Monday, November 29, 2010

The Monday Roast: Automated Messages

1.  Anything that can be programmed into an automated message can be written on a website.

2.  I shouldn't have to enter the last four digits of my social; say my address; and enter the name of my favorite pet; my date of birth; and mother's maiden name before I'm given the privilege of talking to a human being.

3.  If you spend five minutes answering questions from a robot, you shouldn't be put on hold for fifteen minutes more before answering the same questions from a person.

4.  Must you really put an automated message in my way when your contact information is only discoverable by following an inconspicuous link, to an obscure web page, where your number can only be found in a drop down menu labeled "More Information"?

5.  I would rather talk to Nadir from Mumbai.

Boom, roasted.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My 2010-11 'Cats V-Card Has Been Taken

Finally!  I got to watch the 'Cats play.  After a mad search for Fox Sports Pacific last Sunday that turned up unsuccessful (which is ludicrous in San Francisco in 2010 with Direct TV everywhere) I listened to the Idaho State game online via the Idaho State free radio broadcast.

But I still hadn't seen these Wildcats.

I hadn't yet seen if Derrick indeed moved his game to 17 feet and Jamelle became a leader and if Momo trimmed weight and his score-first mentality.  It was not yet clear to me if Kevin could get off the floor more explosively and if Solo was indeed the best player on the floor through one month of practices.  I didn't know if Jesse and Jordin and Daniel could play.  I know Brendon can shoot, but does he know?  I know Kyle can score, but can he regularly and at his own will?  Per usual, I am clueless as to what to expect from K-real the Deal.

But, courtesy of Pete's Tavern in San Francisco, I lost this season's V-card.  Pete took my virginity.  Ew.  While I didn't have anyone to directly analyze with (text messaging would suffice), I got to watch these 'Cats play.

And what did I see? 

Well, I saw that Derrick Williams is indeed a scorer.  That dude can put the ball in the hoop and it is not easy to stop him.  I was ecstatic to see Jamelle, late in the second half, catch an outlet pass on the wing, take a power step-and-drive toward the basket, and throw down with absolute ease in transition.  It was a move we've been waiting three years to see from Mr. Horne.  I hope there's more to come.

Momo is still a question mark and will continue to be.  As is much of the guard play.  Kyelcouldn't hit, Mayes looks raw, Lavender doesn't quite have the handles to be great, and Daniel has been non-existent.  But Momo and Kyle  made plays, combining for 12 assists and the 'Cats were able to score, score, score in the paint.  I liked that.  And on the theme of being what you are, the guards didn't do more than they could.  A very, very encouraging sign.

I think there's work to be done with perimeter and transition defense.  That NMSU (sounds ridiculous) guard had his way with whomever guarded him leading to open jumpers and penetration.  But I was surprised, not yet impressed, with the ability to understand defensive rotations.  It's much improved from last year.

K-real the Deal took a charge on a defensive rotation.  Repeat: K-real the Deal took a charge on a defensive rotation.  If you saw it, you wouldn't be impressed.  It sounds so much better in writing.

There's learning to be done.  The offense still doesn't flow like a well oiled machine but here and there it jumps into gear and it looks really good.  And there's a bench.  It's like a backup transmission. 

As I said, this team will be what it will be.  Through two showings, this team just might be pretty good. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cover Your Ears 'Cause It's Getting Just a Little Too Loud

Can you hear that noise?  Can you hear it building?  It's coming.

It's the noise of expectation.  It's an inescapable, incessant, and inclusive sound swallowing all who hear it, chomping them up and spitting them out as ESPN fodder.  It's an outside-to-in, directed sound that suffocates its supposed-to-be un-captivated audience and tells them everything they aren't.

This jumbled mess of talk-show, message board, twitter, facebook, blog, print, and television clutter is nothing more than a massive deterrent to the basics of hard work and execution.

Who cares if the talking heads who's athletic careers consisted of setting screens and waving towels pick you to finish first, second, or last?  They aren't blocking out, shuffling their feet, or finding the open man.  They don't play the games.

Traditionally the noise in Tucson has been deafening and that's the way we've liked it.  Rocky times in the desert changed that but times are changing.  Again.  The drone is building.  The drone of "this team can", "this team should", "this team will" is getting louder.

It's the same drone the football team heard after they beat Iowa-the-mighty; consequently crowning themselves Kings of the West, defenders of the Pacific, America's hot team.  Interview this, prognosticate that, face-time, face-time, face-time.  The noise was loud but the Beavers didn't bother to listen or buy in.  They rolled in and out of town with the most resounding of all noises: a win.  And just like that, the noise went away.

You see, the noise, it comes and it goes; after all, it's just noise.  Contrived, speculating, reaching noise.  Cover your ears and it's gone.  Cover your ears and you're left in silence with but one thing: you.  And just you can be a difficult thing to face.  Just you has to run, jump, hustle.  Just you can't finish second because everyone said so.

