Archive for the ‘College Basketball’ category

Homeboy Phone Home

April 11, 2007

Hey guess what? Ernie Kent will be back next year and every year thereafter until at least 2012*.

*unless of course he quits or gets fired.

I’ve always been sort of back and forth – happy when things are good, disappointed when things are down (so I clearly have a credible opinion), but you have to give the extension when he gets a program to two Elite Eights in five years. It puts the Ducks with a little over a dozen other teams and it would’ve been beyond difficult to let a guy go after this year’s success, as well as convince a new coach that his job won’t always be in danger, no matter the success. So that’s that.

• The finale of Friday Night Lights was good, albeit predictable and somwhat cliched. They pulled out all the stops (including both a trick play AND a slow clap). That said, it’s still solidly in the ol’ Top 5. They key to this show, if you’re planning on catching up, is to suspend all disbelief and all that you know logically know to be true about football. There are endless inconsistencies and situations that are not at all dealt with realistically, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s entertaining, they talk football broadly, but at the same time, accurately enough, it’s well cast, and it just feels like it’s of higher quality than almost every other show. I don’t know, I just like it.

Brett Tomko pitched for the Dodgers last night…and dominated. What?

• Apparently, Don Imus is still alive. Who knew? Funny how when he starts getting accused of being a racist, the cowboy hat mysteriously disappears. Every now and then I’ll flip to MSNBC when he’s on, and honestly, I catch only about one of every nine words. It’s amazing that people can hear through the warbling.

• I’ve been voting for Sanjaya, but just after I know the show’s over. Of course, now I find out that there’s some girl who’s getting increasingly naked(er) every week. The face leaves something to be desired, but wow am I gonna miss her all of the sudden.

The other thing I noticed last night is that four of the songs sung last night weren’t the same song. Isn’t it sort of insulting to Latin music that it can only be represented by Gloria Estefan? Sure, it’s good for her and her jet-ski enthusiast husband, but nobody in 20 years is going to know what the hell you’re talking about if you reference the Miami Sound Machine.

• I need a haircut.

• I haven’t seen 24 in two weeks and I’m not even itching for it at all. Sully and Big Daddy Eisner seem interested, but ehhhhhhhh.

• Eisner wants one of those colorful poofy hoodies that your favorite hip-hopper wears. If you know of where to get one inexpensively, please alert me immediately.

• Just in case it needs clarification, I have my regular phone AND my homebody phone. I hope this clears everything up.

I’m in need of mental preparation before tonight’s Lost. I must prepare myself to be both intrigued and disappointed all at the same time. Such is life when you’re a shot caller, such is life.

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Uh Oh

April 6, 2007

• Oops, Colin Cowherd sorta kinda did something that was not so good today. Calling on listeners to jam a web site is not such a good plan if you don’t want to be investigated by the FCC.

I listened to him some in Eugene because, you’ll have to trust me on this one, there is NOTHING good on the radio in Eugene. I don’t mind flipping through terrible pop stations, but even those were somehow way worse in Eugene. Anyway, occasionally I’ll sit through a couple minutes of the show because he’s on the station my clock radio is tuned to, but honestly, the guy’s purely schtick. I never really listened to Tony Kornheiser when he was on ESPN in the mornings because I would usually listen to Stern, but I decided to download the podcast of his XM show on iTunes, and WOW, his show is far more entertaining and doesn’t make you want to throw up a little in your mouth, like most of Cowherd’s incoherent, condescending rants make me want to do on a semi-regular basis. ESPN Radio would be smart to move in a new direction, and that direction should be towards anything that isn’t Cowherd.

• The fantasy squad is climbing into the week. I’ve never played in a match-up league, so for it’s alright, but the roughly 47 offensive categories that are counted seems counterintuitive. In protest, I will only be checking my team’s progress 52 times a day, instead of the traditional 53.

The Office was back last night for its first new episode in 822 weeks and now I can’t hold a grudge anymore. It was all good, down to MissTerious, Dwight’s throwing stars, Toby taking a deposition, and the certificate with the teddy bear. And on a semi-related note, Jenna Fischer is skyrocketing up my unofficial rankings that I keep at the ready in the ol’ cerebellum. She’s clearly dressed down and sort of fugged up on The Office, but she always seemed like she had an extra gear with a ton of upside (unclear on the wingspan) a la Tyrus Thomas. Judging from the stills from Blades of Glory (and a positive report from Charlottesville, VA’s most trusted sports anchor), she appears to have realized her potential and more. Throw in this shot from some magazine, and we’re talking sleeper top 3. Alright, I’m done perving out for the day.

