Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Am I the only guy who loved Ford Fairlane?

I'm willing to bet the answer to that question is a resounding "YES". In that case, this bit of "news" is both boring and inconsequential to everyone (come on Mark, I'm betting you dig the Diceman), but I still felt it was worth mentioning, AND I got to squeeze in a YouTube clip...really, an exhilarating afternoon all around...
NEW YORK, Feb. 26 -- The self-titled "Rocky of Comedy," Andrew Dice Clay, is coming out of retirement and he's pulling out all stops to do it with a multi-media blitz -- writing a book, cutting a record, producing his own Sirius radio show and playing to the types of crowds that made him a legend. In the VH1 series "Dice Undisputed" viewers will get an intimate and often hilarious look into the highs and lows of this heavyweight king of laugh's personal and professional life as he fights to get back on top. "Dice Undisputed" premieres with back-to-back episodes Sunday, March 4 at 10:00 PM.
I've got room in the DVR - this can replace the freshly departed "Studio 60". I mean, this can't be any worse than the Sizemore or Bonaduce shows right? And don't even get me started on that "I Love New York" debacle...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I think Pat Ewing Jr. needs some counseling

That is one angry looking kid on the basketball court. Perhaps he needs a soothing father-son dinner at Crystal City Restaurant to help ease his pain...All right, enough amateur psycho-analysis, let's move on to what is most likely GTB's last Local Hoops Top 10 of the season (try to contain your tears):

[Important note: RPIs used are from the fantastic Ken Pomeroy website (as of Sunday night)...and to ensure consistency over the next two weeks, anytime I reference RPI it will be these Ken Pom numbers.]

1. Georgetown (22-5, 12-2, Ken Pom RPI - 16)
The hottest team on the East Coast (11 wins in a row), the Hoyas look like a Final Four team right now (and I apologize to all Georgetown fans if the Curse of GTB now strikes your club in the first weekend). In fact, with the losses by Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina in the last week, and the ugly win by Ohio State today, I would say Georgetown is the second best team in the country (behind only UCLA). Pretty impressive stuff, given how pedestrian they looked on the morning of December 3rd, after losing to Duke and falling to 4-3 on the year (with the other losses to ODU and Oregon).

2. Virginia Tech (20-8, 10-4, KPR - 22)
Two nice, and necessary, wins last week, most importantly the win over Boston College. Maryland's upset tonight means Va Tech is tied for 1st in the ACC, with games left against UVA and Clemson. As a reminder, Clemson started the season 17-0 (3-0 in the ACC), is now 19-9 (5-9 in the conference), and will be losing in the 1st Round of the NIT, guaranteed. But I'm sure Billy Packer thinks Clemson should make the Dance over ODU.

3. Virginia (19-8, 10-4, KPR - 38)
Tied with in-state rival Va Tech atop the ACC (Coaches Leitao and Greenberg, address those thank yous to Gary Williams), but most definitely below them in this poll. That's what getting pummeled by 27 will do. Plus, who wants to root for UVA anyway?

4. Maryland (22-7, 8-6, KPR - 17)
I was all set to jump Maryland above UVA after that stirring upset of Carolina tonight, until I actually did a little research and realized the Terps lost both games to Virginia this year, and for that reason just couldn't do it. See how easy that was Billy Packer - I got on the ole email machine and used the eBays to find out how teams performed over the course of the season. Try to give it a try in the next two weeks (or at least have an intern do it for your drooling, geriatric ass). Anyway, 5 straight wins for the Terps, who (like Georgetown and ODU) are rolling at just the right time and will be a force in the ACC Tourney (and, depending on their seed, the Big Dance as well).

5. VCU (24-6, 16-2, KPR - 60)
Congrats to the CAA regular season champs...who unfortunately are limping to the finish line (barely beating 10-19 Georgia St to clinch). As you know, I have been pulling for these guys all year, but either they got complacent in the last two weeks or they are more flawed than the 24-6 record would indicate. The CAA tourney should be a doozy, with VCU, ODU, Hofstra and Drexel all capable of taking the title.

6. Old Dominion (23-7, 15-3, KPR - 33)
Winners of 11 straight to end the regular season, they sure look like a viable at-large candidate. And even though VCU won the regular season CAA title, I would have to slightly favor ODU at this point to win the CAA Tournament.

7. George Washington (18-8, 9-5, KPR - 86)
Yeah, I disrespect them every week, but they won both games last week, and honestly, the A-10 seems to be a crapshoot, so why not GW. Unless Karl Hobbs channels that coaching legend Bruiser Flint prior to the A-10 tourney.

