Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I'm a Bad Bad Blogger

I know I have been woefully lean on updates in the last few weeks, but to be honest this current basketball season has been draining.  Not only because the team can be frustrating to watch, but because our fans have once again gone batshit insane.  I knew folks were going to have us in the NCAA tournament after the first BC win and now folks have us losing every game left on the schedule and maybe even some pick-up games with the a 14 and under team along the way.  The best thing about a predominately engineering oriented fan base is the predictability.

I am going to write more on the blog.  But I think I’ll write more about Tech fandom in general and stay off of basketball.  I feel I have some interesting insights into what makes Tech fans so psychologically different than other fans.  Besides Nathan just does a fantastic job covering men’s basketball already.  The best I could do is link to him, but I shouldn’t have to do that, because you should already be checking his blog.

So updates are going to come, I promise.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

GT vs. Wake Forest

Nathan has a real nice preview for the Wake Forest game up at his site.  So thanks to Nathan for saving me some effort on that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

REAL: GT News Flash

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting the Theodis Tarver has been ruled eligible for the rest of the season. Fantastic news for Theo and for the team.


GT News Flash

This just in from the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Sports Information Department:

“In honor of the retirement of the venerable Dave Braine as Georgia Tech Athletic Director we are offering a family package on attendance for the retirement party. For just $40 dollars you will receive 4 tickets to the event, 4 cokes, 4 hot dogs, and a complimentary ‘Don’t Let the Door Hit Ya Where the Lord Split Ya’ t-shirt (distributed randomly in one of four completely different shades of gold.*)

We will be making this offer to the University of Georgia alumni base first so that Mr. Braine’s last time in Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field would not have a confusing lack of opposing fans. In this same light chair back seats will not be available so as to create as authentic a game-day experience as possible.”

*May also be yellow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Are You Marcus Vick?

It was hairy until the puppy killing question, but luckily I am apparently NOT Marcus Vick.

Find out for yourself over at EDSBS.

Tinfoil Hat Theory About the Tarver Situation

As folks are probably well aware, Theodis Tarver was ruled academically ineligible to play basketball for the rest of the season. However, he was only ineligible by GT’s standards and not the NCAA’s. Personally I think it’s a load of horseshit and they probably could have find something during his oversight hearing to give him a shot to get back on the team, but they didn’t.

I'm not one for conspiracy theories; in fact my theory on this isn't even much of a conspiracy. But I have to wonder if the administration would have played hardball like this if we weren't under NCAA sanctions right now?

If they are then that would mean that our AD and most likely our President are sacrificing the well being of a SA to save face for their own clusterfuck of a situation. Which is absolutely despicable, but the kind of bill passing that I have come to expect from Dave Braine in the last few years.

I can see him in his office right now with his bib on to make sure he doesn’t get in applesauce on his suit going “See! I’m in control here! I have absolute control of the situation! Look, how relevant and competent I still am!”

So to Dave Braine, please just fucking retire at the end of this year. Relevancy passed you at least two years ago and I think you might have been having long heartfelt conversations with senility in the interim. Unlike most of the alumni base, I have absolutely no delusions that our SA's play on a level playing field with the rest of the student body. You could have helped to fix this*, but instead are most likely trying to save face for your own ineptitude. So in my own not so humble opinion, you can go fuck yourself Dave Braine.

*Before the UGA and SEC comparisons start, I'm not talking about passing a kid that failed. Theo should have to retake any classes he did not pass. But if you think we haven't switched a few F's into I's on behalf of SA's in the past then I have a bridge for sale just outside of NYC that is a hell of a piece of property. A regular student might have even gotten them considering the family tragedy that Theo had to endure.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

ESPN it's just time to keep Simmons away from College Sports

Orson covers it pretty well over at Every Day Should be Saturday, but I thought I would put some of my own thoughts down about the column.

First let me say, I have enjoyed Simmons for a long time. I first found him on Page 2 and in a lot of ways the passion he wrote with back when he first started contributed a lot towards my own growing sports fandom. That being said, I have battled in the last year with dealing with his increasingly mediocre writing and metamorphosis into a punch line worthy of his own columns. Has there become much difference between Bill Simmons and Dick Vitale or Stephen A. Smith? I mean other than Simmons is still somebody you have to go looking for to annoy you and ESPN has the medium to shove Vitale and Smith into my face on a nightly basis?

I mean are the phrases “watershed” and “The XXXX face” really different than “diaper dandy” or “PTP’er?” In any column you can count on a 90210 reference as easily as you can count on Stephen A. Smith saying, “there’s no question about it.” It’s been frightening, but I think Kevin Cott is slowly surpassing him and this is a guy that until he got the Intern job was working his way towards being a lawyer.

