Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Great IU Coach Search

[cell phone rings, MARK FEW answers]

FEW: This is coach Few.

RICK GREENSPAN: Hey, Mark. It's me again. Rick Greenspan. How would you like to be Indiana's new coach? You know, "Mark Few, Indiana Head Coach."

FEW: How did you get this number?

GREENSPAN: I've called you before.

FEW: This is the third time I've changed it since those ass doinks at UCLA stole our game.

GREENSPAN: I have my methods, my very young apprentice.

FEW: I told you to stop saying that. You're wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora right now aren't you?

[GREENSPAN takes off hat and sunglasses]

GREENSPAN: Don't be ridiculous. You know I always work out in the open.

FEW: Listen, you psycho, I told you...I'm not interested. I'm just kind of a west coast guy, you know? And Gonzaga's been really good to me.

GREENSPAN: But you're in the WCC! This is Big Ten basketball.

FEW: I just don't think I'm a good fit. Goodbye. And don't call again, please, it's pathetic.

[FEW hangs up]

GREENSPAN: [to his secretary] Margie, you'd better cancel the "A Few Good Men" media campaign.

[GREENSPAN dials phone]

TOM CREAN: This is Crean.

GREENSPAN: Tommy! What's going on!?

CREAN: Ricky, baby. I got the job? Oh, thanks. I was really hoping for it. You know I have Big Ten experience.

GREENSPAN: Well, yes...

CREAN: You've seen the commercial, "You can't fake it when you make it to the Big Ten, they block your Big Shots, stopping your Big Men." It's great to finally be part of The Show.

GREENSPAN: Oh, yeah, that "urban" commercial. That's not Big Ten basketball.

CREAN: I'm a great recruiter...

GREENSPAN: Well, you know, we're considering you, but we're in contact with several coaches...

CREAN: I heard Few turned you down. It was just on ESPN.

GREENSPAN: [to secretary] MARGIE!!! [back to Crean] Listen, Tom, I'm just returning your call from earlier. It's the seventh time you've called today, and I think it's a little excessive.

CREAN: You won't find a better candidate. I run a clean program. I'm a Big Ten guy.

[GREENSPAN holds phone away from ear]

GREENSPAN: Listen, Tommy you're breaking up. Tommy! Tommy? Tommy....

[GREENSPAN hangs up]

GREENSPAN: [to secretary] Margie, better scrap the "Crean and Crimson" campaign.

[GREENSPAN dials again]

GREENSPAN: Hey, yeah, I know I'm not supposed to call. But I was wondering...we can offer coach a better deal than Louisville. He's a proven winner. Please talk to me. Don't you hang up! Don't you do it....

[GREENSPAN hangs up]

GREENSPAN: Dang it, Pitino's not interested either. And I even laundered some money through one of his "family's" dummy corporations. What a big thanks.

MARGIE: Should I throw away the "Join Pitino's Mob" campaign?

[ignoring MARGIE, GREENSPAN dials yet again]

GREENSPAN: Hey, Coach Cal. It's Rick Greenspan. How would you like to be the next IU head coach? What, you're only graduating one player after this season? And you think you'll be a number one seed next year? But this is the Big Ten. You know..."we're blocking your big shots, stopping your big men." Who's seen that commercial?

[GREENSPAN's phone beeps]

GREENSPAN: Just a second, John.

[GREENSPAN switches calls]

GREENSPAN: This is Greenspan.

STEVE ALFORD: Hey Rick, it's Steve. Did you get my text message? My e-mail? My phone message? My fax? My resume? My expanded resume? My IU pitch commercial? You know I played at New Castle. And I played at IU. People in Indiana like me...

GREENSPAN: G** dammit, Alford. Didn't I tell you to stop calling this number? Listen, pal, nobody wants you here. NOBODY.

ALFORD: That's not what I read on the message boards.

GREENSPAN: Screw those nuts. I've got another call.

[GREENSPAN hangs up on ALFORD, switches to previous call]

GREENSPAN: So, John. John?

[GREENSPAN hangs up phone]

GREENSPAN: [to MARGIE] Better put the kibosh on the "My Pal Coach Cal" campaign. [sighs] Who could we get? We need a big name...someone with success...someone willing to leave their school.

MARGIE: I hear Kelvin Sampson wants out of OU.

GREENSPAN: Hmm...Sampson. Is that a big enough name?

MARGIE: I hear he's got some recruiting violations...

GREENSPAN: Oh my gosh. He's perfect. [dials phone] Hello...information? Can you get me the number for Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma. Yes...the athletic department, please? Yes, go ahead and connect me...

WOMAN'S VOICE: You've reached Oklahoma University's Athletic Department. May I help you?

GREENSPAN: Is Coach Sampson in? It's an emergency.

WOMAN'S VOICE: Who am I speaking to?

GREENSPAN: His, uh, cousin.

WOMAN'S VOICE: Is this Rick Greenspan? I hear he's been calling every coach in the book...

GREENSPAN: Of course it's not Rick Greenspan. That guy is a nut. I'm Coach Sampson's cousin. Please connect me.

[SAMPSON picks up phone]

SAMPSON: This is Coach Sampson.

GREENSPAN: Say, how would you like to coach IU?

SAMPSON: Boy, would I!

GREENSPAN: Is there anything I need to worry about? Any recruiting violations? Anything?

SAMPSON: Oh, of course not. I mean, I made a few phone calls, offered a kid a Hummer (of the automotive type). Nothing major.

GREENSPAN: Terrific. So...um...I'll need you to meet me in a dark alley somewhere in the South. Wear a trenchcoat and a fedora...I'll get back with you on a time and place...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

King Kong? More like King Krap!

$20 million up front to Peter Jackson.

$207 million budget, making it the most expensive movie of all time.

Talented cast with tried and true source material.

The result? Three fucking hours of pointless bullshit.

Like Studicus, I too am glad I didn't blow hard earned money at the theater to see this abomination on film. It was way too long, and I'm a guy that doesn't mind long movies. You could cut an hour out of this fucking thing, for crying out loud. Too much time on Skull Island and not enough time in NYC. And yes, Peter Jackson did a kickass job with 3 other long movies in a row, but they had to be that long to cover the important parts of the source material. This should have been a no-brainer. Instead we get an overextened piece of shit that bored the living fuck out of me and made me want to vomit my Rasin Bran in rage. To PJ's credit, the T-Rex fight was pretty fucking cool. I'll give him that.

Gonna reserve commentary on Kelvin Sampson coming to IU until it's formally announced, so look for a nice rant about that from Studicus and myself (and hopefully some of the other deadbeats) in the days to come. I'm gonna go chill for now, fantasy baseball money league draft tonight at 10pm EST that may or may not become a blog entry. We shall see.

King Long (and that's not a sexual joke)

It should've ended like this:

ADRIEN BRODY appears onscreen, and sees KONG at the top of the Empire State Building.

ADRIEN BRODY: Bitch, just kill the giant gorilla, and let's get it on.

NAOMI WATTS: But...but...I love him! We played in the snow together. He saved me from like seven T-rexes.

ADRIEN BRODY: And another thing...didn't that whole island sequence seem like it was totally ripped out of Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park?

NAOMI WATTS: He was a gentle beast, a gentle soul so full of love, yet so misunderstood by those who didn't take the time to know him.

ADRIEN BRODY: I don't know what you saw, but I think he had the Jungle Fever. And let me tell you, lady, no matter what that ape was thinking, things weren't going to work out. He just wouldn't...um...fit.