So as the noise level rises, Sean Miller will run his drills, watch his film, and implement his discipline.  Coach Miller will cover his ears because he understands that the noise has never done a damn thing for a 19-year-old kid and that a 19-year-old kid has done everything for the noise.

The noise may be building around his young program but we can be certain of only one thing: Sean Miller is 17-15 as the Head Basketball Coach at the University of Arizona.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

So with their ears covered and left alone, these 'Cats will quickly come to realize that in silence, you are what you are.  They'll find out if they can or they can't.  Will or won't.  They'll win.  Or they'll lose.

This Arizona Basketball team will be what it will be and I can't wait to watch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Monday Roast: NCAA

  1. You could only be shadier if you were elected to office (albeit John Edwards is nuts).
  2. The most amateur thing you've got going is your investigation process.
  3. I'd be pissed if Cam Newton's dad made more money than me, too.  Wait, he does
  4. No stone unturned. Muahahaha!!!!!.
  5. Athletic Scholarship: $40,000.  Director of Fiesta Bowl Salary: $600k.
Boom, Roasted.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Showed Up At Stanford. No one else did.

This is probably a HUGE book
What happens on farms?  I'll tell you what happens on farms:

Eggs are laid, slaughterings occur, and smokings proceed; hell, I'm sure there are clocks cleaned and children spanked.  All of which happened Saturday night down at "The Farm," down at Stanford, where the better coached, more disciplined and physical Stanford Cardinal slaughtered, smoked, cleaned, and spanked the 'Cats.  Conversely, the 'Cats laid an egg.

I managed to observe this despite my intoxication levels and in spite of the underwhelming Stanford crowd.  I know the Cardinal fans didn't miss the memo on the smartphones they developed that their Cardinal were 7-1 and playing a top-15 opponent on national TV.  Damned wannabe Ivy League.  At least Arizona picked a make-believe creature for a mascot not a ripped off color and a tree who's M.O. is to get itself smacked..

Anyhow, if you're ever looking to go into "enemy territory" wearing the opposition's colors, but maybe you're just a wee bit timid to do it, go to Stanford.  The average tailgater is just under one-million years old and the average smile is just over one-billion kilowatts.  They're so damn nice.  I swear to god my cubicle is louder than a Stanford tailgate.  SHHH, you might be too loud reading this.

Let me ask you: at how many other schools would it take 30 MINUTES TO FIND LIQUOR?  That's right, once off Caltrain (which we could drink on), Hayley and I searched for a half-hour before finding an accommodating CVS (30-rack and a 12-rack, BL and Coors, respectively).

Booze in hand we met up with Timbo Fischer (my nickname for Tim) and merrily made our way through the tailgates.  We partied with the Arizona backup center's family and various other degrees of UA alum and enthusiasts.  Tailgating was highlighted by a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend invite to a 35-foot RV camper.  A-mazing.

We Shotgun Saturdayed before heading into the masacre and that is where my story ends.  Not one Stanford fan spoke a single iota of trash.

Damn Cardinal.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Monday Roast: Jerry Jones

1.  You've had so much BOTOX you look like an elderly mannequin.

2.  You dubbed the Cowboys "America's Team" and the biggest celebrity fan you've ever had is Jessica Simpson.

3.  If you thought SB 1070 was bad for retail sales, wait until you see what 1-15 will do.

4.  Jon Kitna wasn't even born the the only time a 1-6 team made the playoffs, and your team is 1-7.   

5.  Not even you could build a TV screen big enough to document your ego and bad football decisions.

Boom, roasted.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Wildcats Take Nerdville and Harbaugh Needs a Drink: I'll be there

Whatcha doin' Saturday?  Fun plans?  Exciting plans?  Big plans?

Because if it doesn't involve telling an underwhelming turnout of super nerds, trust fund babies, legacy admits, tech geeks, fans of an elitist coloure, goofy-ass-tree, this guy, and a team whose I-A opponents are a combined 24-32; that their football program is indeed a fluke; and stepping stone for their diarrhea-of-the-mouth leader--Jimmy Harbaugh--then I think my weekend has yours beat.

That's what I'll be doing.

I'll also remind them that they are the Ivy League's bastard reject and that it's called "The Farm" because it was indeed a farm and that the most famous athletic achievement is a band member getting tumbled by a Cal Bear and that Toby Gerhart is now receiving elicit texts from Brett Favre.

That's what I'll be doing.

It'd also be worth mentioning that Arizona leads 12-9 all-time and re-mentioning that the tree looks like the aptly-diagnosed-with-ADD love child of cookie monster and the lady who can pop her eyes out and that said love child didn't get his nap or his meds today. 

Look,  I don't hold that much animosity towards Stanford, probably really nice people, but let's get real: there's big stuff on the line, I'm heading into their "Farm," and I will be wearing my red shirt with a big fat "A" on it.  I'll have my visor on head and "Bear Down" on my lips (along with Bud Lite and an early bloody mary).

