Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Afternoon Goings On in the World of Competitive Athletics

Man, Kyle Orton's really looking good, huh? Congrgatulations, Kyle, on making it to the Super Bowl and for being an Adonis. Just a quick piece of advice, you might want to take a stick to the beach to fight off the swarms of hot Miami chicks.

Recent reports indicate that Barbaro may be buried at Churchill Downs here in our fair state. You can find the story
. This is great news for a couple members of the Awesome USA! family. Now Golden Balls can go pay homage to one of horseracing's finest with just a short drive up I-65. Likewise, Natty can go spit on the grave of the one animal he loathes more than other humans, as long as he can find his way there.

All in all, I guess you could say it's been a good day for Awesome USA! and Kyle Orton. Still no updates on whether Thelonious has removed his face. Keep the faith, Mr. Monk. Keep the faith.

A Chance Encounter

"Oh, hello there Henry. What's that you've got in your hand, my friend?" A considerable amount of time had passed since Harold last had the good fortune of meeting Henry in the park. On any other day, they might have exchanged pleasantries or made a joke about how both of their names began with the same consonant. Befittingly, they also shared the same bland sense of humor.
But on this wintry afternoon, Harold was too preoccupied with the object Henry held in his hand to bother with their unique brand of witty banter. "C'mon amigo," Harold also liked to employ his scant knowledge of the Spanish language whenever possible, "what is that shiny object that has caught my eye. Surely you must want to share your bounty with your old mate, Harold."
But Henry still grasped the doodad firmly, unwillingly to reveal his treasure to this man he now hardly recognized.
Soon, Harold, known widely for his consummate craftsmanship as a cobbler but also for his intolerable temper, began to grow annoyed with his short friend. "I haven't seen you since the new millenium, and this is how you respond to my playful inquiries? So be it!" And with that, Harold defiantly turned on his heels and began to walk away from this chance encounter, more displeased than he had been before their meeting.
Suddenly, Harold felt a sharp burning between the blades of his shoulders. At that moment, he realized what Henry had been keeping from him, and understood his reluctance to reveal the knife. Yet, despite the unbearable pain, Harold was overwhelmed by an enormous sense of confusion.
For, you see, it was then that he realized that this individual he had long known as Henry was actually a quail in a man costume. He also didn't know how a bird could hold a knife.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Artist's Rendering of the Awesome USA Crew

As the title suggests, a talented artist friend of ours sketched this little drawing of the Awesome USA! crew taking in a showing of "The Khaki Portfolio" at the Brickell Playhouse in the Earl of Monthaven's balcony seats. It was a night to remember--full of good friends, better dames, and rollicking tomfoolery.
From left to right: Leonard Pelter, our good friend Manke the Antler Man, Runs with Two Horses, Chris Pate, Ismerelda the Poop Queen, Natty Bumpo, and Thelonius Monk.
Worst moment of the night:
At one point during the play, Manke became quite convinced that a man sitting in the third row was his darling Penelope's ex, Charles Winebarger. He became so incensed that he began to cause quite a scene, yelling, "Charles! Charles! If you are a man, you will look up at me! You disgust me, you wretched little man." The man never even flinched. Unfortunately, a number of the players actually glanced up at our group, which was quite embarrassing.
Best moment of the night (by far):
After the play, we ran into Father Dunlap at The Mishap, a popular club on the west end of town, known for its generous selection of imports and the giant painting of a naked witch dining with a scantily clad Mozart, who seems to have a certain something on his mind. Anyway, Father Dunlap scolded Runs with Two Horses for not being more thankful. About what is anyone's guess. Anyway, Runs told Father Dunlap, "Keep my name out of your damn mouth!" Father Dunlap started to speak, and Runs just smashed him in his face with his fist. Father Dunlap never saw it coming. It was probably the funniest thing that has ever happened in the history of the world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Should Just Cut My Face Off

It seems that every night I have been out with a group of people and someone has taken several pictures, I always think to myself at the time of the picture taking, "Ok, this is going to be a really good picture." Then I wake up the next morning and am absolutely horrified with the picture.

