Monday, February 18, 2019

This Week in Wrenball: Nathan and the Pips

By our normal standards, it's been a mediocre season in terms of our coverage of our Wrens. This is the first TWiW post since the first week of January. I'd chalk that up to the usual suspect - my laziness - but I've got a better hook.

In fact, I submit to you that our Wrenball efforts track closely with this year's team's performance. By the recent standards established by Tony Shaver, and despite some glimpses of promise, this has been a mediocre season in Williamsburg.

This very nice man was a lousy hoops coach.
Over the previous five seasons, the Tribe have gone 96-62, posting winning records in each campaign. The last (and only) time in school history W&M hoops teams ran off a streak that long was 1946-1952. W&M has also had five consecutive seasons above .500 in CAA play. Before this streak began, the Tribe had never even had back to back winning seasons in league play. In fact, in the 27 years prior to the 2013-14 season, W&M had had a total of three finishes on the right side of .500 in the CAA.

Damn. I'd almost forgotten how epically bad we've been. And how much Tony Shaver has spoiled us, relatively speaking, of late.

The 2018-19 Tribe stands at 10-16 (6-8 in CAA play) after an 84-74 road win against league doormats Elon. We expected they'd struggle to replace all-time assist leader David Cohn, and we were right. Sophomore Luke Loewe and freshman Thornton Scott have had their moments, but the two combined are averaging fewer assists per game than the nearly seven per contest Cohn distributed last year. And we thought that it'd be hard for W&M to duplicate last season's nation's-best shooting performance without Cohn (.426 on 3PFGs) and Connor Burchfield (.520!). We were correct on that front, as well. W&M's only shooting 34.5% from deep and 67.5% from the line. An offense that's designed to create space and open looks struggles a bit when those looks don't go in.

But an offense that's so designed also creates space for a talented post player, and in Nathan Knight, W&M has that to a degree never before seen in green and gold. After a somewhat slow start by his standards, Knight has recorded double-digit points in 19 consecutive games, and tallied nine double-doubles in his last 12 games. In W&M's previous two games, against Hofstra and Elon, Knight has scored 39 and 35 points and grabbed 14 and 13 rebounds, respectively. He's averaging 20.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game (21.6 and 9.9 in CAA games) on .588 shooting, leads the CAA in blocks with 55, and rounds it out by leading W&M in assists with 94. People have noticed, too. Last week, Knight was named one of the ten finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, joining a list that includes Nick Ward of Michigan State, Ethan Happ of Wisconsin, and Bruno Fernando of Maryland, among others.

If some of those threes start falling, Knight's numbers may go up even more - he's getting all those buckets despite being the center of the opposition's attention every game.

Junior wing Justin Pierce has continued to be a solid supporting actor to Knight's leading man, averaging 14.7 points and 8.7 boards to go with a team-leading 3.65 assists/game. Pierce has scuffled a bit in league play, leading observers (this one, anyway) to wonder if he's completely healthy.  Freshmen Chase Audige and L.J. Owens have played significant minutes, combining for nearly 18 points a game. Both look poised to have strong careers. Junior guard Matt Milon tallies 12.4 points on .390 shooting from deep, but both of those numbers are down from last season's marks (13.0/.426). A full return to form for Milon goes a long way down the stretch.

W&M has four more league games, and should be favored to win three of them. It doesn't actually matter all that much, as the Tribe likely can't catch Delaware for 4th place in the league and the accompanying first-round tournament bye. So for the first time since 2013, W&M's gonna play on the first day of the CAA Tournament.

Friends, I don't think this is our year.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Chakra

I have dabbled a bit in yoga in my adult life. Theoretically it seems like a good idea. It combines flexibility, breathing, introspective thinking and fit women in yoga outfits. When I was out of shape and tried yoga, it was a bummer. I felt like Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the scene in Boogie Nights when he's out shopping with Wahlberg and John C. Reilly. You know, this one.