That's what I'll be doing.  Will you join me?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Tim McCarver's Words: Game Five

This World Series was clinched with a Giant performance, by a small man.  Tim Lincecum stands just five feet and eleven inches tall.  He weighs just one-hundred and seventy pounds.  But he casts the shadow of a giant with his changeup that Bruce Bochy calls a changeup, definitely not a splitter, but I definitely think it looks like a splitter and acts like a splitter but its a changeup.  Must be his hands.

And it was a giant victory for a small city.  Just seven miles by seven miles, San Francisco is a small city.  But today it is a Giant city.  The baseball Giants that is. 

And it was a giant victory for a group far from gigantic.  Misfits and outcasts they called themselves.  They can now call themselves the giant Giants of the giant trophy of baseball.  They've accomplished a big thing despite their little resume.

They overcame giant odds.  Cliff Lee had been a giant World Series pitcher, twice beating the New York Yankees last year and pitching dominantly throughout this playoffs.  If the the little team that could from San Francisco who is ironically called the Giants were indeed to win this World Series, they were going to have to do their best Jack and the Giant Bean Stock to slay the giant arm of Cliff and bat of Josh.  What an ironic analogy!  The team that had to slay the giant was called the Giants.

How fitting.

In Tim McCarver's Words: Game Four

No one could have predicted that a rookie named Madison from Lenoir, North Carolina would be pitching in a pivotal World Series game.  Of course, who was to know that this spring Buster Posey and Bengie Molina who were together, would be apart in the World Series.  But in a post season few could have predicted such scenarios seemed fitting for an unseasonably warm Halloween night.

The night began with two Georges; two former presidents; a father; and a son throwing out the first pitch.  Although that may seem like a lot of people, it really isn't because the former presidents were also the father and son and both were named George--President George H. Bush, and President George W. Bush.  So you see, it was actually just two men throwing out the first pitch in Arlington on this Halloween night.

The night ended in the Rangers being shutout for the second night in a row.  You might wonder why I mention that it was the second shut out in a row.  The reason I mention that is because there had not been consecutive shutouts in the World Series since 1966, when the Baltimore Orioles swept the Los Angeles Dodgers.  That may not seem significant to some, but in baseball years 1966 is a long time ago.

Clearly the Rangers are not hitting well this series, but the reason the Rangers aren't hitting is because the Giants are pitching.  You see, although the Rangers are only hitting .172 in the World Series, that also means the Giants' are only allowing opponents to hit .172 in the World Series as well.  Obviously that is not just a coincidence.

I think if you asked Ron Washington whether this was a must win game, which I have, he probably would say yes.  Unfortunately for Ron, and the Rangers, it was the Giants' Madison Bumgarner becoming the first rookie pitcher to record a win in the world series since the great Latin American pitcher named Fernando.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Monday Roast: 3D Movies

1.  A third dimension has as good a chance of fixing a script as it does getting a Ben Affleck movie out of Boston.

2.  Everyone on their way to see Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, and Justin Bieber in 3D would have seen it in 2D.

3.  If three dimensions brings white people to crappy movies, maybe Tyler Perry ought to give it a try.

4.  Ten foot Alien humanoids flying on dragons may need a third dimension, but 30-40 year old men launching themselves across the screen in porta-potties do not (or maybe they do).

5.  3D Porn: now parents can look forward to catching their son with his pants off and goofy looking glasses on.

Boom, roasted.

In Tim McCarver's Words: Game Three

If home is where the heart is, it's actually where the run is.  There were four homeRUNS hit in game three.  Arlington has always been a homerun hitter's park, but this is it's first World Series.  Things did not change, for baseball's biggest stage.

If Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis had a dog or family member named Todo, he would have to say, "Todo, we're not in Japan anymore."  That's because he's NOT in Japan anymore.  But just one year ago he was.  He now finds himself pitching in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants playing the role of Wicked Witch of the West, Lewis is just like Dorothy, leaving Japan.

And Saturday night's Dorothy did not get swept away in the tornado that is the World Series.  He threw the ball very, very well.  Colby slayed the Giants.

San Francisco starter, Jonathan Sanchez, pitched better than he did in his last outing - game 6 of the NLCS - but it appears his small hands are catching up to him.  You see, Sanchez has small hands and it makes it difficult for him to throw his slider effectively.  Hand size is imperative to breaking ball ability.  If we were taking the PSAT, that is the Pitching Sanchez Accuracy Test, one question could be

Hands : Breaking Balls :: Breasts : ___?_____

The answer, obviously, is Chicken Sandwiches.  Bigger hands, better breaking ball.  Bigger chicken breast, better chicken sandwich.

Also obvious: Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton have no regard for Sanchez's slider slingers.  If you've never heard the term "slider slingers" it's ok.  It's a baseball term people use to reference hand size and the subsequent ability to throw a breaking pitch.. 

But back at home, the Rangers showed they meant business, and that they too can win baseball games, as they proved 90 times during the regular season.  And three time against the Rays and four times against the Yankees.