Category Archives: E.coli

Life’s a Beach

beach

GAME: Usually my game notes comprise two or three pages of amusing scrawling, which makes this part of the recap a breeze, but this morning I’m  at a bit of a loss: there are a mere nine entries comprising 10 lines, one of which is about the odds of Al Sharpton being named Grand Klagon of the Ku Klux Klan, which I have no idea what it means. So I’m left to point out only that Saint John’s defeated Long Beach State 66-49 at Alumni Hall Monday night in what was the worst display of college basketball I’ve seen since Friday. Playing without Rysheed Jordan – home nursing an upset stomach, more about which later – and with D’Angelo Harrison in foul trouble for most of the first half, Saint John’s struggled to find a rhythm most of the game until they put LBS away late. And in fact if LBS had not been so inept – they shot 30 percent from the floor, from three, and even from the free throw line – things might have turned out differently. But they did not. Which means that Saint John’s rides six game winning streak into Sunday’s long-awaited grudge match against Tulane, the last one before the real season starts. All in all and despite their multitudinous ineptitudes they’re a little ahead of where I thought they’d be at this point in the season, in which I figured they had a Sweet 16 ceiling if everything broke their way. Of course I thought they had the same ceiling last year and we saw how that turned out. I’m a bit concerned that they’ve so far this year played one real road game and have not yet played outside NY State, but I guess we’ll see what we see … Once again Saint John’s was not all that good by the numbers: 45 percent from the floor, 3 for 15 from 3, and an appalling 56 percent from the free throw line, where they’re 20 of 35 over the past two games. On the bright side their free throw defense remains exemplary: opponents are now shooting 110 of 186 … Bit of an interesting cut in to a huddle late in the game where Lavin, always coaching his tender charges, advised them to “keep working the thirteen, because they don’t know what the fuck it is.” I listened to it a bunch of times and concluded that thirteen was one of the defensive sets, maybe the 1-3, the intricacies of which Lavin thought the Long Beach players found perplexing. No word from the FCC about sanctions for Lavin’s potty mouth. Mrs. Fun found his language appalling, but then she’s something of a delicate, whereas I became inured to swearing after sitting behind Louie for lo those many years and nowadays work in profanity like Modigliani worked in oils

PLAYERS: Chris Obekpa had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks and was dominant in the middle, although much of his production came against Temidayo Yussef, a freshman. Obekpa had less success against fifth year senior Eric McKnight, who played sparingly despite looking to me like the best player in yellow. I point this out only to highlight Obekpa’s delusional thinking in regards the NBA, where everyone is a fifth year senior. Also to be unremittingly negative, because I know some people dig that … Dom Pointer, who Lavin described in the post-game presser as a “Batman, Spiderman and a super hero,” had 11 points and 7 rebounds. That output seems pretty pedestrian for someone who has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men – especially considering that that’s what Jakarr Sampson averaged over his career and he was, I am continually assured by knowledgeable fans, awful at basketball. Anyway, I guess during the day Pointer works at Costco under his secret identity and then at night he pulls off his red vest and becomes Batman. One game after claiming that the team played better without Chris Obekpa versus Saint Mary’s, Pointer dissed Rysheed Jordan, noting that the latter’s loss did not make LBS “a tougher game to negotiate” … Phil Greene met his quota of nine missed shots in leading the team with 16 points. Made just 2 of 8 threes to drop below 30 percent for the season. Through 10 games Greene has taken only 12 fewer shots than D’Angelo Harrison while accounting for nearly 100 fewer points … speaking of Superman, Harrison scored under double figures for the first time I can remember in a while. Ten rebounds though … Lavin lauded Jamal Branch for “really orchestrating our offensive attack,” which offensive attack barely managed 60 points. Branch played extended minutes because Rysheed Jordan was home in Philadelphia nursing an alleged stomach virus. Assuming that Jordan is really ill and that the story of Jordan’s absence is true – and it’s eerily similar to last year when Jordan nearly quit the team – it still sets my Spidey sense tingling. Is it too much to think that someone doctored Jordan’s food? Think of the suspects and motives: Branch, a senior jealous of the younger player’s talent; Felix Balamou, angry at losing a year of his career and anxious for floor time; and Lavin himself, whose abject failures on the recruiting trail have left him in a precarious position next year should Jordan bolt. Regardless, something isn’t right, and it would not surprise me if a Baylor situation revealed itself down the line … Balamou did not show much in 10 minutes; Myles Stewart missed a couple of threes; and the rest of them got garbage minutes

