: we might be pussy, but we beat you. what that make you? you were invited too dumbass. INVITED! when's the next uconn game? that's right, next fucking season!

David: we were at at large bid into the tourney, win your conference tourney be one of the top teams in the country and then talk to me. the last time your school won a national championship was in 97 and it was in fuck'n track pussy.stop talking to me...i have no time. enjoy this moment bc that school will never have ne thing to cheer for after this!

Me: how bout making the final four? that good enough idiot?

David: dude final four isn't nothing for uconn, we win national championships both men and women. no one knows about g. mason. enjoy the dream your living. stop talking to me

Me: you're right, it aint nothing this year!

David: dude hit up some girls on facebook not random guys alright? leave me alone

Me: dude, you messaged me first. i'm just poking uconn students.

  • Notice the UCONN student attacking certain groups (gays, women) that have nothing to do with Sunday's game.
  • UCONN did not win the Big East tournament this season. They lost against Syracuse in the first game they played in the tournament. Thus, they were invited to the Big Dance as an at large bid, just as was George Mason.
  • He keeps telling me to stop talking to him and that he has no time. And yet, for some reason, he continues to message me. I don't understand that. My only guess is that he is attempting to exert his masculinity by getting the last word. Or at least what he perceives to be exerting his masculinity.
  • After I respond to his questioning my sexuality for a final time, he realizes that yes indeed, he messaged me first. He has yet to respond. I don't believe he will.
  • My "dude" was a mocking "dude." That's the only kind of "dude" I say.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

George Mason Reps Maryland

Living in Maryland my entire life and pursuing a Master's degree at George Mason University, things are pretty great right now. All five starters for George Mason's men's basketball team are from Maryland. Let's give the state the respect it deserves.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

On George Mason's Campus

We received an email saying that there would be a rally held at the Johnson Center right before my class. I thought, "Oh, let me check that out and grab a Final Four t-shirt while I'm at it, if the line isn't too long." How naive I was back then (earlier today).

There were news vans and television cameras everywhere. Usually the JC bustles with the sound of students chatting. It's not quiet, but there isn't booming music and generally you can walk freely without having to stop every two seconds because the place is jammed with people.

I couldn't check it out too long, or I'd never get out of there. The wave of people and large electronics would have boxed me in. I knew picking up a shirt was out of the question. The line wasn't only out of the bookstore door, it was out the door of the Johnson Center, both before and after my class! And that was just to get into the bookstore, not even the line to buy the t-shirt!

Then I drove to George Mason's campus in Arlington. There were no signs of the Final Four exhibited on and around the Fairfax campus.

Another email complimented the way we have handled this Final Four success, compared to students at other campuses. I took that to mean Maryland- College Park specifically. I remember when I was on Maryland's campus in 2001, the year they lost in the national semifinals. After they lost, people went crazy. It wasn't safe to leave my friend's dorm room. I've been proud of our non-crazy students. Of course, it doesn't take much to be non-crazy compared to Maryland students.

Am I The Reason?

Even my grandmother heard about George Mason making the Final Four. She suggested that perhaps the reason for their success this season is due to the fact that I am rooting for them. That's a very cute grandma-thing to say. Being that she is my grandma, I've evaluated this thought carefully, and the conclusion that I've reached is that I'm inclined to agree with her. It's all me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

By The End

By the end, I had no emotions left. I couldn't cry from joy. But it felt as if someone or something kept grabbing the corners of my mouth and forcing a constant smile. My heart had wings. I walked on marshmallow clouds. My wildest dreams had come true. And yet somehow, I knew it would happen. I could not envision us winning enough to make the Final Four, but more poignantly I could not see us losing either. I still can't. You wouldn't understand unless you experienced it. My school snuck into the dance and stole the ball. Wake up the spirits of those that cannot believe, and tell them they will not forget, George Mason has made the Final Four.

Patriot Center scoreboard

A Moment in Time

"The game is a beautiful game because you can win in so many ways." - Jim Calhoun, after his team's loss to underdog George Mason.

The Patriot Center was packed after George Mason's victory against Connecticut. We celebrated our school's triumph. In our heart of hearts we knew this would happen. We knew our players were good enough. We knew they were better than you or anyone else thought. But only when it happens can it be understood. Our school made the Final Four. It's more than that however. We are not Connecticut, or Duke, or North Carolina, or their ilk. We have a different story. We are George Mason.