8. Loyola (17-12, 12-6, KPR - 187)
They fell to 4th place in the MAAC standings, which it appears Marist or Siena will win (at least based on their second great game of the year Saturday - thank you DVR)...and whoa, did Jack Nicholson shave his head? Wow...sorry, Oscars on in the background, and I really have nothing else to say about Loyola.

9. George Mason (15-14, 9-9, KPR - 136)
Welcome back to the poll Jim Larranaga and company. Unfortunately, that means it was time to say goodbye to Towson and Gary Neal (very tough for me to do). I think Coach Larranaga might even hate Billy Packer more than me (and Phil Martelli).

10. William and Mary (15-14, 8-10, KPR - 185)
Well, I did it again. Put the Tribe on this list, and they shit the bed...again...when will I learn. Obviously not this week...if this really is my last local hoops poll of 2007, the Tribe get to finish in the Ten Spot. And of course lose the 8/9 game in the CAA tourney. Jammin' on the James my ass.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Basketball Picks, the Idiotic Way

Boy, would I be a lot more optimistic if I were following TJ's 4-4 weeks than his 6-2 and Russell's 7-1 prognostications. There's little fun in my actually spending a great deal of thought on these, so we'll channel Diane Chambers this morning. She won football pools by selecting teams in non-standard ways. Among other selection processes, one week she won by choosing which city had a better symphony. And here we go, except that I don't know much about symphony music, so there's a tweak.

Pitt at Georgetown
Aaron Gray is still gimpy and the Hoyas are surging, but more importantly, Marvin Gaye is from DC and Rusted Root is from Pittsburgh. Advantage, Gaye. Georgetown.

Indiana at Michigan State
Cougar vs. Madonna, circa 1985. "Rain On the Scarecrow" vs. "Dress You Up." Cougar. Hoosiers.

Georgia Tech at Virginia
The Jackets are zipping up the ACC standings of late, yuk yuk yuk, and the Cavs were strained against Miami, yuk yuk yuk, but this should be a good showdown, like, say, The Black Crowes vs. Dave Matthews Band. We'll take DMB and UVA. (They also win in the Johannesburg U. vs. Cape Town Tech match-up.)

Stanford at UCLA
The Kingston Trio hailed from Palo Alto. 1,000,000 rock bands emanated from L.A., from The Doors to Social Distortion to the Black-Eyed Peas. Bruins. Duh.

Syracuse at Providence
You know what musical act hailed from Syracuse? None. Bobcat Goldthwait does, though. Chuck Mangione and Wendy O. Williams are/were from Rochester, of course. You know who formed while attending the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence? Talking Heads. Winner. Providence.

Texas at Oklahoma
Willie Nelson and Spoon against Vince Gill and Toby Keith. I'm going with the former, and so should you. Every time. Texas.

North Carolina at Maryland
Should be an awesome showdown; the Terps are surging of late, and Carolina is a title contender. The Connells should squeak one out at Joan Jett's place. Tar Heels.

Wisconsin at Ohio State
Big time Big Ten match-up, not unlike the powerhouses . . . Violent Femmes against Devo. Like them both plenty, though neither got much respect. Add it up or whip it? Whip it. OSU.

1-7, here we come.

Friday Morning Filler

Until Whit gets his picks up, I thought I'd pay tribute to Dennis Johnson with this clip of his most famous moment (or at least most replayed moment):

Sunday, February 18, 2007

There's Georgetown...and everyone else

Short and sweet this week as I am currently on my way to San Diego for work. And yes, there is a San Diego-specific YouTube clip below, but I shunned Ron Burgundy in favor of a Chris Berman/Tom Jackson favorite. Enough fluff, on to this week's Top 10:

1. Georgetown (20-5, 10-2)
Nine straight wins, and once they dismantle Cincy mid-week I fully expect them to take down Pittsburgh at the Phone Booth on Saturday. You're looking at a regular season Big East title for the Hoyas.

2. Virginia (18-7, 9-3)
Sure, you wouldn't think beating Longwood and Florida St. would bump UVA up to #2 on this list, but they are tied for first in the ACC with North Carolina, and that's gotta be worth something.

3. Virginia Tech (18-8, 8-4)
Atrocious loss to NC State Sunday takes some of the shine off the impressive upset of the Tar Heels. The Wolfpack are only 4-8 in the ACC this year, but 2 of those 4 wins are over Seth Greenberg's boys. Not good, not good at all.

