And boy was I right about a long day. A scheduled eight-hour meeting just kept going and turned into a ten hour meeting, which meant there was no break before dinner. And wow. This was a 3.5 hour dinner, no joke. Everybody there had to order every course. First, we had to get appetizers for the entire table (calamari, prosciutto, grilled shrimp, eggplant, brie bruschetta, mozzarella), then salad (I had a ceasar), main course (cajun rib-eye, roasted squash, whipped potatoes - and that rib-eye was not cajun in the least), and then everyone just had to get desert (I almost got a port, but since I had to drive went with the creme brule). Then when I got to the hotel, I had emails waiting for me with questions that needed answering that night, so needless to say blogging was out of the question.
Tonight, however, I am on my own and the only thing I have to accomplish is getting on a shuttle to the airport at 9am tomorrow, so I can have a little time for just me and you, my old friend, just me and you. I had a nice simple dinner (bacon cheeseburger, onion rings) with a couple beers and a couple cocktails (vodka & tonic), and picked up a six-pack of Coors Light Silos on my way to the hotel. So let's see what we see, shan't we?
- For some reason the internet is telling me the Gophers are up just 32-24 at half against Utah Valley, which is less than encouraging. I almost tried to write a quick preview of the game last night, but when I was researching Utah Valley I realized it wasn't worth it because they are god awful. But now the Gophers are just up 8 at half. I know, thanks to texts from Snacks and Grandslam, that Westbrook is out because of food poisoning, and I know I said I thought he was heading for a "special" senior season, but come on. It's Utah Valley. I'm almost certain a roster of Terrance Simmons, Steve Esselink, David Grim, Travis Busch, and Kevin Loge could take these guys. I'm going to assume the second half is going to go much better.
- In more impressive news, I watched Syracuse kick the crap out of Cal tonight in the bar. I may have underrated the Cuse. From my vantage point it was tough to tell who was doing what (Wes J might have had 5 or 25 for all I know) but one thing I could tell is the Orange point guard situation is in much better shape than I anticipated. Scoop Jardine looked great (how could I doubt a guy named Scoop?), and this kid Brandon Triche looked really good as well. He's going to be a star in two years.
- Gophers now up 41-26. Much better. I feel now like I can relax, and just get ready to watch Ohio State beat the piss out of the Gay Heels. Seriously. You watch.
- Speaking of basketball, I'm sure you're dying for an update on my college basketball fantasy league. I won't post the whole draft list, you can find the earlier picks in some other posts, but here is an update since I last posted:
