The (former) king of couch basketball
YOU can say what you want about Super Sunday, and bowl season is heavenly, of course. But my favorite sports-television binge, by far, is the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament.
Unfortunately, this year I blew it. I was an actual productive member of society that day. I didn't bunker down in a single spot and watch basketball until my eyes popped out, like a normal person.
So for Final Four Saturday, I had no choice ...
Some leftover new-recipe chili, all ready to go? Check.
Explained to my wife the difference between "Super Chicken" (he will drink his super sauce and throw the bad guys for a loss) and "Chicken Man" (he's everywhere)? Check.
Stopped that stupid car horn, which had mysteriously gone off for no apparent reason while parked in the garage? Check. (I'm sure none of those wires was crucial to the actual operation of the car.)
Here we go.
» Now we see why they call it Cinderella. George Mason is too nervous, they're turning into pumpkins. They can't catch the ball. My man Jai Lewis -- I love to see athletic success from the Barry White body type -- has gone from Shaquille O'Neal to Patrice O'Neal.
» He's far skinnier, and has much more hair, and there's definitely a more advanced level of skill. But watching the way he plays, do you know who Florida's Joakim Noah reminds me of? The unorthodox, un-American style, the nonstop energy, blocking everything, playing like he's on a pogo stick? Yeah. When I watch Noah I think of Tony Akpan. That guy was going to be special. What could have been. Oh well, at least he'll get taken in the first round of the NFL Draft later this month.
» A new "Kong-sized" specialty pizza? Now this is marketing genius. I'm in. They got me for at least one of those.
» When did the college game adopt the NBA's "continuation" rule? I've seen several plays this tournament that should have been "on the floor" fouls, only to see the officials let the next six steps and ensuing basket count as an "and one."
(While reading the above paragraph aloud, I suggest making "quotation marks" in the air like Chris Farley's "Matt Foley.")
» Three words. Big. Buckin'. Chicken.
» OK, now George Mason is making a run. Thank goodness. Now we can again allow ourselves to dream the dream -- that in the coming months there will be a rash of kids named "George Mason."
» Did they just say that Jim Larranaga's son flew all the way from Italy -- with a six-week-old baby? I know George Mason in the Final Four is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but that is just insane. "They might not fly back," my wife said. Exactly. I can imagine Larranaga Jr.'s wife: "I don't care about the pro basketball career you have in Italy. We are NOT doing THAT again."
» Oh, the tears. What a run. What a run. Where's my mini towel to put on my head?
» Time to get up to avoid a state of advanced atrophy due to a period of extreme inactivity.
» You know, between the sun finally shining and, sadly, several people still digging out of mud or surveying their flood-damaged homes, I'm probably the only one watching these games. Here's betting the local ratings were in the tank.
» Kareem is here! I love Kareem. Of course, that's probably because he never elbowed me in the head, as he (allegedly) once did to my boss, Paul Arnett. A story like that's gotta be true!
» The Manning brothers are here! Maybe Kareem will elbow one of them in the head.
» OK, that's a joke. I am against violence, although the most entertaining part of the UCLA-LSU game was "Big Baby" doing a lunging takedown that made you wonder if the other guy was going to get up.
» Not much of a second game. At least the first one had that "Cinderella" aspect. Without that, it appears that I've just wasted several hours of my life. Except for ...
» The person who put "Jon Lovitz" and "Subway commercial" in the same sentence is one of the great geniuses of our time. We should have this guy looking for the terrorists.
» We have our championship game. I'm pumped. I also can't move. I've obviously let my TV-marathon training slip. Got to work on that.