Jim Larranaga, a scrappy ballplayer from the Bronx, who had coached his son at George Mason not too long ago, is now the toast of the country. This is for him. When I was first accepted into George Mason for graduate school, my brother recounted "that old army guy" that had taken GMU to the tournament, where they lost against Maryland in the first round. George Butler is his name. This is for him.

This is for all of those people that believe in the underdog, not for one night, but for a magical ride. This is for Folarin Campbell, an overlooked point guard/forward that makes Mason move. He is the soul of our team. He brings up the ball on offense and guards the opponent's forward on defense. He rebounds as if he were twice his own size.

This is for the people who predict their team will make the Final Four because they truly believe in their players' hearts, courage, will, and ability, despite what the experts say to the contrary. You don't know our team. This is for Lamar Butler, whose smile lights up your television only slightly less than his jumpshot. A senior guard who promised to take his school to the Final Four and delivered.

This is for the fans of George Mason, singing our 1980s Bon Jovi song as the band plays. I am always shocked that these kids know every word of a song from a terrible '80s band, but it is a testament to the fans' love of their team. This is for Tony Skinn, who was mighty close to being remembered by his fans as a great player with shouts of "Tony, Tony" cascading from the stands, but a goat, a villain, and a scoundrel from the rest of the basketball world thanks to a sucker punch in what may have been the team's final game.

This is for the bench, unheralded. This is for Will Thomas, who added to his dynamite play against oversized giants in the tournament. This is for Jai Lewis, the butt of fat jokes, and he loves it. Because more fats jokes means his team continues to win.

George Mason's Final Four run is not a miracle to those that knew. Miracles don't have explanations. You can't look to a team's talent to explain a miracle. Determined play throughout a season can't articulate what has just taken place in a miracle. A coach's strategy doesn't come into play with miracles. George Mason's Final Four journey isn't a miracle. But it is a gallant upset. One for the ages. This is for Billy Packer and Jim Nance, who berated GMU before and after we were chosen to participate in the NCAA tournament. It was personal. They knew not what they spoke and yet they screamed at the top of their lungs, "You are not good enough! You should not be here! We don't want you!" They can scream all they want Saturday as they watch their first George Mason game this season. This is for Seth Davis, who thought "Jai Ellis" could provide an impact against UNC and "Jamar Butler" sung well.

This is for those that don't believe that the underdog can or should win. This is a reminder that they do win. They inspire hope when all is lost. They help us escape from the pain of the world. The improbable can occur and it is not a miracle. There are reasons. These reasons cannot always be predicted, because a person's heart is not on a scouting report, a player's determination cannot be viewed in his statistics, and you cannot predict a person's desire. But they are there, the reasons. Four wins equal a trip to the Final Four and George Mason will be there.

George Mason, Final Four Bound!

Connecticut raced to an early lead. But the dream seemed far from dead. George Mason was shooting the ball horribly, but heart kept the team in the game.

Mason took their first lead, which woke up mighty Connecticut. The Huskies ended the half on a run that must have made the second half appear moot to a lot of people.

Very quickly the Patriots came back. The entire game, I was on the brink of tears. Sometimes my mind filled with the fairytale of the Final Four and at other moments I imagined the pain of coming so close, but experiencing heartbreak worse then anything I could have conceived a week and a half ago.

Mason took the lead and maintained a two possession margin heading down the stretch. With 10 minutes to go, Jim Larranaga made his final substitution of the game. The under-8-minute television timeout was missed. Jai Lewis, Will Thomas, Folarin Campbell, Tony Skinn, and Lamar Butler were already exhausted due to their frenetic defense and the struggle that was every offensive possession. They were facing the number 1 seed in their region. Connecticut, a two-time national champion, who the experts had predicted to win it for a third time this season, outsized Mason at every position. "UCONN has three players in their starting lineup that may be taller than any player in the history of George Mason basketball," I would later say. George Mason had never won an NCAA tournament game before this season.

Will Thomas was forced to throw up left-handed hooks and Mason's guards continuously shot fadeaways. They kept going in.

With four minutes to play, four consecutive timeouts, one by UCONN, one by Mason, and two television timeouts within a one minute span occurred. That gave Mason enough time to rest. With time running down, Mason looked comfortably ahead.

But missed free throws hurt Mason. Tony Skinn missed the front end of a one and one up by two and UCONN ran down the floor with 5 seconds left. Denham Brown took the ball baseline and under the hoop. Campbell missed a block by an inch. The ball bounced off of the rim once.... twice.... three times... and in. My body collapsed onto the floor. My muscles went limp. About watching the ball hit the rim three times with no time left on the clock, I said, "That shouldn't be allowed to happen to anyone."

