home cooking (hom kook'-ing) noun. The phenomenon in which the performance of a player or team improves dramatically when they get to play on their home court. This often takes the form of an increased number of free throw attempts for the home team and a conspicous number of non-calls for the road team.

Usage example: The Miami/Chicago series looked hopeless for the Bulls...until they made it back to Chicago for some home cooking.

Word Trivia: Jermaine O'Neal must not like the state of New Jersey. In the first two games of the Pacers' opening round series against the Nets, O'Neal had managed only 27 total points (on 8-for-22 shooting) to go along with 11 turnovers and 10 personal fouls. After the Pacers got blown out in Game 2, O'Neal openly criticized the officiating (a fairly common tactic during the Playoffs). He was fined $15,000, but it was worth every penny. The Pacers, feeling frisky in the friendly confines of Conseco Field House, got to the charity stripe 42 times. O'Neal shot 14 of those freethrows on his way to a game-high 37 points. Suffice to say, the Pacers won the game to go up 2-1 in the series. A few hundred miles away, the Chicago Bulls were also enjoying the taste of some home cooking. After two close losses in Miami, the Bulls received 46 foul shots while Shaq got into early foul trouble, followed by mid-game foul trouble, and finally end-of-game foul trouble. The result: a Bulls blowout victory over the Heat, all thanks to the chefs...er, refs.

Ben Gordan says: "There's only one place we can get
a Chicago-style hot dog. And 46 free throws."
In the wake of Avery Johnson being awarded Coach of the Year(and being damn fun to impersonate), we felt it's time to award the Worst Coach of the Year. That is, until someone beat us to it.

Sports Illustrated, best known for supplying your dentist's office with 6-month old reading material, took a break from making softcore porn to declare the Raptor's coach Sam Mitchell the worst coach in the NBA. Out of a random survey of 248 NBA players, most of whom
have never even played for him, 15% have tagged Sam Mitchell as not being able to distinguish a playbook from a Pop-Tart...which is actually quite easy, since Pop-Tarts are frosted.

A job in the Raptors organization is a lot like prison, so Mitchell first arrived in Toronto last season with the Oz mentality: if you don't want to be the bitch, scare everyone by kicking someone's ass right away. Players regularly bounced from the starting lineup to the end of the bench and back. Former CBAer Rafer Alston was so demoralized at one point he considered quitting the NBA. This is from a guy who, up until this point, is best known for touring community colleges in the midwest to play pickup ball for ESPN2. Something is seriously wrong.

In 2006 Toronto should have had a respectable squad. They unloaded two amazingly bad defenders in Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall. Chris Bosh and Mike James both posted career years, Mo Pete is a solid swingman, and "The Brow" Charlie Villanueva is a lock for the All-Rookie Team. To put things in perspective, these are four players that would start for the Chicago Bulls

But the Raptors posted six fewer wins and actually got
worse on the defensive end, allowing 104 ppg, 2nd worst in the league (this hit an all-time low when that guy from the Lakers lit them up for 81 points. I think it was Chris Mihm.) Plus the Raps were fifth in the league in 4th quarter leads blown. And, on a team with size issues, Villanueva was used sparingly until the final third of the season, while Joey Graham and Pape Sow were allowed to log countless hours of statless playing time.

Of course, Sam Mitchell takes blame for absolutely none of this. He blames management for not providing him with winning personnel, especially on the defensive end. GM Bryan Colangelo fires back, "defense is a mindset". And then doesn't award him a contract extension. Zing!

And, to top it all off, ballbuster Mitchell has gone all shorthaired tabby on us. After publically castrating Rafer Alston all last year, he's allowing Mike James to compare himself to Jesus. I'm thinking Mike would be better suited for the Church of the Subgenius.

Mike Montgomery, runner up? Don't get me started.
After a hard-fought victory in Game 1, the Pacers got owned by the Nets in Game 2. The fact that former-reserve-turned-starter-due-to-injury Anthony Johnson was the team's leading scorer probably tells you everything you need to know. But of all the Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal was subjected to the most ownage. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pacers were selling him on eBay, because everybody had a chance to own him last night. He shot poorly (3-for-12), blew a dunk, fell on his ass, jumped around like an idiot...and then blamed it all on the officiating. That's like stinking up your friend's bathroom and then blaming the burrito you had for lunch. Sure, it might have been responsible for the rancid stink bomb you unleashed on the world, but no one's going to believe you. Remember, kids: if you're going to suck, try to suck with dignity.

How rough of a night did Jermain have? You be the judge. First, he got schooled by Nenad Krstic, who somehow is shooting over 60 percent for the series. Not good.

Jermaine owned by Krstic
You know, it helps if you actually
challenge the shot, Jermaine.

After a few fouls didn't go his way, Jermaine tried to complain to Voilet Palmer, the NBA's token female referee. It didn't help. Her response was, basically, "knock off the jibba jabba, fool!"

Violet to Jermaine
"Uh, I hate to say it, but you're gettin' owned.
Now stop your bitchin' and play the game"

Since Jermaine pretty much had his way around the basket during the fourth quarter of Game 1, the Nets were determined to shut down his inside game. It's almost cute how frustrated Jermaine gets when he draws aggressive defense. His face gets all scrunched up and he tries to force his way to the basket. But, unfortunately, he's not that O'Neal. The result? The most embarrassing moment for a professional basketball player: the blown dunk.

Jermaine missed dunk

If the fouls aren't going a player's way, the player often tries to draw some cheapies as a mercy token from the refs. But the officials weren't having it last night, even when Jermaine flopped got knocked over by Richard Jefferson, who was on his way to the basket for an easy layup. Good job, Jermaine!

Jermaine on ass
"Hey Richard, give me a sec'. I'm, uh, cleaning a wet spot off the court.

The most ignominious moment of the night was when Jermaine totally whiffed on a blocked shot. I mean, he missed it so badly, it looked like one of those strange plays in NBA Live where your player just goes floating off the court. As bad as the picture looks, it looked worse when it happened.

Jermaine non-block
Uh, the ball's the other way, Jermaine.
letdown game (let'doun gam) noun. A game in which a player or team submits a lackluster performance immediately following a previous game in which they either put on a dazzling exhibition or pulled off a dramatic win.

Usage example: The Pacers suffered through a letdown game last night, and the Nets shredded them by the score of 90-75.

Word Trivia: The 2006 NBA Playoffs have already provided two picture perfect examples of the dreaded letdown game:

Example 1 -- After stealing the Nets' home court advantage in Game 1, the Pacers played like the walking dead, disgracing the game of basketball and getting blown out in Game 2. Let's hope the 20/20 Rule goes into effect for Game 3.