I still enjoy some of his writing. When he sticks with what he knows like the NBA, mailbags, or movies (bring back the fucking sports movie write-ups they are the best thing you have written in the last 12 months) then I still find him entertaining. He has definitely lost his fastball, but he can still write a column that I at least enjoy and maybe chuckle once or twice during.

As for the most offensive part of the columns, though his blatant ignorance of the two best teams in the nation is pretty damn offensive, let’s see it in text and then dissect it some.

"I loved watching the Monday Bowl games, when the No. 9 team was battling the No. 12 team, and people were pretending that this was even remotely interesting. Oooooooh, if they lose, they could drop from No. 9 to No. 14 for the season! Who cares? Does anyone even keep track of this stuff? Imagine if, one day before the NFL playoffs started, San Diego played Kansas City to determine who was the 13th best team in the NFL? Or what if the AFC and NFC Championship losers met one day before the Super Bowl to battle for the No. 3 ranking? Would anyone care? Of course not. So why would anyone follow these meaningless college bowl games? I find the whole thing perplexing. Back to the column."

I’m going to dissect this part line by line, but let me tell you that the rest of the column was equally putrid with a dash of just plain retarded thrown in. How can somebody work for fucking ESPN and be this ignorant of college sports? For the love of god some of that shit would had to have rubbed off on him somewhere. I mean when Skip Bayless, who is eating a healthy amount of crow between eyebrow tweezings, comes across as more knowledgeable than you about anything, besides manscaping techniques, you have some serious goddamn problems.

As for the quote above let’s look at some of this horseshit:

"I loved watching the Monday Bowl games, when the No. 9 team was battling the No. 12 team, and people were pretending that this was even remotely interesting."

Hey Bill, it might just be my ability to remember something other than stale jokes, but didn’t you buy fucking Clippers tickets when you moved out to LA? I mean watching two great college football teams play in their final game of the season and dozens of seniors play in the last football game of their entire sports career doesn’t hold a candle to courtside seats at one of the most irrelevant, until this season, NBA franchises of all time. You also fucking Tivo episodes of 90210, but just recently learned about 24 so let’s not get into making fun of other people’s hobbies.

"Oooooooh, if they lose, they could drop from No. 9 to No. 14 for the season! Who cares? Does anyone even keep track of this stuff?"

Yes! Your goddamn sports writing brethren who manage to shit out a thousand ridiculous pre-season columns based on how teams finished the regular seasons. Not to mention fans looking for bragging rights over their regional rivals and most importantly of all the goddamn recruiting prospects! How can you be this ignorant of college athletics? You fucking have a degree and you wrote for your school paper. At some rudimentary level you must understand how this works and why even the WhoGivesAGoodGoddamn.com bowl can have some impact on your program.

"Imagine if, one day before the NFL playoffs started, San Diego played Kansas City to determine who was the 13th best team in the NFL? Or what if the AFC and NFC Championship losers met one day before the Super Bowl to battle for the No. 3 ranking? Would anyone care? Of course not."

I bet San Diego fans and Kansas City fans would care. I bet general football fans would care. Why? Because it means we get another game you asshole. Jesus, you wrote a column just two years ago about how much the sports purgatory of waiting for spring training to start once the Super Bowl is over sucks. And you can’t think why people would want to squeak just one more game out of their beloved teams in their beloved sport? Do you have a team of helper monkeys belting these columns out lately?

"So why would anyone follow these meaningless college bowl games? I find the whole thing perplexing. Back to the column."

It’s called pride you douchebag. That thing you had to swallow when it was time to admit to yourself you couldn’t hack it on Kimmel’s show. The thing you sold when you bombed on I Love the 90’s Strikes Back Again for the First Time (after whining about how the first one shouldn’t have existed yet in your column might I remind you.)

You know the thing you used to take in your writing before you started mailing it in every week like all of the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox you’ve thrown under the bus after they asked to be traded out of that shit-ass town and weren’t.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

B-Ball Thoughts: GT vs. Vandy

I’m going to try a new format for my thoughts on the men’s basketball game versus Vanderbilt last night. While I am pretty much an optimist, I think I have come across in the past as somebody that overlooks the flaws of the team. So going forward, I’m going to attempt to always follow a pro with a con when discussing a point. I’m also going to try and group the thoughts under headings. So I’ll talk about The Team’s pros and cons, Player’s pros and cons, etc.

The Team

Pro: 28 baskets on 22 assists. That is stellar ball movement and unselfish play.
Con: 22 turnovers. Some of these were bad, some were unlucky, but it’s still far too big of a number to carry into ACC play.