NAOMI WATTS: You sick bastard! He was my friend!

ADRIEN BRODY: [AT KONG] Hey you, baby gorilla! You royally screwed things up, you beast! Why can't you just leave people alone? Oh, I know, just had to hook-up with the hot blonde, didn't you? And gull darn it, Peter Jackson, could you get a f****** editor in here? Do you even know what that is?

KONG ROARS

NAOMI WATTS: I love you too, Kong!

ADRIEN BRODY: What the f*** are you talking about? You don't even know what he said you little whore!!! This isn't Congo. He doesn't have a giant glove to interpret his sign language.

KONG begins to slip

KONG ROARS

NAOMI WATTS: Don't leave me! I need you!

KONG slips and falls...

JACK BLACK stands at the bottom of the Empire State Building

JACK BLACK: [singing] And we sang the first thing that came to our heads and it just so happened to be The Best Song in the World. It was The Best Song in the World. Look into my eyes and it's easy to see...

Seven hours later, KONG falls onto JACK BLACK

[Roll credits]

---------------

Ick. As you can probably surmise, Krildog and I weren't impressed with Peter Jackson's reimagining of King Kong (freshly released on DVD today). It was too long, too boring, too tedious. The movie spent too much time on Skull Island, and everything was just unbelievably drawn out.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for character development and set-up. I also understand the need, however, for pacing and moving the story along. These were the aspects in which King Kong failed our audience.

Peter Jackson is an incredibly talented director, but he must learn how to make a movie that runs less than three hours. Let's put it this way: if you're going to make a three-hour movie, you'd better make darn sure it's enjoyable, and worth the three hours. Kong was not.

For example, by the time King Kong and blondie were making snow angels in Central Park, I was praying the Polar Express would speed right through and hit 'em. And when Naomi Watts looked longingly at Kong, I was praying she'd just push him off the building. I was also hoping the airplanes dispatched poor Kong...Sonny Corleone style.

It was just a disappointing movie for me, and Krildog didn't enjoy it too much either. I wasn't expecting a rousing action film, but I'm glad I didn't shell out money at the theater to watch it. We sloggd through it the best we could, but good grief, it just wasn't enjoyable for us. Call our movie tastes sophomoric or berate us in any way you like; if you consider King Kong to be fine filmmaking in all aspects, more power to you. I'll just heartily disagree.

And as Krildog just pointed out...Peter Jackson got a $20 million advance to make this movie. He must've poured it all into the thrilling Kong vs. the pack of T-rexes sequence. That was about the only thing that held my attention.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Patriot Games*

Score one for the little guy. I mean, George Mason isn't that small of a school (enrollment: 30,000, making it the largest public school in Virginia), but it's not known for its athletics. At least...it wasn't. But there's something that makes this win even sweeter for fans.

Check out this article.

Now, if you didn't read it, I'll sum it up for you. Basically, UCONN's Rashad Anderson guaranteed the Huskies would send the Patriots home (which, ahem, didn't happen). I think guarantees are pretty darn stupid; I mean Joe Namath got lucky with one, and now guys like Rashad Anderson and Chad Johnson throw them around casually. And they seldom come true.

What's more preposterous to me, however, is that Anderson of the Mighty UCONN, a #1 seed mind you, had the audacity to predict his national championship team-bound would be able to beat a #11 seed. I mean, way to really go out on a limb there, buddy.

Guarantees are strange and dubious creatures; I think I've made my point. But let's say, for instance, George Mason's Jai Lewis (I keep wanting to call him "Jai White," after the star of the movie version of Spawn, Michael Jai White), guarantees his team will beat UCONN. That's still silly since it's a guarantee, but at least he's extending himself a little bit. At least that's a bold statement.

Furthermore, as if people didn't hate UCONN enough already, a stupid statement like Anderson's just makes people hate them even more. Picking on a #11 seed team that everyone in the country is pulling for? Gosh...Rashad...why don't you just go ahead and wear a Taliban baseball cap or something? Because that's about the only way the casual sports fan is going to dislike you any more than he/she already does.

And I'd also like to point out that when companies guarantee something, there's usually some sort of accountability involved (delivery in 30 minutes or less, or it's FREE!), while when an athlete guarantees something, there's nothing involved here other than public scrutiny (big freaking deal). If Rashad Anderson had said, "I guarantee we'll beat George Mason, or everyone in the U.S. gets a signed UCONN 'DC Regional Finalist' banner," then I'm interested.

*denotes that George Mason and Mel Gibson are the only Patriots I've ever cheered for

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fuck Duke!



Like knights of old we fight to hold
The glory of the Purple and Gold
We'll carry through we'll die or do
To win this game for LSU
Keep trying for the final score
Come on you Tigers fight for more, for more
Come you Tigers fight, fight, fight
For dear old LSU.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thoughts during the meltdown...

It really figures...we get like 6 inches of snow in the second ice age yesterday morning and now it's all melting away. Wonderful time of the year I tell you. Few things I wanna discuss today:

  • Vinatieri - Awesome signing by the Colts. First of all, major upgrade over what they could draft/Jose Cortez. Secondly, nobody saw it coming since it looked like the Fudge Packers were going to get #4's services. Thirdly, it hurts the Patriots. Fourthly, Adam immedately becomes a better kicker with the luxury of at least 8 indoors games a year.

  • New England - Mass exodus of players continues. I guess after you win 3 Super Bowls in 5 years, it's time to cash in. Can't say I blame them; they can have their cake and eat it too. Wouldn't be surprised if they signed Vandy to kick and to stick it to Polian.

  • IU Coach Hunt - ESPN.com says here that IU is only bringing in 2 prospects and native son Steve Alford isn't one of them. And the mighty KrilDog asks: Why the fuck not? Simple. Because the powers that be at IU refuse to give fans the fairytale and further feed the Knight legacy and bloodline any more than they have to. They want "their" guy and not the fan's guy. As for the mystery 2, I'm saying Randy Whitman and Tom Crean.

  • Drew Rosenhaus = Slimebag - Just in case ya'll forgot. I hate how that motherfucker tried to spin that like 8 teams were interested in TO. Bullshit! I can only think of 3 for sure (Cowboys, Broncos and Fudge Packers), and I'd also like to point out how the Cowboys were the only team who made a contract offer that didn't have behavior clauses in it. We'll see how this plays out in the months to come. But, what happens if Bledsoe goes down? Tony Romo or Drew Henson lines up under center. Think TO will be happy with that? Doubtful.

The missing link?


BUT...

Is Vinatieri really enough?
I guess we'll know soon!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Snow...snow...snow...snow...

I don't know how many of you have seen White Christmas, but it's one of the best holiday movies ever made (and I can confirm this: see my holiday movie guide from December). Of course, you'd think here now that it's spring, I wouldn't be able to make any Christmas references. Yet, here I am in Indiana, watching the snow fall. I get to clean off my car after I leave work in just about an hour or so. That's going to be fun.

The Studicast calls for a Winter Storm Warning until 5 p.m. for much of the central parts of the state. We're looking at about 3-5 inches for the Indianapolis Metro Area. So if you know a good place to sled, and you're in the Indy Metro Area, I just gave you your activity for the day. Or, if you're not interested in careening down a hill at insane speeds, then just rent a couple of movies, make some hot cocoa, and relax for the day. You've earned it.

