Monday, March 31, 2008

Pure Athlete

I am just now getting over the fact that last weekend's NCAA Tournament games were incredibly boring. Only the last game (Davidson vs. Kansas) had any type of drama. I have never been one to follow Bill Self's teams but after watching that game it was obvious why he had never been to the Final Four before now. He is not very good. Without question he coached that game "not-to-lose" as opposed to trying to win it outright. It made for a dramatic ending so I suppose I should thank him for finding a way to coach his absurdly talented team in a way that nearly left them out of a star-studded Final Four. As sad as it is to admit, the most entertaining part of the weekend was in the very first game of the weekend, Washington State vs. North Carolina. Aside from the fact that this game was over within the first 15 minutes Jay Bilas was able to provide some phenomenal insight.

You see, Washington State is not the sexiest or most athletic team in the world but they are well-coached and play smart basketball. Pretty much the exact opposite description of an Oregon basketball team but that's not the point. One player on Washington State who fits the "not-the-most-athletic-looking-guy" mold is Taylor Rochestie. He is white, has floppy hair and wears knee-length socks. Over the last couple of years I have found him to be a pretty effective ballplayer though and Bilas agrees. At one point in the first half Bilas said about Rochestie, "A much better athlete than he gets credit for. He can dunk off two feet with two hands with ease." Well, there you have it. Rochestie is a modern day Bruce Jenner. You're to tell me a college basketball player can do that and be a student at the same time? I need to see footage of Rochestie pulling off the miraculous feat to believe it myself.

Bilas' comments were not outlandish but I was waiting for something really good to nail home the point that Rochestie is quite an athlete. In my mind I was waiting for Bilas to say something like he can dunk off two feet from near the free throw line and put it between his legs. That would have made the suspense worth it. Instead he told me that Rochestie can dunk, which makes him far more athletic than I but a likely reason why he wears his socks so high.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oakland A's vs. Boston Red Sox Live Blog

Well, due to a new member in the family my life has been completely flipped upside down. As a result, I am able to live blog the first game of the 2008 MLB season. The battle in Japan that is starting at 3:00am PDT. Here we go:

Middle 1st: If anyone is wondering I have not packed on the pounds in the same way Daisuke Matsuzaka has since playing a role in the conception of a child. Not real sure American food is agreeing with him and I know the mullet is not. Holy Crap! The baby has decided to fall asleep so this may go down as the shortest live blog in history. Do not worry though, there is no way I will be sleeping for the remaining 8.5 innings so I should be back.

Top 1st: Holy Crap! The names of the players are in Japanese on the scoreboard. This shouldn't surprise me since the game is in Japan but I did not know Ramirez had a Japanese translation. Joe Blanton is throwing the first pitch, kind of wish he was wearing Dodger blue. Dustin Pedroia starts things off with a single up the middle. I played against him in high school so I do have a soft spot in my heart for him. Ortiz swung at the first pitch and popped out to third. If I was a member of the stupidest group ever, Red Sox Nation, I would be very worried about that. Uh Oh! Ramirez also popped out. Epstein better appease Boston and trade for some middle of the lineup power immediately.

Pregame: I have a new found hate for the Red Sox since they have become the new Yankees and a ton of people I work with are Red Sox fans so I am pulling hard for the A's. The fact that their AAA team resides in the hometown has made them a favorite team of mine anyway.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Still Around

The blog has slowed down considerably as a result of a familial addition. I will have comments on the limited amount of the NCAA Tournament that I saw at some point. All I know is my bracket is as it usually is: lagging behind my wife's.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Danny Green Dunk

After posting the picture I figured it would be appropriate to learn how to embed YouTube video on this here blog. I figure having a Duke player, Greg Paulus no less, getting dunked on at home would be the perfect one to start start.

More Replays Please

I was one of the many college basketball fans that watched Duke and North Carolina battle on Saturday night. I could not have been the only one that wanted to see multiple replays of Danny Green putting his twig and berries on Greg Paulus' forehead. It was a very impressive dunk and usually those types of plays are replayed over and over. What did ESPN do instead? Beat the Duke student in a Speedo story to death. I would much rather see a pompous and overrated Dukie get two black eyes while getting dunked on then see a college student give the sophomoric 'suck it' gesture while wearing only a Speedo. The only replay I saw of the impressive dunk was from the camera stationed behind the square on the backboard. Come on! I cannot actually confirm that Paulus was in a position that would even make a wrestler blush form that angle.