The Barrister's Ball was this past Friday night; which is essentially the one formal dance we have during the year. It's held in January so that everyone is pale and overweight, effectively limiting the amount of premarital sex that could possibly take place afterwards. Anygay, several pictures were taken of me throughout the night and to no surprise each one made me recoil in horror when first seen. After seeing these pictures, I'm amazed anyone even talked to me throughout the night. Hell, I'm surprised people were able to hold down their food after looking at me. The same thing happened on New Year's Eve, Christmas night, and the entirety of last year's Christmas break. These are the type of pictures that make me want to cut my face off and see if something better grows back. I honestly do not understand how I can leave my apartment with a sense of confidence about my appearance and then completely fall apart come picture time. I'm sure the large amounts of drinking don't help, but a lot of these pictures are taken before I've had that much. Does anyone remember my senior pictures? My parents almost didn't have to pay for them they were so bad.

Maybe it's just the camera. I don't enjoy my picture being taken and maybe that's reflected in the quality of work. I'd paste a few pictures with this article for a better reference, but I don't want to be responsible for losing our six readers. If anyone out there has suggestions for me to make myself look more attractive in pictures I would appreciate it. Tucking my chin in, furrowing my brow, or cutting my face off, please let me know. I'm an extremely vain and shallow individual.

In other news:
  • Barbaro was euthanized today after a nine month battle. He broke his leg while running at the Preakness. I was honestly really upset when I first read this article. I remember watching Barbaro with the Kentucky Derby and he looked like an absolute stud. I've watched the Derby for the past 8 or so years, and I always felt that Barbaro stood out as a premier horse after that race. When we watched the Preakness, I think everyone could tell that something was going to happen when Barbaro jumped through the gates early. He looked nervous and even scared. When he broke his leg it was truly one of the most gruesome sports injuries I've ever seen. And I've seen Kermit Washington disfigure Rudy Tomjonavich's face, Daniel Swift snap a kid's leg in half, and Bart Long tear a kid's leg from his body. All kidding aside, I think this was the best choice for Barbaro and it has been pretty amazing the support he and his owners have gotten from so many people around the country.
  • I watched the Suns beat the Cavaliers Saturday for their 17th consecutive win. I'm amazed with this team. I watch them and I don't understand how they win. It seems at least a couple NBA teams would have devised a defensive strategy to stop this offense. I'm also sick of people saying the Suns don't play defense very well. Steve Nash is not a premier defender, but of course teams are going to score a lot of points on the Suns because they probably get off 15 more shots a game than average. Steve Nash's assist to turnover ratio is also pretty remarkable. Against the Cavaliers he had 15 assists and zero turnovers. But let's also remember that the Suns shoot the ball usually within the first 10 seconds of the shotclock. Not much time to turn the ball over. Still, 15/0 is absolutely phenomenal
  • Alando Tucker should easily win Player of the Year. Durant's stats are better, but Tucker is a great, great college basketball player. Durant's game is more suited for the pros and he is just a freak of nature at the college level, and most likely at the next level as well. But the great thing about college is that, it does matter that Durant is only a freshman. Tucker has led Wisconsin in scoring for the past three seasons. He has paid his dues, and this year he is finally getting the national recognition he deserves. He also has the ability to be a very good NBA player. He's 6'6", 210 pounds, and can play the 2 or 3 in the NBA. He finishes really tough shots around the basket and has a very polished post game. A poor man's Carmelo Anthony, if you will. And he won't sucker punch anyone or wear ugly corn rolls.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Field of 65--version 4