I really don't have a whole lot to say this morning. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't pound out a decent amount of information. I'm the master of talking about nothing, and spinning something in a way that makes it so I have the appearance of having something to talk about. That's why this paragraph is in existence: when I don't have something to talk about, I still manage to talk about something. Amazing, huh?

Random thoughts for the day:
  • If all the news channels in town are doing local weather and showing news stories about the snow here in central Indiana, then how are the stations any different?
  • How is Fox 59's "GUARDIAN" system any different from WTHR's "Storm X" system? (hint: they're the same freaking system; I'm glad "VIPER" was so effective that Channel 13 dumped it after a few months).
  • Knowing that Arnold Schwarzenegger-lookalike Terminators are still Terminators, then why does the John Connor of the future let one get anywhere close to him, thus necessitating the events of T3: Rise of the Machines (and I don't buy that "childhood sentimentality" crap the movie tries to use to explain it).
  • Watching Krildog curse, swear, and deride minorities while he plays Halo 2 is actually more fun than playing the game myself.
  • Jameson Irish Whiskey is surprisingly smooth, and perfect for Irish-themed holidays.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bracket Busted

It was just one of those brackets. You know what I'm talking about. The one where you picked all the upsets that never came through.

And the upsets that actually happened, you didn't pick.

That's me. That's my bracket.

It's like those guys from the Selection Committee, upset at my criticism of their at-large teams, launched an RPG right at my vision of the future.


The casualties from the blast were devastating.

Iowa.

Wisconsin.

Ohio State.

Michigan State.

North Carolina.

Illinois.

Syracuse.

Pittsburgh.

Dead. They're all dead.

In their places sit pretenders.

George Mason.

Bradley.

Wichita State.

Georgetown.

This isn't how it's supposed to be.

In my perfect world, North Carolina's defending its National Championship all the way to the Elite Eight with a completely different team. And Hansbrough's 1st Team All Tournament.

Ohio State's a Final Four team, no sanctions to worry about this year.

And Iowa's getting hot from the outside all of the sudden. Northwestern State is a distant first-round memory. The Hawkeyes are working the Hoosier state into a frenzy with the thoughts of what-could-be if/when Steve Alford goes all "Back Home Again in Indiana."

LSU's proven a fraud against Iona. Bucknell shocks the world by beating top-seeded Memphis.

Gerry McNamara's healthy, and scrapping the Orange to the Sweet Sixteen. Dominic James & Marquette are still dancing.

And the Panthers of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are on the prowl, out for blood.

But the funny thing about a perfect world? Sooner or later...it goes KABLOOEY.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Luck of the Irish!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I'll be taking a break for the weekend...I think I've done enough with my "NCAA Blogs."

Hope everyone does a jig...and kisses the Blarney Stone, or at least a significant other!

And let's go Hoosiers!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NCAA Blog #15

This will probably be my last entry of the day. I work from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day, and I haven't slept yet. I plan to get some rest now before waking up to watch the IU game. Here are my final thoughts for the day:

5:05 Pizza break (hence the long layoff)

5:08 Gumble cut-in never comes as Dick Enberg had promised. Krildog wonders if Destro has taken over CBS Studios.

5:15 We discover our CBS affiliate isn't cutting away to the Tenn-Winthrop game on the HD channel, but is doing so on the regular, standard-def channel. Picture-in-picture rules.

5:21 Tennessee nails impossible shot with .4 seconds left. Winthrop almost gets a buzzer-beater to go, but Krildog and I believe it would've been overturned, since the clock didn't start when the ball hit a player.

5:32 That stupid Applebee's Shrimp Sensations commercial airs again. Now, they're just torturing us, methinks.

5:36 In midst of Marquette comeback, Alabama drops down big run, takes 10-point lead.

The refs seem to be letting the boys play, and I notice at least three obvious shooting fouls between the two teams that weren't called. And a whistle probably should've been blown.

5:48 Tom Crean's wife is revealed to be Jim Harbaugh's sister. Captain Comeback still rocks, and he will forever.

Marquette's comeback falls short. I was pulling for them because their star guard, Dominic James, is from around the place I call my hometown. He's from Richmond High School, I'm from Williamsburg, Indiana, in stately Wayne County.

Final scores for these games:

#3 Florida 76, #14 Southern Alabama 50

#12 Montana 87, #5 Nevada 79

#10 Alabama 90, #7 Marquette 85*

#2 Tennessee 63, #15 Winthrop 61**

*Krildog declares Marquette-Alabama a "close second" Best Game of the Day So Far
**voted "Best Game of the Day So Far" by Studicus and Krildog

NCAA Blog #14

4:50 Will Winthrop stay with Tennessee in the second half? Krildog leaves to get pizza.

4:52 Every time I hear the name of Tennesee's Andre Patterson, all I can think of is the old IU commercial where former IUer Andrae Patterson sings the Indiana fight song...in Japanese.

4:53 Local CBS station inexplicably dumps out of Tenn-Winthrop. Damn them to hell. Promos ensue.

I like Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But could CBS show a promo that doesn't mention her breasts or vaginal area?

4:55 CBS shows San Diego Zoo footage of dirty, dirty panda. Dick Enberg is everything Jay Bilas is not, namely enjoyable to listen to.

NCAA Blog #13

4:17 Looks like we've got some close games here. I've given up on March Madness On Demand, mostly because I don't have a laptop, and don't want to keep running from one room to another for multiple games.

4:22 There's a covered spot on the San Diego State floor; I'm wondering if it's covered because it's something offense to Native Americans. Krildog thinks an Aztecs sponsor may not be an NCAA Tournament sponsor, thus necessitating the cover-up.

4:29 Things are looking very bad for Marquette. And I try to convince Krildog Andy Garcia is actually an Asian-Rican. He doesn't buy into my claim.

4:31 It's pizza time! We just ordered a ham and sausage pizza from the local eatery, Big Kahuna. You can't beat Blowout #1: a large, two-topping pizza, breadsticks, and a two-liter of soda for $12.99.

4:35 I'm so happy to hear Jay Bilas' voice for the Marquette-Alabama game. And yes, that's sarcasm.

4:37 Marquette shoots an airball, 'Bama follows up with one of their own. Says Krildog, "It's like watching a bunch of monkeys hump a doorknob."

NCAA Blog #12

4:09 Back from picking up Krildog's car; listened to some of the games on Sporting News radio, although I don't have a clear picture of what's going on.

4:14 I do, however, want to post scores of the earlier games, even though I'm sure many of you already know them.

#4 Boston College 88, #13 Pacific 76 (2OT)

#11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 82, #6 Oklahoma 74

#7 Wichita State 86, #10 Seton Hall 66*

*OUCH! Anyone still think the Pirates belonged in the tournament?

And we now know the HD equipment is located in San Diego..the Marquette-Alabama game is in pure and sweet Hi-Def.

NCAA Blog #11

Second OT: Krildog sez: "They're (Pacific) taking too many damn threes!" BC up by two.

3:11 Rice nails big three-pointer, his first field goal of the game. BC follows up with big-time jam. After a turnover, BC leads by seven.

3:14 Foul call probably seals game for BC.

3:16 Foul called with 29.3 left. Pacific is toast with 10-point BC lead. 11 point lead. 12 point lead.

I'm really taking a break now to get Krildog's car.

NCAA Blog #10

2:54 Big transition three for Pacific. Upheld after video review. You really couldn't tell if it was a two or three.

Mike Webb hits another transition three. Amazing!!

3:00 Horrible floater by Pacific. "What the fuck was he thinking?" asks Krildog.