Right away the thought was that Mason couldn't get it together to win. But we hadn't lost. We still were still in it.

George Mason would not go away. The Patriots took a four point lead after a Campbell fadeaway jumper. UCONN was not about to become victim to a miraculous upset. The lead was cut to two. Jai Lewis missed two free throws with 6 seconds to go. Denham Brown had the ball again, down by two. He entertained thoughts of driving the ball to the basket, but backed off for a three. The ball went up and was on line. My heart stopped. The ball hit the far part of the rim and bounced out. The next thirty minutes of my life are a blur.

"Unbelievable," was what went through the minds of most people. My brother told me, "I was cheering hard for George Mason the whole time, but I thought they would lose. This isn't supposed to happen." Well believe it, it happened! George Mason is in the Final Four.

The celebration of George Mason's Final Four run at the Patriot Center. The team is in the middle of the court with the regional championship trophy.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Recap of Thursday's Sweet Sixteen

Thursday night saw a couple of last second shots that made and brade several teams' season (that rhyme doesn't work in the past tense, I just realized).

West Virginia's Pittsnogle hit a three with just seconds remaining to tie Texas. But a scrappy guy named Paulino or something Italian nailed a long jumper to give Texas the win.

UCLA trailed Gonzaga virtually all game long. In the last minutes of their contest, UCLA began to come back from their double-digit deficit, despite obvious one-sided officiating. Announcer Len Elmore even called the referees out and he's usually quite level-headed. Up by one, Gonzaga took the ball out of bounds trying to salvage the win. Morrison got caught in the corner, backcourt, and threw the ball into a trap. Two UCLA players then took the ball, which led to the game-winning basket.

UCLA had scored the game's last 11 points and grabbed a win. Adam Morrison cried, even before the game was over, even though his team still had a chance to win. He had already given up on his team. Great players relish when only given a chance. Morrison's face bunched up like a two year old who had just spilt milk on the floor. Tears flowed down his ugly-ass face. It was truly heart-breaking. Or funny.

Memphis and LSU also won. LSU beating Duke... not that big a deal. It wasn't a big upset at all. The tournament has plenty of drama without sports pundits and announcers trying to provide a false sense.

George Mason and Georgetown games tonight!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Saddam's Foreign Minister Just Trying To Make A Dollar

Saddam Hussain's Foreign Minister at the time of the US invasion, Naji Sabri, provided the US with intelligence about Iraq's weapons. He was paid by the CIA. He was ignored.

This goes out to Naji in particular. I know the feeling. I've been writing the White House for years- not so much about Iraqi weapons intelligence, more about how George Bush's actions have caused the deaths of so many people- and have always been ignored (besides the standard auto-reply email).

Maybe people don't like when you call them out for what they are, if what they are is a douche. Got that? And that's what my boy Naji and myself were doing. So I guess it's really our fault for saying anything at all. My grade school teachers always taught me: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." That might be the worst advice you could give a child. Well, it's at least as bad as: "Hey everyone throw your pennies at the cheap Jew." Jokes on you, Coinstar lets me sort those pennies for free and turn them into real cash!

On a side note, the best advice a teacher ever gave me was: "Chase the fat kid." New record- in four short paragraphs I turned a very serious mistake over weapons intelligence that helped lead our country to war into a teacher telling me to run after fat kids. Yes, I toss and turn quite a bit at night.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bush Rant

When Helen Thomas asked George Bush about his justification for wanting war, he responded by saying, "No president wants war." Mr. Bush appeared genuine. It is hard for me to believe that Mr. Bush cares so little for human life around the world that he wanted war. So I do believe that much.

We now know that every justification given for the war in Iraq has been proven and admitted to be false. It has been obvious that the administration has shifted those justifications when they no longer are relevant.

People of my ilk have called for an honest debate about issues concerning the war in Iraq, but we must be ready to engage appropriately when the time comes. The fact that the administration was wrong in their reasons for the war, such as wmd intelligence is very different from claiming that Mr. Bush attempted to manipulate that intelligence to justify war.

The intelligence about Iraq's weapons and intent was wrong. The way the intelligence was used was wrong. The lack of a public debate before sending this nation to war in Iraq was wrong. Congress's vote to give the president the power to go to war, no matter what the intelligence said, was wrong. These are all important things that need to be addressed. Only then can we move to the extremely serious charge of the president manipulating intelligence to go to war.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Recap of the Tournament's First Weekend

Half of the MVC and CAA teams in the field are still playing in the tournament as we head to the Sweet Sixteen, despite the fact that they have played only one game where a MVC or a CAA team has been the better seed. Suck on that Billy Packer.