Eisner is breaking hearts. Ladies, you’re officially on notice. You probably won’t see a noticable difference when the first Dodger photo essay of the season arrives in the next few weeks. But if you look closely, you’ll probably see a large group of women in the background clawing each other’s eyes, yelling at each other, crying over Scott not calling back, and generally trembling in his presence. He’s like an Axe Body Spray commercial combined with a Tag Body Spray commercial. Yea, hard to top that.

• I turned down the Kentucky job. Just wasn’t for me.

Sopranos is back Sunday. This is the event that happens every two years that gets me swearing more than I should and also figuring out how I can successfully shake people down. This began my freshman year of high school when I started yelling at my buddy Esa out of nowhere using words in Italian that I only had the foggiest idea about. I regret nothing.

• It pains me to say it, given our history, but the Rachael Ray talk show is atrocious. She’s just not good around…people. I like her way more talking to food than humans. Sad to say, but she probably peaked in ’03 with the mini-burgers episode. Still a classic.

• Nate on Leno tonight. Spread the palabra.

Wonk.

Might As Well Beard It Up

April 3, 2007

• Spring practice for Oregon football started today. The Ducks are down a cornerback (Jackie Bates transferring), still have a QB decision to make, have a new offensive coordinator, practicing without at least half of both lines (resting with injuries), trying to figure out who the kicking job will go to, starting two new LBs, implementing a new special teams system with a new coach, and trying to create a new, more intense attitude to not break down mentally after bad losses or stretches of games. Sounds like 10-2 to me. At Michigan and USC in the Eug will be tough.

On paper, there seems to be too many questions to take advantage of two really good running backs, a senior QB, and one of the best secondaries in the country, but somehow they will, as this team defies logic (should’ve been much better last year). And yes, this is all pretty much torturous to follow, but here I am.

Let’s get back on topic…

• The University of Oregon School of Journalism‘s own Nate Jackson will be hosting a segment on The Tonight Show on Friday night from, I believe, Lake Havasu. He won some sort of contest in a search for the next correspondent (that I, for the record, did not know about or enter) and apparently won.

Nate’s a good dude, we worked together some at school and I’ve seen him a couple times since he moved down here and I imagine that he’ll do a good job on Leno. I’m not sure what other insight I have into him other than the fact that he once pitched a story in our Advanced News class that would basically get to the bottom of the origin of street steam, and another trying to figure out where college students stood on the topic of sex. Neither story was approved, but my guess that the conclusion to the second pitch would be “pro.”

The Hills‘ season two ended last night. Luckily, though, Sully downloaded season one (he hadn’t seen it) and hooked it up to the projector he uses to teach his class so we could watch some episodes. The previous sentence was one of the more difficult sentences I’ve ever made public.

• The Dodgers have started the season off 0-2 in Milwaukee. I blame the new parking prices. The other thing about the new parking is they now lead you to and from your parking spot, which ruins the whole traditional scramble to make it out the parking lot before somebody throws fireworks at your car. Think Blue!!

• The stars of the show I will never, ever, EVER watch again, Sons of Hollywood are Sean Stewart (son of Rod) and Randy Spelling, (possible great, great, great grand) son of Aaron. They embody everything that’s wrong with what happens when human beings don’t quite turn out the way they should, sort of like the burnt toast of reality television. I can not stress enough, PLEASE DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW.

• Speaking of which, I was luckily enough to listen to Christina Aguilera answer questions on the Sirius pop station. I can’t really recall too many specifics, but there definitely was not conclusive evidence that she’s not a robot. Hey, at least they’re robots are made in orange now.

Lasorda’s Lesbos (this year’s fantasy squad) started slowly, but I still see a good season ahead. Sure, I may have two 40ish starters (Smoltz, Schilling), my closers may or may not be head cases (Jenks, Lidge), my best outfielder may also be one (Manny), my second baseman may be out six more weeks (Figgins), but I don’t think you realize that my shortstop is Orlando Cabrera, and his helmet is probably way more pine tar-y than your shortstop’s. So there.