I have done hot yoga in my town on occasion in recent years. It is an intense workout. But it comes at a cost. The classes contain many dudes who like to do their workouts shirtless. The classes sometimes are packed to the point of causing claustrophobia, and the hot yoga results in intense sweating, which means clothes, a towel and a yoga mat need to be cleaned every time. So when you're profusely sweating and exhausted and the hairy fingers from a shirtless dude are inches from your face while you're both twisted up, it can elicit feelings of anger that are not in the spirit of traditional yoga.

One brewery in Houston seems to know how I feel. Brash Brewing started hosting Rage Yoga events twice a month. What is Rage Yoga, you might ask? Well, allow the Tube of You clip below to explain.

So the next time you're in Houston with zero fucks to give, get a beer and get your shout on at Bash Brewing. If you choose not to, you can at least be happy that the phrase "throwing down fist unicorns" has entered your lexicon.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Fat Bottomed Girls (& Boys)

It's not exactly a secret that sex-related use cases have driven mass adoption of a broad range of technologies. Cameras, VCRs, DVDs, hell, the Internet itself all accelerated up the growth curve when purveyors of porn figured out how to use them to reach a wider audience.

The online dating market is estimated at $2.5B per year, as venerable online platforms like and eHarmony have been joined by smartphone tech like Tinder and Grindr. 

And now human demand for sex and the ingenuity behind technology that brings people together has transcended the boundaries of species. 

Launched yesterday on Valentines Day, the app was created by Hectare Agritech to match buyers and sellers of livestock, cows in particular. Farmers in the market swipe left or right based upon the look of an animal and other attributes, such as age, location, gender, and health. If a heifer catches a farmer's eye, it's a simple matter of clicking through to the SellMyLivestock website to negotiate terms and arrange for delivery.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That may be true, but I think we all know that horny people are the mothers and fathers of adoption. May our hormones know no technological limitations. If you don't think some rich dude's desire to get it on with a lady (or a dude) on the other side of the world isn't gonna be the thing that gets us mass-market teleportation, then maybe you underestimate the species. 

I bet they start with cows.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Happy Friday. Listen to This

I'm digging the new Vampire Weekend single. I found out three was a new single, went to Apple Music and owned the tune (digitally) about 11 seconds later. Neat. This comes as I am debating going to see them at MSG in September. My New Year's resolutions included sleeping more, drinking less and seeing more live music. Some of these goals will work to the detriment of others, but I won't regret seeing more live music than I did in 2018. I already have my eye on Spoon, Phish, Vampire Weekend, Gary Clark Jr. and Wallows shows. Would be a good start.

This tune has hints of Len, Phish and the Dead (at least my novice musical palette thinks so). It is a bit more ethereal than the older stuff from the band. But all that makes it very much a Vampire Weekend tune. I dig these guys. Hope you do too.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Gheorghentines Day

It's our namesake's birthday - let's show him a little love on this special day.

Hhappy Vhalentines Dhay

I love you, Gheorghies. Here's some love to celebrate on this most overrated of made-up holidays.

Love. True love.

A gift idea for the men in your life:

A brilliant love song that really isn't at all.

A whole different Love song.

And to close, the greatest love song in my personal pantheon.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Life Imitates Fiction

zdaughter likes to watch a cartoon called "Sheriff Callie's Wild West" on Hulu. The show is named after its main character, a female cat named Callie who is the sheriff of a town called Nice and Friendly Corners. Callie has a magic lasso and a blue horse named Sparky who has glitter in his mane and tail. Callie thwarts bad guys every episode, thereby keeping Nice and Friendly Corners nice and friendly. You can see why this would appeal to a four year old girl.

It's a Disney show so the actors are reasonably famous. Mandy Moore voices Callie and other cast members you might recognize include Kevin Michael Richardson, Cree Summer and Mo Collins. Flea, Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins (somewhat inexplicably) made cameos as bad guys. Pop and Rollins were the Silverado Brothers, two ice skating stoats. Stoats like weasels, not stoat the baw.

