Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quick game recap

Last night was good to me as both of my two favorite non-Miami basketball teams (Duke and the Jazz) won on the road. I went to the Jazz game and was able to get back home in time to see the last 5 minutes of the Duke-Maryland game. Below are pictures from the 4th row last night at the Target Center:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Tonight M and I are going to see the battle of the former Duke big men Shelden Williams and Carlos Boozer. Of course I don't know how much of a battle it will be since neither will probably play that much because one just got traded and the other is coming off an injury. Regardless I am excited because I got 4th row tickets off stubhub for $28 ($35 with fees), which if you are doing the math is 13% of the face value of $260 each. As I told my brother-in-law in an email I love how the economy has tanked the Twolves ticket market.

Pictures to follow, so stay tuned.

Go Jazz.

Also, go Duke tonight at Maryland. Lets hope the Terps have a letdown after their thrilling victory on Saturday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Butterfly Efflect

If only Ty Lawson could have just kept his music down on the night of June 6th this past year. If he would have done that then maybe the police wouldn't have pulled him over and noticed a "strong odor of alchohol." If he would have kept his music down at 2:30am then he wouldn't have had a red flag (a *DUI) next to his name that resulted in him removing his name from the NBA draft early entries. If that would have happened then the BEST TEAM EVER would have been forced to start Larry Drew as their point guard this year. And if that would have happened maybe Greg Paulus would have been able to celebrate a victory over Carolina on his home court.

*You would think that Lawson would want to NOT draw attention to his car when he had been drinking. Hopefully he looks back on that moment and realizes that it probably would have been in his best interest to keep the music down a little bit. Also, it would probably would have been in his best interest just to not drink and drive as a 20 year old in the first place.

As it stands Lawson just loves listening to his music loud and also absolutely destroying Duke's defense. In the midst of my brother-in-law constant *texts there was one that I relunctly had to agree with. That one was "The only way to stop him is with a gun and league rules prohibit that."

*He must have been a great middle school teacher since the quantity of his texts mirrors a 13 year old girl.

Last night's game was depressing and something that I would rather soon forget. I am going to go grab some lunch now on my lunch break.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dear Nephew

First off let me write that has been great so far being your Uncle. You are an incredible kid who has brought your parents, grandparents and others (like M and I) many, many hours of joy. As you approach your 2nd birthday it is clear that you have learned a lot, and while it might be hard to understand right know you will learn even more as you get older. Below is one of your first lessons from your Uncle.

Right now you are probably 13 years away from getting a job, 15 years away from applying to college and 16 years away from ever setting foot on campus as a student. You will probably be relatively tall and based on your Father’s and Uncle’s obsession with the sport you might become interested in basketball. That is completely fine and I can’t think of any reason why an interest in basketball shouldn’t be encouraged. It is a great game that is cheap, easy to play and teaches you how to share (1 ball on the court for 10 players). You see I have and always will enjoy playing and watching basketball. While I wasn’t that much of a player as a kid I did practice and watch games to try improve. One of those teams that I used to watch was Duke. They were good, always on *TV, and their fans were always jumping up and down and having a good time. As an 8 year old I picked Duke as my favorite team and for the past 17 years I haven’t looked back.

*Which as a child in my day was very important. We didn’t have the Internet or espn full court package, so you were pretty much at the mercy of ABC, CBS, NBC and/or ESPN.

So far this letter has been pretty positive, but unfortunately H I have some bad news for you. You can’t be a fan of any college basketball team for at least another 13 years and probably not until another 16 years. You see until then you won’t have ever worked at a University or attended classes at a University. Your father (and remember to listen to your parents) has made it explicitly clear that the 8 year old Kevin was wrong for picking Duke. I don’t want you to make the same mistake as me, so the advice I give to you is not to follow college basketball and specifically don’t make the mistake of picking a team. In fact at your Dad’s pace you won’t become a fan of a college basketball team for 20+ years.

In closing I will have more advice (be polite to restaurant servers, respect your elders, drink liquor before beer but not the other way around, etc) to give you in the future, but I wanted to get this one in before tonight’s big Duke-UNC game. Keep having fun playing outside, pointing at things and watching garbage trucks.

Go Duke

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UNC - Duke

My brother in law has a string of posts going on his blog about the UNC - Duke matchup. Besides showing my brother in law's proficiency in posting youtube videos there really isn't anything that is a must read for either a Carolina fan or a Duke fan. He doesn't attempt to break down the game or go over much of the history of the matchup. There is a video of the Capel shot and Stackhouse dunk from the 1995 game during the Pete Gaudet year at Duke. Also, there are two other videos from the Tyler Hansbrough years (2006 to what seems like forever). I guess I can understand my brother-in-law's lack of depth on his posts because he hasn't been a UNC fan for that long. In fact I don't think my brother-in-law at the time even cared who won the 1995 game. He was probably getting himself excited about Erick Dampier and Dontae Jones and the eventual *1996 Final Four bound Bulldogs of Mississippi St.

