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.

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