Example 2 -- Lebron James had a triple double in his playoff debut, and the journalists and sports bloggers of the world were frothing at the mouth. I actually read one jibbering crazy predict that Lebron might be the first person in history to average a triple double throughout the playoffs. Uh, guys, it was one game. Predictably, the furor proved a little premature, and Lebron followed up his dream game with a nightmare performance: 7-for-25 shooting (including 1-for-6 in threes) and 10 turnovers. Not surprisingly, Cleveland lost the game and homecourt advantage.

People tend to forget: basketball players are human, and no NBA team, no matter how great, has ever gone undefeated. Lebron will come back, and the Pacers will beat the Nets. Seriously.

letdown game
Don't worry, Lebron. It was just a letdown game. We hope.
MAXIM has released a list of America's Most Whipped Athletes, and -- surprise!! -- NBA players Antonio Davis and Doug Christie made the cut (numbers 4 and 1 respectively).

Davis whipped
"Baby, you're fucking nuts...but I love you!"
hump game (hump gam) noun. A game in which the losing team either comes back from a large deficit or remains closely competitive throughout, but is nonetheless unable to "climb over the hump" and win the game.

Usage example: The Nuggets were involved in a hump game against the Clippers last Saturday. They came so very close, but in the end they just couldn't close the deal.

Word Trivia: Close only counts in horseshoes and whatever else you can win at by coming close...and basketball most certainly does not fall into that category. That's why it's always so frustrating to watch your team come back from 20 points down only to fall short at the end of the game. It's even more frustrating when they keep the score tantalizingly close throughout, but they keep ramming their collective heads into that four or five point wall, only to fall woozy and bleeding to the floor. Take Game 1 of the Bulls/Heat series. The Bulls played with more guts and tenacity than the Heat, but they were always one or two shots away from threatening the lead. A classic hump game scenario.

hump game
Hey Chris, are you gonna let a guy in tights push you around?!

As a well-known purveyor of juvenile humor, I could of course tell you several jokes in which the punchline is dependent on the word "hump." But instead I think I'll show you a picture of one of the strangest products I've ever found on eBay (and that's saying something). Some mad taxidermist actually stuffed a group of bull frogs and then turned them into the world's most perverted amphibious conga line. I don't know whether this is sick and twisted, or just inspired genius. Which probably tells you all you need to know about me.

Humping frogs
Their 15 minutes of fame having past them by, the
Budweiser Frogs do whatever they can to get by.
The first weekend of the playoffs went pretty much according to seeding, with only my Indiana Pacers pulling off an upset. But win or lose, you can always count on someone, or some team, to be the rat feces in their fans' hot dog of life. Here are the top five crapapaloozas of the weekend.

Number 5 - The Vince Carter Shoot-A-Rama: A line of 31 points and 13 rebounds sounds pretty good, but shooting 12-for-33 (including 1-for-8 from three-point range) sounds decidedly less good. But it wasn't just the poor shooting, it was the kind of shots he was taking. He reverted to his late-Toronto form and started taking the sort of bailout, long-distance shots that make Lawrence Frank want to gouge out his own eyes. Even worse, his errant shot selection prevented the Nets from building any sort of cushion, and thereby allowed the Pacers to steal Game 1. On the upside, Carter did fall on his head, so the afternoon wasn't a complete waste.

Carter fall
Vince Carter falls on his face, proving that
God watches basketball, and He is Canadian.

Number 4 - Kobe Bryant Comes Up Shooting Blanks: Kobe was an unstoppable scoring machine all season, especially against the Suns. But after averaging over 40 points per game against them during the regular season, in Game 1 he scored only 22 points on 7-for-22 shooting. It seems as though Kobe was trying out a new strategy: get my teammates involved early, lay low, and then assert myself only in crunch time. The problem was, by the time he did try to assert himself, he couldn't find a rythmn and the Lakers fell short in the end.

Kobe hides face
The Lakers' "Mr. Clutch" hides his face after
failing to come through in the 4th quarter.

Number 3 - The Continuing Struggles of Larry Hughes: Larry Hughes hasn't exactly taken the town of Cleveland by storm, a fact that is due mostly to a nagging finger injury that has plagued him most of the season. Still, the brilliance of Lebron James has been more than enough to offset Hughes lack of contributions. Such was the case on Saturday, when Lebron's triple double -- and the Cavalier's subsequent easy victory -- overshadowed another disappointing outing for Hughes: 2 points on 1-for-9 shooting to go along with 5 fouls. This pill was made all the more bitter as it was administered by the team he left in the offseason.

Cavs fan
He may look like an idiot, but this Cavs fan scored
only two fewer points than Larry Hughes did.

Number 2 - The Same Old Clips: Yes, I know. The Clippers won Game 1. But I'll be damned if they didn't try their hardest to give it away. After building up a nice, comfortable, double-digit lead, the Clips reverted to their classic form by only scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter and almost giving the game away. Clippers fans, who are used to the team's historic failures, were actively praying on the sidelines. Either God took mercy on them, or he's just setting them up for a bigger, more painful disappointment later. I'm guessing that's it.

Crystal prays
"Oy vey! They're going to blow it again!"

Number 1 - Don't Crown The Kings Just Yet: A few hours Ron Artest boldy predicted that the Kings were going to win the title this year, the Kings fell flat against the Spurs, losing by 34 points. The Kings' defense "held" the Spurs to 57 percent shooting and then tried to counter it with a brickfest (39 percent shooting). The primary culprit was Artest, who laid a 7-for-21 stink bomb. And the fact that Artest had his own words crammed back into his mouth couldn't have made me any happier.

Spurs laugh
The Spurs react to Ron Artest's playoff predictions.
Jennifer 2For the low price of only a few hundred thousand dollars, any woman can transform herself from a hideous, shambling pork beast into a raging inferno of sexy. Thank you, plastic surgery! Of course, some people get really offended that someone would use modern medicine to physically alter the repulsive wreck of a body the Lord, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, cursed them with. Of course, those people are probably just wusses. Ugly wusses. Hey, I've read the Bible. I know that the only reason God created science was so that all chicks could be hot. Seriously. Look it up.

The city of Miami is widely considered to be the Plastic Surgery Capital of the United States, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Miami Heat have what are probably the hottest
dance team in the league. Of course, most of them are less than 20 percent human flesh, more than half of them glow in the dark, and they all have to sleep in one of those giant globe thingies like Darth Vadar. But such is the price of ultimate beauty.