It appeared that George Mason finally received the respect they deserved. Clark Kellogg said that the Patriots have a good chance against UNC, the defending champions. Seth Davis agreed, based on the strong play of the team's center, "Jai Ellis." Then I realized, no respect. Why not, you may ask? The Patriots' center is named Jai Lewis. Seth Davis didn't just say Jai Ellis once, he said it twice, no respect. But maybe Will Thomas and Lamar Butler gained some in the second round. GMU has already beat two of last year's Final Four teams this tournament. I predict that streak will end, because there aren't any more left.

All of the number 1 seeds advanced. Not without some tense moments, but the gap between 1 and 16 has shrunk. It seemed as if the 1 seeds already realized any 8 or 9 seed could beat them, so Memphis, Villanova, UCONN, and Duke took those games very seriously.

Gonzaga reaches the Sweet Sixteen. But I'm wondering what was the controversy over Adam Morrison's trash talking. At the end of the game, while on the free throw line against Xavier, he muttered something about "crackers" but I wasn't sure what he said, although it sounded suspicious.

For me, Saturday was miserable, after a good first round. I lost 6 out of 8 games, despite the fact that I had a chance to win them all, losing zero Sweet Sixteen teams after the first round. The way it went was the upsets that I picked (GW over Duke) weren't even close, and the favorites I had winning, were upset (Wichita State over Tennessee). Sunday was better, but no where near as good as my first round.

I've already lost 3 Elite 8 teams, so I'm looking for Texas, Memphis, UCONN, Villanova, and Georgetown to win at the end of the week. Of course I did another pool where I have George Mason winning it all, just for kicks, or so I thought.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My NCAA Tournament Predictions

I thought about writing another post ripping Billy Packer a new one, but I decided it wasn't worth it. Not now anyway. I've filled out two brackets, one where I use my heart, and the other that I will now put on the record.

I'll only "explain myself" when I pick an upset, until we get to the Elite 8.

1st Round
SOUTH (fuck this Atlanta shit)

12 Texas A&M over 5 Syracuse - Syracuse had a great run in the Big East tournament, but Jim Boeheim is brutally honest and he seems unsure about his club. Surely they are overrated, but will it go to their head? I believe it will enough for a solid A&M team to win.

13 Iona over 4 LSU - LSU has lost to its share of smaller schools this season. Iona's tempo is such that when they're on, they can beat a team like LSU.


9 Bucknell over 8 Arkansas - Bucknell is not afraid of big conference schools Arkansas probably should be scared of the next potential Gonzagaesk team.


11 George Mason over 6 Michigan State - Michigan State has the potential to get hot and Davis' size worries me. Skinn's suspension doesn't however, because of the Patriots' balanced attack. Mason has a great offense and it will be a test for the Spartans to stop it.


11 UW-Milwaukee over 6 Oklahoma - Milwaukee has been here before and so has its players. A mid-major beating a team from a power conference? Well, I guess anything is possible.

2nd Round

8 George Washington over 1 Duke - I like a hungry GW team, who has a big man to match Williams in Pops Mensah Bonsu. Duke's freshman point guard and weak bench concerns me. Coach K begging the media that his team is mentally and physically rested isn't helping their cause.

6 West Virginia over 3 Iowa - Iowa, the Big 10 champs, can get hot. But we've seen Gansy and Pittsnoggle do it before in the NCAA tournament. It's time for them to do it one more time.


5 Pittsburgh over 4 Kansas - Kansas has a very young team. Pittsburgh's tough Big East schedule should help. Carl Krauser's 27 year college career give him the experience that Pitt needs to get by this one.

6 Indiana over 3 Gonzaga - I like Gonzaga's team this season. They have their go-to-guy, and parts to surround him. They've beaten very good teams already. But Indiana is losing their coach, Mike Davis. Davis hasn’t set any records for wins during his time in Indiana, but he has given the school class. He's made a national final once before. His kids will play inspired ball for their fallen leader, led by Killingsworth.


11 George Mason over 3 North Carolina - Everyone is in love with UNC. Roy Williams has done a great coaching job. But they return one player who scored in last year's final game. They lost their top seven scorers from last year. They replaced them with serviceable players, but if they believe the hype, George Mason will win the game. They are too talented to overlook, and size wouldn't be an issue here.


7 Georgetown over 2 Ohio State - Good coach's on both sides. But the Hoyas disciplined attack coupled with their athleticism, will be too much to handle.