8.12 DWG - Damian Johnson, F, Minnesota
9.1 DWG - Edwin Ubiles, G/F, Siena
9.2 TLEF - TaJuan Porter, G, Oregon
9.3 NotoriousTREJetBrit - Rotnei Clarke, G, Arkansas
9.4 Saintfool - Theo Robertson, G/F, Cal
9.5 Aerial Assault - Matt Bouldin, G, Gonzaga
9.6 WuBanger - Jason Love, C, Xavier
9.7 Truck - Herb Pope, F, Seton Hall
9.8 Jeter23 - Austin Freeman, G, Georgetown
9.9 Tar Heel Boy - Mike Tisdale, C, Illinois
9.10 BasketballCoach - Avery Bradley, G, Texas
9.11 Tobias Funke - Armon Johnson, G, Nevada
9.12 Balco - Vernon Macklin, F/C, Florida
10.1 Balco - Elias Harris, F, Gonzaga
10.2 Tobias Funke - Michael Dunigan, C, Oregon
10.3 Basketball Coach - Klay Thompson, G, Washington St.
10.4 Tar Heel Boy - William Buford, G, Ohio St.
10.5 Jeter23 - Scotty Hopson, G, Tennessee
10.6 Truck - Malcolm Lee, G, UCLA
10.7 WuBanger - Durrell Summers, G, Michigan St.
10.8 Aerial Assault - Ekpe Udoh, F/C Baylor
10.9 Saintfool - Raymar Morgan, F, Michigan St.
10.10 NotoriousTREJetBrit - Bo Spencer, G, LSU
10.11 TLEF - Nolan Smith, G, Duke
10.12 DWG - Jordan Crawford, G, Xavier
11.1 DWG - Brandon Paul, G, Illinois
11.2 TLEF - Joe Trapani, F, Boston College
11.3 NotoriousTREJetBrit - Eric Boateng, C, Arizona State
11.4 Saintfool - Landon Milbourne, F, Maryland
11.5 Aerial Assault - Ryan Rossiter, F, Siena
11.6 WuBanger - Tyler Roche, F, Boston College
11.7 Truck - Jimmy Butler, G/F, Marquette
11.8 Jeter23 - Storm Warren, F, LSU
11.9 Tar Heel Boy - Mike Singletary, F, Texas Tech
11.10 BasketballCoach - DeWayne Reed, G, Auburn
11.11 Tobias Funke - Dee Bost, G, Mississippi St.
11.12 Balco - John Jenkins, F, Vanderbilt
12.1 Balco - Chandler Parsons, F, Florida
12.2 Tobias Funke - Derwin Kitchen, G, Florida State
12.3 Basketball Coach - Mike Davis, F, Illinois
12.4 Tar Heel Boy - Marcus Ginyard, G, North Carolina
12.5 Jeter23 - Marshall Moses, F, Oklahoma St.
12.6 Truck - John Roberson, G, Texas Tech.
12.7 WuBanger -
12.8 Aerial Assault -
12.9 Saintfool -
12.10 NotoriousTREJetBrit -
12.11 TLEF -
12.12 DWG -
That gives me a team of:
G: Chris Warren - Ole Miss, Nic Wise - Arizona, Deonta Vaughn - Cincy, Jordan Crawford - Xavier, Brandon Paul - Illinois
F: Luke Harangody - Notre Dame, Tyler Smith - Tennessee, Damian Johnson - Minnesota, Edwin Ubiles - Siena
C: JaJuan Johnson - Purdue, Derrick Favors - Georgia Tech
I like it. Coming up, I'm hoping to get Ralph Sampson and Courtney Fortson. Sampson is even more valuable since centers are such a commodity, I probably should have taken him last round. I'm nervous because not only because of the rare good centers thing, but because I know team NotoriousTREJetBrit is from Minnesota, and was not happy when I picked DJ. Hopefully Ralphie slips by them, I'm going to be heartbroken if I miss out on Ralph.
Fortson is a risk because he's suspended right now, and actually I haven't looked into exactly why and that's probably something I should investigate before I pick him. But on stats alone, he would have gone at least two rounds earlier and probably more like four. If he cuts down on turnovers he'd be a fantasy, and real life, star. I'm willing to risk it, since I'm very solid at guard.
- Just heard on ESPN2 "The Big Ten is the deepest conference in America" right as they go into Penn State highlights. Oops (although I do happen to agree with that sentiment, except maybe the Big 12). I have no doubt I will write about this further on Monday. That's right Penn State, you officially suck. To give you a quick preview, Penn State was a 12 point (or so, I don't remember exactly) favorite, and my instinct said to bet Wilmington. Then I researched Wilmington, and switched to Penn State because UNCW sounded THAT bad.
- Now with 9 minutes to go, it's just 51-43 Gophers. I think they were like a 26 point favorite. This is disappointing. And so is this Ohio State game. Kyle Madsen over Dallas Lauderdale? Why would you make that call, especially against UNC and Ed Davis and Deon Thompson? No Lauderdale is in at least, but if they can avoid playing Madsen the rest of the game, it would be a good move.
- Now 17-11 UNC. P.J. Hill just scored. Barf.
- I just went to get ice and now suddenly it's 26-11 North Carolina. My prediction of Ohio State as a final four sleeper is suddenly looking like my "JP Losman will have a breakout year" call.
- Wow, the Gophers somehow managed to win 76-51, and snacks reminds me that it was a -24.5 spread. WE WIN!
- Wonderbaby is freaking awesome, by the way, thanks for asking. She can now count to four, and she was advanced enough in her gymnastics thing to skip a whole class, and is now tumbling with three year olds. She's 19 months. Suck it, every other baby. And she even likes yard work.
I'm totally winning.
- You want to know something completely bizarre? Do you remember Shane Mack's season in 1994? Absolutely, undoubtedly, an unreal year. He hit .333/.402/.564 with 15 dingers and outstanding defense. He was 7th in both average and slugging that year, just off the top 10 in OBP, and was 8th in OPS.