3:01 Another Pacific three-pointer. BC answers with one of their own.

3:02 Bad shot for Pacific. BC calls TO.

3:04 12.2 left, questionable foul called. BC's Craig Smith nails both free throws, Pacific missed game-winner. DOUBLE OVERTIME!!

NCAA Blog #9

2:43 Break delayed due to close Pacific-BC game. Pacific just tied it up on a three-pointer with about 9 seconds left.

Commercial break: Comcastic needs new ad people after seeing that talking turtle commercial; it's craptastic

2:45 BC travels with a chance to win the game! NEVER do that when you're the higher seed. Never give the little guy a chance!!! Oops...Pacific can't capitalize. Try passing the ball of next time, bucko. Timeout called with .2 seconds left by BC. Oh, that's effective. Tied 65-65.

2:51 OVERTIME!!!

NCAA Blog #8

2:19 Things get physical in UWM-OK game; Bookout gets great offensive rebound, then UWM sets knockdown screen in open court

2:24 Taj Gray takes over, then fouls out with 13 points. Idiot.

2:26 Quotable Krildog: "Fuck Applebee's, fuck Heckle & Jekyll, and fuck Shrimp Sensations. I'll send those assholes on a three-hour tour of pain!!"

2:28 Sports commentators shouldn't comment on real-world issues such as the bomb scare in San Diego, "Sometimes, world issues can't be ignored." Thanks genius.

2:33 Word comes out that San Diego's cleared and secure.

2:34 NCAA Blog takes a break to pick up Krildog's car

NCAA Blog #7

2:06 Shockers are 9/20 from three-land; get easy drive against Seton Hall, I think the Pirates are finished, barring a miracle

2:08 Alabama-Marquette game in San Diego may be delayed because of a suspicious package; is nothing sacred?

2:10 "Boss button" on MMOD brings up fake spreadsheet...they really thought this thing through

Can we exorcise the phrase "three points the old-fashioned way" already?

2:11 LOOOOOOOONG three-pointer gives Wisconsin-Milwaukee a 14-point lead over Oklahoma!

NCAA Blog #6

1:56 Wisconsin-Milwaukee seems to be getting whistled a lot; could hurt them later

1:58 Missed goaltending call on Oklahoma; UWM forces turnover, ends up with transition basket

1:59 Panthers hit three-ball, capping 8-0 run, OK needs a TO, and calls one

Wichita State still holding onto 15-point lead

2:02 Anyone else hate that arrogant Asian cock from the Cingular commercials?

2:03 Boo Davis has 18 points for UWM...but this is his first mention! He's really played an all-around terrific game

NCAA Blog #5

1:39 Wisconsin-Milwaukee MUST PUSH PACE to stay ahead

Oklahoma continues to break the press through football-esque longballs

1:41 OK three-pointer ties game at 35

1:42 Sooners really, really fired up

1:44 Joah Tucker, amazingly, has only 13 points, despite a lot of mentions

1:46 Bookout fouled on powerful rejection

1:48 Seton Hall comeback? Down by just 12 after trailing by 20

1:49 Amazing "and one" by Joah Tucker, who complete three-point play

NCAA Blog #4

1:28 Nice, crisp "swish" sound in Pacific-BC game. Trivial, but it sounded very, very nice.

1:30 Inexplicable timeout with 9 seconds remaining in half causes Krildog to say, "Who the [expletive] calls a timeout with 9 seconds left!?"

1:31 Krildog hits the showers, despite the fact he hasn't logged a single minute of game action

1:33 MMOD breakthrough: commentary on the Seton Hall-Wichita State game. BRAVO!!!! On the downside, still no sign of an accessible Pacific-BC game.

1:37 Did anyone know "V for Vendetta" was sponsoring the tournament? In theaters March 17th!

NCAA Blog #3

1:15 Did Kevin Bookout, who looks kind of like my former college classmate Dave Miretti, just get hit in the jewels with a loose ball?

Collective boner for Seton Hall gets the "Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day" treatment after trailing 40-24 at halftime to Wichita State.

1:17 Halftime: Wisconsin-Milwaukee leads 33-31 at the break.

1:21 Pacific-BC game still unavailable with March Madness on Demand. Those filthy bastards. And where's the commentary? Could they throw in another commercial? I haven't seen enough yet. Oh...I forgot..."FREE" means endless commercial interruption. How silly of me.

1:22 Can't stop thinking about that "hot girl glistening with sweat" Old Spice commercial they keep showing; when it's on, I can't think coherently.

NCAA Blog #2

1:03 Why isn't Pacific-BC up on March Madness on Demand? Isn't every first-round game supposed to be available?

1:04 Oklahoma whistled for traveling...again

1:06 Dear Lord! Shockers up 40-20 on Seton Hall!!!!!

1:08 Joah Tucker recovers ball, almost makes "Whirling Dervish" shot

1:09 Kevin Bookout falls in Jacksonville...the ground shakes in Indianapolis. Coincidence?

1:12 Alley oop flusters Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 29-27 lead after timeout.

NCAA Blog #1

March Madness on Demand...decent, but where's the commentary, and what the hell is with the music of questionable sexual orientation?

12:39 Seton Hall? Who gives a crap!?? Let's go SHOCKERS!!!

Hey where's the HD coverage for this UW-Milwaukee/Oklahoma game? Doesn't CBS own enough HD equipment to cover all eight NCAA sites, Krildog wonders?

On the plus side, at least the CBS Pro Logic surround sound has some good work in the rear channels.

12:40 Joah Tucker throwdown!!!

12:42 Shockers up 17-8!

12:52 Joah Tucker fadeaway.

12:53 Joah Tucker three-ball, UWM up 24-14!

Madness is the gift that has been given to me...

I'm back for a short update...err...mainly, just to say, let the Madness begin!

This is the most wonderful time of the year. Enjoy it. I know I will be listening to games online, while neglecting my work here at the lab. Just finished up my "official" bracket for the office pool.

Geeze. I LOVE this time of year.

Boycott: Days 6 and 7

Since letting go of the Krildog, sources tell The Flying Trapeezius that ESPN 950 managed to lose the IU football contract. In addition, instead of going for an all-sports station, IU decided to send its basketball coverage to Hank FM here in Indianapolis. That's a country station. There's nothing wrong with country music or a country station, but you'd think "Indy's new home for sports" would be able to get a basketball contract. But, even the mighty muscle of ESPN Radio isn't enough to compensate for questionable signal strength and "interesting" personnel decisions.

It's a strange truth.

In good news, the Madness descends upon us today. Plenty of great games are on the way. The one I'm looking forward to is, of course, the IU-San Diego State matchup. I'll be keeping an eye on some of the other games via the internet, at http://www.ncaasports.com/mmod ... I'm sure the servers will be absolutely jammed, but, it's definitely an interesting idea. It's too late now, but I should've bought a cable so I could have hooked my computer up to JumboTron C. That way, Krildog and I could do some picture-in-picture awesomeness. Of course, there's the outside chance that WISH-TV could do the same thing they did last year. I had just purchased my TV and HD service when the tournament started. WISH's HD Channel showed a different game from what they were broadcasting on regular WISH. I hope they rinse and repeat that trend this year, even though I'm doubtful they'll do that. I will remain hopeful.

Select songs heard on the radio during Days Six and Seven of the Boycott:
  • Neil Diamond - I am...I said
  • Neil Diamond - Cherry, Cherry
  • Neil Diamond - Love on the Rocks
  • Neil Diamond - America

So, yeah, a lot of Neil Diamond. I can't say much, except to point out he's a legend.

