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Archive for December, 2009

An Intentionally Merry Christmas

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We’ll be enjoying the Holidays until next week, so please, do so yourself. If you’re traveling, be careful, especially if there’s inclement weather involved. Perhaps this goes without saying, but then again, maybe it doesn’t:

As I was saying, be safe. We’ll be back sporadically next week, discussing the BCS and who knows what else. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwanzaa or whatever tradition you observe during the Holiday season. As for me, I’ll be all over some NBA action on Christmas Day, while enjoying time with the family. Oh, I’ll be doing a lot of driving as well, meaning I’m included in those driving well-wishes.

Amar’e's Goggles

Amar'e Goggles

The boys from Vote4Amare are back with their second installment, and this time, they’re not talking about practice. No. Instead, they’re talking about goggles. Now remember, OSHA teaches us the importance of taking care of your eyes with protective goggles, so why shouldn’t that apply to the NBA? Who cares how they look? Following that rationale, what if protected eyes improved your game to an All-Star level? Would you be down with wearing them then? No matter how they made you look?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Anyway, here is Amar’e and David Spade with their second segment of their Vote4Amare series.

Whatever it is they are doing, they must be doing it right, because at last count, Amar’e was the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers.

Kentucky Wins the Race to 2000


The race to 2000 wins is over and Kentucky is your victor. While Kansas and North Carolina will soon cross that threshold, no one can take Kentucky’s place in history as being the first team to break the 2000 barrier. As a fan, I’m awfully proud of the way this team secured these last few wins, helping the program over that mythical line. The highlight of win number 2000 was a behind the back move from John Wall that led to one of the more crowd-celebrated layups in years — especially for a place like Rupp Arena.

If John Wall stays awhile — Yeah, right — who knows, Kentucky might get to 4000 a little quicker than it took them to get their current win total. He certainly looks like he’s got a future in basketball.

Did Christmas Come Early For the Arizona Wildcats?

The Arizona Wildcats came away with a gift of an overtime win last night against Lipscomb. The final score was 83-82, thanks in large part to a questionable game-winner, courtesy of Nic Wise. After Lipscomb missed the second of two free throws, the Wildcats to the other end, where Wise got his attempt off just as the buzzer sounded.

Or did he? Did Santa Claus come a few days earlier for the Wildcats?

Looking the at the video, it’s hard to argue against the idea. At the seven-second mark, the ball clearly looks like it’s in Wise’s hands as the backboard light goes on. However, from the second angle, it’s a little more dubious. Considering the initial look, was the second angle — and the potential view that gave Arizona the win — necessary?

Of course, there’s something to be said for reviewing all the evidence, and if the second angle creates doubt, perhaps the ruling on the field court should stand. Over at the Tuscon Citizen, the early Christmas gift wasn’t enough to raise spirits. Apparently, the idea of, out of the two teams, Lipscomb being the one most likely to make the NCAA Tournament is a little disappointing.

Still, the truth is, Lipscomb, a preseason co-favorite in the Atlantic Sun Conference, has a better chance of being in the NCAA Tournament than Arizona.

And that’s just kind of sad.

Through 10 games of the nonconference season, it is obvious that 5-5 Arizona does not have, will not have, an NCAA Tournament resume. The postseason door is open just a crack because the young Wildcats, if they can get everyone healthy (Jamelle Horne, Kevin Parrom), figure to have a reasonable chance of playing their best ball in March for the Pac-10 Tournament.

The league is so bad that maybe the Cats could get hot at the right time, run the table in Los Angeles and earn the league’s automatic berth to the NCAAs. If you’re clinging to hope, that’s it.

H/t to the Sporting News Blog for the video.

How to Spell Futility

Jim Zorn

Apparently, there are a number of spellings of the word futility, as demonstrated by the Washington Redskins, and I think they go like this: W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S S-P-E-C-I-A-L T-E-A-M-S or W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S C-O-A-C-H-I-N-G or just W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S.

Anyone of those is acceptable.

Of course, If your name was Jason Campbell, your own personal spelling of “futility” might look something like this: W-A-S-H-I-N-G-T-O-N R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S O-F-F-E-N-S-I-V-E L-I-N-E. Over at KSK, they’re (or the person who submitted it) is calling the upcoming video “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever filmed.”

Considering the incredible amounts of abject failure going on — what a way to end a half and inspire your team as they regroup and try to mount a comeback — I can understand the sentiment about the video. Failure of such magnitude takes a special something. It’s not something you can plan for. Don’t get me wrong, the potential disaster of the perhaps the most boneheaded special teams play of the season (considering Mike Tomlin, that’s saying something) should’ve been evident in its planning, but perhaps the coaching staff told themselves there’s just no way things could go that wrong.

Yeah, about that.

And hey, at least the Giants didn’t score a touchdown after the interception, right? Small victories, folks. Small victories.

Nike Puppets Bring Christmas Cheer

While I’m not the biggest fan of the Nike Puppets, KRS-One + anything usually = pretty damn awesome, so I must give my approval. The “Dunking on Reindeer” video is a continuation of the rap battle started by the Reindeer (Lupe Fiasco) when they called out Santa Claus (KRS). It’s doubtful I’ll be buying either LeBron’s or Kobe’s shoes anytime soon, but again, as long as they keep coming with KRS-One, they’ll have my attention.

Oh look. Someone was good enough to edit all three commercials into one YouTube offering:

Now go buy some Nikes for Christmas. ;)

DeMarcus Cousins Is Ready For Winter

DeMarcus Cousins

Winter has certainly come to the eastern part of the United States and for one individual in Lexington, Kentucky, that means it’s time to update the winter fashions. Just ask Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins, who has been seen rocking ushankas as his headwear of choice. Ushankas are bomber-style winter hats made popular by our Russian neighbors. Of course, if you had to deal with the Artic winters that crush the Motherland under an avalanche of cold air, ice and snow, you’d be creative with your winter hats too.

As for Cousins, well, let’s just say Lexington has been pretty cold as well.

His game, on the other hand, has not. While John Wall has been getting most of the pub when it comes to Kentucky — rightfully so, I might add — Cousins has been living up to his “Diaper Dandy” billing as well by averaging 14.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, while shooting the ball at a 53 percent clip from the field. Granted, Cousins’ free throw shooting needs some improvement (that, too, hovers around the 50-percent mark), but while everyone has been busy loving on Wall, Cousins continues to display just how valuable he is to John Calipari’s reclamation project.

I, for one, give credit to Cousins’ choices in haberdashery.

I mean, how can you not? Especially when said headwear is as awesome as Russian ushankas?

Double Alley Oops Are Always Fun

Eric Bledsoe, John Wall and Patrick Patterson pulled out the always-coveted double alley oop play against the Austin Peay Governors on Saturday. And they made it look easy. Of course, when you have two of the most explosive freshmen guards in the nation leading the break with All-American Patrick Patterson trailing the play, pulling off such stunts is a little easier. While this particular double oop wasn’t quite the set play others have raved about, it did fill the bill for anyone needing a double alley oop fix.

Considering the way such a play inspires basketball writers to reevaluate the way the game is played, I’d say double oops are always a welcome in the roundball community.