I watched season 2 episode 21a with zdaughter the other day, it's called "New Sheriff in Town." The premise is that Rusty, the leader of a group of dogs who rustle, runs for sheriff of Nice and Friendly Corners. Rusty is a sheepdog with a preposterous mop of hair. He acknowledges that he used to be a bit of a shady character but claims to have seen the light, turned good, and now wants to keep the town safe.

His stump speech promises preposterous things like free milkshakes everyday and rollerskating anywhere and anytime you like, and chores will be against the law. His slogan is "Vote for Trusty Rusty!" The townspeople don't take him seriously but Callie, ever the proponent of free and open elections, says that he should be allowed to run. Nevertheless, as all the animals of Nice and Friendly Corners wait in line to vote they all agree that Rusty will be lucky to get even one vote. Callie is eminently qualified with years of relevant experience! Nice and Friendly Corners is ready to have a female leader.

Right as the voting ends, Rusty's crew cause a distraction and switch the ballot box out for one containing only votes for Rusty. They rigged the election!

The townspeople can't believe it! Callie tells everyone that Rusty should be sheriff if he won fair and square, but she suggests that everyone take a look at the votes and the ballot box. Before she can begin her investigation, Rusty takes her badge, pins it on his jacket, and throws Callie in jail for breaking a law that he made up right then and there, audaciously stating "You just broke mah new law which means you're goin' to jail!! " and as an side to his crew "Where she'll be out of my way!"

He then fires Callie's deputy (Peck the woodpecker), makes his cronies deputies, and throws Callie in jail. Rusty goes on to perpetuate all sorts of new laws that accrue only to his benefit. His motto is "I'm the one who makes the laws and if I can make 'em well I can break 'em! So when me and my boys see things we like well we're just gonna take 'em!" He drinks everyone's milk, takes their vegetables, swipes their coins, and all manner of other things that are neither nice nor friendly. The corruption is mind-boggling.

Luckily, Rusty's cronies are wildly incompetent. Whilst imprisoned in a jail cell, Callie offers to teach one of Rusty's deputies how to use her magic lasso and because he's concentrating so hard on trying to learn she tricks him into explaining how they rigged the election and where they hid the ballot box. She relays this information out the window to her faithful deputies outside (one of whom is a talking saguaro cactus named Toby who rides a goat).

The real votes are eventually found and counted. Of course, Callie won. She lassos Rusty and throws him and his crew in jail. Nice and Friendly Corners is nice and friendly again.

It's a nice story but really, who could imagine a fact pattern so preposterous?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bite Me Randy Newman

You undoubtedly remember my impassioned leadership of the effort to bring D.C. United's headquarters and USL franchise (Loudoun United) to Loudoun County. My three-minute speech before the Loudoun Board of Supervisors is widely credited with pushing the issue over the top. At least that's what I tell folks.

The ground has been broken for the new facilities, and while the parent club and Loudoun United likely won't move to my town for several months, D.C. United did make a recent announcement that tells me it was all worth it.

The club announced last week that Richie Williams would be the first head coach in Loudoun United history. Williams played 169 games for D.C. United in the late 90s and early 2000s, also earning 20 caps with the U.S. Men's National Team. He helped those early D.C. United squads win three MLS Cups as a tenacious defensive midfielder.

But, as his Wikipedia entry shows, Williams has a lot to recommend him to Gheorghies. Let's start with the fact that he was born a mere five days before yours truly, and continue on with the fact that our growth rates followed a similar path. From Wikipedia, "Known for his diminutive height and his dogged tackling...", is something I'd welcome on my tombstone. Williams is listed at 5'5". That might be generous.

Size isn't the only thing that may endear Williams to our number, though. He grew up in Middletown Township, NJ, a mere 30 miles from North Brunswick. There's a reasonable chance that Williams laid a crunching tackle on Dave at some point. And a greater chance that Dave hacked him down in a fit of pique.

At Loudoun United, Williams has a challenge in front of him. With 29 days until the season opener, the team barely has a full roster, doesn't yet have a full-time home stadium, and hasn't played a preseason game. There will be lumps.

I'm just hoping that the Father of Professional Soccer in Loudoun County (that's me, obviously) gets to spend some quality time with my fellow diminutive midfielder.