C'mon ah-yeah-ha!!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Boycott: Day 5

It's really been kind of a drag over the last couple of days. First, Edge goes down. I think we all saw that coming. At least if we step back, and try to be realistic. Then, David Thornton signs with the Titans. I did not want to see that happen. I understand the Colts can't hope to match the deal, but Good Golly Miss Molly, you don't want one of your top defensive players going to an intra-divisional rival. That's the crappy part. Sure, if Edge goes to Arizona, he's not going to hurt the Colts there in terms of playoffs and all that. Letting Thornton go to the Titans, on the other hand, means you face him twice a year.

Of course, we've seen this happen before. He was a terrific linebacker named Mike Peterson, who now plays for the J-Cats. I hope Crazy Bill Polian has a secret plan here, some sort of deal involving LaDanian Tomlinson and a clone of Lawrence Taylor.

I think Emperor Polianius has a plan. It probably goes something like this, which I shared with Krildog during a memorable rant yesterday:

That dickhead probably has his eye on some sixth string linebacker from [effing] Rutgers who he's deluded enough to think no one else knows about, and who he thinks fits the Colts' system perfectly. It's probably some [effing] guy whose coke-addict brother was shot and killed in a drive-by or something. I can't [effing] believe we've lost another [effing] linebacker. They do this every [effing] year! First it was Peterson, then it was Washington, now it's David Thornton! To the [expletive] [expletive] Tennessee [effing] Titans!

Sorry about that. I got really upset about the whole deal yesterday.

Songs heard on the radio during Day Five of the Boycott:
  • KISS - I Wanna Rock 'n Roll
  • The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up

A spin on I-65 this morning in my own car produced some interesting songs, and I'm not actually sure which FM station I was listening to this morning. I just kind of left the dial where Krildog had it last (he borrowed my car yesterday, because his automobile is not feeling too well right now, so to speak).

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Salary Cap Wall

The Mighty KrilDog Speaks



Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls , Children of all ages, lock up the women and load up the shotguns! It is I, The Mighty KrilDog! And yes, your eyes do not deceive you, I am posting here on TFT! After the events of last week, I (and my all-star legal team) decided it was best for me to take a little time before posting lest I totally blow my stack and say things about my prior place of employment that could come back to bite me in the ass or something. Studicus did an excellent job of keeping you all appraised of the situation. Also kudos to him and all of the others for the boycott, it really meant a lot to me.

So what now? Well get another job, of course. So from Mission Control here in Indianapolis, I present to you the top 5 fantasy job prospects for yours truly. Why only 5, because THE MAN won't let me have 10 (tm Nat X)! In no particular order:

5) Batboy, World Champion Chicago White Sox:

If for nothing else so I can dance around and flip off all of the idiot Cub fans in full uniform when we beat their ass 6 straight in interleague play and remind them once again that they haven't done shit since 1908. Plus, I look great in black.

4) Manager for TNA superstar Samoa Joe:

He chokes bitches out while I run my mouth on the mic and cut promos on any poor bastard stupid enough to get in the way of the Samoan Submission Machine. Sounds like a dream partnership to me!

3) Motivational Speaker:

Because if I don't get a real job soon then I too will be living in a van down by the river. For real.

2) Designated Yeller, Indianapolis Colts:


If Dungy's too mild mannered to bitch out the zebras when they screw up and Peyton is being a diva about calling plays at the line of scrimmage, then I'll be the one raising my voice telling them to "watch the fucking game and call it down the middle you blind bastards" or to" shut the fuck up and run the damn offense moneybags" and dispense other nuggets of wisdom throughout the game. Basically meaning acting like I do at home, only getting paid for it.
1) General Manager, New York Knicks:


Hey, Isiah has already fucked them up almost to the point of no return, so just about anyone with 1/16 a brain could probably do a better job. Plus, I can improve them in 4 easy steps:

  • fire Larry Brown - overrated, overpaid and refuses to develop young talent
  • trade Jamal Crawford, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury for draft picks - because otherwise the Knicks won't have any until 2014 and they need upgrades at PF and SG wayyyyy before that
  • Hire Mike Davis as head coach - if only to get him very far away from Bloomington and to prevent DJ White and Robert Vaden from jumping ship
  • Break the bank on Vince Carter and Mike Bibby in 2007 when both are free agents and then lure Elton Brand to NY in 2008 - Even Mike Davis could get a team to the playoffs with those three, Channing Frye and whoever gets drafted to play the 2 guard
Well, that's about it for me at the moment. Stay tuned to TFT for up to the minute reports on the mass exodus of Colts free agents from Indy and plenty of other awesome features, including plenty of new content from yours truly since I have some extra time at the moment. But before I go, here's a little trip down memory lane with a baseball twist. I'm out, catch ya'll on the flip side!

Boycott: Days 3 and 4*

*Friday would technically have been Day Three of The Boycott, but I didn't get a chance to post anything. And, I'm only counting weekdays here, because those are the days I rely on ESPN 950. And, no, I didn't cheat and listen to the station over the weekend. Krildog can confirm this.

So, it's kind of a sad day for Colts fans out there. They've let Edgerrin James go. This is one of those situations where it's hard to separate yourself as a fan, and as a realist. For example, I know Edge is "old" in terms of NFL running backs. I also know he's not "worth" the amount of money Arizona threw at him, given the lifespan of 'backs in the league. Yet, I ask myself as a fan: will the team find an immediate replacement who can run inside or outside, catch the ball out of the backfield, and pick up blitzes as well as Edge? The answer is definitely "no."

Of course, I said the same thing on Draft Day back in '99, when the Colts picked up an obscure Miami (FL) running back named Edgerrin James after trading Marshall Faulk. Maybe Crazy Bill Polian has something up his sleeve. The guy never really liked Edgerrin James anyway.

How about it!? The Hoosiers have a date to the Big Dance. I'm a bit surprised they came in as a sixth seed. I was thinking no higher than a 7, and more than likely one of those bids in the 8 or 9 range. Apparently, the committee saw something else in the Indiana squad. The members obviously haven't watched every single one of IU's games this season...

Other tournament thoughts: Gonzaga got screwed: how does a potential #1 seed fall all the way to a #3?...Tennessee had better play well to prove the Vols belong as a #2 seed when in fact Gonzaga was absolutely a better fit...Billy Packer and Jim Nantz must've taken tranquilizers before the selection show, as they were completely lethargic, and senile Packer actually started to run down the wrong region at one point...Why in the Name of Everything Holy and Sacred is everyone so in love with Seton Hall?...I'd like to see West Virginia and Iowa face each other, which will happen if both teams avoid first-round upsets...Congratulations to Xavier for making it into the tournament...it's amazing how sleeping giant Syracuse went from "bubble burst" to #5 seed...Oklahoma should watch out for Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Select songs heard on the radio during Days Three and Four of the Boycott:
  • Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
  • Elvis Presley - Kentucky Rain
  • System of a Down - Chop Suey**
  • Three Doors Down - When I'm Gone**
Hey-hey! Songs from the actual 21st Century. What do you think about that!!!?

**songs from the 21st Century were heard on X 103 on Day Four of the Boycott; this was because that's the station my fiancee's car stereo was tuned to. I borrowed her car after Krildog's car broke down again, prompting him to borrow mine.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

6 with one half-a-dozen the other

I've been thinking about TFT a lot lately. Mainly just about writing I guess mostly, but TFT as well. The merchandise idea has been bouncing around my head a lot, and I've brainstormed a few more tagline/catch phrases for the faithful to digest and absorb some marketing nutrients.