Jennifer 1Choosing only one of these women to be Basketbabe of the Week was a daunting task. How could I want only one? I'd much rather throw all of them into a wriggling pile of humanity, cover that pile with some baby oil, and wade through it slowly...oh, so slowly. Uhm, anyway, I decided to use the age-old litmus test of "Which One Of Them Would I Most Want To Have Sex With?" This is a complicated system of analytical deduction in which I pretend I'm Batman from the old Adam West television series and I've been put into a death trap by Catwoman, who is covered with whipped cream and making out with Batgirl. At that point, all I need to do is figure out who should be Catwoman, and I'll have my girl. And that girl is Jennifer.

Jennifer is currenty a student at Florida International University, which is known all around Miami as a place that's full of books and teaches people stuff. Jennifer, or Jenny, as she is sometimes known, is all about "keeping it real." In fact, her biggest pet peeve is "People who are not true to themselves!" She's also quick to provide others with the spark they need to reach for their impossible dreams, with words like "No dreamer is ever too small and no dream is ever too big...reach for the stars...dance like no one is watching...and never give up!!" Thanks for motivating me, Jennifer! I'll be picking you up at 8 p.m. tomorrow night for our night out on the town! And even as you're screaming and trying to keep me from stuffing you into the trunk of my car, I'll just remember your words and never give up.

As hot as Jennifer is, and as positive as she tries to be, her bio is kind of a downer. Her favorite song is a tune by Tim McGraw called "Live Like You Were Dying." At first glance that seems kind of inspirational, but then when you think of it, it's actually kind of depressing and creepy. And speaking of depressing, when asked where she was ten years ago, Jennifer said, "I was in elementary school and learning my multiplication tables." If that doesn't make you feel like a sick old pervert, then nothing will.

Boobtastic Extra: For some reason, the geniuses running the Miami Heat site didn't include a picture of Jennifer in a bathing suit. This filled me with a seething rage, which, fortunately for the Miami Heat organization, Brook was able to sooth and succor. Thank you, Brook.

Mmmm. Brook.

Edit: A special thanks goes out to Mike, who doubtlessly spent many hours searching for, and finding, a picture of Jennifer in a swim suit. Wherever you are, Mike, we thank you. (P.S. Next time you send us this kind of information, please include one box of Kleenex and a bottle of lotion. Thank you.)

Jennifer swimsuit
God, in the form of a mysterious stranger
named Mike, has answered our prayers...
Rik on bikeAs some of you may remember, Rik Smits failed to show up at Reggie Miller's retirement ceremony. This despite the fact that almost every other former Pacer was able to make it. I mean, even guys who were barely on the team long enough to break a sweat managed to show up. Reggie and Rik played together for 11 years, and Reggie always made a point of saying that Rik was one of his favorite teammates. It was a complete and utter traveshamockery.

But I always liked Rik, so I tried to cut him some slack. I mean, he's a busy guy, what with riding his bicycle and participating in competitive motocross. And he lives all the way across the ocean in some foreign land full of godless, painted savages. Maybe he just couldn't make it, I figured. Yes, that was it. Sometimes we have to lie to ourselves to be happy.

Well, I'm not happy today, thanks to this article from the April 14 edition of the Indianapolis Star:

Former Indiana Pacers player Rik Smits will be part of a fundraiser on the Southside for high school anti-drug, tobacco and alcohol programs in Central Indiana. Docs vs. Jocks vs. Drugs will feature a game of basketball between the physicians of St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers and the faculty of Lutheran High School, according to a news release from St. Francis. The annual game, in its 20th year, has been to various south-central Indiana high schools, which keep proceeds raised from ticket sales to enhance local drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness programs.
Okay...what the hell??! As far as I've been able to determine, Rik hasn't made it back to Indiana since he retired. He doesn't attend Pacers games, or do interviews, and he skipped the most important retirement ceremony in Pacers history. But he can come back to play in a high school charity game? I mean, it's commendable that he wants to keep kids off drugs and everything, but I don't see how he can fly all the way to Indiana to play a pickup game against a handful of doctors and school teachers after dissing Reggie. That's just wrong.

I'm a pretty soft-hearted guy, and I've forgiven Rik for a lot of things. Like the fact that he's 7'4", but he only averaged 6 rebounds a game for his career. Did I mention he's 7'4"? And then there's the 2000 NBA Finals. He averaged a measely 10 points and 4 rebounds a game. And in case you forgot, he's 7'4". A telephone pole could have contributed more than Rik did. And it's not like he was giving his all at the other end of the floor. Shaq averaged 38 points and 18 rebounds for the series, by far his best playoff performance. Anyway, I forgave all of that. But not this. No, never this.

Apparently, the charity game was played last weekend. I haven't been able to find any follow up articles or anything else about it. Does anyone know anything about this? Am I the only person outraged? Okay, yeah, I probably am...

Rik on motor bike
Hope you're enjoying competitive motocross, asshole.
Most rational human beings can easily recognize the difference between typical fandom and dangerous obsession. But if the comments we've gotten on our Gatorade post are any indication, many of you are "stark raving BLOOOAARGH!!" Technically speaking. To determine the extent of your mental health (or lack thereof), please take the following test.

It is a lovely summer's day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you just had a wonderfully fulfilling bowel movement. You know, the kind where you get everything out. You see your favorite professional athlete walking along a busy street. Do you:

A. Say and do nothing. Simply seeing him/her is enough.

Scream out his/her name and wave frantically until acknowledged.

Run over to him/her, give a vigorous handshake and/or hug, then request an autograph.

Follow him/her home, as silent and invisible as the Ninja, and watch him/her lovingly through the bedroom window.

All of the above. Also, break into his/her home so that you can sleep in their bed. Steal a few "mementos" (jerseys, trophies, championship rings, dead skin shavings for your cloning experiments, underwear, etc.). Set up a sophisticated surveillance system so you can watch them at all times, like in that Jim Carey movie The Truman Show. Build a small shrine -- hell, a big shrine -- to him/her in your home, so that you an administer regular benedictions.

If you answered A: You're calm and cool. Maybe a little too calm and cool. This is your favorite athlete, man!

If you answered B: You're a typical fan. Kind of a jackass, but not bad enough to warrant a restraining order.

If you answered C: You're starting to tread some very thin ice. If the athlete in question has a posse, you'll probably get pistol-whipped.

If you answerd D: Remember what I said about that restraining order? Forget it. Jesus break dancing Christ. You're one creepy dude.

If you answered E: Have you ever felt the jarring sting of a stun gun? If not, you should feel it right...about...NOW!

