Friday, April 28, 2006

Excuse me sir, it appears you have a Van Gundy on your leg


One of my favorite sports moments. This was back when the Knicks-Heat playoff rivalry was in full force. I remember watching this game on TV when the diminutive Van Gundy inexplicably stormed the court to break up a fight between Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. The results were hilarious. Every time I see Van Gundy, it brings back fond memories of this moment.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Politics of Pity


Note: This is the first in an occassional series dedicated to countering some of the more outlandish claims made by the writers of espn.com, cnnsi.com, or whatever random sports website I happen to be reading at the time.

In his espn.com column entitled “What Would You Do?” Jason Whitlock displays the type of cynicism and pessimism that one would expect from an unabashed critic of professional sports, not a writer has devoted his professional life to writing about the very athletes and games Whitlock so freely disparages throughout his article. One would think that as a professional sports writer, Whitlock would believe that the contests he makes his living writing about are played by professionals striving to play their best, not athletes going through the motions because they’ll be receiving a check regardless of the outcome. Nevertheless, Whitlock’s cynicism is on display throughout his rambling, unfocused, defense of the greed, selfishness, and misbehavior associated with many of today’s professional athletes.
Whitlock’s primary assertion is that faced with the same set of circumstances, situations, and decisions as professional athletes, we would more often than not find ourselves acting in the same questionable manner that we are often quick to criticize. His case study for his column is none other than Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson and Chris Webber, who recently showed up late and did not play in the Sixers final home game of the season, ironically dubbed Fan Appreciation Night. After failing to arrive at the arena until minutes before the game, both Iverson and Webber did not play or even sit on the Sixers bench during the game. Afterwards, the star duo drew severe criticism from both general manager Billy King and coach Maurice Cheeks, who called their actions “unacceptable” and said “it makes me look like I’m not in control.” The duo was fined an undisclosed amount by the team in the days after the game. Rather than express anger at the fact that any organization’s two star athletes would fail to report on time for a game, especially a game dubbed Fan Appreciation Night, Whitlock says that the millions on dollars both stars have made playing basketball serve to eliminate any sense of duty Webber and Iverson might have to their organization or fans. After detailing the struggles Iverson faced growing up and the millions that were awarded to him when he entered the NBA at the tender age of 21, he asks “After all that, would you really give a flying flip about Fan Appreciation Night?”
Personally, I believe I would give a “flying flip” about Fan Appreciation Night. In fact, I’d give a whole lot more than that. I’d be sure to remind myself that the only reason I’m able to drive my $300,000 Bentley to and from my million dollar Main Line mansion while nattily attired in over $50,000 in jewelry is that the very fans who will pack the Wachovia Center on Fan Appreciation Night are willing to pay the exorbitant cost to see me play a game. I’d remind myself that the auto mechanic sitting in the 11th row just shelled out a week’s worth of salary so he could bring his family of four to see me play. I’d remind myself that I’m being paid more than 35 times the President of the United States to play a game that is a recreational activity for millions of others. And I’d remind myself of how hard the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan, continued to play long after he had made his millions and won his rings.
Whitlock’s claim that millionaire athletes with guaranteed contracts are devoid of reasons to feel loyalty to either their organization or fans is repudiated by the actions of countless other professional athletes. When once asked why he continues to play harder than any other player on the court, game in and game out, despite already being considered one of the best players to ever play in the NBA, Jordan famously replied that every game, there might be one fan in the stands who will never get to see him play again. And he wants that fan to be able to say he saw Michael Jordan at his absolute best. How does Whitlock’s argument account for the actions of Michael Jordan? Or Ronnie Lott, who, rather than be taken out an NFL game because of a broken finger, chose to have the top half of his pinkie amputated so he wouldn’t miss the following series? Or the hundreds of other professional athletes who have come from troubled backgrounds to superstardom in their respective sport, yet continue to give their absolute best night in and night out? Whitlock says that rather than blame Webber and Iverson for their immature behavior, we should blame the NBA, who “just like all of the professional sports leagues, has failed to adjust its rules to compensate for what guaranteed contracts and guaranteed millions have done to pro athletes.”
Out of curiosity, I’m wondering just what action Whitlock would like the see the NBA take to “compensate for what…guaranteed millions have done to pro athletes.” Forgive me for not shedding a tear or holding a telethon for these poor millionaires. Perhaps the reason Whitlock fails to suggest any actions the NBA could take to curtail what he deems to be a significant problem for the league is that he knows how ridiculous it would seem to propose that the National Basketball Association, which has already given its players life-long financial security and a full 60% of all league revenues, owes anything more to the young men they make instant millionaires every year.
It’s difficult to propose any type of solution to the “problem” Whitlock identifies because I simply refuse to believe his ill-conceived notion that “owners, coaches, and executives” are to blame for the selfish and greedy behavior of many of today’s superstar athletes. In contrast to Whitlock’s assertion that Iverson and Webber cannot be blamed and should not be punished for their actions, I feel that the fines levied by the Sixers against both players recently are more than justified. A suspension of the players would only serve to hurt other members of the team as well as Sixers fans. Severe fines, however, seem to be an ideal punishment for Iverson and Webber. For if, as Whitlock claims, money has served to make these players as irresponsible, self-centered, and ultimately blameless as he claims, surely depriving both Iverson and Webber of a portion of their hard-earned cash could have only positive consequences for both players and the organization.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wanted: New name for blog, inquire within