TFT: Your morning comfort from that unintentional one-night-stand.
TFT: Sonic Boom!
TFT: Like with old Nintendo games, we blow hot air.
TFT: Now with more frequent talk of the 38th parallel.
TFT: ...it's no banana.
TFT: More use for your broadband than free porn

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Boycott: Day Two

I switched things up a little bit this morning on my way to work by getting up a little earlier, and scoping out Sportscenter. That way, I got to see a bit of what was going on in the sports world. Unfortunately, Fairleigh Dickinson won't be in this year's tournament. I think Monmouth will do a fine job representing the NEC in their place. I also got a good heads-up from Krildog about the NFL labor deal on my way out the door.

I'm glad the owners sucked it up a little bit and agreed on a deal. I know it's not a "perfect" solution for the billionaire and multi-millionaire club, but at least there's some semblage of labor peace. And, who knows, maybe it means the Colts can get Edgerrin James back! I definitely hope it means they'll be able to re-sign David Thornton.

I also had one of the strangest merging of worlds ever in my life. I was watching the Big East Tournament yesterday, specifically the terrific Cincinnati-Syracuse game. 'Cuse coughed up a huge lead before the Bearcats came back late and managed to get ahead. It looked like the Orange were doomed, but then Gerry McNamara hit a freaking three-point runner! I couldn't believe it. It was a terrific game, no matter who won. Of course, while I was getting into the game's ending (it would've been more enjoyable if Bob "the Human NCAA Violation" Huggins had been beaten, however), my fiancee called to let me know she'd found a wedding dress.

It was one of those Quintessential Moments in Guy World: I was torn between the great news that she'd found her dress, and the really good ballgame. Couldn't she have called 30 seconds later? You know...not during the miracle shot? I guess I had the best of both worlds here; I'm truly happy she finally found a dress, but there's a part of me that's so sports-obsessed and selfish that I was excited about both her triumph and the basketball game. I really almost exploded.

As I write this (12:18 PM), Krildog is still sleeping on the couch. This is really screwing up my routine. Yet, in my steadfast loyalty to my friend, I still avoided ESPN 950.

Select songs heard on the radio during Day Two of the Boycott:
  • Bobby Darin - Lazy River
  • Bobby Darin - Beyond the Sea
  • Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife

You can't deny Bobby D was one of the most talented and versatile singers of an era well before my time. The guy was absolutely amazing, and the sky would've been the limit if he didn't have that blasted heart condition...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bonds, lies, and gamma rays

TFT EXCLUSIVE: BONDS TELLS ALL!!
MLB Slugger reacts to book, steroids, and his controversial career
by Studicus

I first met Barry Bonds back in 1986, when he was a spry, cocky young rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Back then, it was clear that he had the ability to really, really tick people off without saying anything at all.

It's amazing now that the reluctant star, to this day, continues to tick people off, not by what he says, but what he doesn't say. Or what he doesn't want people to hear him say. Still, with our close professional relationship, which has blossomed in his years of chaos, I have come to know the real Barry.

Bonds didn't have much to say yesterday morning when asked about this new book "Game of Shadows." In fact, he thought I was asking about a Babylon Five spin-off book. When I personally starting asking the questions, though, Bonds opened up, revealing the true hero within.

"There's nothing in that book that's true," Bonds told me while popping some "vitamins."

"I've never taken a substance that's illegal in the U.S.," he said as he pulled a crack pipe and bong off the top shelf of his locker, and stuffed them in a leather bag with a prominent "BALCO" logo on it.

"These reporters, you know Studicus, they're out to get me. They make things up, lies, vicious lies about my family, my enhancements, my sexual prowess. It's a witch hunt. And, really, which witch is which? You know what I'm saying, man?"

When I replied that I wasn't following him, Bonds backtracked.

"I've got these powers, man. They're...they're intense. And it's like I've got some mystical force that surrounds me, and penetrates me. It's like binding the galaxy together. I see things before they happen," Bonds admitted with a hint of melancholy, as if the burdens of life were tearing him apart at the seams like one of the baseballs he routinely sends into McCovey Cove.

So, in an I-am-your-father-caliber bombshell, Bonds thinks he has the ability to use the Force.

This is the point where Bonds became conspiratorial, leaning forward in the cleared-out locker room to reveal one of his deepest, darkest secrets.

"When they test me, the results are never normal," the unassuming superstar told me. "No, not at all. It's not my fault though. Like I've said, I've never used any kind of performance-enhancing drug. I mean, knowingly."

So, to what does Bonds, the tragic figure of baseball jealously who only wants to make a ton of money playing a kid's game, attribute his eye-popping numbers?

"It's the gamma rays. The gamma rays!!

Knowing that having the ability to interview one of baseball lowest-key, most-respected, and well-loved stars demands courtesy, I politely asked Bonds to repeat what he just said. And I did it with a straight face.

"You know, the gamma rays, man!"

Bonds then rambled off his "origin story," which first appeared during the 1998 All-Star Game, played that year at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.

"Okay, you see, I was with (former Baltimore Orioles first baseman) Rafael Palmeiro, (former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman) Mark McGwire, and (former Chicago Cubs right fielder) Sammy Sosa. We took a hike together out in the Rockies. And something happened, man. Something strange. It was intense."

"We had just decided to take a rest when Raffy noticed something in the sky. Sammy saw it, too. And here we were, these All-Star Major League sluggers! And all of the sudden, blammo! This ray of ultra-bright red light just zoomed in on us."

Bonds went on to describe how he and his fellow All-Stars were affected.

"And suddenly, hitting a home run was easy for all of us. And we gained incredible strength and dexterity. We were like the Fantastic Four."

This revelation hit me like a cold fist to the stomach. Barry Bonds: superhero? Is that why he refuses to talk to the media, and has been injured so much in the last few years? Has that been a crutch used to keep him out of the public eye so he can run off and help save the world?

The absurdity of these thoughts really rattled this reporter at first. Then, it all started making sense. After all, Mark McGwire eventually started to look deformed and rock-solid. Rafael Palmeiro seemed to be capable of incredible feats of stretching, including his emotional testimony in congressional hearings on steroids. And Sammy Sosa has basically done a mean disappearing act over the last few seasons.

That would, of course, make Bonds the Human Torch. I wondered how he'd take being considered anything but the leader of the group.

"Flame on? Aww...c'mon Studicus. You know I'm Mr. Fantastic. I'm the leader, the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of shoes and wear a batting helmet. I didn't literally mean we were THE Fantastic Four. But I think you got my point: gamma rays, not illegal performance-enhancing drugs, are responsible for our super-strength," Bonds remarked, his boyish-like enthusiasm for the game shining through.

When asked if he had any more thoughts on the subject, Bonds simply said fans should check out http://barrybonds.com/ for the latest information straight from him. And he also said to make sure and check out the autographed merchandise section, which already lists items in order from most expensive to least expensive, just for your convenience.

Boycott: Day One

ESPN 950 Boycott: Day One

While trying to make my way to work this morning, I wondered what was going on in the sports world. I wondered just how we suddenly "discovered" Barry Bonds is a steroid user. Is anyone seriously shocked by this? Wasn't the "cream" and the "clear" leaked grand jury testimony enough? Or do we have to go through this entire circus again? Apparently, there's a book coming out about this. We know Bonds has denied it vigorously, and now experts are saying his career is finished. Can his career recover? Well, as long as ESPN clings to the reality show he's doing for them, the answer is probably yes. Will this taint his record and reputation? Immediately, I think it will. 20 years down the road? Probably not, if he breaks the ever-precious Ruth and Aaron records. I know I'll be telling people my disdain for this roided-up, me-first jerk of a player for years to come.