I would guess most of you fall somewhere between A and C. We do have one crazed Kobe fan who keeps trying to leave rude comments, and he falls smack dab in the middle of E. But hey, even we'll admit that Kobe's an okay player. He can score, has a knack for giving himself sinister nicknames, and was once a wanted criminal. He's sort of like the Darth Vadar of the NBA. Which is kind of cool. I guess.

But why in the name of Lincoln's Eyebrow would someone
be completely obsessed with Stephon Marbury? If Kobe is Darth Vadar, then Stephon is that little rat thing that lived in Jabba the Hut's fat folds. And this guy...he isn't just fanatical. He's a hysterical psychopath. Do you think I'm kidding? Overreacting, maybe? Let me put it this way. Have you ever watched a movie about a seriel killer, and when the cops finally find the killer's secret lair, there's a giant picture collage of the killer's next vicitm (usually the lead detective's wife or girlfriend)? Well, check this out:

Stephon collage
Wow. I mean, just...wow.

And it's not just the collage. This dude has every Marbury product you could possibly imagine. And not just the jerseys, posters, and action figures. He's got paintings, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, signed basketballs, cards, and pictures. He's got every Marbury game on tape, and special TV to watch them with. The room where he keeps his this stuff has orange and blue carpeting, to match the Knicks' colors. And, the cherry on this apeshit sundea is a hand-quilted blanket with Stephon's image...on his bed.

Stephon bed
To be able to sleep with Stephon draped over me. A dream come true.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy this guy found something he can believe in. Being a fan is fun. But turning your home into The Temple of Stephon is frightening. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish sewing this Larry Bird mask I'm making out of real human skin.
It's true. It's official. The big galoot is calling it quits. Thanks to the mysterious Anonymous for the heads up. More on this sad and historic event tomorrow.

Tag - listens
That sound you hear...is our hearts breaking.
scrub game (skrub gam) noun. A game in which a team's bench players (the "scrubs") either start or play most of the game. This is typically done near the end of the season when the team's playoff seeding has been determined and the coach decides to rest the starters.

Usage example: The Bucks trounced the Pistons last night, but I wouldn't set too much stock in it. It was a scrub game.

Word Trivia: A scrub game may be meaningless to the championship contenders, but it's a godsend to the teams scrambling to improve their seeding or just make the playoffs. The Bulls and Lakers both clinched playoff berths on Sunday because key players on the opposing teams were either working a half day (Shaq and Dwayne Wade) or taking a full day off (Steve Nash and Raja Bell). Detroit gave Milwaukee a gift last night, helping the Bucks take the pole position in a tight 3-way tie for the 6th playoff spot in the East. Chances are, there'll be a few more scrub games in the next few days.

scrub game
When the Pistons are playing both Alex Acker and Kelvin Cato
(getting dunked on above), chances are it's a scrub game.
In an extraordinary show of team spirit and unity, Zach Randolph failed to show up for the Trailblazer's yearly team photo shoot.
"Randolph missed the team photo, saying that he thought it was on a different day. Nevermind that he was told Saturday morning while getting treatment that the photo was a few hours later at the Rose Garden. The Blazers had someone "stand-in" for Randolph and will airbrush him into the photo. They had to do the same thing last year for General Manager John Nash, who was reportedly out of town, on assignment, which is far more excuseable."
We all knew Zach was another victim of the Contract Year Phenomenon, but this is still pretty sad. I tried that whole "I thought it was another day" excuse back when my sister got married, and it didn't go over very well. On the up side, I totally rocked my friends in a game of Super Street Fighter, so everything more or less turned out okay. Anyway...if they are going to "airbrush" Zach into the photo, they should get the guy who did "The Cassells Family Portrait" to do it.

Cassell family
The scary thing is, I'm not even sure this isn't the real thing...
It's official. Prairie View A&M is THE worst team in college basketball.

In a hotly contested finals matchup,
the A&M Panthers squeaked past the Morgan State Bears 54-56, effectively losing every matchup in the tournament and claiming the distinction of 2006 March Misery champions and, of course, the most inept team in Division I men's basketball. Morgan State came on strong, with 62% free throw shooting and even taking a 31-42 pounding on the boards, but couldn't help but lose to a Panthers squad that couldn't even muster a single player in double figures.

On the heels of the never-ending debate over dominant black athletes, I'd like to point out the irony of the two worst teams in college hoops being historically black colleges. "That's impossible!" says amateur genealogist Jimmy the Greek. But based on the "athleticism" we've seen from these teams, this matchup was probably the basketball equivalent of Al Roker and Uncle Phil blind-folded in a steel cage match.

And,to top it off, Prairie View is on the NCAA's shit list to lose scholarships due to poor academics. Now, I'm not a recruiting scientist or anything, but bringing in players that can't pass the rock or the SATs seems to be a recipe for disaster on many, many levels.

Prairie View fittingly caps off a 5-24 season (that included an unprecedented 72-point loss to Texas, a game described by some as "anal rape-ketball") by going 0-4 and shooting 34% against four teams that had a combined record of 20-98. It's a sad statement when the Panther's women's coach could easily beat these guys in 21. Or Horse. Or Hot-Shot Basketball. Or Lakers vs. Celtics.
Golden State Warrior center Adonal Foyle is currently averaging 4.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.65 blocks per game. These numbers aren't good enough to make the All-Star Team, or even the All-Sort-Of-Okay Team, but that hasn't kept Adonal from starring in his very own web site.

The site has a little bit of everything you never wanted to know about Adonal Foyle. According to the
Early Years section of his Bio, he grew up on Canouan -- a tiny island measuring just 3.5 miles by 1.25 miles -- and lived with "his grandmother and his donkey." His...donkey? Man, you know you lived a lonely childhood when you talk about growing up with a donkey in your own biography. Of course, I grew up in Kokomo, Indiana, and my only friend was a stalk of corn I dressed in my sister's clothes and named "Mr. Montegomery Pinchback," so who am I to talk?

Despite having not really accomplished much in the NBA, Adonal's site still lists his career stats and even has an
Awards section. For instance, did you know that Adonal was the Official Spokesman for the Warriors "Tall Tales" Reading Program? Or that he was a Social Change Agent for the Greenlining Institute? I think you'll agree that Adonal uses the term "award" very, very loosley.

