I was indeed sweating it, cursing, and attempting to throw things last night during the Kansas-Missouri game. Rivalry games are nerve racking enough. When your team is supposed to win by a lot (18 point favs, I believe) and they start kicking the ball all over the gym to fall behind by 11, well, tensions tend to rise a little. We just happened to be baby-sitting for some friends last night. I didn’t fear the extra kid presence at first, since these same kids were over for the Kentucky game and that turned out ok. However, I had to take a couple long walks around the basement in the first half. When Jason Conley stole the ball and dunked for an 11 point Mizzou lead early in the second half, I looked at S. and tersely said, “Can you go upstairs, please?” I was able to get my curse on, and naturally, the Jayhawks clamped down and won by 12.

Very solid move going to the zone in the second half for KU. Not sure why Self didn’t do it sooner, since MU hasn’t played well against zones and Kleiza and Conley were killing the ‘Hawks on penetration to the lane. Fran Frischilla is ok, he’s clearly no Jon Sundvold, but while he was extolling the virtues of playing a zone, he didn’t seem to realize that KU had come out and played man on several possessions. Pay attention! I did like the fact that Frischilla was the first announcer this season I’ve heard explain that free throws are now shot after TV timeouts. I had figured that out on my own by now, but had yet to hear that was a definite rule change. He also had an interesting comment about how “European players play with a lot of passion.” Does that mean players born in Europe like Kleiza and Kaun, or anyone with European background? Careful! 🙂 Max Falkenstein said the two Slavic players on the court shared a warm greeting after the game. Heartwarming.

I said it before, I’ll say it again. Marshall Brown is going to be an absolute stud for Missouri.

If you don’t think there’s parity in college basketball, how about the fact that Oklahoma State’s 25 game home winning streak is the longest in the nation? It seemed like there always used to be a couple big schools like KU and Kentucky with 30-40 game streaks, then some mid-major like Utah State with a 50 game streak. Anyone can beat anyone these days.

Onto other things. I’ve been watching a lot of TV while battling my cold. A couple things caught my attention. First off, there’s a John Elway line of furniture. Seriously. I understand him promoting athletic items when he was playing, or the cholesterol lowering drug (Or whatever it is) he’s doing now. But furniture? Are there really people outside Denver who will base their furnishing purchases on the fact that Elway’s name is on the label (With a nice little markup, I bet)? When we were buying stuff for our house, I never thought, “Man, I wish Paul Pierce had a line of interior items. That would make this process soooo much easier!”

Second, has anyone else watched any of the women’s billiards that are on ESPN2? There was always that attractive Asian woman, Jeanette Lee I think is her name. Come on guys, you know who I’m talking about. But everyone else seemed to really look like they had spent 20 years in pool halls drinking beer and eating cheeseburgers while honing their craft. Ms. Lee always dressed nice, but now they’ve got her wearing heels, tight pants, and low cut blouses. When she’s leaning over a shot, they use what must be a Fox camera and get in close so you see plenty of cleavage. It’s a little disturbing to watch her compete with women I assume are named Bertha. I did see her play another fairly attractive woman last week in a skills competition. Her opponent was also dressed more for happy hour than for heated billiards competition. I’m not sure how the announcers can say things like, “She’s got to hit two balls with one stroke,” under normal circumstances. When the competitors are hot, I have to think the announcers are drunk. There’s no other way to say things like that with a straight face. Something tells me ESPN is going to see an increase in ratings soon.

Coming sometime soon: an extended review of Fox Sports Network’s coverage of darts tournaments. If you haven’t seen these, watch sometime. It’s insane.

I can’t believe I haven’t commented on Ice Cube’s movie, Are We There Yet? Am I really supposed to believe the man largely responsible for one of the most inflammatory albums in the history of hip-hop is now in wacky, family oriented movies? At least when Ice T sold out, he went the cop route and said, “Cops are just another type of gangster.” I can buy that, kind of.

Last week was the 20 year anniversary of the recording of USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”, possibly the worst song ever. To hype the anniversary DVD, they’re now sending money to tsunami relief. That’s decent, I guess. Did we really need a commemorative DVD, though? I caught the video last week on VH1. It was as awful as I remembered. The only cool thing about that song was the day almost every station in the US played the song at the same time.