This is an NCAA Event!

Well, DC asked who G-Rob was, then claimed to figure it out, but honestly…no one could ever figure out that question.  And so, on the afternoon when I was sitting around waiting to be named People’s Sexiest Man, only to be soundly defeated by Johnny Depp, I have not much else to write about.  Personally, I think Depp is way past his prime, but they didn’t give me a vote.  So, getting back to G-Rob.  Who is this man?  Well, he’s the head basketball coach at Franklin and Marshall College.  He also happened to be the golf coach during my tenure there, which is really where I got to know the man.  There are a number of things that make him special, among them:

1.  Courtside Histrionics:  It’s hard to attend a F&M game, and take your eyes off G-Rob.  He’s constantly in motion, usually embellished, overly dramatic hand motions.  He yells, whines, throws himself on the floor, basically everything Wojo does, except he’s in a nifty sports jacket.  If you go to a F&M game, and G-Rob doesn’t hit the floor at some point?  Well, you’ve seen Haley’s Comet, lets put it that way. 

2.  The Epically Quick Hook:  G-Rob always seemed to have a player or two that he wasn’t a big fan of.  This usually was someone who played basketball with any type of flair, was a defensive liability, didn’t fit into the team structure.  And, that’s fine.  He can run the team how he wants, but when these kids would finally get in the game…it was hilarious.  They’d be out there, and all of a sudden they’d break free.  They’d take the bad shot, make the behind the back pass, something…and that was it.  G-Rob explodes, and yanks them. 

3.  Worst/Best Driver in America:  G-Rob is known for his reckless abandon on the Interstates.  I heard that on the basketball team, where they took two vans, not riding with G-Rob was quite the prize.  Well, the golf team only had one van.  Among his greatest achievements…he refuses to wear a seatbelt by the way, are never getting a ticket in my presence despite blowing by numerous cops at double the speed limit and of course driving while wearing a golf glove.  Not only that, but he’s full of great quotes like, “We may have lost the tournament, but we’ll win the race back home.”  His single greatest coup, though was slaloming us home from Glenmaura after we got snowed out.  Good times. 

4.  He’s frustratingly old-school.  I think I relayed the story here where he wouldn’t allow an Absolut Tennis shirt to be worn to his house, because dinner at his house was “An NCCA Event.”   He doesn’t curse, it took him forever to cave on allowing us to wear shorts for tournaments, he was always harping on us to shave…I mean G-Rob, this is a liberal arts college, not basic training.  Somewhat tied into this is that he treats people in service like garbage.  I think this is kind of an old-school notion.  We’d be out eating a meal, and he’d say, “I want my bacon crisp.  If it’s not crisp, I’m sending it back.”  Then, he’d send it back, and well…that was some done bacon that he got then.  He also once berated a waiter for bringing him a new iced tea, when what he actually wanted was a glass of ice.  You see, he had the “Sugar mixed in Perfectly” he just needed it a little colder.  Oh…right.

5.  Lastly, he has an incredibly convoluted opinion of his own success.  He’s way up on the D-III wins chart, he may lead it.  He’s been coaching F&M for decades and decades (Never won the big one).  But, when he picks up these milestone victories he’s always envisioning himself in the company of Bobby Knight and Dean Smith, all the big D-I coaches.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with coaching D-III, but how about a little perspective.  Some humility.  I don’t think so.  G-Rob would throw himself right on the Mount Rushmore of coaching.


Worst. Game. Ever.

They Should Play Every Week.

Throw “Worst Football Game Ever Played” into google or whatever, and you are going to get a variety of results.  On the very first page you’ll see the 6-3 gem that the Browns  and Bills engaged in this very season.  Most of the other entries though are weather afflicted affairs.  Remember that 3-0 Steelers game in the monsoon?  Or else they go way back to some random snow game that had 12 fumbles, and while all those games are great…there were outside factors involved.  It wasn’t necessarily two awful teams getting into the mix.  I give you Detroit vs. Cleveland at 1 pm this Sunday.  Usually I don’t mention the NFL, or a possible stinker of the week until at least Thursday, but I couldn’t hold back.   This game is amazing on so many levels. 

First, it will be played in the controlled environment of Ford Field.  So, essentially both these teams will be able to work their magic.  I wonder if this will be the worst game ever played in the history of a dome.  Wait, you say.  St. Louis already played Detroit this season.  Well, the problems with St. Louis are a) they actually have one good player and b) the team seems to be improving.  They’re too good.  They hung with the undefeated Saints.  No, the Rams have passed these two by. 