Pro: Moving without the basketball. We actually were moving on offense without the basketball trying to get a shot for ourselves or helping to create an open shot for somebody else.
Con: Vandy climbed back into a lead in the second half, because we had a 4-5 minute period of standing around again. The slight positive here is that will be telling on the game film. Our movement is also just running around until we get open. I’d still like to see a few more set plays in the half-court without coming out of a timeout.

Pro: Team defense was much better this game than the last few games I’ve seen in person. We’d make a basketball, Vandy would rush down the court and I thought we would give up another quick transition basket, but suddenly somebody would get in front of the ball and make them set a play. Vandy made a lot of contested shots to their credit. We play like this for more games and I doubt everyone will shoot over 40% against us.
Con: On the whole we did a better job, but I still think we need to help each other more by calling out the screens. We also would have two people rush out on the perimeter when only one was needed leaving somebody open for an easy bucket.

Pro: As a team we shot 60.9% for the game.
Con: Uh, it wasn’t 70%. (I didn’t promise these would all be good)

Pro: We out rebounded them 35-18.
Con: I still think our rebounding technique and teamwork needs some work.

Individuals (For brevity I’m only going with a single pro\con set for each player)

Anthony Morrow

Pro: I think by the end of his career he is going to combine the best traits of Marvin Lewis and BJ Elder, but with a dash of the fire of Jarrett Jack. BJ always seemed afraid to take over a game and Marvin was just too nice to be a bit of a jerk to the other team.
Con: I’d still like to see him put the ball on the deck more and score around the basket. That’s not necessarily his role right now, but if he could add it to his repertoire he will be a superstar by the end of his career.
D’Andre Bell

Pro: Outstanding game for the freshman GF out of California. He did his best Redick impersonation by just constantly running everywhere in the half-court offense and making his poor man chase him. Has found his shot in recent games and looks to be bringing back the lost art of the mid-range jump shot. A tenacious defender and ball-hawk, I can’t wait for 3 more years of this.
Con: Still gives up some dumb fouls they are playing hard fouls which I like, but they are still unnecessary. He’s also a chief culprit in the two men rush out to the perimeter and leave a guy open under the basket problem that I mentioned above.

Re’sean Dickey

Pro: Finally playing hard and seems to actually be doing a better job off the bench than starting. He actually logged more minutes than Tarver off the bench, but Tarver still started both halves. He’s fighting for the ball more and kicking it out of the post a little better.
Con: Hopefully it’s just a last night occurrence, but had a severe case of stone hands for a while there. 6 TO’s is not a good number if you want to log a lot of post minutes. He still dribbles too much for a post player IMO. I’d like to see he and Morrow work the two-man game a bit more.

Zam Frederick

Pro: Finally hit some 3’s to make folks respect him and had a respectable 5 dimes on the night. Defense is an adventure still, but improving.
Con: Still picks up his dribble too soon, doesn’t realize that’s he’s too short to score in the paint, and answered those 5 dimes with 5 TO’s. He’s improving and all of this experience will be good for next year when Critty needs a blow, but he’s just not a PG.
Side note: I still believe we as fans must put him on our shoulders this season and make him believe as much as possible. This season could turn him into a respectable back-up PG for next year, that means we could have Crittenton, Buck, and West who can all score and all bring the ball up court if needed on the floor at the same time. Who wants to try and set a press against that?

Theodis Tarver

Pro: His defense and presence are really starting to make a difference on the floor. I think he could be a scorer as well if we run a little offense through him, but he’s going to have to build some confidence for it to work.
Con: I don’t have much for him. He’s playing his role well on the team, but I wish he would look to score a bit more.

Paco Diaw

Pro: Boy he finds the open man when he needs to and those long arms are really disruptive on defense.
Con: 8 dimes in his number of minutes his huge, but 4 TO’s is an area he still needs to work on. In his interview with Wes before the game he mentioned that he put in 47 points in a HS game so I’d like to see him try and score a bit more than he his right now. I think a lot of this is just confidence and should improve as the season progresses and he gets more minutes.

Jeremis Smith

Pro: Another workman effort like we’ve come to expect: 9 points, 9 boards, solid defense, and a big dunk to put the game away at the end.
Con: I don’t think he was feeling well last night. While he was obviously playing hard, it looked like the fire was missing a little bit. Stefanie commented on it several times.