It has come to my attention there are numerous blogs that share our name. Therefore, this site has lost its cache and drastic measures must be taken. I welcome all 10 people who read this site to suggest in the comment section possible names for the blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Love Don't Live Here Anymore

You've finally done it. You made me hate you. You made an entire community turn its back on you. And can you really blame them? What's the "Answer?" Huh, Allen.

You proved two nights ago what some supposed cynics have been saying about you all your career. You proved you are a self-centered, God-damned son of a bitch.

I'm writing this to tell you that it's time for you to leave. We don't want you anymore. We don't need you anymore. And frankly we're disgusted by you. Not showing up on time to "Fan Appreciation Night" of all nights. "Have you no shame, sir....Have you no shame?"

These fans had your back for the past decade. They protected you when you were attacked in the media, they praised you when you captained the 76ers to the NBA Finals, they blushed like proud parents when you won your league MVP award and your All-Star Game MVP award.
And, Mr. Iverson, how do you repay them?

You are a thug. You are a pathetic malcontent. You are shill of a person. But most importantly, you are a fraud. You conned Philadelphia into seeing you as a martyr when the subject of trade was brought up. You said you wanted to stay with the Sixers, even finish your career wearing the red, white, and blue.

Well you lied. You don't care. You don't care about your teammates. You don't care about this city. And for damn sure you don't care about the fans. These people that took the time off on Tuesday night and wasted their hard earned money to buy tickets for "Fan Appreciation Night" and you don't have the decency to show up for the player introductions.

You are a 30-year-old man, not a child. You have responsibilities, you have a job, you have thousands, if not millions, of children and teens looking up to you. You let us down for the last time.

So you've finally done it. You broke me, Allen. We've simply had enough. You've overstayed your welcome. You've made a fool of us. You will never be forgiven.

It's time to leave A.I. Please, your not welcome here anymore.

Reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers would have been better off as a franchise if they had made the playoffs

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Get your blog on: Blogging 101 from the Blogmaster on That's Blogtastic which can be reached through blogspot.com or blogger.com.....Blog


So you are thinking about starting your own blog. You may say, "Blogmaster I know very little about blogging and I’m not that funny, interesting or opinionated." Well, I disagree with that self effacing statement. You may not be compelling enough to start your own TV show (you’re no Carlos Mencia) but you definitely deserve a blog. America would enjoy reading your opinions on Barry Bonds and steroids. In fact, America needs to hear your opinions. Because frankly when a controversial sports topic appears in the news I check my newspapers, I check the sports talk radio, and then naturally I would want check the blog of some dude who lives in his parents basement. I would like to give you some tips on starting on your own blog because I know from experience.

1. Secure a clever domain name: This should be an obscure pop culture reference that when it comes down to it isn’t very funny at all

2. Create a Proper Blogging atmosphere: I blog while listening to one of my seven ipods, watching Sportscenter on my mobile phone, and downloading my homework assignments from the University of Phoenix. Because if you're blogging you have to be hip with the technology.