NOTES: The game was called by Bob Wenzel, who evidently had the bad judgment to have a third bottle wine with dinner, with the end result that he just would not shut the fuck up until I was forced to shut him up by muting him with about five minutes to go. Wenzel – a former coach who had only 6 winning seasons out of 15 and only won 20 games once – is usually an amiable drunk, but last night he was out of control: at one point he went to commercial screaming “two blocks … four blocks … six blocks … eight blocks” ostensibly in relation to Obekpa’s defense, but sounding instead like a retarded child counting his toys Christmas morning; and then later described the repulsive Jim Burr, the worst basketball referee of all time, whose every appearance on the court cheapens amateur athletics, as “one of the greats.” Hiccup. … LBS is coached by Dan Monson, who coincidentally has coached at Gonzaga, where he was 52–17, Minnesota, where he was 118-106, and now Long Beach, where he’s a nearly identical 119-108. Clearly Gonzaga was the outlier … Long Beach is in the midst of an extended road trip, at the end of which they’ll be about 5 and 10. Wenzel – who knows something about losing – opined that Monson scheduled the trip to collect the guaranteed money that acting as cannon fodder for programs like Louisville and Syracuse brings: up to $ 100,000 per game Wenzel said. If true that seems a cynical way to run a program, since with ten losses by New Year’s day LBS will be out of NCAA tournament consideration unless they can run the table in the WAC WCC Big West. This did not stop sideline reporter Jon Rothstein – displaying all the warmth and sincerity of a Ukrainian kidney broker – from opining that LBS was looking at the SJU game as a Selection Sunday resume builder … Long Beach State’s basketball program first achieved national prominence under Jerry Tarkanian, whose teams went 122-20 in four years, never losing more than 5 games in a season. Each year LBS reached the regional semi-finals of the NCAA tournament and twice the finals, losing three of those games to UCLA, then in the midst of winning eight straight national championships. Despite UCLA’s dominance and the proximity of the two schools, Steve Lavin’s alleged mentor John Wooden refused to schedule LBS during the regular season. Which is kind of like the relationship Saint John’s has with Hofstra and Iona, except with NIT banners … LBS alumni include Richard Bach, author of the putrid bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull; the terrifically unfunny Steve Martin; hack director Steven Spielberg; chubby songstress Karen Carpenter; baseball players Jason Gigumby, Evan Longoria, Harold Reynolds and Troy Tulowitzki; footballers George Allen, Willie Brown and Terrell Davis; and the great George “the Iceman” Gervin, inventor of the finger roll …Yeah, about that Jordan being poisoned stuff, I don’t really believe any of that. See what happened is that I have some readers who are offended by the allegedly negative tone my little monkeyshines take, special little snowflakes that they are. One reader went so far as to favor me with an essay explaining why I am “irrelevant.” (Let us leave aside the inherent absurdity of explaining to an irrelevant thing why the irrelevant thing is irrelevant.) It is not, as you might imagine, that I produce an obscure blog read by 300 people that describes the exploits of a college basketball program that has made one final four since Kaiser Wilhelm invaded Austria Hungary. No, it’s much more serious than that: it’s because I’m “not funny anymore.” Which is on the scale of stupid somewhere between “exquisitely” and “mistakes own imbecilities for cleverness.” So anyway I threw that poisoning stuff in there for their benefit, because it amuses me to confound humorless dopes. I should though note that this is not the first time that a SJU player has missed a game suffering from food poisoning – it happened a bunch of times last year. There’s really only a couple of ways to get the creeping crud, the most common of which is through the ingestion of human feces. What happens is that one of you slobs has a bowel movement and in the act of wiping yourself gets fecal matter on your hands and because you don’t wash yourself like a civilized human being you spend the rest of the day depositing E.coli on every surface with which you come into contact, which surface is then touched by some innocent who then eats his lunch with your stool as a condiment. Which is why I have not touched a door knob or used a public toilet in 20 years. So please, in this holiday season, could you wash your hands after doing your business. If not for me, do it as a birthday present for the baby Jesus … Regular readers are aware that I play in a band called the Weasels, described by one wag as “XTC on PCP,” albums on sale in fine stores nowhere. In the old days one of our marketing schemes involved creating fictitious press notices announcing the release of this CD or that, which we’d fax to various newspapers around the country. (This does not sound terribly amusing now, but to be fair we were out of our minds on mescaline most of the time.) Anyway, you’d be surprised how many desperate for content entertainment desk editors printed the releases verbatim – this was in the old days, before journalists realized that they could win Pulitzer prizes for making up stories about gang rapes and 8 year old heroin addicts. One editor from the Sacramento Bee went so far as to put the non-existent Weasel CD “Hello My Name is Larry” on his list of top indy albums of the year. Anyway the Hasselhoff jpeg above is the fake cover I created for “Life Is a Beach.” Holds up pretty well I think … Finally, speaking of George Gervin, here’s this: