Sports Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

FMD: The Second Mid-week Buffet

FMD: The Second Mid-week Buffet

by Fan Man Dan danb@whas11.com

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Mrs. FMD had me watching the Grammys Sunday night. Now I don’t want to complain too loudly since I didn’t return from my hockey game until after 9 and wasn’t watching the awards until after 10, and it was over around 11:30 or wahatever-but wow was that awful!

The outfits are ridiculous. Most of the music is bad. Actually I’m not even sure what good music is any more, but I don’t think it comes from Lady Gaga or the Arctic Fire group. (I know I just angered a huge segment of people- Gaga and Fire have a really loyal following). I was really not into whatever the prosthesi on Lady gaga were.
I will say though, that judging by my Facebook and Twitter feeds, lots of people loved the awards! Except the jazz singer lady that beat out a bunch of folks for best new artist. Nobody knew her which meant she wasn’t worthy.
Anyway, last week I ranked my Sunday night viewing a 8/10, this week a 2/10. The 2 being earned for pure shock value and because there were references that people are making today that I would have no clue what they meant if I didn’t see it. 
The hockey game was a big 0. I had an assist, we got creamed. Onto the buffet. 
Dad Corner:
If you have read many of my blog entries you know how important my role as father is to me. After pressing from many sources to expand upon sharing my experience, I have chosen to dedicate a weekly segment to being a father and the stresses and joys etc. that go along with it. I know some of you don’t like the dad stuff- just skip on down to the sports section if that is your inclination.  
I think I went to my first real kid’s birthday party this weekend. I say think, because I am not really sure about these things yet, and it was at a friend’s house, so the sitting around the parent pit just seemed like hanging out with my buddies. Anyway, I have no clue what the protocol is at these things. 
The kids all run together in packs that strike like tornados. One moment all is calm, the next- chaos. A moment later calm returns. My kid is not yet 2, but able to run. Am I supposed to tail him to make sure he doesn’t bite or push or hit or take toys or break the friend’s stuff? Nobody else was following their kids around, but most of them were older.
Surely stuff gets broken at these parties all the time right? I would imagine a fair amount of blood as well from ill-timed falls or taking a corner too quick. When these things happen will I feel guilty that I wasn’t there to stop them? Do parents all understand that kids can be really mean and selfish sometimes or will they think I’m a bad dad if my boy is the mean, selfish one? 
I don’t know these things, but I’m in it now.
I mean what if my kid takes a tumble down some stairs? He’s good on stairs, but a good knock from another member of the herd can send him tumbling. I would feel awful if something happened to him like that. However, the only solution is to tail the herd around the house, at which point aren’t I just the largest member of the group? Am I then being the over-bearing weird parent afraid to let my kid be himself? You can’t win!
At any rate, I better get it figured out soon, my turn is coming to host one of these, and I can only imagine having it all go down at your place is a whole other layer of stress.
Sports Observation:
I suppose with it being mid-February and the local teams being both ranked in the top 25, I should be writing about college basketball here, but before it gets away from me, a word about college football recruiting.
All good college sports fans know that February is the big month for college football commitments. You would have to be asleep to have not seen some notice of this the last few weeks, as all the national and local outlets dedicated some time to it.
And while I see some benefits to the hype such as learning about the newcomers on your favorite team as well as hearing the local boy makes good type stories (that guy went to my high school!), I do not like National signing day.
Here’s why:
1.       A lot of the projections of who’s good and who is not do not end up bearing out in the long run. I could easily prove this through players like Terrelle Pryor who while very good has not lived up to his recruiting reputation as well as Randall Cobb who transformed into high level players after being lesser reguarded by recruiting rankings.
This happens for plenty of reason, sometimes players fill out or fail to and can not perform at the projected position, sometimes they go to systems that don’t work best for them, sometimes the coach changes while they are there and they fall out of favor, sometimes they just don’t work like they should and are overtaken by lesser rated individuals. So it seems so certain on recruiting day, but it rarely turns out too close to what the analysts tell us it will. 
2.       I don’t like forcing these players to lock in. I mean they have to fill out required applications and all that I know, then enroll like other students. Isn’t that enough? When they enroll then they are committed. I don’t like that these schools get to “put their mark” in a way on a kid.
3.       I don’t like the sensational aspect of recruiting. The announcements during all-star games or during in school assemblies. Does the entire student body need to get out of class to see where this one guy is going to college? No this is silly.
I understand that the overall impact of recruiting is seen on the field as most of the top teams are also top recruiting teams, but this is too much to me and I would rather evaluate the new guys sometime in summer when everyone gets to see them with their new college cohorts.
It just doesn't feel right.  The media and coaches fawn over and publicise these athletes so they can use them for 3 or 4 years until they go pro.  I am OK with the hoopla surrounding the NFL draft, because those guys are attempting to get paid, while since the high school guys see little reward comparatively, National Signing Day rubs me wrong.
Stat of the week:
Of Kentucky’s 18 wins on the season, only 4 have been by less than 10 points and none of them by five or less. In games decided by five points or less, Kentucky is 0-5 which just hammers home the point that the team is not getting it done late in tight games.
 Last week’s stat was the amazing 50% OT rate in Louisville/Notre Dame match-ups this season. Then they played OT again last week making it 5 of the last 9 games between the two have gone to OT.
Sports Hypothetical of the Week:
In the “Sports Hypothetical of the week” I will broach a topic for discussion or contemplation in the sports world. Sometimes the situation will be solely hypothetical and any conclusions we come to will be a matter of opinion, sometimes they will be based in researchable fact, but before I look it up, I want to debate the fact.
Today- would Louisville win a rematch with Kentucky played tonight? On December 31st, the two teams played a game in which Louisville was easily handled at home by the Wildcats 78-63. Since then, Kentucky has gone just 6-5, struggling to hold onto their spot in the top 25. Meanwhile, the Cards have proven tough and tenacious in Big East play and have gone 8-4 against a superior slate.
All this has lead to debate about who would win if they played today? To answer this, we must first look at what has changed since then. For Kentucky, not a whole lot has changed. The main scorers are pretty much the same, the minutes are still being divided up somewhat similarly, no player has drastically improved or regressed. They would bring essentially the same team into the rematch.
The changes from Kentucky are a little more intangible. The strife they have faced with losing these close game has taken a toll on their confidence for each other. The short bench is causing some apparent conditioning issues.
However, the Cards have seen some change in player usage. Terrence Jennings has become more of a force inside, but Deng has been hurt. Siva has found more of an identity as a point guard. Kuric has picked up the scoring. Buckles is back and most everyone has settled into one role or another.
The intangibles are really rolling for the Cards as well. They look confident and happy copared to their blue brethren.
Also we need to take into account abnormal performances in the first meeting. Yes, I’m talking about Josh Harrellson who dominated the inside while the Cards defense was preoccupied (and overly so) with Terrence Jones. Additionally the Cards got just 9 points from their much deeper bench (all from Jennings who did not start). 
So what would happen? Here in the newsroom, I was the only one who thinks the Cats would still be there, but even I can’t chose them to win outright. I suspect the Cards would give Jones a little more room, and Harrellson a little less, but I’m not sure how much of a difference that would make. Even if they played defense the same way, can Harrellson really play that well again?
Siva would make a difference, as would a more confident Kuric, but 15 points is a lot of points and Kentucky is still a good team, even if they are not great. I don’t know who would win a rematch, but I hope it happens. C’mon selection committee line ‘em up.
Last week’s column asked “ Would a shot that leaves a player’s hand from outside the three point line and bounces off the floor inside the three point line and goes in be a 3 point basket or a 2 point basket?(example: In all examples, UofL starts with the ball and UK is the opponent. Peyton Siva attempts to bounce a pass from 25 feet off the free throw line and it goes in the hoop instead of being caught by another player)”