I was tempted to find out if the Pacers won last night, for those of us who work 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. sometimes aren't able to stay up and watch such matches of athletic excellence. Yet again, I waited until I got to work to find out. Beaten by the Knicks? THE KNICKS!!? Inexcusable!

And what about Butler? Did they slay the Horizon League beast that is Wisconsin-Milwaukee? Now, I know the answer to this question is a resounding "no." I didn't know that, however, until after I actually arrived at work. All because ESPN 950 screwed the Krildog. Do you see what these people have done!!!?

All drive, I was tempted to switch off my CD, and switch it to ESPN 950. I stayed strong, and studied up on these sports stories later. When something is part of your daily routine, having it ripped away (even quasi-voluntarily) is very difficult.

I suppose I could have flipped my stereo over the WNDE...but then I wouldn't have anything to blog about, would I?

Select songs heard on the radio during Day One of the Boycott:
  • Andy Williams - Moon River
  • Bing Crosby - Don't Fence Me In
  • Bing Crosby - Swingin' on a Star

So, after reading those particular songs...you probably realize now why you don't see phrases like "drop it like it's hot" during my diatribes.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hoth in 2014, and Sweet, Sweet Revenge

I'd like to thank Saucy for posting the link to the Hoth 2014 website! It's very entertaining. I emailed the gentleman who runs the site, and I think he's going to post some of those Great Moments in FAKE Olympics history (they've been tweaked slightly to be Great Moments in HOTH Olympics History). It's truly a clever idea, and really, is there a better place in the universe than Hoth to hold the Winter Olympics? A whole planet devoted to winter! Now, I admit something's gotta be done in terms of controlling that local Ice Wampa population, but I definitely think it can be done.

Please visit the site, and sign the petition, just for kicks. You'll feel better.

Okay, I can admit I'm not a bad guy, or a member of COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. I am however in the mood to blow something up. Now, if the CIA is monitoring this, or the other people involved in our domestic spying program of questionable constitutional legality, I do not seriously intend to act on these thoughts, or do anything of a remotely terroristic nature. It's just an expression; a figure of speech. I need to blow off some steam, and that's because Krildog just lost his job in a cost-cutting measure. He had worked at Indy radio station ESPN 950 (WXLW AM) on a meager salary and killer hours. And how do those ass-clown Stiffly Stiffersons return this loyalty? By letting him go for "financial reasons." Not because he sucked at his job, or because he screwed up and swore during an on-air event. Instead, because they're so inept from a financial standpoint that they can no longer afford Krildog's services. I swear to you tried and true: morons run the media. If this is news to you, then you haven't been paying a lick of attention to the world around you.

So, I'm calling for a temporary boycott of ESPN 950. I usually listen every morning when I go into work during my vampire hours. Instead, I'm sticking in a CD of Sinatra, and listening to that on the way to work. All for Krildog. I'm sure, in a few weeks, I'll return to the world of Dan Patrick, Colin "Cocksucking" Cowherd, and their ilk. Until then, however, I'm sticking with the classics. If Sinatra were in this very same situation, he'd go punch somebody out and then go bang Ava Gardner. I don't have the luxury of either, so this is the best I can do for now. I urge you all to follow suit. You don't have to boycott the ESPN brand (that'd be suicidal, especially with March Madness almost here!), but steer clear of the ESPN 950 radio station. And make sure you do it for the Krildog!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Basketball and Rebel Outposts

I went to the Seymour Sectional Championship game Sat. night which featured Jeff vs. New Albany in a rematch of the ages. Jeff was down by 15 points in the third quarter and came back to win by one in a double overtime victory. The game was incredible to watch despite the pour officiating. This sat. is Regionals vs. the Martinsville white knights. On Red Devils. After the ballgame Kfife, Greg, Jody, and I went to Cheeseburger in Paradise with a pit stop in Franklin. I love Cheeseburger. In fact I love it so much I was saving up for it all day, and we finally got there at midnight. By that time, needless to say, I was hungry. I ordered myself an Island Ale and before half was gone I was wasted. But it did not diminish the wonderful mini cheeseburgers. Mmm mmm, bitches.

This weekend was sparce in the Halo which is rather dissapointing. So I look forward to much more halo-esque adventures this week.

On an important announcement, there is a petition for the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held at the ice world Hoth 6. So don't be a nerf-herder and sign the petition to help increase the poor ratings. The link is as follows www.hoth2014.com.

We're talkin' basketball...

I thought I'd take the weekend off, let TFT breathe a little bit. I figured The Word's last entry would be a breath of fresh air. Then, upon surveying it early this morning, I realized we barely had a pulse here.

Of course, I don't always write on the weekends (it's usually about 50/50 as far as the odds go on that), but this time I made a conscious decision not to (in the quasi-words of Jerry Seinfeld: "I choose not to write!"). Okay, well, it wasn't as if I went, "I'm not going to write this weekend." Instead it was more of a, "I'm visiting my parents and they have a very unreliable dial-up service, so I'm just going to avoid it this weekend." Plus, there just wasn't a lot of time to do it. We had a veritable family reunion: my brother and his wife brought their new daughter (my niece) to see our parents (who are now "Grandma and Grandpa," which is still a difficult thing to come to terms with). Then I went to see my Grandma, who is now a Great-Grandma. It really does boggle my mind.

So, I watched a lot of basketball, and my brother, a North Carolina fan (my parents are I have never quite figured out how that happened), had a good weekend. I have to say UNC didn't impress me much in the first half, but in the second half, wow, did they pour it on. I love it when Dook gets beat! I've heard Tyler Hansbrough may go pro after this season. I hope that's not the case, because UNC will be absolutely loaded next year. Heck, with the way their young guys are playing right now, they may make another run to the Final Four. We'll just have to see. I would like to say that I don't think the Heels are a two-seed in the Big Tourney. I'd say a three-seed, unless they win the ACC Tournament.

I would also like to say that basketball analysts are morons. They've seen that IU has won four games in a row, and now, all of the sudden, the Hoosiers are playing "their best basketball of the year." Obviously, these guys haven't watched any of these "big wins." IU beat Penn State, Michigan State, Purdue, and Michigan. There's a single quality win in there, and that's the MSU victory. Other than that, the Hoosiers struggled in every single one of those games. If the experts had looked at the first half against the Boilers, or the awful first-half "performance" against Michigan, they'd realize IU simply doesn't know how to play the game of basketball. However, even with that said, the Hoosiers should still make the Big Dance, simply because they did manage to pick-up a few big wins here and there. And the selection committee loves to look at how teams finish out, and having four straight wins looks pretty darn good. I'm just saying this is definitely a case of "buyer beware."

Obviously, I watched a ton of basketball over the weekend. That's just kind of what people in my family do. We're sports-aholics, and I'm pretty sure that comes through on TFT, even though it's definitely not a family-run (or oriented!) blog. You won't find a better day among family members than a triple-header on CBS, even when it features a blowout loss by Purdue (at least we could flip over to the Pacers game or Florida/UK), a so-so MVC Championship Game, and a very disappointing Big 12 matchup featuring Texas and Oklahoma.