11 UW-Milwaukee over 3 Florida - Florida seems to be overrated every year since Michigan State beat them for the title. This year is no exception. This is a team that can beat very good teams and lose to not so good teams. Milwaukee is somewhere in between, but good enough. Plus Joah beat Noah every time. I think I read that in the bible somewhere.

Sweet 16

GW over Texas A &M
Texas over West Virginia


6 Indiana over 2 UCLA - This is a tough one because of UCLA's talent and coach. We got back to the Mike David factor, but also, UCLA's main scorers are young. That may hurt.
Memphis over Pittsburgh


UCONN over Illinois
Tennessee over George Mason


Villanova over Boston College
Georgetown over UW- Milwaukee

Elite 8
Texas over GW - Texas just has too much talent and drive. GW's bid to stick it in the face of the committee for their bad seed stops here.

Memphis over Indiana - Memphis is more talented than the doubters believe. Plus, it's hard to root against Darius Washington Jr., unless you're rooting for Indiana.

UCONN over Tennessee - Again, going with talent. UCONN has the experienced coach and balanced attack to win over the Vols.

Villanova over Georgetown - Foye, Ray (will be fine by then obviously), Nardi, and Lowry are just too talented for a really good Georgetown team. The Wildcats have the toughness to get to the Final Four.

Final Four
Texas over Memphis - It's time for Texas' Gibson and Tucker to take that next step. Aldridge, down low, isn't a bad player either.

Villanova over UCONN - I watched the last game they played. Nova won. It should be a good game, but it's size versus quickness and I got to pick quickness.

Villanova over Texas - Whose guards will play better? That's the important question. Villanova's tough schedule will prepare them for this game. The adversary three years ago won't hurt either. But in the end Lowry will be the hero or Foye (I'm not on trial here!), but Villanova will win 67-61. Mark it down. Oh, I guess I just did.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Don't Accuse Me Of

The below post is not another case of a Jew trying to make money off of a black man's talents. No, wait, that's exactly what it is. But come on, the white man is taking money from both of us.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Minor League Baseball Team Takes Boondocks Idea

The Gateway Grizzlies, a minor league team from the Frontier League, has introduced a new food item. Here is an excerpt from the teams website, dated March 8, 2006:

"The Grizzlies and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts have teamed up to create 'Baseball’s Best Burger.' The burger... consists of a thick and juicy burger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon. The burger is then placed in between each side of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut."

This food item sounded very familiar. It reminded me of an episode of Aaron McGruder The Boondocks called The Itis, which aired in January. The burger 'The Luther,' named after Luther Vandross, the ingredients of which are 4-pounds of beef, covered in cheese, fried onions, 5 strips of bacon, all smothered between 2 Krispy Kreme donuts.

Clearly the minor league baseball organization stole the idea from Aaron McGruder. They should give him a percentage of their profits and a sum of money for the distress that he has been caused. In addition, since I uncovered the theft, I should receive a percentage of the money that Mr. McGruder will acquire.

Note: Many of the facts of this post may not be "true," so to speak.

Monday, March 13, 2006

NCAA Tournament Seeding Reactions

George Washington got screwed

George Washington had a weak schedule this season. There is no getting around it. But they did win every game they played, save two. They play in the expanded Atlantic 10 Conference, which is weak this season. But they did not lose a game during the conference regular season. It is inconceivable to me that George Washington should receive an 8 seed. Wins and losses should count for something.

I knew Syracuse would get a ridiculously high seed. Maryland got a 4 seed after winning the ACC Tournament a few years ago despite beginning post season on the bubble. But Syracuse has 9 more losses than GWU. UAB has 4 more losses than GW and didn't play anyone either. Wichita State lost 6 more games than GW. West Virginia lost 8 more. California, in a down season for Pac 10, also lost 8 more games. The point is that GW should have received a much better seed. They were ranked 6th in the nation in the AP poll, which history proves, does a better job of ranking the schools than the selection committee.

Small Beefs

Boston College got a 4, while UNC got a 3. That doesn't make much sense given the fact that BC beat UNC this week. Florida, who will struggle in the tournament, got a 3 seed after winning the SEC tournament, while Tennessee's team was shocked to hear that they were a 2 seed.

Did the selection committee watch any Big East basketball outside of the tournament?

I don't want to berate Syracuse as a 5 too much. I'll say it again, I knew it was coming. But Marquette and Georgetown were in another class in the Big East this season and they find themselves with worse seeds than the 9th best team in the same conference.

