Day: April 3, 2015

No Thanks

My girls go to school approximately 11 miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium. When I picked them up about an hour ago,[1] that is the closest I’ll get to downtown Indy this weekend.

I’ve already dealt with a downtown swarming with Kentucky fans once this year. No need to do it again when A) there are going to be approximately 8 million of them clogging the streets this time and B) their team is on the verge of history. They were insufferable back in November.[2] I can’t imagine what they’ll be like this weekend.

Nope, I’ll stay up here in the northern suburbs practicing spring sports with the girls.

It’s not just Kentucky, though. We’re on the verge of a nightmare scenario national championship game for most of the college basketball world. Who do you root for if there is a Duke-Kentucky final and you are not a fan of either school? These are the bluest of the blue bloods over the past 25 years. They are, likely, the two most loathed programs in the game. How do you pick when it’s Evil Empire 1 vs. Evil Empire 2?

I suppose the right answer is that you hope that matchup does not happen. Maybe Michigan State can spin their Tom Izzo magic one more game and knock off Duke. And might Wisconsin have the perfect combination of size, experience, offense, and smarts to hang with the Wildcats for 38 minutes and then make the winning plays that Notre Dame could not make in last week’s regional final?

Sure, both are possible. Anything is possible in the NCAA tournament. This is an event that routinely does not end up with the best team winning the championship.

But I won’t be holding my breath for two upsets, let alone one Saturday.

So it’s going to be the ultimate college basketball brand, Kentucky, where John Calipari sells his program as the finest stepping stone to the NBA, versus the most corporate program in the game, Duke, where when Coach K isn’t expertly adjusting his offense to best suit the talent he has in a given year, he’s thinking of how he can leverage that success into another round of speeches and books aimed at business leaders.

I can’t bring myself to root for Duke as the final chance to prevent Kentucky from going undefeated. But neither can I want anything good to happen to UK and Calipari.

So I’m going to root like hell for Wisconsin tomorrow, and then I’ll spend most of Monday night watching baseball. But I’m sure I’ll be checking in on what’s going on downtown regularly.

  1. Early dismissal for Good Friday, then no school on Monday. The joys of Catholic schools!  ↩
  2. As a reminder a Kentucky fan a couple rows behind us told the 9-year-old Duke fan directly behind us to pay attention, because this was the best team he would ever see. And this was in the first 10 minutes when KU was still in the game. TO A 9-YEAR-OLD!  ↩

Friday Vid(s)

Not one, not two, but three videos this week!

The first two were ones I meant to share before we took off on spring break two weeks ago. Alas, that final Thursday was entirely too busy and I wasn’t able to queue them up. The first one seems appropriate for the Final Four weekend.

“Dunked On” – Froggy Fresh & Money Maker Mike
Here is a classic example of what my friends and I could have done if we had the technology about 25–30 years ago. This is exactly how things used to go down in the Nesbitts’ driveway back in the day.

“Transmission” – Mario Paint Composer
Another silly one. The Corner Of Cool Stuff apparently spends hours recreating classic songs in the Mario Paint Composer program app. This version of the legendary, and significantly underrated, Joy Division song is spectacular.

“Depreston” – Courtney Barnett
Finally! The first great album of 2015 came out a week ago, and it was worth every second of waiting. She delivers on all the tremendous expectations that have built up for her full-length debut over the past two years. It is a resounding confirmation of all the promise she’s showed in her early EPs. Barnett she is one of the brightest young voices in rock music.

When I first heard this song, the second single from the album, I was not all that impressed. But after repeated listens, it wormed its way into my head and I’m thoroughly in love with it now. As always, it takes a few listens to fully digest her lyrics, but once you do, their brilliance is obvious. And I love the music she lays the words upon. She rocks on much of the album, but this wistful sound, where she addresses the concerns of leaving her youth behind and entering adulthood, is where she is at her best.

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