- With Allen Iverson released by Memphis there seems to be some kind of movement to villify his career. Hogwash, I say. Iverson is without a doubt one of the best players in NBA history. Do you realize the best teammates he ever had were a mostly-washed up Dikembe Mutombo, Aaron McKie, and Eric Snow? He basically took that Sixers team that made the finals there single-handedly. I will grant you that at this stage of his career I can't see a good fit for him. He's clearly not happy taking a backseat to youth (as seen by making his way out of Memphis), and what good, contending team would he fit with (Chicago, maybe?), but make no mistake, this guy was one of the greats. If anybody ever goes on some "selfish" or "not a winner" rant, kindly bunch said person in the neck. If charges are pressed, I'll take the rap.
- Ohio State is depressing me. I'm about two seconds away from switching the NBA (*gasp*).
- Ok, nice try to keep me interested by Larry Drew. He gave a forearm shiver to noted douchebag P.J. Hill and absoultely flattened him on his dumb ass. I'll stick around for a while to see if anything comes of it. I feel like a hockey fan all of a sudden, but far less dumb.
- Far, far, far, far, far, far, far less.
- They just said Justin Watts hit a three. Since I've never heard of him, I'm switching to the NBA. Lakers/Bulls. Bulls ++9.5, OVER 195, and first quarter over 49.5. My Ohio State = Memphis call is just dumb now. Ohio State = Rice is more like it.
- Dear god these NBA guys are terrible, especially Derrick Rose. He can't shoot a jumper for shit, like, T.J. Ford style, and it's like he's too lazy or disinterested to get into the lane. He's on my fantasy team, and I was all like "Dude I have Rose" and "Derrick Rose is on my team, brah" and stuff, but now I'm just ashamed. I almost want to just break the TV so I don't watch any of these games.
- Ugh, these games are depressing. You know what's not depressing though (besides Audrina)? The NBDL draft, which I promised I would get to. So let's look.
- Nevermind for a minute, just got a text from snacks that OSU cut it to 2 with 11 seconds left. That is confirmed. Unreal. How does that happen? Kind of wish I had kept watching now.
- Well that was anti-climactic, and didn't cover the +2 either. Kind of wish I hadn't switched back over.
- Back to the NBDL - first overall pick, Carlos Powell. Second - Donell Taylor. Third - Deron Washington. Huh. this is a lot less fun than expected. I know Powell was either at Texas Tech or South Carolina, and I think Washington played for Arkansas or Mississippi or someone like that, but this is just lame. Let's just pick and choose a few highlights (or lowlights) instead, and go with my favorite pick of each round (they do 8 rounds of this garbage):
1st: Latavious Williams, high school. High school. How do you think that's working out? This is even more inexplicable since the NBA has that one-year in college rule. So did this guy think the NBDL was the path to fame and fortune? Did he sign somewhere but couldn't qualify for whatever reason and decided this was a better back up plan than JuCo? Honestly, I'd look it up but I'm pretty drunk. If you're bored at work - and you know damn well you are right now - you could go ahead and post any relevant info in the comments section below this post. RUNNER UP: JamesOn Curry. I'm 99% sure this guy has NBA experience already with the Bulls. Do they even have rules in this thing?
2nd: Mustafa Shakur, Arizona. Yep, pretty clear there are no rules. This guy was a second rate PG back in what I swear must have been the 90s for Arizona. Actually I just looked it up and he graduated in 2007, so who am I thinking of? Arizona has basically run a bevy of mediocre point guards through that program who get hyped because it's Arizona. They're pretty interchangeable. RUNNER UP: John Bryant, Santa Clara. If I had known Shakur wasn't whoever it is that I thought it is, this guy would be my choice. Being large and uncoordinated gets you riches these days? Actually, I guess Greg Ostertag perfected it. Did you know Mrs. W will see a large, uncoordinated white guy playing on a basketball team and say, "Is that their Ostertag?" True story.