(approx. 2 weeks have passed since last version)
Field of 65—Version 4
Florida (19-2); North Carolina (19-2); Wisconsin (21-1); UCLA (18-2)
*As Leonard Peltier pointed out, Arizona did not match up very well against UNC. Arizona may have one of the best starting 5s in the country. But UNC is as deep as any team in the past 5 or 6 years.
Ohio State (18-3); Oregon (19-2); Kansas (18-3); Texas A&M (17-3)
*I’ve underestimated the Aggies. After watching them play, it’s obvious they’re more than just Acie Law IV and Joseph Jones. They have 4 guys averaging double digits.
Oklahoma State (18-3); Pittsburgh (19-3); Duke (18-3); Butler (19-2)
*I’m still not impressed with this Duke team.
Memphis (17-3); Washington State (17-4); Marquette (19-4); Clemson (18-4)
*I think this Clemson team is probably better than I gave them credit for. However, you have to wonder if this is the beginning of a huge slide for the Tigers. All 3 of their losses have come in conference play.
Kentucky (16-5); Nevada (19-2); Indiana (15-5); Notre Dame (17-4)
*Even after the Vandy loss, I had Kentucky as a 4 seed. But then came the second half against Georgia. Indiana is playing great basketball right now. Tough defense but their streaky shooting might catch up with them.
Georgetown (15-5); Air Force (19-3); Boston College (14-6); Virginia Tech (16-5)
*The Hoyas have had a big 2 weeks with victories over Rutgers, Seton Hall, DePaul, and Cincinnati. With St. John’s and Louisville coming up, Georgetown could put together a 6-game conference winning streak.
West Virginia (16-4); Michigan State (17-5); Stanford (14-5); USC (16-6)
*I can’t believe how much Drew Neitzel has improved over the course of his career, and he’s just a junior. I honestly think he could play in the NBA. There’s a little Mike Bibby in his game (but only a little).
Texas (15-5); UNLV (18-4); Arizona (14-6); Alabama (15-5)
*Arizona has to do something or their season is going to go down the drain. What’s the deal with Alabama? They’ve lost to Arkansas by 27, Vanderbilt by 21, and Auburn by 24. Neither Arizona nor Alabama are going to do anything in the tourney, unless they find some bench scoring.
Texas Tech (15-6); Maryland (16-5); Vanderbilt (15-6); Tennessee (14-7)
*After non-conference losses to Furman and Appalachian State, Vandy has compiled a 4-game conference winning streak with victories over Alabama, Kentucky, LSU, and Ole Miss.
Florida State (15-6); Southern Illinois (17-5); Villanova (14-6); VCU (18-3)
*There are a number of MVC teams on the cusp, and I do think the Valley will be sending at least 3 teams to the Big Dance. But until there’s some separation, the Salukis get the only bid. VCU sits atop a very strong Colonial Athletic Association. Hofstra and Drexel will likely receive serious at-large consideration. And Old Dominion and George Mason aren’t too shabby either.
George Washington (15-4); Arkansas (14-7); Gonzaga (14-7); Louisville (15-6)
*2 weeks ago, I would never have thought that the Cards would be on this list. However, there presence doesn’t so much speak to their talent. Rather, it highlights just how down the Big East is this season.
Purdue (14-7); Georgia (13-6); Xavier (15-6); New Mexico State (17-4)
*New Mexico State gets the last at-large bid, barely getting the nod over a spiraling LSU club that has way too much talent not to get an invite.
Winthrop (17-4); Davidson (18-4); Western Kentucky (16-7); Akron (15-4)
*Winthrop may deserve a higher seed.
Long Beach State (13-6); Oral Roberts (15-7); Marist (15-6); Vermont (15-6)
*Oral Roberts could be a dangerous team come tourney-time.
Holy Cross (16-6); Austin Peay (13-6); Texas A&M-Corpus Christie (15-4); East Tennessee State (16-7)
*I’ll be honest. I have little to no interest in these teams after Holy Cross.
Weber State (14-9); Pennsylvania (11-7); Jackson State (12-9); Central Connecticut State (11-10); Florida A&M (12-9)
*Don’t be sad residents of Connecticut. While UCONN drops from the Field of 65 after consecutive losses to Pitt, Indiana, Louisville, and Providence, the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State give you something to cheer about.