I will say this for Adonal, though: he seems much smarter than your typical professional athlete. The
Forum section contains a series of essays on such wide-ranging topics as the Sri Lankan Tsunami Crisis and the 2004 Presidential Campaign. In the Ask Foyle section, he gives thoughtful answers such questions as what he thinks of the musical CATS:
"It is weird. But it tells a larger story about inherent conflicts that exist in any society. Even cats can have the same hang ups that we have. And of course, the lives of the cats represent different facets of our society played out to its ultimate conclusion -- treat people as you would like to be treated and do not judge people or cats by how ugly their skin color and clothes might look. I can go on but I think you will get the picture. "
Whoa. And I honestly thought it was just a bunch of people dressed as cats singing stupid songs. Thanks for clearing that up for me, Adonal! He also provides the perfect formula for shot blocking:
"Timing plus the principle of verticality plus spacing between you and the offensive player plus refs holding their whistle plus not being afraid to get dunked on plus playing good position and understanding that a block is a last resort = Good shot blocker"
Gosh, when you put it that way, it sounds so easy. And to think that Einstein wasted his time on a theory about how everyone in Kentucky is related. Or whatever.

Apparently, Adonal is also a poet of some repute. His
Poetry Corner is filled with little ditties about life on that island I mentioned five or six paragraphs ago. Just based on his poems, I don't think I ever want to go there though. There's all this talk about fighting, wars, making computer chips out of sweet potatoes, and getting whipped. Adonal uses weird terms like "bucolic paradise" and even makes statements like, "I miss the cocks that shout out loud." I don't know about you, but Coudkfjslkjfdl or whatever sounds like a pretty freaky place.

Speaking of freaky, Adonal's
A-List lists "Freakonomics" as one of his top 10 favorite books, along with "Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life." And his top 10 favorite movies include "Brokeback Mountain" and "Tyler Perry Madea's Family Reunion." I'm not trying to take a shot at Adonal's masculinity or anything, but all this stuff about shouting cocks and gay cowboys is getting pretty fruity.

Fortunately, Adonal is quick to distract you with some fun and games in his
Fun Zone. And what fun it is! You get to take a trivia quiz about Adonal and...and match up a bunch of pictures of Adonal...wait a minute. These games are kind of lame.

In the end, Adonal's site is kind of a waste of time. Which makes this post a triple waste of time: it was a waste when I visited the site, a waste when I wrote about it, and then a waste when you came here and read about it. I apologize. Let me try to make amends with this desktop wallpaper from Adonal to me to you.

Adonal wallpaper
Uh, thanks for the wallpaper, Adonal...
Pat Riley and Phil Jackson hate each other. They always have, always will. They hated each other when they were players, and they've hated each other while coaching. The fued has calmed down a bit since the Knicks-Bulls rivalry bit the dust, but the antipathy is still there. And if there was one thing on this earth I could always count on, it was that these two men would never, ever agree on anything.

But today it happened.

The NBA just announced a policy change that will allow teams to designate 13 playoff-eligible players and then deactivate one on a per-game basis. This differs from the regular season policy, which allows teams to have 15 players, three of which must be deactivated from game to game. Riley
doesn't understand why the playoff roster can't carry 15 players too.
"All year long we do 15 players, then they should do 15 in the playoffs. I don't understand the thinking at all behind it."
When I read this, I automatically expected Jackson to take the opposite stance. That's the way it works, right? Wrong. The Zing Master actually agreed with Riley.
"I don't see why they don't have the 15. I don't understand why you have 15 all season long and in the playoffs you have 13. That doesn't make any sense. If you're going to have a rule for the regular season, you might as well have it for the playoffs."
Unless I'm wrong -- and I'm never wrong -- these two polar opposites are in unified agreement over this issue. All I can possibly imagine is that they were asked the question at the exact same time, so neither of them knew what the other one had to say. I keep expecting the world to be radically alterned in some kind of Back To The Future time paradox. Or maybe some Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling. Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes. The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria!! Okay. I'm done.

Prehistoric basketball players. Who hate each other.
Back when Kobe scored 81 points and thereby ripped the still-beating heart out of the Raptors, I noted that several other players had also achieved season or career highs against them (Andre Iguodala, for instance, had a career high 26 points against the Raptors back in November). I further promised to start tracking every such occurrence for the rest of the season. Of course I'm totally lazy, so that didn't come anywhere close to actually happening. Let's face it, you just can't make yourself follow the Raptors. It's medically impossible.

That said, I couldn't help but notice last night that Shaq responded to the Raptor's aggressive defense by
posting the second triple double of his career -- and his first in almost 13 years. And as if that wasn't enough of a kick in the crotch, Antione Walker came out of a coma (he was shooting only 30 percent and averaging eight points per game in April) to score 32 points on 13-for-26 shooting, to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. I know John Hollinger thinks that this year's Seattle team is the worst defensive unit ever but this Toronto team is nipping at their heels. And they certainly seem to surrender more amazing, game-changing performances than the Sonics.

Walker thanks God
Walker thanks God for sending the Raptors to end his slump.

It may be meaningful to mention that Lebron James scored his career high of 56 points against the Raptors on March 20, 2005. Sure, that was last season, technically speaking. But it was the same woeful Raptor team, almost to the man. Unless you count Jalen Rose, and, of course, you don't.
butcher shop (booch'-uhr shahp) noun. The area directly under and around the basket, where flying elbows, hard fouls, and battles for rebounds result in a variety of (often bloody) facial injuries.

Usage example:
Karl Malone may have been called "The Mailman," but he spent a lot of time tenderizing opposing players' faces in the butcher shop.

Word History: From the mid-1950s and into early 1960s, the NBA enjoyed a major scoring explosion. This was due both to the advent of the
shot clock and the arrival of bigger, faster, more talented basketball players such as Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West. However, NBA fans and analysts -- many of whom were also hockey fans -- felt that the excessive scoring and lack of defense were ruining the game. To offset this "new offense," which featured a myriad of low post moves and drives through the lane, NBA coaches began instructing players to swing their arms and elbows with reckless abandon. Or, as Red Auerbach put it, "Give guys a good pop in the face." The fans seemed to really enjoy the violence, especially when it was perpetrated against the road team. In fact, it was widely believed that many fans started attending games specifically to watch such mayhem. Thus, influenced by the crowd, referees turned a blind eye to the wanton facial destruction going on all around them.

Since this brutality often resulted in an increase in ticket sales, the cash-strapped owners quietly endorsed it. And, since it also provided a "competitive advantage," the coaches more than endorsed it, they orchestrated it. Each team employed one or two "enforcers," the likes of which included "Jungle Jim" Loscutoff, Clyde Lovellette, and Willie Naulls. In fact, Lovellette once elbowed Chamberlain so hard in the chin, that Wilt lost four teeth, developed blood poisoning from the ensuing infection, ended up in the hospital, and eventually required surgery. Wilt got so tired of the constant beatings, he threatened to retired three different times, and the same analysts who once complained about the overwhelming offenses were now complaining about the now dangerous defenses, and therefore began to refer to the area under the basket -- where most of the damage was being done -- as the butcher shop.