4. VCU (22-6, 14-2)
CAA leader VCU really needed to defend its homecourt and beat Bradley Saturday, but it was not to be. Luckily, their final two CAA games are against 4-12 JMU and 5-11 Georgia St., so this week they stay a spot ahead of ODU under the assumption they win both and secure the CAA regular season title.

5. Old Dominion (21-7, 13-3)
Despite my well-documented mid-major love for VCU, even I have to recognize how well ODU is playing (and how that early season win over Georgetown propels them ahead of VCU in the eyes of many). They've won 9 straight, and if VCU stumbles, they're gonna take the CAA crown.

6. Maryland (20-7, 6-6)
The two double-digit conference road wins are indeed impressive. Two weeks ago we were happily dismissing their tourney chances, but now a split in their final four games and they are all but assured a spot in the Dance. They also managed to push Clemson, who started 17-0, to the brink of March elimination.

7. Loyola (16-11, 11-5)
Tied for 2nd place in the MAAC...which elevates them ever so slightly above middling teams 8, 9 and 10. I am in no way a Loyola hoops expert, but this has got to be the best year they've had in a very long time.

8. George Washington (16-8, 7-5)
If William and Mary and Towson weren't so damn mediocre, GW would be sitting pretty in the cellar of this poll. 5th place in the A-10, losers of 4 of their last 5, this team is trying very hard to play its way out of this local hoops poll, which is quite a feat, given the awful teams in the "also receiving votes" category.

9. William and Mary (15-12, 8-8)
Horrendous loss to Fairfield over the weekend, but it wasn't a conference loss, and I am obviously biased, so they stay put at #9. The Tribe could really make the contributors of GTB proud with a win over either ODU (highly unlikely) or Drexel (always a possibility with Mensa member Bruiser Flint at the helm) to finish the season.

10. Towson (14-14, 8-8)
I didn't feel like bringing George Mason back into the mix, especially after their loss to Kent St. Saturday, so Towson and my boy Gary Neal hold down spot 10. I wonder if Neal has any shot at playing in the NBA?

Friday, February 16, 2007

"Teamwork. Part...of...a...team."

The creator of this blog (rob) sent me his picks this week, so what the hell, I'm gonna run with these and attempt to guess the rationale behind each...

UCLA at Arizona
UCLA. Rob has manlove for Aaron Afflalo. I am not here to judge his picks, but if there is one game on this list where I would switch choices, it's this one. HOWEVAH, it's his show, and it says here the return to health of Darren Collison leads the Bruins to victory. Barely.

Washington at Pittsburgh
Pitt. Rob has manlove for Aaron Gray. Pitt was absolutely embarrassed by Louisville at home last week, where they never lose (78-7 since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002). Plus, Washington is traveling 3,000 miles for this game and you see where that got UCLA last weekend. The Huskies also play no defense, so that could be a problem for Lorenzo Romar's bunch.

Southern Illinois at Butler
Butler. Rob has manlove for...all right, enough of this. Butler is good, but they're not even in first place in their conference. SIU, however, leads the very tough MVC. Not sure how Rob got this one, perhaps he was swayed by Butler's 6-0 home record?

Memphis at Gonzaga
Memphis. Despite the lengthy travel, Tigers by 10+. Conquering Conference USA is akin to taking Australia in Risk - sure, you've conquered a continent and get the two extra armies, feeling good about yourself in the process, but really what did you gain? False optimism, that's what. Rob is too "high"brow for the lame drug reference here. But obviously I'm not.

Northern Iowa at Nevada
Nevada. I have manlove for Nick Fazekas. Early in the year it looked like NIU could vie for the MVC title, but a recent 4 game losing streak has ended those dreams. My love for Nevada is only barely topped by the VCU love, so this is a relatively easy pick. Question - Which current NBA whitey does Fazekas remind you of most? And yes Dennis, Euro whiteys are allowed in this conversation.

North Carolina at Boston College
UNC. Rob is expecting back-to-back lame efforts from the Eagles I guess. Carolina will be out to prove something after the home loss to Va Tech, and Rob obviously assumes BC will lay down again for a big time opponent (Duke owned them the other night). UNC and their deep, talented roster wear down BC, and Al Skinner finger paints during the entire second half.

UConn at Syracuse
Cuse. Now I think he's just kissing up...might be an at-large elimination game the way these two have played this year. Cuse has struggled with consistency all year, but will turn it on in front of the Carrier Dome faithful this weekend, pushing Jim Calhoun's Huskies to the brink of NIT-dom. Here's hoping you caught Demetris Nichols one-man show last week against St. John's (37 and 10)...it's much better than Bruce Vilanch's "Almost Famous".