The Office is new this week after a short 17 year hiatus. The clips up on Yahoo more than help, though. It’s European!!!

John Travolta‘s psycho Scientologist wife is on TV selling Neutrogena something. I didn’t want to look directly at her for fear of involuntary recruitment.

• I’m considering not shaving until Oregon wins a basketball or football national championship. I’m not sure if I’m making this statement in protest or because I sort of liked my recent beard phase.

• I just realized that after parking and getting food before the first inning starts, I’ll be out probably $25. I’m half expecting a dollor slot to form in my TV. I need to get over this. After the first time I spill mustard (roughly two weeks from now I’d guess), I’ll probably get over it and move on.

My back is kinda sweaty, time to end this charade.

It’ll Change Your Life

April 1, 2007

Last night, I went to Don Antonio’s with Jackie, Sully, and Sully’s lady friend Katy. The reason we went, beyond trying to figure out why a seemingly, nice, normal girl sees in Sully, was to sample what was so magical about a Mexican restaurant in West LA that Spencer (of The Hills) proclaimed would change one’s life to two different highly overrated girls.


The douche in question.


The establishing shot. We arrived shortly after UCLA thoroughly embarassed the Pac-10 against Florida. Good thing Aaron Afflalo was the Pac-10 POY without even being the best “Aaron” from the Pac-10 to play against the Gators this week.


I have a huge head, I know. Jackie claims she looks like her mom in this picture.


Sully and Katy. What isn’t shown in this photograph is that Kevin decided to not wear pants. It was inappropriate and uncalled for, but hey, that’s Sully.


My meal: Crispy taco and chicken enchilada combo. It was actually really good. I didn’t want it to be. I wanted Spencer to lose all credibility, but it’s hard to argue with this meal, although I’m not sure if it changed my life. I’ll keep you posted.


His first mistake was saying, “I’ll have the Super Burrito with chicken.” This was the actual name of the menu item. He had to show off and make himself look, as the locals say, “macho.” I don’t want to spoil anything, but the final score was Super Burrito: 1, Sully: 0.


A closer look at what would become Sully’s white whale.


That’s the look of defeat, my friends. Full disclosure: he finished it. Fuller disclosure: the burrito sort of finished him. The look on her face is the look of “Maybe I should start seeing somebody that can defeat a Super Burrito.”

So Spencer’s taste in Mexican food was somewhat accurate, but his taste in women, life, and work remains well below-average.

P.S. The burrito knocked Sully quite literally out – he fell asleep in my car five minutes after stopping for frozen yogurt. A step backwards if you ask me.

Quick Bullets

March 29, 2007

• I cut part of my hair that my barberess completely neglected when I got a haircut a few weeks ago. I’m now back on the market looking for a new barber/ess. I would say I did a fairly good job considering my mechanical skills with that sort of thing are probably below average.

• It’s been a few days, so should I update you that the “Young Phil Jackson” look is gone. It was a combination of me becoming too obsessed with playing with the ‘stache and at the same time being too obsessed with going out in public without completely murdering what little credibility I have left.

• I voted for Sanjaya on Tuesday night. I don’t really watch American Idol, I just flip and watch him butcher another song, and then start voting. I don’t see it as corruption, I see it merely as saving the fine scripted programming it regularly humiliates in the ratings. I need my Gilmore Girls, damnit! Did I say Gilmore Girls? I meant to say…fine, whatever, I got hooked a few years ago and I just need closure. Judge me all you want.

Friday Night Lights is identical to what my life was like in high school if you just substitute playing football in a rural Texas town with constantly daydreaming in class as to what a diamond in the rough lunch place would be around campus. And I played tennis too, so there’s that.

• The more I think about it, the more Dick Vitale is the smartest mind in college basketball.

(Note: This was just an experiment to see if I could actually send such a backwards message from my brain to my fingers.)

West Fuckin’ Virginia won the NI Fuckin’ T.

Aaron Brooks won the State Farm Three Point Contest against other non-Final Four players. This screengrab is perfect closure (for me).