IN: Akron; Austin Peay; Central Connecticut State; East Tennessee State; George Washington; Georgia; Louisville; New Mexico State; Vanderbilt; Villanova
OUT: Belmont; Connecticut; Fairleigh Dickinson; Georgia Tech; LSU; Missouri State; Northern Iowa; Ohio U; Samford; Syracuse

Friday, January 26, 2007

Airing the Grievances

I’m struggling to find a foothold here. The sun rose the morning after UK completely schruted a 17 point lead and took an L home from Georgia, but I couldn’t feel its warmth. I think Tubby’s job security is actually going to get a little shaky. On the flip side, I’m hopeful that my favorite NFL team picks Wade Fucking Phillips as its next head coach. Oh wait, that’s not the flip side. It’s the same side of that dirty little penny that spent years being abused on the floor of a subway. It’s that side covered in urine, vomit, and STDs. Looks like I’m going to have to release a torrent of internal anger into cyberspace to keep me from losing it. I got a lot of problems with these people, so let’s get this started.

Tubby Smith: Alright Orlando, you baited me into coming back. Just when I started to trust you again, you kicked me right in the balls. Why, Tubby? I hate so much about the things you choose to be. On Saturday you lost to Vandy for the third straight time, I don’t think I need to belabor the point of how sad that is. Then you lose to Georgia in an absolute must-win situation. How do you blow a 17 point lead? I know how. First you build a 17 point lead. You do this by running up and down the floor, playing all the reserves, pressuring on defense, and feeding the ball to the hot hand. Then you quit doing every one of those things. They were honestly trying to milk the clock with about 15 minutes left in the game. The worst part is that these are Tubby’s kind of players. These are exactly the guys he’s hand-picked to form a great team. So for all the people that want to say that UK is young, remember that Ohio State and UNC are much younger. I’d talk about this more, but it’s making me throw up in my mouth when I think about it.

Wade Phillips: Somehow I don’t think Tom Landry would approve of Wade Phillips getting his old job, but that’s the world we live in. Wade Phillips resume reads a little like this: four head coaching jobs, and one wasn’t a disaster…but his dad, Bum Phillips, was a legendary coach. I always feel a little bad for guys who have to live in their dad’s shadows, I already pity my poor progeny that will forever be eclipsed by my legendary status. But it’s a little different when your dad’s name is “Bum.” For those of you out of the loop, “bum” is an urban slang word that either means “a homeless person” or “someone’s ass.” If you can’t outclass a guy named Bum, then I don’t want you misguiding America’s team.

Bill Parcells: What kind of an asshole finishes the season, works for two weeks, and then retires? He let all of Dallas’ assistant coaches leave, and then let all the good coaching candidates get signed by other teams. And Parcells isn’t easily replaceable. Leonard put it best when he told me the Cowboys just lost a nice pair of tits. I wonder what Parcells was doing for the last two weeks. Is his successor going to get access to whatever work he was getting done? I know what I would have done if I was really rich and kept going to work when nobody else was showing up. I would have done two chicks at the same time. But that’s just how I roll.

Ken Whisenhunt – I guess I’m really not mad at Ken Whisenhunt, but you have to question anyone who thinks it’s in his best interests to coach the Arizona Cardinals. He also is going to deprive us of awesome sound clips from Denny Green, so I hold that against him. Fifth, he hired a guy to be his offensive coordinator who still has a pending law suit regarding an alleged rat in his meal at a Taco Bell. Lastly, did you know he’s only 45 years old? The years haven’t been kind, Kenny, but that’s what you get when you work in the steel mills to make ends meet when you’re trying to support your family off a measly offensive coordinator salary.

Sal Masekela – do I really have to explain this? We’re talking about a black guy who is “super-hyped yo” about Winter X Games. And it’s worse than that. He’s becoming a Ryan Seacrest figure of sports. Everywhere you look, Sal Masekela is sticking his stupid dread-locked head in front of the camera and ruining whatever you were watching. I feel a little bit like ESPN is a show, not a channel. Stay with me. Remember in the Cosby show when Rudy started getting older, and they realized that Bill Cosby’s major appeal was how funny he was when he worked with little kids? Then they randomly bring Raven Symone into the show, so they can basically turn back the hands of time. I think ESPN realized Stu Scott was getting old and worn out, so they tried to bring a cuter, littler Stu, complete with stupid hair and no lazy eyes. Unfortunately three out of four of us don’t like Stu Scott in the first place. So I think it’s a lose-lose-lose situation. Booyah!