This season, a whole series of players have been bloodied or otherwise injured in trips through the butcher shop. Kobe Bryant and Zydrunas Ilgauskas both required stitches, Kirk Hinrich got knocked out, and Luol Deng lost a tooth. So while things may not be as bad as the old days, the butcher shop is still open for business.

the butcher shop
Excuse me, but was that your face I just exploded?
The Dallas Mavericks continued their playoff seeding push last night, beating the Los Angeles Clippers by a bizarre score of 75-73. When I first saw that score, I just assumed that a bomb threat must have emptied the Staples Center midway through the third quarter. But no, that was the actual final score, which is about what you'd expect when one team "outshoots" the other team 37.3 percent to 35.2.

N'DongFun Fact: The Clippers have a player on their roster named Boniface N'Dong. That's a fun name to say. His official NBA profile has no information whatsoever, but, according to Wikipedia, he's from Dakar, Senegal. I know I shouldn't laugh. I'm sure my name looks strange to people from Dakar. But still...N'Dong. Heh.

The real story of the game, though, was the duel between Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman. You read that correctly: Nowitzki and Kaman. Believe it or not Kaman (22 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist) was winning the duel through the first 47 minutes and 59.93 seconds. That was when Dirk (20 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists) overcame a dreadful 1-for-10 second-half shooting slump to hit a jumper, sealing the deal on the Mav's current 5-game winning streak. And, fittingly, he hit the shot over Kaman.

Dirk vs Kaman
Nowitzki scores on Kaman, while Mobley admires
the lemon-fresh scent emanating from Dirk's pits.

As recently as a two weeks ago, the Mavs were mired in a 3-game losing streak, capped off by a terrible 108-99 loss to the Orlando Magic. As has often been the case over the last few years, the words "soft" and "also rans" started creeping into any and all conversations about the Mavericks. But then they did something they haven't done in the past: the Mavs responded. Their 5-game streak includes impressive wins over the Nuggets, Kings, Spurs, Hornets, and now the Clippers. Not bad.

One week left to overcome the Spurs, thus jumping from the fourth seed to the first. Of course, they'll need to run the table and hope the Spurs drop one. Tick, tick, tick...
According to some sporting good manufacturers, you might be a few strategic purchases away from becoming the best basketball player in the world. There are countless bizarre products and skills videos out there, each and every one of which can unleashify your hidden athletic potentiality, transforming you from a benchwarming loser into a leaping, bounding, ball-slamming mutant. For just $49.99, plus shipping and handling.

Need to jump higher? Get some
plyometric shoes! Want to shoot with greater accuracy? Try the arm "bandit" shooting machine! Or if you just want to learn how to play the game from the ground up, you can buy Magic Johnson's Fundamentals of Basketball DVD set! Use all three, and I personally guarantee you'll be Wilt Chamberlain in less than six weeks, or your money back.

Well, prepare to have the socks blown right off your feet, because the latest innovation in basketball training technology is here...and it's the coolest thing you'll ever see (and I used to own
Deadly Towers, so I know what "cool" is). It's called Inflatable Defender:

Kids and Balloon Ben
Wow. It's just like playing against the...real...thing.

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's a 7-foot, inflatable Ben Wallace. According to the Inflatable Defender web site:

"Play hoops on your home court with Ben Wallace. Designed for indoor or outdoor play, the life-size Ben Wallace inflatable builds your basketball skills. You'll improve your shooting arc by practicing shots over Big Ben's outstretched arms. Dribble around Ben, come off his screens for open shots or take it right to the basket over the big man. You'll learn what many of Ben Wallace's opponents already know; you must: Fear the Fro!"
And just to emphasize that last point, inflatable Ben is actually wearing a headband that reads "Fear the Fro." You know, just in case you weren't already terrified of it. Which, of course, you were. Anyway, the Inflatable Defender is a training tool that you basically stand near the basket and try to shoot over. Of course, in the old days people used to practice shooting over living, breathing human beings. So this product is basically for lonely children who are hated and shunned by their peers, but still want to learn how to play basketball.

You might think that the applications of an inflatable man in a basketball training environment would be limited, and you'd be right. But the Inflatable Defender people work their asses off trying to prove to you that this thing is the best invention since
Gatorade. They describe about 47 different ways you can shoot over and dribble around it, even going to far as to suggest asking someone to hold the Inflatable Defender from behind and move it around to simulate the movements of an actual defender. Which naturally begs the point: if you can find someone to play puppetmaster for your Inflatable Defender, why not ask that person to just play basketball with you? I don't know. Maybe this is for people so ugly and sweaty, that even their friends and family don't want to see or touch them.

The highlight of the site is a promotional video that shows people using the Inflatable Defender. My favorite scene is the one where the emcee says, "Practice your drives to the basket" while some kid runs awkwardly over the Inflatable Defender and then misses the layup. Badly. The video goes a little crazy when it suggests getting together with your friends, all of whom will naturally have an Inflatable Defender, to have a game of your team versus five Inflatable Defenders. Of course, if you've ever played ball at your gym, you'll notice that these stationary balloon guys actually play better defense than a typical pickup player.

Ben and Balloon Ben
"Egads! It's my evil, inflatable twin brother!!"

Ultimately, I'm not sure the Inflatable Defender is going to do much to change the way people learn to play basketball. But it will certainly change the way we look at Ben Wallace and his army of inflatable clones...coming soon to a city full of laser-blasted corpses near you!

Edit: We've been so busy reading our hate mail that we haven't had a chance to wander through the blogosphere lately. If we had, we might have known that the Detroit Bad Boys have been talking about the Inflatable Defender for days. Damn.
Wilsonburger (wil'-suhn-bur'-guhr) noun. A blocked shot that is forced back into the face of the offensive player, thus forcing him to "eat" it.

Usage example: Tim Duncan fed the Grizzlies a steady diet of Wilsonburgers last night.

Word History: When
Bill Russell entered the NBA in the late 1950s, he revolutionized the way defense was played. In particular, he turned the blocked shot into an art form. And while Russell certainly didn't invent the blocked shot, he dramatically changed the way it was used -- both to intimidate the opposition and to initiate a fast break. So proficient was Russell at sending back an opponent's shots, his Celtic teammates began referring to his blocks as "Wilsonburgers" (the Wilson brand basketball was the official basketball of the NBA at that time). Now that Spalding makes the official NBA game ball, blocked shots should be referred to as "Spaldingburgers." You can still use "Wilsonburger" when discussing college hoops (the NCAA still uses Wilson brand balls), and many gyms and pickup leagues use Wilson, so the term may apply there as well.