Now, with Selection Sunday less than a week away, I can't wait until March Madness officially tips off. ESPN's Bowl Week claims it's "the most wonderful time of the year." I heartily disagree. Hands down, that honor goes to March Madness. And here we (almost) are!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Word is back!

Sports are everywhere, in proving this let me tell you about the shot attempt that bounced off the rim of my trash can here at work -- a wouldbe three-pointer from 5 feet away. All too fitting an outcome and indicative of the season Thw Word's three local college powerhouses are having. If the SEC was stronger I could be staring down the barrel of a UK, IU, and UofL NIT -- a proposition that is rather FUBAR. Acronymns aside, The Word fears for the future of basketball country. Not just because I missed the trash can with my wadded McDonald's napkin, but because for the first time I actually find my attention waning from college basketball and attracting to college football. Could college football take the place of basketball as the dominant sport in this area of the country -- the area of the country that Hoosiers was filmed? As I eagerly await the departure of Mike Davis, I am more interested in next year and a coach who could turn the Hoosiers around than this year and struggling for a tourney bid; moreover, Ricky P has regressed further this year than Denny Crum did which he was fired for, and Tubby is rumored to be going Charlotte-Bobcat-Crazy in Lexington. So with so much attention turned from basketball why do I care? More mportantly, should I care? The Word's answer: no. An emphatic no! Basketball should earn my attention and while I am certainly worried about basketball country's state of affairs, I welcome college football to the point of a possible boycott of the rest of the basketball season. Can Indiana's new coach make even more progress in turning around an always mediocre IU football team? Can Bobby Petrino take his new recruiting class and star QB Brian Brohm to a BCS bowl? Can Rich Brooks keep his players healthy enough through conditioning to keep decent recruits coming to Lexington? Sports are everywhere, and as I lean to pick up the reminder of my horrible napkin-ball-aim, I apologize for The Word's lengthy absence from the pages of TFT and pledge to find subjects of all kinds to wax rhapsodic on even while at work. I now leave you to drive a GTO.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sounds like a great idea...

I've spoken of JumboTron C before (my big TV, which the elusive Buckeye McGuinness once dubbed "JumboTron C," and the name stuck). It's my pride and joy, and really the Krildog's only perk of staying here at the palatial one bedroom apartment I call home. I mean, for goodness' sake, the poor guy sleeps on the couch every night. He never complains, and we have a terrific time, but I do feel badly about that.

I will say, however, that I've upped the ante. Last week, I used a good portion of my tax refund to buy a surround sound system. I know it's not the best one out there, but Dear Lord, Krildog and I are enjoying it. I think the real closer on the deal was a week from this past Monday, when Krildog took a "sick day," which I exploited by having him help me put the thing together. Watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day was awe-inspiring. As you can imagine, I've been "testing" all of my movies in no particular order to "hear them again, for the first time."

Here's a breakdown of the results so far:

The Winners:

Terminator 2: Judgment Day. (Dolby 5.1) I'm not sure movies get any more consistently louder than this one. It makes copious use of the rear speakers and directional sound, and everything is crystal-clear. It doesn't hurt that the movie completely kicks. I don't know if there's a flick out there with better shootouts than this one from a sound perspective, because it's perfect.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. (Dolby 5.1) The movie isn't as good as T2, but that's a very hard thing to do, especially without any involvement from James Cameron. I will tell you this, however: the explosions, crashes, and sheer chaos are non-stop, and it will give any home theater system a workout. Definitely worth a listen, and the action is pretty darn good. I could've gone without the whole "talk to the hand" thing, however.

Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones. (Dolby 5.1) I love how the sound engineers ratcheted up the bass for the lightsabers; it gives everything a nice "rumble," which is pretty awesome. The Kamino scenes with Obi-Wan and Jango Fett are fantastic, with the ambient rain in the background from the back speakers. The seismic charges rocked the room, and the entire final battle sequence was active in all the speakers. It was everything I'd hoped for.

Independence Day. (Dolby 5.1) I've gotta tell you: I just finished watching this one, and wow, I had to crank down the bass. This movie shook the room time and time again, thanks to gigantic, hulking alien ships and a veritable bounty of big, loud explosions. I was extremely impressed with this one, especially because I felt the back channels were used frequently, and to good effect.

The In-Betweens

Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. (Dolby 5.1) It's not that the mix was bad, it was pretty good. I just don't think this particular Star Wars film can compete with the others listed so far. A lot of it has to do with the fact the movie was made in 1977. I will say that I doubt you'll find too many movies from this era of film that sound this good in the modern era. Some may say I'm comparing apples and oranges here, but Star Wars just didn't quite stack up with the others, despite some good bass effects, and nice, crisp sound overall. There are a few places where the audio is uneven, and I felt they missed a few opportunities to augment the back channels, particularly during the rescue of Princess Leia and the opening blaster fight. Still, great sound from Star Destroyers, TIE fighters, and X-Wings makes it impossible to list one of the greatest movies of all-time as a disappointment.

Gladiator. (DTS) There are some great moments here, particularly the opening battle scene, and some (but not all!) of the gladiatorial fights. I was a little underwhelmed by the big fight involving Maximus' fighters against the Legionnaires (when they recreated the Battle of Carthage). However, and I know Krildog will agree, the musical soundtrack really shines through here. It's easy to forget exactly how effective it is. This is also a dialogue-heavy movie, and some of the ambience is nice. It's just not perfect.

War of the Worlds. (DTS) I probably shouldn't fault the DTS mix on this disc (which I rented). It has some great positional audio, and some rumbling bass effects during the attacks. However, I have to say it was somewhat disappointing because I actually fell asleep during the last third of the movie. This really isn't totally the audio's fault, after all, there's not a lot of crushing and that type of thing in that span, but it reminded me of how boring the movie actually was. And for the sound to be cranked up, and for me to still fall asleep, there's got to be some audio issues.

The Losers

Mission: Impossible II. (Dolby 5.1) Tom Cruise may be crazy, but he still makes a pretty darn good action flick. And, yes, I'll still going to go see M:I 3, even after all his crazy crap. I, however, couldn't do anything remotely close to "jumping the couch" on this sound experience. First of all, the mix was extremely, extremely low. I had to crank things way up to hear anything. Secondly, there wasn't much going on the back channels, especially during some of the gunfights. Considering the amount of stuff that was happening in this movie during those scenes onscreen, there should've been a lot more going on from a sound standpoint. I actually walked up to my back speakers, and checked to see if there was anything coming out of them; that's how disappointed I was by this one.

King Arthur. (Dolby 5.1) For some reason, I have a tremendous soft-spot for this movie. I think Clive Owen is fantastic. I figured the epic fight scenes with swords, horses, bows and arrows, and the like would make for a fantastic all-around listening experience. And, considering the disc was THX processed, I was ready to be alarmed by arrows whizzing by in the rear speakers. This was, however, not the case. I was very disappointed by the effort here; I think it could have been much, much better.

Jurassic Park. (Dolby 5.1) In the movie's defense, I only own the Dolby Digital version, not the DTS mix, which I hear is absolutely fantastic. There are some truly excellent moments involving the subwoofer, but that's to be expected since we're dealing with a T-Rex here. Other than that, I was put off by the scene with the dilophosaurus and Nedry; there were some opportunities for truly creepy sound movement that weren't exploited. The gallimimus stampede was decent, however. Overall, though, with all the rain, thunder, and thunder lizards in this flick, I was let down.