Rick Pitino -- Just kidding Ricker. I’m pretty smitten by you since you wore that white suit against UConn. The bad news is that Pitino’s white suit will probably be the most exciting detail about UofL’s season. We all assumed that your presence at UofL would be the nail in the coffin for Tubby, yet surprisingly, your sucky Cards are one of the best things Tubby has going.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can Anyone Tell Me What Is Going On In Heroes?

I’ve never been a huge fan of network television. Besides a few shows that I will stop what I’m doing and watch – The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and Seinfeld – I rarely pay attention to anything else on television. But being in law school brings about changes in a man – some for the better and some for the worse. I end up watching a little more television later at night than I ever have before, mostly because I have spent the entire day reading, writing, and excessively masturbating. Watching television provides a nice break from all of that. There are a ton of new shows out this year, most of which don’t deserve a mention in this article, but a few have caught my attention such as 30 Rock and commercials for 30 Rock. But having to expand my television watching beyond Thursday nights, this week I decided to check out the Monday lineup, and was left with only one question: What the fuck is going on in Heroes?

Seriously, I watched the hour episode, which was supposedly wrapping up an episode before Christmas and was debuted as the premiere for 2007. I thought this was definitely a chance to get in on a new show that so many people were talking about. I was wrong. I didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on. Apparently there are people trying to destroy the world and people with special abilities. Then there are people with abilities who are trying to figure out why they have abilities, who else has abilities, and how to stop the people trying to destroy the world. There is an overweight Chinese kid who plays the most stereotypical Chinese kid ever. His english is more broken that Shortround and he is able to teleport through time, but he needs some sword to regain his powers.
There is a hot cheerleader who can’t be hurt. Two brothers who fly. A girl who has multiple personalities and can catch a nightstick then break it in two when swung at her. A guy who can hear thoughts. And a guy who can paint pictures of the future for heroes. There are so much going on and little displaying of abilities. If I were one of the X-Men I would go kick the shit out of these heroes. These heroes spend 45 minutes crying about their abilities and trying to find out the meaning of them, and 5 minutes displaying abilities. Wolverine doesn’t cry about his ability, he just kicks the shit out of people and saves the world. (This was the best picture of Wolverine I could find, not in costume, but you get the idea).
On another note, get some real abilities that can keep my interest for the five minutes they are shown in each episode. For instance, have a guy who can shoot lasers out of his nipples. Or a woman who gives deadly hand jobs. A law student whose super ability to not pay attention in class saves an a beautiful woman from an evil professor. Just give me something other than a Chinese kid who closes his eyes, squints and teleports to some other time period. This will be a useless power as soon as time travel technology is created. If anyone can clue me in on what the fuck is going on in Heroes, help me out.

Extra News
*Andy Roddick and Roger Federer are meeting in the Semifinals of the Australian Open. This is pretty much the only must see Tennis there is right now. I don’t compare much to Muhammad Ali, but this rivalry is similar to Ali v. Frazier. Roddick and Federer have completely opposite styles of Tennis. Federer has the all around dominant, graceful game, ala Ali. Roddick is a hard server and has a smashing forehand, ala Frazier. Roddick is playing some of his best tennis right now and Federer is always on the top of his game. This has the potential to be the greatest match between the two, and there have already been some instant classics. Wait until it is broadcast in the United States before you check ESPN to see the outcome. It will be a great show.

*Louisville routed UCONN last night on ESPN. I told a friend of mine to bet on UCONN a three-point underdog and he ended up losing a lot of money. At least it wasn’t my money. I really can’t believe Louisville won this game considering midway through the first half they were shooting 11 percent from the field. Not that Connecticut is a good team this year, but, as much as I hate to say it, Louisville can still beat good teams with their style of play.

*Carmelo and A.I. played together last night for the first time since Iverson’s trade. They looked phenomenal. This team will be extremely dangerous as long as J.R. Smith doesn’t jack up 14 threes a game. A.I. deferred to Carmelo and both appear to compliment each other’s games. I am really excited about seeing these two play together all season.