Bill Russell serves up another Wilsonburger,
keeping the hot side hot and the cool side cool.
Go here to watch a totally sweet compilation of some of the best NBA fights ever. Watch Kevin McHale clothesline Kurt Rambis! See Larry Bird hipcheck Michael Cooper into the stands! Watch Michael Jordan try to claw Reggie Miller's eyes out! See Marcus Camby headbutt his own coach! It's all there. And yes, you'll even get to see Rick Fox bitch slap Doug Christie...


...and, of course, Christie's lame response. I have a feeling Jackie Christie hits harder.


Warning: Professional basketball players on a closed court. Do not try at home.
Hackapalooza (hak'-uh-puh-loo'-zuh) noun. Any basketball game marked by excessively physical play that leads to a large number of fouls, an unusually low score, and an almost complete lack of watchability.

Usage example: Did you see that Spurs-Pistons game the other night? It was a total Hackapalooza.

Word Trivia: The late 1990s was truly the Golden Age of Hackapalooza, when hand-checking was elevated to an art form and "mugging" your opponent took on a very literal meaning. This fact was best exemplified by the
Knicks-Heat Rivalry of that era. Getting through those games was like watching a pack of wild dogs just chew on each other for two or three hours. Employing a down-tempo, half-court thug-fest accentuated by countless technical and flagrant fouls, those games often featured scores in the 60s and 70s. In fact, in their 24 playoff meetings from 1997 to 2000, only the Heat ever scored as many as a hundred points (101 to be exact), and it only happened once...at the tail-end of a 7th game blowout. Sure, their offenses were bad to begin with, but, as Kevin McHale once observed, "It's hard [to score] when you've got an elbow in your back and a knee up your ass."

A typical scene from the old Knicks-Heat rivalry.

The absolute peak of this rivalry occurred during Game 4 of their 1998 First Round Series, when an all-out brawl erupted after former teammates Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning started swinging at each other. The lasting image of that fight is a pitiful Jeff Van Ghouly holding onto Mourning's leg for dear life, combover flapping wildly around, getting dragged across the floor like a rabid Chihuahua. Said Van Gundy afterwards, "Well, to tell you the truth, I am embarrassed for both organizations and the NBA." Well said, Jeff. But honestly, you should have been more embarrassed about the Hackapaloozas you presided over for five years.

Van Gundy leg
Van Gundy was embarrassed. But, all things
considered, he probably wasn't embarrassed enough.
The fact that Sacramento beat the Spurs last night was big news in and of itself. But leave it to Ron Artest to add his own special brand of blundering numbskullery to the proceedings. In one of the most spectacular displays of hypocrisy I've ever seen -- well, read, anyway -- Artest had the audacity to complain about how Bruce Bowen plays defense.

"Bruce Bowen was smacking me the whole game. I couldn't believe it. He was just smacking me. I was like, that's not even legal. That's why I'm the Defensive Player of the Year. That's why. Because I play good defense. No gimmicks."
No gimmicks, eh? That's pretty funny coming from the guy who once pulled down Paul Pierce's shorts during a freaking game. And yes, he did to distract Pierce during a critical possession.

Artest shorts new
Yeah, the picture sucks. Follow the link to watch the de-pantsing on video.

But even if we ignore the shorts-pulling incident, Artest is still guilty of constant bumping, grinding, clutching, grabbing, and general all-around thuggery. Don't get me wrong. I'm not defending Bowen so much as I'm calling Artest a big, fat, poopy-headed liar.

This is all just part of Artest's "Shut Up and Give Me the Defensive Player of the Year Award"
campaign. Ah, nothing like going for individual honors at the expense of other people and your own dignity. I particularly enjoyed Artest's contention that "guys are having 40 (point games), and they play against me and don't get nothing." I'll ignore the double negative, but I will point out that, after guaranteeing that Kobe wouldn't get his season average against Artest in a recent Kings/Lakers game, Bryant netted 36, which, at the time, was a point above his average.

So shut the hell up, Ron. By the way: I hate you. And my hatred for you has everything nothing to do with how you destroyed the Pacers' last two seasons. Really.
Shaqnopsis (shak-nahp'-sis) noun. A psychological condition that temporarily renders a basketball player incapable of hitting a freethrow.

Usage example: Lebron James shot 8-for-19 from the line in a game earlier this season. He must have had a case of Shaqnopsis.

Word Trivia: Shaquille O'Neal is notoriously bad at the foul line, and his career freethrow percentage (52.9) is among the worst of all time (based on a minimum of 1,000 attempts). However, there is a significant amount of anecdotal evidence that Shaq is actually an excellent freethrow shooter in practice. According to his former freethrow coaches -- and there have been many -- his problem is only partially physical (his hands are so enormous, that, for him, holding a basketball is like a normal person gripping a baseball). The main problem, they say, is mental. In his book The Last Season, Phil Jackson even said that Shaq was terrified of getting fouled late in the game, for fear of missing critical freethrows and therefore costing his team the game. This of course led Don Nelson to invent the infamous
Hack-a-Shaq strategy, wherein Shaq was intentionally fouled on every offensive possession on the assumption that he would miss most of his foul shots.

Shaqnopsis as it's about to strike...

Important Update: I just got an e-mail from Statbuster. We've been using the term "Shaqnopsis" in our little group for so long that I'd forgotten where it came from. This is what he had to say:
"I think it's worth mentioning that the word started because of Shaq's "Shaqnosis" shoes from Reebok, which looked like a cross between a zebra and the movie poster from Vertigo. The only known cure for Shaqnosis is, of course, Taco Neck Syndrome."
So there you have it. Sadly, the Shaqnosis shoes (pictured below) have long since been discontinued. Although the bizarre design probably clears up the misconception that Shaq's defenders used to flop all the time. They were obviously befuddled by those crazy zebra stripes. I guess that, for the sake of accuracy, I should omit the "p". But honestly, "Shaqnopsis" sounds funnier to me. The "p" stays.

Shaq shoes
Suddenly feel...so...sleepy...
Gatorade splashThanks to sites like Attu Sees All, Fazed, Linkapalooza, Stumble Upon, and Unique Daily, we've had over 10,000 hits on our Gatorade Conspiracy post. Consequently, we've also gotten a lot of comments and e-mail responses. Some of you laughed, some of you cried, and some of you just made rude statements about the quality and/or gender of the people we have sex with. Thank you, everyone. We plan to send each and every one of you a nice fruit basket and some Strawberry Shortcake stickers.

