Day: August 14, 2004


Puerto Rico 92 US 73
Even Basketball Genius Larry Brown may not be able to overcome this. (Roy Williams is on the bench; let’s blame him!) It’s one thing to get beat badly in a game that means nothing. It’s another thing to lay an egg like this in Olympic competition. This was a travesty of epic proportions. No defense, the complete inability to hit wide-open shots, very little heart, too much complaining. Puerto Rico was watching the US shooters from the lane because they knew we couldn’t hit a shot to save our lives from beyond the arc. The Puertoriquenos were woofing at our players not out of fear or machismo, but because they knew they were better.
It’s reached the point where I almost hope the US continues to get smacked around by everyone so we can end the Dream Team concept once and for all. If we’re going to lose, at least throw college players out there who will play with pride. Using Andy Katz’ preseason top 50, here’s a quick run down of college players that could have filled this year’s team:
Chris Paul, PG Wake Forest
Sean May, PF, North Carolina
Wayne Simien, PF, Kansas
JR Giddens, SF, Kansas
Jarrett Jack, G, Georgia Tech
Gerry McNamara, SG, Syracuse
Hakim Warrick, PF, Syracuse
Channing Frye, PF, Arizona
Hassan Adams, SF, Arizona
Deron Williams, SG, Illinois
JJ Redick, SG, Duke
Lawrence Roberts, PF, Mississippi State
Chris Thomas, PG, Notre Dame
Travis Diener, PG, Marquette
Ryan Gomes, SF, Providence
Bracey Wright, SG, Indiana (Bonus non-top 50 pick)

That’s just a quick look at “name” players. Go back to the old days when 50 college kids and a couple high schoolers were invited to camp in June. They try out for two weeks. We pick a team. They practice and play exhibition games for six weeks. I’m telling you, they’d be competitive. We’d lose our inside dominance, but Tim Duncan ain’t exactly scoring at will is he? Think Redick, McNamara, and Wright wouldn’t knock down every wide-open shot they got? Use wiry guys like Warrik out top, then beefy guys like Simien and Roberts down low and you could slice up the zones NBA players can’t seem to figure out. They might still lose games by 20, but at least it would be interesting instead of embarrassing.

Michael Phelps’ eight gold medal dream is over. The US men’s gymnastic team looked rather poor Saturday. The men’s beach volleyball teams look uninspired. Australia, a country of 19 million, looks like an athletic super power. I’m telling you, if the games go poorly, John Kerry can promise to increase funding for the US Olympic program and that might help him win a couple more battleground states. “Under George W. Bush’s watch, we went from easily winning the medal count in Sydney to struggling to remain competitive in sports we’ve long dominated.” It just might work. You read it here first!


Friday Night Insanity

Insanity is harsh, but when I sit down at the computer at 11:45 totally frazzled from 90 minutes of screaming, my creative juices are slow to work their magic. M. was in all kinds of weird moods today. She had a pretty good night of sleep, even spending the time from 6:00 to 8:30 AM in her crib. She woke around 10:30 or so for a feed, and really never got back to a deep sleep until 5:00. Both S. and I were a little frustrated because we didn’t have our regular two-hour blocks of freedom. After her nap, though, she was an angel. One of my sisters-in-law came over for dinner and M. just sat in her arms for an hour without making a noise. Well, she made some noises that began in her bowels so we laid her down to change her, prepared for the usual outburst. Not a peep. She just sat there and let us change and clean her. She dropped another load minutes later, and the same story for that change. We fed her around 9:30 and something there set her off. She howled from around 10:00 until around 11:30. It was one of those outbursts that nothing seemed to stem and brought mom and dad to the verge of their own tears. I haven’t heard a peep from the living room for 30 minutes (Granted, the iPod is cranked up) so, knock on wood, perhaps the storm has passed.

Long time readers of my work (I’m talking pre-blog work; back in the days of the ER list and the 80s trivia list) will recall I had an affinity towards boycotts. If something pissed me off, I boycotted it. That all came to a screeching halt when Masters Newman, Allison, and Lancaster forced me to break my seven year, idiotic boycott of Jack’s Stack one day at lunch. They actually had no idea of the boycott, and I sheepishly admitted it after I tasted how good the food truly was. I went back twice in the next month. Anyway, my point is while I’ve gotten off the whole boycott thing, I’m still a big fan of pet peeves. I have one new one, and was reminded of a classic one I feel obligated to share with the group.
The new one is people who have license plates saying that they’re the “Number One Fan” of team/school X. This really pisses me off. First off, unless you’re 11, you should never think you’re the number one fan of a team. There’s always someone more committed, more rabid, more mentally ill than you are somewhere that’s giving 1000% to the team compared to your 120%. Second, you picked this license plate off a rack that had 20 more just like them. Think about that for a second. There were opportunities for 20 more people to make the same claim, yet you still bought the damn license plate. Did you think they took the rest off the shelves one you carried yours out the door? Stick to a simple logo license plate, please.
The old pet peeve I was reminded of is far more serious. These dump trucks that rumble around, spreading debris and cracking windshields with the disclaimer to stay back 200 feet painted on the back really piss me off. First off, is that a legal defense? Can I put a sign on my truck telling people to stay off my ass, and then if I slam on my brakes for no reason and they hit me, they’re liable? What really gets me going is the fact that if you paint this on a vehicle, should they not ever, under any circumstances, pass another vehicle? How can I stay 200 feet back if the asshole driving the truck blew by me at 10 MPH over the speed limit? There’s a part of me that’s always secretly wants to take a rock from a dump truck in the windshield just so I could have a heart attack over the matter. I hate those things. Am I alone here? Is this thing on?

OK, I feel better after sharing those things. This next week is going to be different, at least I hope so. I’m going to try to get myself into a routine. I need to start studying for the GREs. I need to get back out running again. And I need to be more consistent posting about subjects other than my daughter’s excrement. I shall try to do much better so you have a reason to check daily again. Since I’ll be a captive audience for the Olympics, that should generate some ideas.


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