*Finally, Bruce Pearl showed up at the University of Tennessee’s Women’s basketball game last with a large V painted on his chest. Sometimes I fucking love Bruce Pearl and this is one of those times. I am really scared what will happen if he moves to a traditional powerhouse school like a Kansas. He is pulling recruits to Tennessee based on his personality and style of play. He could be really dangerous at a school that can also recruit kids based on facilities, national recognition, and tradition. I would really love to have him as Kentucky’s next coach, more so than Billy Donovan.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

NFL and Kevin Durant Predictions

Colts v. Pats
– I am still not convinced Peyton Manning can win the big game, and this will be the biggest game of his career so far. Actually, I’m convinced Peyton has what it takes to win big games he just never will. I’m a big believer of karma in sports, and Peyton’s karma goes ice cold in the playoffs. The Colts do have the greatest clutch kicker of all time, which if obtained a year earlier would have purchased Indianapolis with a Super Bowl ticket. But I still don't feel they will be able to get past the beautiful specimen that is Tom Brady and his quirky, sleeveless sidekick Bill Belichek. Beyond the Colts own problems, they are facing their playoff achilles heel. The Patriots are almost the complete opposite of the Colts, their karma only gets better as they advance further in the playoffs. Brady must have died in a previous life while saving orphans, kitties, and puppies from a burning building, because he definitely has forces working for him in this life. Tom Brady hasn’t had the type of season he typically has, but he’s throwing to an entirely new receiving corp. Troy Brown made one of the most amazingingly important clutch plays of NFL playoff history when Brady threw an interception against the Chargers and Brown stripped the ball from him allowing the Patriots to recover. They, somehow, just have everything working for them again. I am predicting that the Patriots win this game with a touchdown and then Brady has beautiful, good-looking, supermodel sex with Giselle Bundchen, while Peyton returns home to watch his tivo-ed commercials and slowly drink scotch. As his wife, standing in the entrance to the living behind Peyton says, “Honey, would you like some company,” Peyton raises a middle finger into the and takes a last sip of scotch before passing out with his hand down his pants. He slips into a quiet dream where he and Tom Brady walk hand in hand down candy cane lanes and popsicle forests and the only television available are Peyton’s insurance and Gatorade Rain commercials.

Saints v. Bears
– The Bears offense does just enough to win this one. The Saints appear rusty from the beginning of the game and never get on track against the powerful Bears defense. I really think the Saints are a better team overall, and are going to be extremely dangerous in a year or two, but the Bears defense just keeps putting them in positions to win games. If Rex doesn't play as if his brain is leaking intellegence down the back of his throat the Bears will win. I predict after a 10-point loss to the Bears everyone in the stadium (mostly Bears fans) gives the Saints a standing ovation and it is regarded as one of the most powerful moments in sports. That is until, Rex Grossman coaxes Brian Urlacher into removing a strip on his jersey that says “Grossman” to reveal the word “H. Katrina.” Grossman, mistakenly assuming the applause is for him, begins to mime the act of masturbation, and it suddenly becomes one of the most awkward moments in sports. Natty Bumpo then has to cover his eyes and scream, “Oh God! Why are they showing this?” And for once, he’s right.

Kevin Durant
- Durant is drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 2nd pick of the 2007 NBA Draft after being named the Naismith College Player of the Year in 2006-2007. Durant immediately begins dunking really hard and shooting threes really well in the NBA. Bill Simmons refuses to write about anyone or anything else for the rest of his life and soon relinquishes his position at ESPN, which is then filled by a team of young, j.d. holding ass-clowns. The youngest of these ass clowns sparks the interest of Giselle Bundchen, who leaves her now aging husband, Tom Brady, to spend weekends with this brash, intriguing editorialist who has a “medium to hefty sized penis.” Even Tom Brady is infatuated with the charisma of this iconic sports writer and the two of them hang out frequently at social events. Tom often tells this young dashing sports writer how happy he is Giselle left him for this man, for without her crushing his heart and soul they would never have become friends. Giselle and the sports writer with dark flowing hair make sweet, Caribbean love for many years, until she becomes to old for him. They have a child together and the world openly hopes the child receives more of the father's physical features.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Field of 65--version 3