3rd: Chris Lowe, UMASS. Not because it's a bad pick or anything, because Lowe was actually a pretty damn good point guard for the minutemen last year, and him being gone is a big reason why they're a big ball of suck now. The funny part is on the NBDL website they have no link to him. Yet they have links for Kevin Goffney, Sean Barnette, James Cripe, and Cecil Brown - guys I haven't even come close to knowing who they are. I'm not some expert (NOTE: I am), but four dudes I've never heard of get a link and no Chris Lowe? That ain't right. RUNNER UP: All those weirdos.
4th: Jason Richards, Davidson. Just stop. You know what I saw while watching basketball tonight? Gerry McNamara as a grad assistant on Jim Boeheim's bench. And that's awesome. Guess what white point guard guy? You aren't making the NBA. Take a page for G-Mac, and try to become a coach. Go the Jeff Capel route. It works. RUNNER UP: Leemire Goldwire. This is beyond weird.
5th: Shagari Alleyne, Kentucky. Remember when Kentucky, and I think it was Tubby, actually, recruited Alleyne and someone named like Lukasz Orbzut and they were both 7-2 and were going to be all twin tower and such? Nice plan. And this guy is still getting chances based on his height. Not fair, Jeff Hagen, not fair. RUNNER UP: Scooter McFagdon, whose name is funny, whose potential was unlimited, and whose disappointingness is complete. Also want to give a shout out to Joe Darger of UNLV here, whose name is nearly identical to a kid I knew in high school and never fails to make me giggle.
I just want to mention here that I went to go get a couple beers (NOTE: Silos running low) before the bar closed and on the elevator back up some cougar lady asked me "So what are you doing, want to go back down and get a drink?" I demurred. But I want to mention it here anyway.
6th: CJ Anderson, Xavier (via Manhattan). This guy WILL be in the NBA at some point. Maybe it's not for long, maybe it's a cup of coffee, but he will get a shot. You watch, I'm predicting he leads the NBDL in scoring, which I just realized I'm using as a high end compliment. Whatever. This dude is awesome. RUNNER UP: J'Nathan Bullock, somewhere. I know I've heard this name before, because it never fails to make me laugh, but I can't remember why right now. Seriously, why my parents didn't just name me J'Nathan will haunt me to my dying day.
Just realized my flight tomorrow is at 11:20, not 11:00. That's 20 extra minutes of sleep. Time to get more drunker.
7th: Garrison Carr, American. This guy was awesome for them. But was his career more, or less, successful than Tasheed Carr? That's one to think on. RUNNER UP: Rodney Alexander, no clue. I don't know who this is, but that's a hell of an NBA name.
8th: Lawrence McKenzie, Minnesota. You probably know who this is. Hey, whatever works. No doubt he'll grind out a career in Europe making more than I could possibly dream of by playing basketball. I do have a hint for him: look to New Zealand, it seems any mediocre former Gopher can make a nice living over there. Plus, outside the Aborigines, he'd probably be the only black dude over there, and that's got to be an advantage. RUNNER UP: A.J. Ratliff, Indiana. Senior Year = 1.7 pts, 1.3 rebs, 0.6 assists per game. This folks, is the NBDL.
- Lastly I want to close with something snacks sent me since apparently he doesn't do any work. This here from Peter Gammons, the jesus of baseball analysts (sorry Aaron). He mentions that Joe Mauer hit just one infield popup the entire season. Sound ridiculouly hyperbolic? Well, he is wrong. Mauer actually hit two. That means he popped up 1.5% of the time, fourth best in major league baseball (behind ryan howard, derek jeter - puke, and joey votto - stud). I find the fact that we are privy to this info fascinating. Common DWG whipping boy/stud, depending on who you ask, was 9th at 2.1%, pretty good. But I know what you're waiting for, you want to know Twins, don't you you provincial son of a bitch?
Well, I know one guy who is going to enjoy this, but guess who was fifth worst in the majors in popping up?
It was Mike Cuddyer. He popped up 15.5% of the time. That is awful. But let's look at something a little more for just a minute. Let's assume that all fly balls and ground balls at least have a chance at getting the team closer to scoring a run, where popups and strikeouts don't. Cuddy also strikes out 20% of the time. That means that 36% of the time he is at the plate, his results have no chance of doing anything good. That seems high. this feels like the kind of thing I should research further, so somebody remind me because I'm going to bed.
I really hate New jersey.