Georgetown at Villanova
Georgetown. Hottest team in college hoops right now. Easiest pick on this list. 8 game winning streak in which they aren't just winning, they're crushing teams. I'm still having trouble processing the November version of this team vs. the February version...polar opposites. Hoyas could have 10 game win streak when they host Pitt for Big East regular season title Febraury 24 at the MCI (nee Verizon) Center.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Guzman to Lopez to Broadway...not exactly Tinker to Evers to Chance

I thought it might be time for a neutral observer to preview the upcoming Washington Nationals season (for the uninitiated, I am a fan of Los Jankees de Nueva York, but have quite enjoyed the RFK/Nats experience so far). I must warn you, this "preview" is pretty ugly...the Nats finished 2006 71-91, in last place in the NL East, and there is no doubt in my mind they will be worse this year. We're talking 100+ losses bad. Empty ballparks all year long bad (speaking of that, after finishing 11th in attendance in their inaugural 2005 campaign, the Nats plummeted to 21st in attendance last year...losing 7,000 fans a game - they actually drew 1 less fan per game than the equally horrendous Orioles). I admire not wasting $55 million on a Gil Meche this offseason, but Jim Bowden made almost no attempt to improve this team. It's as if management has thrown in the towel on 2007 before it even began. Where to start...

The biggest problem (by far) is an absolutely abysmal starting rotation...good lord is it a mess. John Patterson, who missed almost all of 2006 with a forearm injury, is supposed to be the ace of this staff. Great start, eh? Beyond Patterson, look at this band of donkeys competing for spots in the rotation:
Tim Redding - Last seen in the majors in 2005, sporting an 0-6 record and 10.57 ERA.
Joel Hanrahan - Former Dodgers prospect (wow, a minor league All-Star in 2003, awesome).
Colby Lewis - Former Rangers prospect (you seeing a pattern here...MLB team gives up on prospect, Genius Jim thinks "Hey, he's the answer...").
Jerome Williams - I think Swint hates this guy, as did the Cubs AND Giants.
Mike O'Connor - Lefty who was decent last year...which around RFK could mean #2 starter.
Billy Traber - Another middling lefty.
Shawn Hill - Who?
Beltran Perez - Double who?
Jason Bergmann - I looked him up, and he isn't the toolbox we went to college with. But he sucks just as much.

Now, compared to the starting rotation, the bullpen looks World Series ready. Luis "Don't Call Me Juiced-Up Bobby" Ayala is back, and Chad Cordero is a legit closer, despite having the goofiest hat rim in baseball. Cordero saved 29 games last year and 47 in 2005. Plus, they call him The Chief, which is pretty cool. The potential other uniform fillers:
Jon Rauch - Frank Robinson ran Rauch out there 85 times last year. I assure you that will come back to haunt the Nats.
Micha Bowie - Whatever...
Ray King - If Tony LaRussa thinks you're an asshole, well, you must be a tremendous asshat.
Emilian Fruto - They got this kid for Vidro. Supposedly has a live arm and a tremendous changeup. We'll see...

OK, how about the position players? They cant be worse than the pithcers, right? Well...
Jose Vidro is indeed gone, traded to the Mariners...but guess who's back to haunt Nats fans? That's right, Cristian Guzman will be back to ruin 500+ at bats this year...this clown makes $4.5 million a year, hit .219 in 2005 and mercifully didn't play at all last year. Felipe Lopez becomes the new 2B, and I actually like him as a player (decent combination of speed and power).

Well, we have finally found a bright spot...Ryan Zimmerman, 3B. The 22 year old hit .287 with 20 HRs and 110 RBIs in his rookie campaign...including three game-ending hits. He's the real deal...

Private Pyle doppleganger Nick Johnson is still coming off an injury...he lasted until late-September last year without getting hurt. Great job Nick...this means some guy using a fake name (Larry Broadway) will be manning 1B to start the season.

The outfield is a also a complete mess (I sound like a broken record, don't I?). RF Austin Kearns has tons of potential and a new contract, so maybe it would be time for him to actually play a full season and produce. Bowden let Soriano go for virtually nothing (I am too lazy to look up the draft picks), so that means the other OF at bats will go to this band of merry idiots:
Ryan Church - Actually, I like Church as a player and never understood why Marlon Byrd kept stealing his PT.
Michael Restovich - Twins and Rockies didn't want you...
Alex Escobar - Whit loves this guy...when someone locates one of his five tools please let me know.
Nook Logan - Exavier Prente Logan is an excellent defensive CF. That's a positive.
Kory Castro - Last but not least is Fidel's kid and the Nats two-time Minor League Player of the Year...hope he makes the opening day roster. Has to be better than non-relative and teammate Bernie Castro.