Field of 65—Version 3
(16 days have passed since last version)
UCLA (15-1); Florida (16-2); North Carolina (15-2); Wisconsin (17-1)
*Bo Ryan is one hell of a coach, and Alando Tucker may have been the best player in the nation during the first half of the season.
Kansas (15-2); Oregon (16-1); Ohio State (14-3); Clemson (17-1)
*6 Pac-10 teams get bids right now, and make no mistake—the Pac-10 is for real. Washington and California are pretty talented as well, giving the conference 8 competitive teams. Did Ernie Kent steal Lorenzo Romar’s coaching powers?
Arizona (13-3); Duke (14-3); Oklahoma State (15-2); Pittsburgh (16-2)
*Oklahoma State and All-American candidate Mario Boggan were rolling along until the embarrassing 30-point loss at Kansas. I’m not entirely sure they will regain their swagger after that one.
Tennessee (13-4); Butler (15-2); Notre Dame (15-2); Alabama (14-2)
*Yes, Butler has lost to Indiana State and Illinois-Chicago, but I’m standing by them. They’ve beaten some very good teams as well (Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Purdue—all teams in the field of 65). The Crimson Tide’s 27-point loss at Arkansas makes me wonder how good Alabama really is.
Maryland (15-3); Texas A&M (15-2); Memphis (13-3); Washington State (15-3)
*Texas A&M is still looking for something resembling a signature win. Considering how bad Conference-USA is, I am predicting that Memphis will rack up enough wins to be a top 3 seed by the end of the season.
Air Force (17-1); Nevada (16-1); LSU (12-4); Kentucky (14-3)
*Air Force’s only loss is to Duke.
Texas (13-3); Marquette (15-4); Indiana (12-4); West Virginia (13-3)
The Hoosiers charge into the Field of 65 with 20-point victories over Michigan State and Purdue. If Indiana could figure out how to play consistently on the offensive end of the floor, they could end up being a very good team. They’re as solid defensively as anyone I’ve seen.
Georgetown (11-5); Virginia Tech (13-4); Boston College (12-4); Connecticut (13-3)
*Somehow Virginia Tech has managed to beat Duke and UNC but has lost to Western Michigan and Marshall.
Stanford (11-4); Syracuse (14-4); Michigan State (15-4); UNLV (14-4)
*Just so everyone knows, last season I predicted that Stanford would win the National Championship. They failed to even make the tournament.
Gonzaga (12-6); Georgia Tech (13-4); USC (13-5); Missouri State (13-4)
*Perhaps the weakest Gonzaga team in recent memory.
Arkansas (12-5); Purdue (13-5); Xavier (12-5); Southern Illinois (13-4)
*Purdue is kind of a tease this year—some nights they look very good; other nights, not so much.
VCU (14-3); Texas Tech (13-5); Florida State (12-5); Davidson (15-3)
*Right now the Red Raiders are probably the 5th best team in the Big 12. If Mizzou doesn’t find some consistency, Tech might luck into the tourney, because the committee is not going to limit the Big 12 to 4 teams. Iowa State is showing some fight as well. Florida State is the 8th ACC team I have in the field. No, I don’t think 8 of 12 teams in any conference deserve to make it to the Big Dance, but conference schedules will straighten things out shortly.
Western Kentucky (14-5); Winthrop (13-4); Northern Iowa (13-4); Ohio U (11-5)
*Northern Iowa is my last at-large bid, giving the MVC 3 teams in the field of 65. However, I am willing to admit that I've overestimated the MVC this season.
Vermont (12-5); Long Beach State (11-5); Marist (12-4); Oral Roberts (11-7)
*I remember being a little freaked out by the Oral Roberts infomercials on Sunday mornings when I was a kid.
Holy Cross (12-6); Belmont (12-6); Texas A&M-Corpus Christie (11-4); Weber State (12-7)
*Idaho State will probably take Weber State's spot in the next installment. Oh wait, no one cares.
Pennsylvania (9-6); Samford (9-8); Jackson State (10-8); Fairleigh Dickinson (8-6);
Florida A&M (9-8)
*Honestly, what the hell can I say here?