• This coming Monday brings the season finale of The Hills. If nothing else, this show has the greatest “Next Time On…” video editor. Anyway, this show let me down many times with promoting something that was too good to deliver, but provided too many ridiculous moments to say anything bad about this show. I’ll miss you most Spencer, I’ll miss you most.

My answer is “get out of my car.”

The End of the Road, Part II

March 25, 2007

Today was also the day in which the tournament beard saw its demise. After the Ducks throttled SC, I decided I would stop shaving, in an effort to put the team over the top in the NCAA Tournament. The results of the beard and Oregon‘s run are eerily similar. They both started strong, survived and advanced, continued to show promise, did what they needed to do to impress late, but eventually they both had to meet their end. The success of each leaves me with a positive outlook for the future.

Excuse the shirt, it isn’t mandatory-wear for a few months, so it shouldn’t pop up as much in the coming months as it has been recently.


The final beard. Nothing to scoff at. I didn’t feel all that much like a douche by the time it had fully matured and there’s a good possibility it’ll come back whenever I decide on a new cause that needs my support thrown behind it. My gut says a Dodgers World Series beard may backfire horribly.


Internalizing. We had some good times.


I mistakenly covered myself in cream before I realized that it would be smart to do this in steps. You can almost feel the intensity.


Wiping off for the first shaving benchmark.


Sometimes, you just need to know for sure if mutton chops will work or not. Clearly, for me anyway, they pass with flying colors.


Your standard goatee. I’m not comfortable with how much I look like an actor trying to seem rough between roles. Also, this look easily maxes me out on the douchiness scale.


Keep it moving. The name tag on the mirror is from my day on set with Chuck Woolery. I’m still bitter, and still in need of writing that whole thing up.


This picture oozes sophistication. I could very well land myself a manager job at Circuit City with this look. Keep an eye on your daughters…


…because HERE’S THE MONEY SHOT!!! I’m still sporting what I call “The Young Man’s Phil Jackson,” although I’m not sure why. My guess is to continue making horrible faces every time I see a mirror.

You’re welcome.

The End of the Road

March 25, 2007

The Ducks lost. It’s hard to mount a comeback and stay with a (better) team with inconsistent calls throughout the game. You call it close or you let them play. Florida had and has the better inside players, who also happen to utilize the more physical aspects of basketball. This is fine, provided you allow aggressive play on both ends of the floor.

Whoops. Not so much the case.

I’ve seen enough games this season to know that this team is disciplined enough to not start hacking to stop bigger players. They’ve done it with switching, help defense, and filling the passing lanes. I watched every play today, and their defensive style was no different than it was against other big teams throughout the course of the season. Malik Hairston, in particular, is a disciplined player who, to my knowledge, has kept his fouls down playing against bigger players all season.

Horford and Noah are the best big men the team has faced all year, but Washington, Stanford, and Georgetown all have inside players at least in the same league as Florida’s, and yet today, under the biggest of spotlights do the Ducks decide to become aggressive enough to warrant a whistle on seemingly every play in the second half?

This season was probably more fun for me to watch than the 2001-02 season, even though I was at Oregon then and got to see a lot of those games firsthand. This team beat better teams, had more weapons, and came in with a far bigger chip on their shoulders.

I love that Aaron Brooks carried the team and didn’t disappear in the tournament, love that a 5’6″ freshman set a Pac-10 3 point record, love Maarty Leunen winning the Washington St. game at Pullman, loved watching Bryce Taylor drop a perfect 32 destroying USC in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship, loved Malik Hairston playing through injuries and peaking at the end of the season (despite getting plucked by inconsistent refs).

I also love that the team beat half of the Final Four (UCLA and Georgetown), swept a 3 seed (WSU), beat Arizona 2 out of 3 times (and yes, I know they were easily the most overrated team in the country), and shredding their way through the conference tournament, ending in an embarrassingly one-sided blitz of USC (always satisfying).

This season should ultimately save Ernie Kent’s job, and rightfully so. Hopefully, he and the team can build on this year’s success by improving next season with a lineup that should be almost all back, save for Brooks (I would think a healthy season for Malik Hairston gives him the chance to be a lottery pick). Beyond that, both recruiting and hopes for the development of a new arena should also improve.

That’s all I got.

(Five months until football)