Behind the plate, Brian Schneider throws out guys about as effectively as Mike Piazza. I am intrigued by the idea of Jesus (Flores) catching a few games this year...I hear he manages a great game.

And finally, look at the dregs on the Nats bench (oh my, Tony Batista was signed today? Wow...I don't even have a joke...)
Robert Fick - If he even makes the team...
Dmitri Young - Complete headcase.
Bernie Castro - ????
What a fucking disaster...

Good luck to the youngest manager in the bigs, 37-year-old Manny Acta (he's replacing Friendly Frank Robinson, 34 years his elder). This is going to be a brutal first year for Acta and Nats fans...let's just hope this new stadium also brings new talent in 2008.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Simply the Worst

Prepare to be stunned...by the vast amount of sucking going on during this clip. That being said, I couldn't stop laughing the entire time...

GTB Stand-In: Snow Delay

And I don't mean this guy...

Unfortunately, last evening's Week 1 GTB Stand-In could not be conducted, as we couldn't locate Rob anywhere. Apparently, the moderate snowfall here in DC was still enough to dwarf our dear friend, and Whit and I now need to spend the morning melting Rob out with the GTB Height Laser (patent pending). Visualize Han Solo frozen in carbonite, minus the height and good looks.

We do, however, still have an update for you today (sans laser). It was revealed last week Whitney has already LOST height, so the adjusted figures are below...the goal is to melt Rob out and conduct the Stand-In later today.

Rob: 5'3"
Whit: 6'5"
TJ: 6'2"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who knew the Devil Rays media guide could be so entertaining?

Lost in all the Dice-K hooplah this offseason was the arrival of several other Japanese ball players to the states, among them new Devil Rays 3B Akinori Iwamura (formerly of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows). The Devil Rays won the negotiating rights to Iwamura with a high bid of $4.5 million, topping bids by the Indians and Padres. Apparently Aki, as he likes to be called, is pretty damn good, by Japanese standards at least.

Iwamura was a five-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove recipient with the Swallows. He's a career .300 hitter, collecting 188 HRs and 570 RBIs in eight seasons with Yakult. He also impressed the D-Rays by hitting .389 for Japan in the World Baseball Classic. The guide says he is a good defender - nice glove, cannon arm. But none of that has to do with why we're here this morning...

We are here because Iwamura is from a small, laid-back town in Japan called Uwajima (since when does a population of 70,000 make you a small, laid-back town?). Aki claims the town is best known for tangerines and yellowtails. Well, the Devil Rays media guide says otherwise. It appears the town's "principal claim of fame" is the Taga-jinja Shrine, a "giant phallus carved out of log." That's right, the pride of Uwajima is a 12-foot wooden schlong. The massive dong is part of an ancient fertility shrine and adjacent to a sex museum. Now I would say that's slighty more entertaining than a town famous for tangerines and yellowtails (whatever they are). And yes, I know this was a looooong way to go for a (big) dick joke...

[Thanks to benmaller.com for the tip]

Monday, February 12, 2007

"What have you done for me lately, Eddie?"

All right, now we're getting somewhere...Selection Sunday is less than a month away, and though alot can happen between now and March 11th, here's where the "local" hoops teams currently stand (this post might be a little stats heavy today - I am REALLY avoiding work):

1. Georgetown (18-5, 8-2)
Roy Hibbert leads the nation in FG%, shooting 70.3% from the field...and by field I mean anywhere within four feet of the basket. The Hoyas as a team trail only defending champ Florida in team FG% (52.4%). These guys have really got it going, and I have no doubt they can make a deep run in March. The only catch would be they're peaking too soon (winners of 7 straight), but I don't think that's the case here. I think we're looking at the #1 team in this poll for the rest of the year.

2. VCU (21-5, 13-2)
OK, so my boys have had a bit of trouble in the last two weeks, but they are still first in the CAA and have that gaudy win total. Their last three CAA games are against corpses, but I'm much more interested in their Bracket Buster game this weekend against Bradley of the MVC. One way or the other, I've got VCU penciled in as one of two tourney-bound CAA teams. That's right, two CAA teams are going to the Dance again. By the way, point guard Eric Maynor is 5th in the country in assists (6.3 apg).