The mid-majors

I was glad to see George Mason and four Missouri Valley teams get in. The Mountain West and WAC conferences are always underrated. I don't believe Air Force should have gotten in, but one criticism I heard was that they didn't look like a tournament team. That is horrible reasoning. Not only does it make no sense, it's wrong. They have a quirky Princeton-style offense that is very effective. They have a great chance at pulling of an upset.

Packer and Nantz are idiots

I could go one of two ways now. I could give a reasoned analysis on why Jim Nantz and Billy Packer are total douches or I can go on a really insane rant about the subject. I feel like I started to make a rational case when I addressed College Basketball Idiocy. But how can you effectively argue against ridiculousness? So here goes nothing...

Jim Nantz and Billy Packer are the only announcers that I can't stand during CBS's NCAA tournament coverage, year in and year out. Billy Packer is so old and out of touch with reality it makes Ross Perot cry. What in the hell does Iowa's 1980 Final Four run have to do with Bradley making the tournament over Cincinnati? And why does his wife constantly call me for sex, assuming that she's still alive.

I'd like to see Al McGuire announce the championship game over Billy Packer. I'm aware he's dead.

But the reasoning they gave was so unbelievably stupid. Look at five year trends? What the hell does that have to do with anything? There are only four years of college athletic eligibility to begin with! He wants to look at conference five year trends. The committee rightfully doesn't even take the number of teams from a conference into consideration for this year! Why on earth should they do so for five years ago? Maryland beat UNC-W in the tournament several years ago, so George Mason shouldn't get in this year? That's what you're saying, you old fart.

Why are Billy Packer and Jim Nantz on the big conferences' dicks (assuming that inanimate objects, such as conferences, actually contain parts of the male anatomy)? My earlier comment about the amount of games Billy Packer has actually watched from the teams that he disparages stands (Digger Phelps falls into this category, nice save Jay Bilas).

I wonder if Billy Packer had a girl who left him for a man from a small conference school. Maybe that's it. Or maybe he's just so fucking old, he has no idea what he's saying anymore.

I hope you've noticed I haven't said much about Jim Nantz directly thus far. I like Nantz outside of his college basketball duties. But while sitting next to Billy Packer, he is just a tool. He really has no idea. He announces his Big 10 game of the week and thinks he knows shit about shit, which he does not. My real beef is with Billy Packer. The Washington Post had a nice article about how stupid and senile he is. So do most blogs on the internet. It's nice to know that we can at least agree that this old white man is an idiot anyway.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Down by two points, Memphis' freshman guard Darius Washington Jr. strolls to the free throw line, preparing for his three attempts.

With no time left on the clock, if he makes all three, Memphis completes an improbable run into the NCAA Tournament. If he fails to make two, their dancing dreams are over.

It had already been a gutsy performance for Washington against Louisville, one of the best teams in the country, and his body language assures onlookers that he will not fail to continue the success he has exhibited on this day. He makes the first free throw.

His goal now becomes simple. Make two free throws to win the game, or fail and lose.

The next free throw rims out. Washington's heart sinks. The inner workings of his soul become visible. He needs to make this final shot to send the game into overtime and give his team a chance against mighty Louisville. The ball leaves his hands and in slow motion hits the iron. The ball rolls. It falls to the ground. And with it so does Darius.

Darius Washington Jr. is lying on the ground petrified. You don't have to be a fan of Memphis to feel your heart break for this kid. "Someone needs to help that kid up," Jim Spanarkel poignantly states on air. His teammate tries, but Washington's body is stiff with grief.

That was one year ago today. Memphis didn't make the NCAA tournament in 2005. But it is 2006 now and Memphis is one of the best teams in the nation. Darius Washington Jr. is a big reason for the Tigers' success. Memphis won the Conference USA tournament final, the very game they lost one year ago. If you watched the end of that game last year, you cannot have anything but a feeling of justice for Memphis and specifically Darius Washington Jr.

Other thoughts on Championship Week:

Wyoming's Justin Williams' triple double, only the second in the history of the Mountain West Conference. He had ten blocks fairly early into the second half against Utah.

Gerry McNamara had a Big East tournament to remember. Syracuse becomes the first team to win four games in the Big East tournament.

Jay Bilas' analysis on which teams should get in and which should be left out was much more reasoned today. It was as if he answered everything I called him out on. Does Jay Bilas read my blog?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

College Basketball Idiocy

Jay Bilas believes the RPI is fallible, especially this season. That's fine. But then he basis which teams should make the NCAA tournament on strength of schedule. Florida State shouldn't make it in because they haven't played anyone, he says. That may be, but the strength of schedule is based on teams' RPI. If he doesn't believe the RPI is accurate, reason says that any statistic based on the RPI would be inaccurate as well.