I found the answer on an officials message board and the cited a rule, but I am uncertain if it is a pro or college rule book. Anyway the rule states that in the above scenario, it would be a two point basket. The point on the floor in which it lasts touches a player OR the floor establishes the value of the goal.  
Memory Lane:
Last week I profiled the Louisville Cardinal player that was most infamous to a kid in northern Ohio shooting hoops in his driveway(me), so it’s only fair that I do the same with Kentucky. That player was of course Jamal Mashburn.
Now to be fair, I had a sweatshirt with Mashburn on it. My father spent time in Kentucky on business and regularly brought me back UK and EKU items. Also Pitino had the Cats playing very entertaining ball back then, so being drawn to Mashburn and Kentucky came easy. Plus shooting was one of my two basketball skills that had me playing ball back then and I always remember Mash as a shooter even if he was also a good dunker and post player.  
As a member of the Unforgettables ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6XdBXFah-s ), he was a freshman sensation at a time when freshman weren’t supposed to contribute immediately. His 31 points in Rupp Arena against Georgia stood as a freshman record until this season when Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones took turns breaking it this season. He averaged just a hair under 13 a game as a frosh, with his poor outside shooting holding him back from being even better. 
He must have worked on the shooting as his sophomore year he improved his 3pt.% by 14% and hit 34 more long distance shots. Mashburn was a monster in the SEC Tourney, taking home MVP honors. He had 28 in the Laettner game which I will not link here.
His senior season he made first team all everything.  He started by scorching Easter Kentucky for an outrageous 39 points and 19 boards in a surprisingly close 9 point win. The Cats stayed in the top 10 all season and returned to the Final 4. His best game in the tournament was probably this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VENL1ZBaGvY. For the game he had 23 points and was 5 for five from 3.
Even though he never won a national title, he helped set the table for two titles in the years after he left. His NBA career was outstanding and according to basketballreference.com he is a very likely hall of famer.
Bold Prediction:
Each week I peer into the WHAS11.com crystal ball (kept in Taco Bell Fan of the Week host Joann Dickson’s desk) and I foresee the future! 
This week I peer into its milky finish and see…an unbeaten week for the local college teams! The tough game here should be UConn at the Yum! on Friday, two days after a tough game in Cincinnati. I know anything can happen for both of these teams, but the crystal ball sees them taking a step forward this week.
Last week I saw the number one team in men’s college basketball losing at least one and maybe both (the ball was a bit smudgy) of their match-ups. I guess the smudge I saw was 2 different number one teams losing. Ohio State and Kansas’s losses were the closest together ever for two different #1 teams. See non-believers the WHAS11.com crystal ball sees all.
FMD Café: 
Stealing a little bit from Pat Forde at ESPN and a little bit from Drew Magary at deadspin, this segment will feature something yummy each week with the local spin.  
Today’s Item: Chick-fil-A nuggets.   Yum. Yum. Yum.   One of the perks of fatherhood is getting to take your kid for some indulgent chickeny goodness. How do they get these nuggets so perfect? They come in 8 packs and 12 packs, but I prefer to eat them by the catering-sized order. That's a joke, I'm a big boy, but not that gluttonous
I don’t order chicken nuggets from anywhere else anymore. Or chicken strips either. I guess I just don’t favor the small portion fried chicken servings. On the few occasions when I do, I must douse these items in whatever major wholesaler bbq sauce these places serve with them.
BBQ sauce on the Chick-fil-A nugget? No way. Too much goodness.   They also serve waffle fries, which I don’t love but are as good as most fast food fries and different. How do they make the waffle fry and what do they do with the potato they cut out since they don’t serve potatoes any other way? And what’s the deal with the Chick-fil-A name with all the hyphens. …(googles Chick-fil-A to find out what’s up)… the internet doesn’t know, or at least if it does it is hides somewhere that I can’t find in a five minute drive-by.
They also close on Sundays, which is odd, but I understand and admire them for doing something like this that they feel is important. It has to be difficult to leave that money on the table. Can’t tell you how many times I am driving around on a Sunday and want the stuff- especially coming and going from road trips. They are delicious.
The First Alert Stormteam is predicting a wonderful weather week around Kentuckiana, enjoy it everyone.

Print
Email
|