3. Virginia Tech (17-7, 7-3)
Wow, that was an impressive shellacking of in-state rival UVA last week. Though still a half-game back of the Wahoos in the ACC standings, Va Tech sits ahead of them in this poll because they just beat the living shit out of them. UVA should've never even gotten off the bus. Two tough roadies coming up for Seth and the fellas, starting tomorrow night at Carolina.

4. Virginia (16-7, 8-3)
Yes, they still sit pretty at 8-3 in the ACC, but getting trounced by Va Tech by 27 cannot help this team's confidence. Luckily, they have 8-18 Longwood next on the schedule. Way to toughen up for March, Coach Leitao.

5. Old Dominion (19-7, 12-3)
Here is the aforementioned second CAA team...like the Hoyas, winners of 7 in a row, and that Monarchs win over Georgetown looks very good right now. Both ODU and VCU will scare teams in the first round of the tourney, if of course the Curse of GTB doesn't strike them down before they get there.

6. Maryland (18-7, 4-6)
Sure, I picked Maryland over Duke mainly because of my dislike for Duke, but it was nice to see the Terps play their best ball of the season lats night. Travieso 2.0 (or is it Padilla 2.0?) was very impressive, and Gist and Ibekwe were solid in the middle. The Dukies are in serious trouble right now. As an aside, the Terps have the 17th most potent scoring attack in the country (79.9 ppg). And Gary Williams has the highest dry cleaning bills in the ACC.

7. Loyola (14-11, 10-5)
Hanging in there in a very competitive MAAC. 10-5 puts them 1 game back of conference leader Marist (and tied with two others, Siena and Niagara). Gerald Brown is 9th in the country in scoring (21.6 ppg). Anyone got the most famous Marist alum?

8. George Washington (15-7, 6-4)
The A-10 sucks (except Xavier). I'm sorry, but the league really is terrible. If a team led by Bruiser Flint can be in contention for the league title than there is a problem (EDITOR'S NOTE: Bruiser is at Drexel now, as pointed out by Rob. That little turd Travis Ford coaches UMass). Hell, Duquesne, which had like 5 guys gunned down in the offseason, is 6-5 in league play. Good for them, bad for the A-10. Useless GW stat: Eight-year starter Carl Elliot is 11th in the nation in steals (2.7 spg).

9. William and Mary (14-11, 7-8)
They don't so much storm back into the rankings as barely limp in, hungover and covered in vomit. But hey, thanks to the completely abysmal play of George Mason the Tribe are back in the Top 10. They have 7 league wins, for which Tony Shaver deserves a medal (and perhaps an extension?).

10. Towson (13-13, 7-8)
You know why they stay on this list. Gary Neal, 25.5 ppg...good for 4th in the country, just ahead of some kid named Durant. Wish I knew more about this Durant guy, nobody ever talks about him.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dwight Howard is awesome

In case you missed this last night, Orlando Magic manchild Dwight Howard beat the Spurs with an unbelievable dunk (over Tim Duncan). It's the first game-winning NBA dunk since Jerry "8 Day Rental" Stackhouse beat Dallas in 2002 (I actually remember that play). One last note on the double-double machine that is Dwight Howard:
In his last three games, Howard is making 89% of his FG attempts (33 of 37). According to Elias, that's the highest % for any NBA baller (not named Wilt) over a 3 game period, ever.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More (losing) hoops picks

It's reached the point in the season where I've watched enough college basketball that I should not be going 4-4 every week... at least that's what you would think. Time to put all those hours in front of the TV to good use. The goal is 6-2 or better each week for the rest of the year:

Marquette at Georgetown
Georgetown. Let's start the ball rolling by choosing the Hoyas to win Saturday's matinee against a very good Marquette team. I do love Dominic James and his other backcourt cohorts, but I'm giving JT3's team the edge at home tomorrow. Hibbert, Green and a few timely bombs from Wallace or Sapp should do it.

UCLA at West Virginia
UCLA. Has anyone noticed the two teams from last year's Finals also just happen to be the two best teams this year as well? (yes, I am putting UCLA and Florida above Wisconsin and North Carolina) That doesn't happen too much anymore. By the way, this is not the WVU team you remember - yes, they still take a ton of threes, run precise offensive sets and have goofy white dudes, but it's mainly underclassman and they're terribly inconsistent.

Illinois at Indiana
Indiana. The Hoosiers are a perfect 12-0 at home, Illinois is 2-4 on the road, and most importantly Indiana wants to avenge their 51-43 loss two weeks ago to the Illini. Indiana wins this game and the schedule really opens up for a strong February.