Another great thing about this game, is that something has to give.  Or does it?  The Browns gain the fewest and give up the most yards in the league.  If this has ever happened before, I can’t imagine that it is a regular occurence.  Their offense is the worst in the league by any statistical measure.  They’re averaging 8 points.  Let me try to put this in perspective.  Steve Gostkowski, the Patriots kicker has 83 points this season.  The Browns have 78.  Another way of saying that is that if the Patriots could only score field goals and extra points, they’d still beat the Browns every week. 

On the flip side of the ball, the Lions give up the most points in the league.  Am I the only one who is curious about what is going to happen when an offense that averages 8 points plays a defense that gives up 30?  It’s unfortunate that the Browns may be without Josh Cribbs, because you figure he’s taking a kick back against the Lions. At least once.  But, Cribbs is questionable, and that leaves the Lions with most of the offensive cards.  They easily average double digits, and we’re not sure if their young quarterback is a bust….yet. 

I think we could really be in for an epic on Sunday, and it got me thinking.  Should I be a part of this?   Is it road trip time?  Well, let’s just say that tickets are not at a premium for this contest.  You can get decent seats on stub hub for about 80 bucks…which means I would imagine outside right before kickoff we’re talking “Two for 10”.  Ok, so I’m not going, but I don’t think its a terrible idea.  It’s a nine-hour drive.  Big deal.  We could stop in Cleveland for lunch. 

By the way the Lions are 3.5 point favorites.  This is the second time the Lions have been favored this year, perhaps making them the worst team ever to be favored twice in one season.  And, no, they didn’t cover the other time.

Give Me Your Best Arguments.

I'll Take Anderson Hunt, G-Ant, LJ, Plastic Man and Ackles any Day.

When I was up in Boston last weekend JCK threw out the question, can you name a college basketball player?  I’ll admit, that I had to pause for a second, and try to think of someone.  I quickly dipped into my Villanova Final Four ’09 memory bank to name a couple guys on that team, but about the only non-local name I could come up with was Jon Scheyer.  I think I always need to know at least one person to hate on Duke.  There’s a part of my brain that needs that balance.  I don’t know when I stopped paying attention to college basketball.  I was never rabid, but let’s just say I didn’t have to google the names for the above caption.  These days, if one of the local teams gets hot, I usually tune in, and try to secretly get on the bandwagon, but other than that…I’m not doing much good research for the pool come March. 

ESPN trotted out some 24 straight hours of basketball thing over the last day as a way to kick off this season.  Is there a game on 24 hours straight?  I don’t even know the concept.  I’m trying to do some quick time zone math to figure that one out.  Anyway, I know Villanova rolled Penn yesterday (local bias), and I heard Michigan State slipped by Gonzaga, but other than that I’m not aware of any big games or star players that are monopolizing the national spotlight.  I think there’s a few reasons why I’ve let college basketball slide. 

1.  No true team.  As I’ve said before, I tend to flip-flop local bandwagons.  It’s all casual, though.  I don’t really talk about it, but last year I obviously would have preferred if Villanova won.  Plus, I know some real ‘Nova fans, so I can get caught up in that wave.  But, with Philadelphia divided among many teams, I’m at a little bit at a loss.  I suppose I should just pick someone.  Then it’d be like old days at F&M when 3,000 strong packed the gym for the game against the Muhlenberg Mules.  I’m not trying to knock it, the games were a good time, and by far the best sporting event on campus, but let’s just say I’ve lost touch with how the Dips are doing in the Centennial Conference these days.  That’s D-III.  Thanks for asking. 

2.  It reminds me too much of the NBA.  I see basketball, and I get the chills.  I think of awful NBA games, and it makes me sad.  I know I should get over this.  College has the over-achieving white guy, the freakishly athletic specimens that dominate on talent alone, and the short three-point line that makes everyone a sniper.  It’s fan-tastic.  But, still there are times when I am watching, and I think… these guys are going to end up in the NBA. 

3.  Baseball Hangover.  In the years before the Phillies got relevant the sports fan base was desperately looking for something else to pay attention to by June.  Now the Phillies are the talk of the town into November.  There’s a lot to catch up on after all this.  Three professional leagues started their season, and then we have to get up on college basketball as well.  There’s no pacing anymore.  You have to flip the Phillies switch, and get right in the mix.  A decade ago, the Eagles would have already been talked to death, and the true winter sports would get their time in foreground.  Now, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and we’re still trying to figure out what is going on with the Birds.  I heard they have Vick now. 

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’d like some reasons to get back behind college basketball.  Give me some guys to watch, or some teams.  Tell me why it’s better than the NBA, but please don’t try to convince me on the NBA.  Baby steps, people.  And, to show my commitment, I’ve even added a basketball category.  Talk about respect.