The Fans

Pro: Decent turnout considering it was a 5 PM game on a workday, school wasn’t back in session yet, and it was right after most folks had taken a lot of vacation. Those that were there were also very loud when we needed to be and got the team up on defense at the end of the game.
Con: Time to go Dennis Miller here:


I swear to god I don’t understand how the team puts up with this. I’m about ready to cut half of you assholes. A double-digit lead with 1-2 minutes left in the game? Sure, I get that. A 5 point lead with 2 minutes left and 2 key players with 4 fouls on the other hand and you dipshits are filing out the exits like a bunch of goddamn Braves fans in a 1-run play-off game.

And before you start I can already here your complaints. “But Dan, I have to get back to my shitty McMansion that I bought just north of Greenville, SC and don’t want to sit in traffic.”

First of all, I don’t really give a damn. You’re probably the same asshole that bought that McMansion and then spends all day at work pissing and moaning about your commute. Let me help you with something, everyone you work with hates you. Actually that’s not true, the other douchebags that bought houses where everything will have to be replaced in 5 years and drive 30 miles one-way to work everyday love listening to it. It’s those of us that actually live in the city that want to poison your 15th cup of coffee.

Secondly, you wouldn’t have to sit in traffic leaving the game if you goddamn lemmings would learn that Fowler isn’t the only way off of campus. Jesus, a majority of you attended that school at least 4 years yet none of you apparently know that there are at least 5 major exits from the campus. If you didn’t attend Tech, here is a free campus map off of the Ramblin Wreck site. I have never sat longer than 15 minutes to get off of campus after either a football or basketball game. (Of course half the damn fans leave so maybe that has something to do with it.) I park in the O’keefe lot for football and never leave early so the line down Fowler is always bad at that point. Of course since nobody apparently knows that 5th street exists, I’m off campus in a heartbeat.

More on Tech and UGAg

Goldtimer from Wreck Ramblin linked to my post about the UGAg loss yesterday and I just found it this morning. I’m going to post here my comment on his site in case folks don’t check it often or have trouble getting it to work. I’ll go ahead and take this time to expand on my thoughts a little bit.

Thanks for the link Goldtimer. I don't entirely disagree with you either and
someday I'll probably post some more detailed and better prepared thoughts on
the subject. I agree that as in-state rivals it is typically a good thing for us
emotionally and logistically when UGA loses a game. However, I don't 100%
believe in the zero-sum theory with regards to UGA across the boards, i.e. once
you get outside of W-L's, like a lot of fans seem to believe. In fact, it's
pretty easy to create paradoxes in that line of thought.
My post was more a
showing of concern that I sometimes feel our fans tie their emotions to UGA more
strongly than they actually do to their own team. It just seems that we somtimes
root more strongly for UGA to lose than we root for GT to win.

I should go ahead and say that for me some of the best days of football are a Tech win and a UGAg loss. The worst days are a Tech loss and a UGAg win. However, where I feel I differ from a lot of fans, or at least the online community, is that many come across as a Tech loss and a UGAg loss is a middling day in between the two. I personally put it much closer to the latter than the former. In nerdy engineering terms, UGAg’s performance is a smaller factor in maximizing my football happiness than Tech’s. Many times it feels as if we give them equal weight on the Hive or in the blog community. This is where the little brother concerns come in.

In terms of the zero-sum theory, I do feel that bad things for UGAg, on the field, are good things for Tech. But to be honest, I find the reveling in UGAg’s off-season woes to be kind of despicable. I might get a little chortle out of it, but I have never understood how we can piss and moan about obnoxious UGAg fans and then do little jigs because a player got caught driving with a suspended license. To paraphrase, I have met the enemy and we have become him. I think if we’re going to move forward as a program we have to concern ourselves with our own house. Especially in light of all of the on and off the field woes we’ve had in the last four years.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I'll Pass on the Schadenfreude

I’ll be honest.  I don’t take much pleasure from schadenfreude when it comes to college athletics.  Sure, seeing UGA lose last night was a nice little pick me up, but I see far too many Tech fans that almost feel it validates our season that UGA also lost.  First, they were playing in a BCS bowl.  Second, they were conference champions and a 10-win team.  Third we still lost to them for the fourth season in a row.  I don’t find much happiness in their loss.  Maybe a little bit, but in the end I’m still much more pissed about us losing to Utah than I’m happy that they lost to WVU.  It also doesn’t help that they didn’t roll over and die in their game and almost pulled it out.

My love for Tech is a much stronger emotion than my hatred for Georgia.  That’s why I didn’t feel bad rooting for them to win the SEC when it looked like it was get us the Gator Bowl (a classic example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma).  I wouldn’t have minded if they blew out WVU and it cost the Big East their auto-bid to the BCS.  All of these things would have done more to maximize my happiness as a college football and Georgia Tech fan that a UGA loss does.  

Once again we show as a fan base that we would rather define ourselves by who aren’t than by whom we are.