Having worked for my
high school and college newspapers, I know a little something about journalistic standards, and so all the "Fuck you" and "You're gay" e-mails made me realize something: I presented only one side of the story. It was my own biased side, and, honestly, I was okay with that. But, as any other good journalist would do, I decided to dig a little deeper in order to present the Counterpoint to my Point.

The first step was obvious: contact Gatorade Customer Service. I sent them an e-mail that, in effect, said "Your bottle looks like a giant penis. Please change it." This was Gatorade's response:

"We are glad to hear that you truly enjoy Gatorade and that nothing rehydrates you better. But we are disappointed that you found our packaging unsatisfactory. When developing product packages, numerous designs are considered. There are many factors involved in producing containers which function easily and best protect the product. The final selection is made on the basis of convenience, product safety and cost. Your comments and point of view have been shared with management. They are appreciated and will be considered in reviewing packaging in the future."
Gatorade guyI'm still trying to figure out whether they actually read my e-mail or just sent back some kind of form letter. I think all that "We're glad Gatorade rehydrates you" stuff was their way of screwing with me. And listen up, Gatorade people, I don't find your packaging unsatisfactory. I find it looks like a giant, fruit-flavored schlong. Maybe if you weren't so busy blowing smoke up my ass, you could comment on that. And I sincerely doubt my viewpoint will be considered the next time Gatorade designs a bottle. Of course, I'll take that back if they ever release a drink dispenser shaped like Gwen Stefani's luscious breasts.

After Gatorade gave me the brush off, I wasn't sure what else I could do. Then I discovered that
Darren Rovell, ESPN.com's sports business reporter, runs a Gatorade blog. The blog is advertised as "An Unauthorized Look At One Of America's Most Dominant Brands." Darren even wrote an entire book about Gatorade. Personally, I think Darren and his Gatorade need to go get a room or something. But if anyone would know whether Gatorade is trying to force giant penises into the unsuspecting mouths of the sports drink drinking public, it would be him.

But what's this?! Before I could even contact Rovell, he made "first contact" by mentioning our post on his blog! Here was what he had to say:

"Over the past couple weeks, I've received two letters asking me if I thought that Gatorade's bottles were purposely phallic. I thought this was ridiculous. Gatorade's bottles are built the way they are because of the fact that the plastic has to hold up under extremely high heat without being permanently warped. The E.D.G.E. ergonomic bottle is made so that it can be optimally gripped. Not to mention the fact that, considering the majority of Gatorade's bottles are purchased by men and boys, it isn't too beneficial to intentionally shape your product like a piece of male anatomy. I'm not going to go into the graphic details that this site Basketbawful goes into, but I'll link it up here since I only expect this will spread around the Web more and, as with every Gatorade story, I like it to have some presence here."
I admit to getting a little tingly about making it on the personal Web site of a guy who works for ESPN.com. Of course, that thrill was diminished by the fact that he called my theory "ridiculous." I don't really buy into his explanations, either. The bottle is shaped like a cock because of the heating process it's made with? Whaaaa?! So he's basically saying that it's physically impossible for Gatorade bottles not to look like a penis. I'm not a bottle-making scientist, or even what you would call "of average intelligence," but I'm pretty sure physics doesn't work that way. If that were the case, wouldn't all plastic bottles have contoured, penis-shaped tops?

His other two anti-conspiracy explanations actually play right into my hands. He contends that 1. Gatorade bottles are designed for maximum grippability, and 2. the primary target audience of Gatorade consists of men and boys (who, obviously, don't want to suck sports drink out of a simulated wang). But think about it. What single object do all men and boys spend most of their time gripping? That's right. The penis. Anybody who's gone through puberty can tell you that. So it stands to reason that, the phallic shape is the perfect design for optimum gripping. And it's already familiar, so guys aren't going to go around spilling their Gatorade.

I'm sorry Gatorade and Darren. I still think there's something fishy in the state of Denmark. After all, television and movies have proven that you can never trust rich mega-corporations. And anybody who keeps a special diary about his favorite sports drink is certifiably (and perhaps dangerously) insane. But that's okay. I don't really want to know the truth. It's funnier that way.

Coming Soon: Responses to the comments and e-mails about The Gatorade Conspiracy.
Northern Colorado def. Prairie View A&M 61-53: The NCU Bears are currently playing in Division 1 as an Independent, and will officially be D1 in the 2008 season. NCU still have plenty of holdover juniors and seniors from the old days...which means Prairie View A&M was easily defeated by, what is essentially, a Division II school. NCU's Sean Taibi led all scorers with 15, NCU outrebounded Prairie View 46-28. I wonder if NCU also had to change their name from the "Sugar Bears" in the 80s to hide the fact that kids were eating their way towards juvenile diabetes? Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Watching the Bears begin the season with a 19-game losing streak (including a 35-point potatoing by perennial doormat Northwestern) is unhealthy enough already. Too many outings like that and the Bears may get banished back to DII, to rekindle their rivalries with ass-backwards schools like Bob Jones University. Awful Fact: NCU's Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos has the longest name in college basketball, and the 2nd longest in professional sports, right behind WWE's "The Masked Antidisestablishmentarian".

Stony Brook def. Morgan State 58-53: The Stony Brook Seawolves are the '91 Denver Nuggets of college basketball. (Think '06 Sonics, but worse.) In a somewhat redeeming follow-up to a America East tourney exit where they allowed Maryland BC to shoot 81% for an entire half, the Seawolves had 3 players in double figures and held Morgan State to 35% shooting. Despite being ranked one of the top schools academically by numerous publications, Stony Brook also ranked second worst in the country in a "quality of life" survey by the Princeton Review! Could it be because of the Seawolves 14% win percentage? Or is it because goddamn lacrosse gets top billing among their athletic programs? Lacrosse?!? Or is it because Joy Behar is their most recognizable alum? (FYI she's that sanctimonious, decrepit bitch from The View. Wait, that doesn't narrow things down at all.) Or is it because their ceilings drip liquid nitrogen? Students and alumni agree: Stony Brook sucks in every conceivable fashion.

Stony Brook spirit is in the toilet. Which, sadly,
looks very much like the water in the dorm rooms.

It's set: The Prairie View A&M against Morgan State in the finals. May the worst team lose.

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Now that the other March gibberish is over with (and it's April) we can finally get down to business...

View other results (tags: NCAA, Final Four, tournament, college basketball, worst team, March Misery)