He also argues that teams should be in the tournament based on his arbitrary analysis. Missouri State can win some games in the tournament, but they’re not better than Michigan, so Michigan is in and Missouri State is out. I already used the word that describes this process of selection, arbitrary.

Billy Packer is much worse. He and Jim Nance believe that mid-majors should not get in because they would struggle if they were in the big conferences. Billy Packer also says that the RPI is fallible. He wonders how many live games the computer that calculates RPI has watched. I wonder how many George Mason games Billy Packer has watched, and they can be on television, they don't have to be live. I am guessing that Billy Packer has seen less live GMU games than I have, considering I didn't see him at the Patriot Center.

Of course Billy Packer cannot see every team play live, but his comment above is very hypocritical, when he beleaguers a computer for not seeing the same games live that he also has not witnessed.

Jim Nance is very busy with golf and football, so I'm guessing he hasn't seen GMU play either. The fact is that GMU is a very talented team. Six different players can put up big scoring numbers on any given night. They are undersized, but GMU would be around a .500 team in the conference if they played in the BIG 10 or Big 12. Of course, I have no proof, but neither does Bilas or Packer.

The fact of the matter is that GMU's RPI is very high. I don't mind pushing the importance of this to the side. UNC-Wilmington has been projected as high as a number 9 seed. But GMU won that conference and played well out of the conference. How can GMU be left out and a team lower in their conference be ranked so high? Our record is good, and if it is based on wins and losses to some degree, we win that argument. I'm not sure how you decide who is better than whom (besides doing so arbitrarily) if there is not some formula. GMU should be in the tournament. Let them play the top teams. They won't lose by forty like some of the other bubble teams from big conferences.

Friday, March 10, 2006

How Far They've Come

Villanova very well may enter the NCAA tournament ranked number one in the nation, depending on what happens in the rest of the Big East tournament.

Towards the end of the 2003 season, most of their team was suspended for illegal calling card use. Depending on the amount of money used, the players were suspended various amounts. The punishments seemed far too great for the crime.

The NCAA allows a team to field a necessary amount of players so they do not have to forfeit. Thus, certain Wildcat players had their suspensions rolled back. What ended up happening was Villanova had to play their least experienced players.

Villanova had 8 players allowed to play against Pittsburgh in their upcoming game during the 2003 season. One was redshirting and thus unavailable. Two others were walk-ons. Four others were guards and one forward. Villanova had no chance to stay in the game with the mighty Panthers.

But Allen Ray, Randy Foye, and Curtis Sumpter would not be embarrased. They hung tough, despite a large deficit towards the end of the game, and nearly won. A week later they pulled off similar near-heroics in the Big East Tournament.

Now Foye and Ray are seniors (Sumpter's hurt and redshirting) and they deserve all the success that they have achieved. Rarely has an underdog's performance been so inspiring. Besides being undersized, undertalented, they were dead tired by the end of those games. They fought with all their hearts, in spite of their obstacles.

Villanova, led by Foye and Ray, are the favorites. It is not often that a favorite is worthy of their status and the people's cheers. Jay Wright's Villanova team is.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Like Bruce Pearl

Bruce Pearl is the head coach of the University of Tennessee's men's basketball program. I like him, so what?

Last year Bruce Pearl guided the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. I hated him.

How did my opinion change so drastically, so quickly?

Last year, Bruce Pearl was "the coach that looked like that tv preacher who hates gay people and liberals." Rod Parsley or something, I believe is the man's name. I enjoy watching Mr. Parsley (if that is his real name), because he is backshit crazy. But I dislike him. So, naturally, I disliked Mr. Pearl.

Because Bruce Pearl was successful at UWM, he was promoted to his current position at Tennessee. There I discovered that Bruce Pearl is a Jew from New York. I'm not exactly sure how I missed that the first time around. I guess it comes out when a Jew starts coaching in Tennessee. Not many Jews over there. But that made me think, 'could my opinion of Bruce Pearl have changed that greatly just because he is Jewish and now looks less like that bigoted preacher?' I don't want to be like that.