IN: Arkansas; Drexel; Georgia Tech; Indiana; Long Beach State; Ohio U; Pennsylvania; Samford; Stanford; Texas A&M-Corpus Christie; Texas Tech; VCU; Vermont; Virginia Tech; Weber State; Xavier
OUT: Akron; Albany; Cal State Fullerton; Dayton; Eastern Kentucky; Illinois; Michigan; Missouri; Northern Iowa; Oklahoma; Portland State; Princeton; Sam Houston State; Villanova; Washington; Wichita State

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My All-NBA Live Team (If Gilbert Arenas Was Unable to Be Cloned)

I have always taken pride in the NBA Live teams that I have been able to draft for previous seasons. Most importantly, once I choose a team to represent, I must choose players that will look the best in those uniforms. The ideal NBA Live team is one that can shoot from the 1 through the 5 spots but are tall enough to block shots around the basket with ease. I try to compromise my team to fit this prototype making sacrifices when their needs to be. They are young and quick. They are usually the Boston Celtics, the LA Clippers, the New Jersey Nets, or the New York Knicks. There are also no white people. Gilbert Arenas is left off of this team (although he is my favorite player) only because I would take every shot with him use the entire season to pad his stats. If he were able to be cloned I would play him at the 1 through 5 positions. I am assuming he cannot be cloned.

Allen Iverson – I play Allen at the point. I hardly ever shoot outside jumpers with him. He is used to penetrate in the half court offense with by setting a high screen. I leave his number as 3 and usually try to cut his hair into the short fade, but there is yet an NBA Live to allow me to do this. Allen averages a triple double in the second season because it is still on rookie level and he gets 10 steals a game in a full court press designed to run the score up on lesser opponents. After much ragging from friends I bump it up to starter and then eventually all-star levels and his numbers decline.

J.R. Smith – I really hate admitting that he is my starting two guard because of the brawl against the Knicks. Nate Robinson is one of my favorite players in the NBA and would have been a bench player for this team if not for the altercation. I just couldn’t handle that possible disaster. Chemistry is much more important. I take him out of the number 1 and make him wear 21. He’s not happy with it at first, but playing in my system of basketball allows him to average 15 a game and he adjusts to the new number. He desperately tries to join Allen and Josh’s rap group (mentioned later) but is never accepted. He begins sleeping with Ivana Trump (Donald is part owner of the team) at my request and I eventually use it as a way to railroad him. We trade him in his fourth year for a younger player who can dunk very well.

Josh Smith – He plays the 2 through the 4, but primarily the three. He only dunks and blocks shots. He wins the dunk contest two years in a row and with Allen and J.R. gives our team extraordinary street cred. He also forms a rap group with Allen to rejuvenate Allen’s rap career. Allen and Josh play their own music simultaneously on separate Ipods throughout the locker room, but can never manage to get them completely in sync. He is not allowed to wear his headband and I long consider putting goggles on him but ultimately decide against it.

Dwight Howard – He’s a monster on NBA Live. You can literally run him towards the rim and throw an alley-oop and it’s two points. He is also a great guy in the locker room. He’s quiet but already a stern leader who encourages others through his play on the court and work ethic off of it. Iverson defers to Dwight in many situations. He wears 12, which was an old soccer number of mine. We feel like kindred spirits and I treat him as the 7 foot 240 pound black son I never had.

Ansu Harrington – This guy really doesn’t exist but I drafted him one year I had the Knicks and he was an absolute beast inside. He averaged 4 offensive rebounds a game and 11 rebounds total. Not a great shooter, but can knock down a 6 foot jumper on a consistent basis. He wears the number 11 which compliments Dwight Howards’s number 12. He looks similar to Djimon Hounsou and does wear goggles with a headband ala Rip Hamilton. He has the most character on the team and is often offended by Allen and Josh’s rap lyrics.