*Is that the best sporting highlight in all of Mississippi St's history? Seriously? I guess you could count college baseball, but the best that team ever finished in the College World Series was 3rd in 1985 and also college baseball isn't as popular. Check it out and also check out the first picture of a famous 1st baseman.

Since my brother-in-law hasn't been a UNC fan for that long I thought I would take it upon myself to give him a little bit of a history lesson. To simply things I thought I would just look at the past 10 years and look at all Duke-UNC games since 1999. Here are some facts from the past 10 years:
  • Duke has won 6 out of the last 10 games at Cameron.
  • Duke has won 7 out of the last 10 games at the Dean Dome. (Included in that is 2 out of the past 3 in the Hansbrough years).
  • Duke has won all 4 times the teams have met in the ACC tournament.
  • Add that up and Duke has won 17 out of the past 24 games in the past 10 years.

It is cute that my brother in law gets excited about games he didn't care about (1995) or takes a certain sense of pride in yelling at *Gerald Henderson because of his hit on Hansbrough in the 2007 game. He should get excited about this year's team. While any talk about them being the best team ever should be put to rest for good, they are still a talented team that has a better shot than any other team to win the title. In fact I think on talent alone UNC does have a better team than Duke this year. They have a incredibly fast point guard, a skilled shooter, a well rounded/talented small forward and good depth at the post position. Duke on the other hand is a streaky team that relies way too heavily on two players (Henderson and Singler) and still hasn't found any true low post presence. More things have to go right for Duke to win tomorrow than for UNC to win.

*Isn't it kind of funny that from that incident Henderson has turned into a much better Nba prospect? Check out the latest mock draft where Henderson is projected as the 10th pick while Hansbrough is projected as the 27th pick.

With all of that being written I go back to the fact that this is still Duke-UNC. You can see anything from an incredible underdog team take a much more talented team into double OT (1995 game) to a future Knicks point guard go coast to coast for the winning basket. You can see JJ Redick make a great defensive read to win the game or hell you can even see Tyler Hansbrough (he who in his first there seasons averaged one 3 pointer made a year) hit a three pointer. The game is something that will be remembered for good or bad for years to come. For that reason I can only hope that Duke will win and add to an already impressive legacy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Today is one of those days that I circle on my calendar at the beginning of the year. I love the Super Bowl. I love the game, the commercials and the food. I love hanging out with my friends and watching the game. All in all it is a pretty amazing sports experience that in my mind actually lives up to the enormous hype it receives.

This Super Bowl is different than others because 1) I'm not hosting a party and 2) I have a *horse in the race. The horse that I am referring to are the Pittsburgh Steelers and specifically Ben Roethlisberger. Today I will be watching the game at my friend's place with a black #7 jersey on and my cell phone ready for constant game talk with my other Steelers friend in Columbus.

*I almost wrote "dog in the fight" but thought that probably wouldn't be the best thing for the NFL.

Why specifically will I be rooting for Roethlisberger?

Ben Roethlisberger went to Miami University (as did I). He was a redshirt freshmen in the fall of 2001 (I was also a freshmen in 2001 even though the Marketing department didn't need me to redshirt). He was born in the first few days of March (a year later so was I). Being a Miami football fan it shouldn't be a surprise that I went to almost every home game during my 4 years at Miami. By my count I saw him play live in 15 games during his 3 years at Miami. During those years I saw the following things:
  • Current Steelers/Roethlisberger backup QB Byron Leftwich caught a touchdown pass against Miami University during Roethlisberger's freshmen year.
  • Roethlisberger threw for 525 yards against Northern Illinois and lost. The reason they lost was because Miami's D couldn't stop future NFL star Michael "the Burner" Turner, who finished the game with 222 yards on 20 carries.
  • Two Qbs (Josh Cribbs and Charlie Frye) that later played for the Cleveland Browns. Of course the Browns missed out on the one MAC quarterback that might have actually turned around that franchise.
  • Roethlisberger threw for 440 yards and 4 tds on a separated shoulder to lead Miami to the MAC title against Bowling Green. Miami fans (myself included) later rushed the field at Doyt-Perry stadium and celebrated the win with the team. The picture below is from the game and just like all of them are taken from yours truly's camera:

Roethlisberger provided so many amazing memories (of course one of the games I missed ended like this) for Redhawk fans. When he entered the 2004 draft there was little doubt that I would follow his career no matter what NFL team drafted him. This was slightly scary since there was a decent chance the dreaded Cleveland Browns would select him. Instead the Browns (being the Browns) selected Kellen Winslow part two. This snub allowed Roethlisberger to fall into the waiting arms of the Steelers. Since that day Roethlisberger hasn't lost to the Browns in the 10 times he has faced them. Since that day Roethlisberger has led to the Steelers to a 15-1 season that ended in the AFC championship game. Since that day Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to two Super Bowls (1 victory and 1 yet to be determined). He is a truly remarkable athlete who in his short career has carved out a legacy of being one of best winners in football. That is why I am rooting for the Steelers today and predicting a 24-14 victory.

One thing I forgot to write about is the story of how I met Roethlisberger. Maybe another day, but rest assured that I feel comfortable calling him Ben since that is how he introduced himself to me.