3. Invite your friends to join in the blogging fun: The more the merrier. You and your friends are always getting into situations with hilarious results. This should be documented in blog form with plenty of inside jokes that no one can understand. Remember that time Goldenarm almost fought Bloggington Bear because Vadz made Bruno choke on wings at the YMFFL draft. That was so very blogworthy.

4. Market your blog: Alert your buddy list, prominently display link in your myspace profile, casually drop it into conversation. Pretty soon your blog will “tip” and you will have a social epidemic on your hands.


So there you go, I challenge you to start your own blog. There is plenty of room in the blogosphere for the both us. Just remember when that blog is up and running you must keep on bloggin’, blog up a storm, blog like there is no tomorrow, blog with passion, blog safe, and blog happy.

Friday, April 14, 2006

How can we detect who is on steroids? Enlist the help of the Blogmaster's dad.


Chuck Klosterman (very entertaining writer, you should read his books) recently weighed in on steroids and the Barry Bonds homerun chase. In the ESPN Magazine article, he questions why the public was oblivious to the possibility of steroid use to explain the 1998 homerun race when McGwire “looked like a bipedal Clydesdale swinging an elm tree” and Sosa “happened to be a 29 year old man with acne.” I’ll tell you someone who was not fooled by the rampant use of steroids in baseball, the Blogmaster’s dad. As early as 1990 my dad was questioning many players’ new found bulk with allegations of steroid use.

Back in the early 90’s, my favorite baseball player was Lenny Dykstra, known affectionately by Harry Kalas as “The Dude” or “Nails.” I had his entire batting routine perfected. I would load my mouth full of grapes spitting juice like the tobacco chewing players of the day. I would rest the bat between my legs as I carefully applied my imaginary batting gloves. When watching games with my Dad, he would always scoff at Dykstra’s new found girth (he had been quite skinny in his NY Mets days) claiming he was on steroids. I passionately defended my hero (this was at a time when I still experienced emotions) telling my dad about the advancements in weight training and nutrition. But it turns out he was probably right. My dad also claimed that he accused a co-worker of steroid use which was vehemently denied. Years later, this co-worker would confess that he was indeed using steroids for many years.

If Bonds and other players like Dykstra were passing tests for many years, it is obvious that MLB’s tests cannot detect certain steroids. I would suggest Selig enlist the help of my dad’s discerning steroid detecting eye to end this controversy once and for all.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Longer the Answer



You could make a pretty sound argument that Allen Iverson is the best basketball player ever to stand under six feet. His ability to score in traffic is unmatched, his tougness is legendary, and, improbably, given the fact that he takes more physical abuse than any other NBA player, when he turns 31 this June he will just have completed what is perhaps the best basketball season of his life. His average of 33 points per game this season is a career high. In fact, when one compares this year's campaign with his 2000-2001 season, which culminated with him being named league MVP, it becomes clear that AI is having his best year ever. Iverson's scoring average (33.0 to 31.9), field goal percentage (.448 to .420), three point shooting (.329 to .320), assists (7.5 to 4.6), and even minutes played (43.0 to 42.0) are better this season. And despite the fact that Iverson is scoring more, shooting better, dishing out more assists, and playing more the Sixers are struggling to make the playoffs, as opposed to the 2000-2001 season when the team reached the NBA Finals.
But Iverson's brilliant career has been tarnished by the Sixers staggering inability to build a championship team around him. Even when Iverson strapped the team on his back and carried them to the Finals in 2001, he did so with shockingly little talent around him. Names like Tyrone Hill, Eric Snow, and George Lynch did not exactly inspire fear in opponents or give them any reason to be scared if they decided to run three guys at Iverson on every important possession. Detractors that claim that Iverson is simply not a team player and that his playing style isn't compatible with his teammates have no answer for Iverson's dominant play in NBA All-Star games and international competition. Despite AI's proven ability to take over a game or get teammates involved, play multiple positions, and be leader both on and off the court, the Sixers have never been able to surround him with the type of talent necessary to win an NBA championship. Their failure to do so over the last eight years Iverson has been a top-five NBA player does not bode well for any efforts they may make to do so this summer. Therefore, as painful as it is to suggest, the Sixers need to part ways with Allen this summer, while he is still an NBA superstar and capable of generating significant interest from the rest of the league. In return for Iverson, the Sixers should be able to obtain at least one promising young player and/or a first round draft pick. These new Sixers will join a nucleus of Kyle Korver, Andre Igoudala, and Willie Green and have a chance to begin the long and occassionally fruitless process of NBA rebuilding. Nevertheless, such a move is in the best interest for both Allen Iverson and the Sixers, as the team has shown time and time again for the last decade that they are simply unable to consisitently excel with the Answer.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Magyar On The Run




RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - "Cochrane?!? He's (expletive) garbage!!!"
That was what neighbors heard sometime after 9:30 AM Sunday morning from apartment 4C in the WoodCreek Apartment Complex in the Hillsborough section of Richmond. The statement was made by 23-year-old Drew Magyar after hearing news that his former high school football teammate and one time teacher, E.J. Cochrane, had been signed to a one-year contract by the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League.
"It sounded like a Yeti was let loose up there," said John Milsby, who lives directly below Magyar. "The only thing I could think of to do was to hide my most valued possessions and lock my door."
Magyar and Cochrane were both placekickers. Both played at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, PA. Both continued to kick in college, Magyar at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, Cochrane at The University of West Virginia for one year and Montana State for three years. But only one of the two was able to make it to the NFL (Cochrane), while the other was thrown smack dab in the exciting world of corporate accounting (Magyar).
According to several WoodCreek residents Magyar burst from his apartment and continued running at full speed toward Interstate 95 South. Neighbors say Magyar was screaming uncontrollably as well as yelling things such as "What an a**hole" and "I'm going to kill that bastard" in an abnormally whiny tone.
This most recent outburst by Magyar has not surprised his friends as much as it did his neighbors.
"Wait, Drew was carrying one like a four year old and was filled with purposeless rage?" said one of Magyar's childhood friends, who chose to remain anonymous. "It was about time. He's been in Richmond for almost six months now...he was definitely due for one of these episodes. Gosh, building up for so long with noone to attack."
Most upset by the incident are Magyar's parents. According to Patricia Magyar, Drew's mother, her youngest offspring wasn't "as planned as their other two children."
"Drew was our little mistake," Mrs. Magyar said. "And now the world will feel his wrath...and it's all Vince's fault....Who the hell uses sheepskin anymore?"
If Magyar finishes his trek, which should leave him somewhere near the Atlanta Falcons training facilities, Cochrane should be warned to protect himself from his ex-teammates kick attacks.
When reached for comment Cochrane played the dumb card, "Drew who?" said Cochrane. "I am kicker. Watch me lean. I hear bird."
Check back for more updates on Magyar's spree to the South.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Tradition Unlike Any Other


Of all the email subject lines in my inbox, this one was by far the most surprising. (Which was quite a feat, considering several items offered me the chance to watch naughty Asian school girls and a few promised me bigger, longer, and harder...uh...biceps. Yeah......biceps.) But there it was, a single phrase in an email from my cousin that presented a most intriguing, innovative, and dare i say genius, concept. The subject read "Fantasty Augusta?"
If I've learned anything about sports since I've turned 16, it's that there is absolutely no sport in the world that cannot be made interesting, even riveting, if you have a little money riding on it. Pool, bowling, even WNBA games go from unwatchable to unbeatable the second you put a little dough on the outcome. I'll be the first to admit that I might have taken this simple concept a little too far. In the past few years I'm ashamed (or proud, not really sure) to admit that I've gambled on cross-country skiiing, high school wrestling tournaments, and even the scrimmage played between two teams of 8-year olds during the halftime of a William & Mary basketball game. (Tip: Find the tallest player on the court and stick with him. Height is everything at that age.) And of course there are those that may say my gambling is a sick addiction and immoral and that offering tips on how to bet on games played between pre-pubescent players is flat-out wrong. ( And they'd be right.) But in each case the addition of a little green made the event more enjoyable for all.
And speaking of green, is there a place where a greater number of its brilliant shades are on display than the Masters? The granddaddy of all golf tournaments is four days of world class golf on one of the most beautiful courses in the world, and always one of my favorite athletic events of any calendar year. That's why those two simple words at the beginning of that email unlocked so many tantalizing possibilites. The proposed format was simple: Pick one player for each of the four rounds. Can't pick the same player twice. That player's score for that round is your score for that round. Lowest total score at the end of the tournament wins. Winner take all. And as an added wrinkle, if you pick a player for the 3rd or 4th round who doesn't make the cut, neither do you. I'll take a moment to allow you all to bask in either the pure brilliance or stupidity of the concept, your choice. The task at hand, therefore, was to try to pick players who started off fast for the first two rounds and players who closed well and would absolutely make the cut for the weekend. Aftera little research and even less thought, I settled on a lineup of Phil Mickelson, Chad Campbell, Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Needless to say, through two rounds I'm sitting pretty. Mickelson's two under on Thursday combined with Campbell's blistering 67 on Friday put me at seven under headed into the weekend. After astutely picking Vijay in the first round, my cousin is kicking himself for putting Chris Dimarco in his third round slot, who missed the cut by a mile on Friday. As long as Jim Furyk doesn't put together something in the mid-60's today, which he might given that's he's two under after four, I'm gonna be heading into the weekend with the league and the #1 and #2 players in the world going for me on Saturday and Sunday. Being a big Masters fan, there's no question I'd be watching this weekend regardless of my financial interest in the proceedings. But once again, I've come to the unmistakable conclusion that there is no sporting event in the world that can't be improved by the simple act of putting money on it. After my last trip to Atlantic City however, it's become even more clear that this principle should never, ever, be employed to blackjack or roulette. Just trust me on that one.