Creighton at Southern Illinois
Southern Illinois. MVC powers clash...and since I still don't know enough about a conference that might send 4 or 5 teams to the Dance, I'll take the home team (who apparently have a 6 game winning streak...niiiiiice). Go Salukis.

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State. Time for JamesOn to get the Cowboys back OnTrack. As with any Texas Tech game, there is always a possibility Bob Knight will go insane and potentially punch someone in the face, in this case poor Sean Sutton.

Florida at Kentucky
Florida. See love for UCLA above. Who cares if the Gators are on the road, they have the better team. Randolph Morris is going to get battered and abused by Noah and Horford. By the way, Lee Humphrey is making 70% of his threes in conference play. That is not a typo.

Xavier at Gheorghe Washington
GW. I don't know why I'm taking Gheorghe Washington in this "battle" for (sucky) conference supremacy. Let's see...GW is 9-0 at home, Xavier is 2-5 on the road. Good enough for me.

Duke at Maryland
Maryland. My lack of love for Duke has me taking the tumbling Terps. If this game is at Cameron I have Duke winning by double digits, but I'm taking a chance here that Gary finally gets through to his kids prior to this season-defining game. It's time for the seniors to step up (Strawberry, Ibekwe and Jones).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gheorghe Stand-In: Reach for the Stars

In the hopes of someday dunking a basketball or perhaps riding Space Mountain without the attendant hassling you, myself and Gheorghe: The Blog contributors Rob and Whitney (Dennis, you are welcome too of course) are entering into a height gain wager. There will be weekly stand-ins, the results of which will be updated here at Gheorghe: The Blog HQ.

The details...
Timeline: The bet began with last night's stand-in (February 6th for those scoring at home), and since this country measures its winners by gross means (stupid anti-aesthetes), the tallest contestant as of April 20, 2007 is the winner.

Execution: Inspired by the seminal Val Kilmer comedy, Real Genius, we'll be using laser technology to measure the contestants most weeks. If by some chance the contestants find themselves in the same location (unlikely, but possible), we'll use a chain of chewing gum wrappers to take the weekly measurement.

Rules: We measure together every Tuesday, rain or shine. Well, not actually rain, because that'll fuck up the laser. Shine only. The results of the stand-ins will be posted weekly at Gheorghe: The Blog, and likely on any number of blogs and websites that get swept up in the phenomenon.

Penalty: If either one of us “quits” the bet, there is a $15 penalty for each week of the bet given up on, with the minimum penalty of $50 and a maximum of $150. Also, Rob will continue to pay the societal penalty of being nearly 6 inches shorter than the average American male.

Stakes: The winner will purchase a round of adult beverages for each of the other contestants, as he has already received substantial benefit from the world at large on account of his superior height. Frankly, he owes us.

The first official stand-in took place last night using Gheorghe: The Blog's experimental new laser measurement technology. After some initial glitches (Whit, those eyebrows will likely grow back relatively quickly), the LED readout gave us the following starting heights:

Rob: 5'5"
Whit: 6'6"
TJ: 6'2"
(Note: the most difficult part of the measuring process was getting someone to stand still long enough to get a reading. That someone spent most of the time trying to light a fatty with the laser.)

The next stand-in will take place Tuesday, February 13 at approximately 7pm. Rob will be driving back from Philadelphia, so his reading may be impacted by the earth's curvature.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I think this is called closure

So, the second half Sunday night gave us Peyton as Champion AND Goulet as Spiderman...what a night.

"With great power comes great responsibility...GOULET"

Monday, February 05, 2007

Remind me again why today isn't a national holiday?

This is a fluid list - you lose two in a week like Virginia Tech and George Washington and look what happens…

1. Virginia Commonwealth (20-4, 12-1)
They weren’t going undefeated in a tough CAA, so the loss AT second place Hofstra isn’t a killer. They still have a 1 game lead on the Pride and a 2 game lead on ODU…plus they’re 20-4. You see any other 20 win teams on this list? Didn't think so. [Thanks to Mark for pointing out this Anthony Grant article on SI.com]

2. Virginia (15-6, 7-2)
Solid week for Dave Leitao and the Singletary/Reynolds backcourt (combined 38 ppg). They keep this up and I might actually be able to spell Leitao's without having to look it up first. Winners of six straight, UVA can pretty much ruin Maryland's season tomorrow night.

3. Georgetown (16-5, 6-2)
They've won five in a row, but against complete Big East donkeys - Rutgers, Cincy, Seton Hall, St. Johns and Depaul. Four of those teams will be missing the Big East tourney at Madison Square Garden. However, they've crept to #3 on this list because they might be the most dangerous team come the Madness - that offense, Green's athleticism and Gigantor Roy Hibbert make them an extremely tough match-up.