If this were FSN and UCLA doing the dunking (I see their relationship to be similar to Duke and ESPN's) we would get to see that play from 9 different angles and enjoy each one. Russell Westbrook has managed to put his junk in two players' faces this year and every camera angle in the building was at our disposal. I do not want to further emabrass the guys that were foolish enough to try and take the charge but they play for California-Berkeley and Oregon. I can't believe I just complimented FSN. Everything it does is pathetic and worthy of its own post. ESPN usually does a great job but in this case they did not practice journalistic integrity. All networks should remember that a dunk where another man puts his area on another man's head needs to be shown from multiple angles. It does not matter if the player being humiliated is from an adopted school.

(Photo from Deadspin.)

Daylight Savings Recovery

Well, today was the second day of daylight savings and I must say I have adjusted. According to Renee McCullough of KMTR in Eugene I am a resilient individual. On Saturday night she mentioned a study that found it takes some people up to two weeks to recover! That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The people with that type of response must be Oregon State graduates because that is pathetic. Word of advice to Renee, sight the study and drop actual names of people that performed it because by simply mentioning a study I think she did some research on herself and realized she is not that good at sleeping, life or something. Also, there is no need to throw in that tidbit because just a couple of weeks ago the local paper had a front-page, above the fold article bragging that Oregon is the most agnostic state in the Union. So if the viewing audience has no reason to wake up there is no way 'losing' an hour of sleep should have any effect.

You know, I act like I am some super human because I have recovered so quickly but the church I go to has us delay changing our clocks until after service so I cheated. There is no doubt that if I had to 'lose' the hour of sleep I would have had to take sick leave for the entire week. The more I think about it Renee may have found something. Everyone that takes a flight from Utah to California has to take into account the fact that they will not be functional for a few days. Those people that take trips one time zone away are all too familiar with jet lag on those adventures. How do business people do one-night trips? I'll bet their employers provide complimentary mental help because of the incredible challenge of dealing with frequent one-hour time changes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ducks Have To Win

I have serious concerns over the state of the Ducks basketball team. They have a ton of good players but are not winning games. It makes no sense to me. Some of the folks that like to think the coach is not in any way at fault attribute it to lackluster players. My response to that is very simple. You're to tell me Washington State's players are better athletes and have more skill than the Ducks? Didn't think so. I certainly have far more to say on this matter but will keep it to myself for now.

What is of interest to me is that the Ducks could have the lamest coach ever (I don't think they do) and the most pathetic players (I know they don't) and still win the Civil War. Oregon State is one of the worst teams in major college basketball history as far as I can tell. For this reason I know the Ducks will win. If for whatever reason that does not happen this will turn into a Beavers blog for seven days. Provided hell freezes over tomorrow night, I will spend the next week posting about the Beavers at least once a day for an entire week. Now that is the Oregon cockiness the rest of the Pac-10 has come to love!

Stop Worrying About Gas

I only used the above title to get your attention. I do understand the importance of oil and its byproducts on the economy but for a moment quit worrying about it and move on to something else. That something else is food prices at movies. For those that regularly attend movies and attempt to purchase drinks or snacks this development is nothing new but for me it is. I would guess I go the movies about 5-7 times a year and never buy crap to eat or drink. For whatever reason I decided a snack and soda would be a good idea tonight. I think the fact that I was in possession of a gift card made me lose my inhibitions. I suppose it is a good thing bars do not have gift cards! After purchasing tickets the gift card had a value of $3.50. Now, I am not so clueless that I thought this would be enough to cover my splurging behavior but I didn't realize it would not even be enough for a tip.

On the big board that displayed the 'combos' there was no dollar figure associated with them. If there had been I would have never considered it. So my wife and I go with #1 because it comes with two drinks and a popcorn. The drinks were huge and the popcorn was offensive in size. I was truly embarrassed by how much crap (yes, crap is the proper term for the stuff I had: pink lemonade and popcorn) I was carrying around the theater. My hands were so full I had to ask the ticket taker to take my tickets out of my back pocket. He declined so I was forced to make it work but larger hands would have been nice. In fact, another arm would have been more efficient.

So you get the picture that I had a lot of stuff but I felt cheated. The total came out to be $15.50. It is no wonder the prices of 'combos' are not listed. Not a single person, in this economy in particular, should pull the trigger on that purchase. There is not enough money in Lane County for me to feel good about that type of purchase. Though I liked the movie (Vantage Point) I spent the entire time, and still am, thinking about how stupid I was for paying that much money for two cups of ice with a touch of lemonade and popcorn. Oil prices are going to be what they are because of our dependence on it. Movie snack prices are not necessary so let's band together and not purchase any of them. This certainly is a campaign that folks from all political walks of life can get behind. My political career known for consensus-building is off to a great start.