Mourning the release of Tomas Perez, utility man extraordinaire


After watching the first couple games of the Phillies season, something seemed different about this year's squad. Was it the lack of clutch hitting? No, that was still there. Was it the starters never making it past the 6th inning? No, that was also the same. Was it the questionable managerial decisions? Nope that wasn't it. Then it dawned on me. Where was Tomas Perez? I checked the roster and sure enough he wasn't on it. He had been released on Sunday and was now with the Devil Rays.

Tomas Perez was all things to all men. He averaged a respectable 205 AB, .249 BA, and 3 HR over his 6 year career (a length of service that ranked only behind Abreu and Wolf) and contributed the occasional clutch pinch hit or dazzling defensive play. He was known for his hilarious clubhouse antics. Most famous for giving the old shaving cream to the face to the player of the game being interviewed by Harry Kalas. Tomas Perez didn't watch the game from the dugout bench. He attentively leaned by the dugout entrance closely following the game and congratulating players. Tomas Perez didn't play one position, he played 8 positions over his career (only has yet to catch in the MLB). They say Gene Roddenbery got the idea for Star Trek from Tomas Perez talking in his sleep. Or maybe that was Bill Brasky, I'm not sure but I am sure that I will miss Tomas Perez this baseball season.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Are you surprised at my tears? Strong men also cry. Strong men....also...cry.


Last night was the debut of Bonds on Bonds, a new ESPN reality show that will chronicle Bonds' chase at homerun history. I caught the end of the show where Bonds breaks down and cries about the media and fans' treatment of him. It seemed pretty genuine (unless he is a great fake crier, I myself find it very hard to fake cry). Sensitive Bonds crying caused me to feel a slight twinge of sorrow for the big headed man. He is constantly heckled from stadium to stadium with people throwing plastic syringes at him (hilarious). He has to answer questions about the new book Game of Shadows which exposes his steroid use. Mark McGwire probably benefited as much from steroids as Bonds but was not exposed while he was playing and subsequently did not feel the fan and media wrath.

I often wonder how I would handle situations like this if I was a professional athlete. If I were Bonds, I would have opened Bonds on Bonds curled up on the couch deeply engrossed in the Game of Shadows. I would have stated that it is a great read. One of the best books of the year. Some of the best fiction I have read in the while.