I heard Bruce Pearl on Pardon The Interruption and he was funny, pleasant, knowledgeable, and not a bigoted preacher. I think that played an important part. Plus, he sweated through his suit (not a shirt, the entire suit!) during one game. My brother is quite the shvitzer and so is my good friend Asa. Both are Jewish. Hmmm, I just created a new stereotype for Jews, we sweat a lot. I suppose we need heroes that share our same sarcastic wit or whatever the fuck unifies us. Oh, I know! It's our total lack of humanity, sorry I forgot.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ode To Tucker Carlson

Neither Louis Farrakhan nor Bozo the Clown ever wore a bowtie with the understated grace as he. Tucker Carlson. He is nearly as funny as Farrakhan and almost as articulate as Bozo. But there is more than just this in that great man, Tucker.

Tucker Carlson, a man of grace. Even after being caught in the crossfire of one of those crafty Jews, he managed to show his face again on television. Courage, his mantra. It did not matter that he was fired, he surfaced like Jesus or somebody; where else, but on that channel that God himself would watch if the Lord could pull Itself from the Home and Garden Network, MSNBC I’m talking about.

A man of reason, a type of reasoning that you cannot learn in school. A kind of logic that common sense can't give you. A form of mathematics that only a true genius can comprehend. This is what spews from the mind of Tucker Carlson nightly. The man, the myth, the immortal.

Tucker Carlson, more than just a name that I don't care to look up whether or not I spelled correctly. He provides nuggets, knowledge nuggets. I don't watch his show. I don't have to. I wouldn't be able to appreciate it on as many levels as I should. Does he even have a show anymore? That is how deep his power runs. Why would anyone put him on television or listen to what he has to say? For he is beyond words, and passed having to watch his show.

Tucker Carlson, well, uh, is a dick. To be honest, this was a waste of my time and yours. I apologize to you, the reader. I may have made this up, but Tucker Carlson has beef with Three 6 Mafia. He thought they shouldn’t have won, because, in his own words “I hate black people and their culture, me Tucker Carlson, I'm saying this.”

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar Reactions

My boy Jon Stewart killed. Salma Hayek's one boob was bigger than the other. George Clooney, nice thought, but the academy "gave" Hattie McDaniel an oscar? How paternalistic of them! She also played a slave, really breaking down barriers there George.

I liked Ben Stiller's bit. The crowd liked it much better than Jon Stewart, because they didn't have to "think". As far as the movies themselves, I didn't see any of them.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hard To Believe

Here's a list of things that are true, but I can't believe are:
  • The Vice President shot his friend in the face.
  • The Pope was a Nazi.
  • The President snorted cocaine.
  • George W. Bush is the President of the United States.
  • Short women only date tall guys.
  • Michael Jackson was once the King of Pop.
  • Anna Nicole Smith will go to the Supreme Court before me.
  • We are at war country that had no intention of attacking us.
  • So many people are dying because of our lack of compassion.
  • My cousin's salary next year as a fourth grade teacher will be based solely on her students' scores on one stadardized test.
  • Jesus is our Lord (come on fellow Jews, you know it's true).
  • I wrote "Jesus is our Lord (come on fellow Jews, you know it's true)".
  • A devout Christian wrote something nice on my blog (it's cool, he liked Hank Gathers).
  • I have friends.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hank Gathers

Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the death of Hank Gathers. Gathers was one of the best college basketball players in the nation for Loyola Marymount at the time of his death, March 4, 1990. Gathers died of heart failure.

His death had a profound impact on an eight year old boy, who had just lost his father in January of that year and who was just beginning to understand the finality of death. That an idol could also succumb to mortality was yet another lesson for the young boy.

Gather's high school friend, Bo Kimble, honored his fallen teammate through his play and his famous free throw technique, a left-handed shot, one which Gathers used to try to correct his game's one weakness.

While in China over this past May, in an unknown city in between Beijing and Shanghai, a jersey caught my eye. It was Bo Kimble's number 30 for Loyola Marymount, with a patch donning the number 44 on the shoulder, Hank's. I bought the jersey that falls to the floor when I put it on. But I didn't buy it to wear it. I bought to put in my room and remember a life that ended to early and a friend's noble attempt to memorialize him.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

Today I saw an army of people with dirt on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Evidently large cross tattoos, big cross necklaces, and gigantic crosses in Tennessee aren't enough for you people. We get it, you like the apparatus that Jesus died on.

This episode would have scared the hell out of me, except I had been tricked to attend an Ash Wednesday service a couple of years ago. Plus, there was anti-Semitism in the service. Not ambiguous anti-Semitism either, I'm talking, "The wicked Hebrews are going to Hell" and "Milton Berle wasn't that funny," which, by the way, I don't think is in the bible at all.

Anyway, Happy Ash Wednesday to all those non-anti-Semitic Christians.