4. Virginia Tech (16-7, 6-3)
Seth, buddy, what happened? Right the ship before you're .500 in the ACC...and staring at a NIT bid. Since when did the hoops team adopt the football team's strategy of "Early Season Success, Late Season Collapse"?

5. Loyola (Md.) (13-9, 9-3)
First place team in the MAAC, still. MAAC tourney this year in Bridgeport, CT should be a doozy. In other MAAC news, Iona got it's first W Saturday, and now stands at 1-22 on the year. I think GTB played a vital role in that first win.

6. Old Dominion (17-7, 10-3)
Winners of 5 in a row, they are making a surge at the right time, AND they have the non-conference road win over Georgetown to show the Committee in March. And yes, they're ahead of GW, because the CAA is a better conference than the A-10.

7. George Washington (15-6, 6-3)
The A-10 sucks, GW just lost both conference games this week, and they’re now in 3rd place. Hey, at least they’re ahead of Marlyand.

8. Maryland (17-6, 3-5)
I asked Whit to chime in again on Gary and the boys:
"Nothing pithy today. MD is cooked."
Thanks Whit, we now go live to Ollie Williams with the Blackuweather Report...

9. George Mason (13-10, 7-6)
The bottom of this list is stretching it thin...not much about George Mason or Towson below scream Top 10. So, when is the Disney movie coming out about the magical Final Four run last year? And who is playing Larranaga?

10. Towson (12-12, 6-7)
When in doubt, add another CAA team (just not my awful alma mater). American and Navy are stinking up the Patriot league, JMU is a nightmare and I'm not casting novelty votes for some guy named Rory. So Towson and my boy Gary Neal it is.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Have I mentioned I hate the new blogger?

Ugh...so, the Iona Gaels of the MAAC lost yet again last night, this time in excruciating fashion to the Landlords of Loudonville, the Siena Saints. Siena guard Kenny Hasbrouck hit a shot with 0.5 left to bury Iona. The Gaels are now 0-12 in conference play, 0-22 overall. They've lost 5 conference games by either a point or in overtime. But I come here this morning not to pour dirt on their grave, rather to cheer up Iona and their downtrodden fanbase. Sure, the Gaels are the only winless D-1 school in the country, but they have some company in conference play futility, folks they might just want to drunk dial or IM late night next time they're feeling blue...

North Florida, Atlantic Sun
0-11, 2-20
Well, William and Mary beat these guys by 17, and the only slightly more talented Florida Gators beat them by 46. I must admit I am not much of an Atlantic Sun buff, but I think their only chance for a conference W is two weeks from now at Stetson.

UC Riverside, Big West
0-7, 4-17
I believe Ice Cube said it best - "Y'all from Compton but you moved to Riverside..." Sure, that has nothing to do with this, but "No Vaseline" is one of the Top 10 rap songs of all time. Is UC Riverside the school that Travolta has on his t-shirt in Pulp Fiction? Or is that the UC Santa Barbara Banana Slugs? I wish there was a device that allowed me to figure these things out...anyway, bad news for Iona, UC Riverside has plenty of time to get a win.

East Carolina, Conference USA
0-7, 5-15

Jeff Blake went here. Conference USA is not very good to begin with, which either means ECU can steal a W or two, or their first seven losses are an indication they suck alot worse than the rest of the bunch. The losses to UNC-Wilmington and Richmond are particularly egregious. Their leading scorer pours in 12 a game...these guys might be headed for 0-16.

They don't count, but Princeton in the Ivy League
0-2, 9-7
These clowns have only played 2 conference games on February 2nd. Knock them off the list. And no, I'm not bitter at all they rejected me.

Close to home, Maryland-Eastern Shore of the MEAC
0-9, 3-18
The MEAC, much like the Ukraine, is historically weak. That's why it's even more impressive how bad MD-Eastern Shore appears to be. They almost beat Bethune-Cookman last time they met, so if they're gonna get a win at all it will be February 19 at Bethune-Cookman. Now, back to ignoring the MEAC completely.

And our bigtyme conference "stars", Arizona State of the Pac-10
0-10, 6-15
Things are not going well for Herb Sendek in the desert. Losing 71-47 to your in-state rival a week ago is not good. Having the bad luck to play in a very tough, competitive Pac-10 this year is not good. Herb, in your last 8 games you face 4 ranked opponents. Can we get an 0-18 out of the Sun Devils?