Tiger Woods: World's Top Golfer, Leading Philanthropist, "List-worthy"

At the beginning of my junior year of college, my roomate and I, giddy with the prospects of living off campus for the first time, began to conceive the idea of a certain list. This list would include all people, famous or not, who we would love to have over to our luxurious, 250 square foot apartment to simply hang out, drink a couple brews, and shoot the shit. As an added catch, however, we needed to agree that there was at least some chance in hell that this person would feel comfortable lounging on our beer-stained couch, sweating in our non air-conditioned living room, and making sure to hold down the handle on our ancient, semi-functioning toilet.
As the semesters passed, this list, now referred to as simply "the list", began to grow at an impressive rate. From the famous (George Clooney) to the infamous (Bill Clinton) to the imaginary (Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell, but not Mark Paul Gosselaar), men and women both celebrity and not began to populate our list. Soon my roomate and I were like Elaine and her sponges on Seinfield, we continually asked ourselves if people we met at a bar or watched on Sportscenter were really "list-worthy". The reason I bring up the list and all the fond memories associated with it is that I feel the need to rectify what in my mind was an unforgivable error: Tiger Woods never was on that list. As much as I pleaded, begged, and even compromised; ("If we put Tiger on we can also put on Tim McGraw") my roomate, a Tiger afficionado but die-hard Mickelson fan, would not agree to put Tiger on the list. In my opinion, having a list of cool, laid back celebs who would feel at home in a $700 a month apartment drinking Miller High Lifes and watching re-runs of "Iron Chef" without Tiger Woods is as pointless as having a Cavaliers team photo without Lebron or a deli tray sans turkey.
It's not just that Tiger is perhaps the world's most dominating athlete in the world's most frustrating sport. (At least to me.) It's not just that Tiger is competitive enough to turn any intramural game into World War III, as evidenced by his promise that he'd kick Ed Bradley's ass in ping pong on 60 Minutes recently. It's that he is not afraid to let his fans see how he's feeling. Whether it's tears of joy after his first Masters win or tears of sadness discussing his ailing Dad, an impulsive swipe of the club as yet another drive sails towards the trees, or an impulsive (and hilariously botched) high five with his caddie after executing yet another shot other players wouldn't even consider attemping, Tiger Woods comes off as one of the most genuine, down-to-earth superstars of my lifetime.
Still not convinced that Tiger is the type of guy who, if God hadn't blessed him with talent, would still be out on the golf course constantly, although probably losing $10 in bets and spending $20 on beers at the turn while carding something in the mid 90's (i.e. like me) rather than winning tournaments? His recent print ads for American Express ask him to divulge what CD is in his CD player? His answer was something to the effect of "The new CD from my friends Hootie and the Blowfish." Tiger is friends with Hootie! Hootie! The same Hootie whose songs are perfect for drunken sing-alongs. The same Hootie who is a legend at South Carolina fraternity parties and spends his downtime "playing golf, shooting hoops, eating Big Macs and hanging out at malls." (Side note: Big Macs? Hootie, say it ain't so. You actually had me believing you were a Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch man.) Any man, famous or not, who's good enough to be friends with Hootie is good enough for the list. So Tiger, next time you make your way down to Williamsburg, VA, give me a ring if you're looking for a night full of cheap wagering, obscure movie references, used furniture, and the Champagne of Beers. Oh, and if you want to bring Elin, that's cool too.

Monday, April 03, 2006

In Memoriam: Matt Walsh

For the initial post of this blog, we felt it necessary to pay homage to the man whose obsessive sports knowledge, shameless favoritism, and questionable work habits inspired us to write this blog in the first place: ESPN's Bill Simmons. In honor of the Sports Guy, we're presenting our own Running Diary of tonight's NCAA Championship game.

9:25 - Joakim Noah's first basket is greeted by musings about his racial composition. After wondering aloud "Is he a mulatto," an uncomfortable silence engulfs the room. Not exactly an auspicious debut.

9:28 - Florida 11, UCLA 6. Howard Stern's Artie Lange's $8200 bet on the over tonight (it's set at 128) is looking pretty good.

9:35 - With all the attention given to Adam Morrison's stache this season, how did Joakim Noah's go unnoticed?

9:41 - My friend surmises that Noah lacks physical beauty because it's God's way of keeping things even. In his own words "Us good looking folk can't play at the next level. But he can so God made him ugly. But what about good looking basketball players....like Gheorge Mhuresan?"

9:45 - The current debate is as to where Matt Walsh is during the game. There's some disagreement between if he's at the game or not, or even watching the game or not, given recent reports that friction between him and the young nucleus of this team might have influenced his decision to turn pro. Blogmaster offers the most intriguing thought, wondering "Maybe he's live-blogging the game."

9:48 - Jim Nantz brings up Matt Walsh, but unfortunately doesn't offer any guesses as to where he might be at the moment. For those who are wondering, Matt Walsh is a former childhood friend and somewhat of a local legend, hence the Walsh-centric slant of this post. Also, he dated an insanely hot Playboy playmate.

10:01 - Pretty entertaining game thus far. Jordan Farmar just buried a three and then hit Hollins with a perfect around the back pass on consecutive possessions. I'll go ahead and call him the world's greatest elfin basketball player. My friend makes the point that he might have huge ears, but he also has "great hair."

10:06 - A split screen of Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Bob Kurland immediately inspires feelings of "Who the hell is Bob Kurland?"

10:13 - Noah has tied a NCAA championship game record with 4 blocks. There's still 2 minutes left in the first half. Call me crazy, but I'm not sold that he can be a big contributor in the NBA. How many 6'11", 185 lb French nationals with a ponytail have made it in the league? That said, he's just dominating this game.

10:16 - Florida 36, UCLA 25 at half. The over/under is looking a lot less sure all of a sudden. Whatever, it's not like Artie can't afford it.

10:21 - A teaser promoting Jack Hannah's appearance on the Late Show causes unpleasant flashbacks to his awful appearance at my school a few year's ago. Hannah on Letterman with close-up camera views of exotic animals and Dave cracking one-liners? Funny. Hannah deadpanning and the audience squinting to get a good look at some type of monkey from the 18th row? Not funny.

10:40 - Decide to pass time by attempting to facebook every player on the floor. Taurean Green, here I come. (By the way, Noah is rubbing some sort of giant statue in his facebook picture. Check it out)

10:45 - Cut to a shot of a well-dressed Rick Pitino in the stands. I mention he looks like Al Pacino. My friend says David Gest.

10:48 - My friend's list of who he'd kill if he had 5 bullets and immunity from criminal prosecution: Terrell Owens, Tie Domi, Billy Packer, Jim Nantz, and....he's not sure. Apparently he's just not evil enough at the moment.

10:53 - He comes through and puts Michael Irvin on his last as #5. So if you're a Cowboys wideout or CBS NCAA announcer, might not want to venture up to Yardley, PA. Just a tip.

10:55 - Florida up 20. It seems that we're destined for 3 blowouts in Indianapolis. Quite a shame after the insanely competitive first few rounds of the tourney.

11:04 - 10 minutes left, Florida still up 20. Billy Packer mentions that "UCLA can no longer trade baskets. They need to turn the ball over." I'd say that qualifies as questionable analysis.

11:07 - A quick shot of the refs watching a video of themselves watching video of themselves watching a video, etc. energizes the room. My one friend surmises that we just traveled back in time a few seconds. These are the things 6 Magic Hat HI.P.A.'s and scoops upon scoops of whey protein will do to you.

11:13 - Wow. The Florida cheerleaders are hot. Real hot. What was Matt Walsh thinking?

11:14 - UCLA's press is absolutely shredded by the Gators for another easy deuce. Packer and Nantz practically trip over themselves racing to give all the credit to Joakim Noah. This has now reached Brett Favre-esque proportions. Based on what's been said about Noah tonight, I'm fully prepared to endorse him for President or let him raise my first born son. Perhaps both.

11:20 - Nantz makes an Inspector Gadget reference. I'm impressed and now actively lobbying my friend to take him off his "If I had 5 bullets list..."

11:23 - The drunkest man in the room grabs 8 beer bottles on his way upstairs. After telling us all to take note at his bottle-holding skill, he climbs the stairs slowly. The sound of bottle after bottle after bottle crashing to the floor above us is the funniest thing I've heard all night.

11:29 - Florida 68 UCLA 53. The only drama left is the over/under. On the plus side, we might be primed for one of the greatest moments in gamling history if UCLA makes a meaningful dunk at the buzzer to get the over.

11:32 - A Florida dunk puts the total points at 129. It's over. Artie Lange gets the cover and the $8200. He's up $16400 for the tourney. Fuck him. That would pay for a year of my tuition. For Artie, I doubt it covers what he spends on Jack Daniels in a month.

11:34 - Final score: Florida 73 UCLA 57. Congrats to the Gators. On that note, I've gotta sign off quickly. I'm gonna try to get in touch with Matt Walsh and see if I can talk him off the roof.