Master Baiting

I talked over the last couple of recaps about the emotions the season has engendered, first hope, then anger, then disquiet. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve reached nirvana, having achieved in one short week the same sort of Zen state I had when Norm was coaching, when I knew that almost everything that could go wrong was going to and that very little of what might turn out right would. Which is why despite being on the short end of the score I very much enjoyed watching St John’s lose 78-71 to #1 Villanova Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Because a good game well played is at this point all you can ask for. I mean sure, did I curse the referees when down six late Shamorie Ponds was called for a foul when a Villanova player climbed up his back and fell on top of him? Of course I did and Pat Driscoll should be ashamed of himself. Did I curse that albino freak Dante Di whatever every time time he made a three? Of course I did. But here’s the thing: if you have no expectations you can’t be disappointed and so I wasn’t. Onward and downward and it’s only a couple of months to the Derby … Speaking of the shitty referees, St John’s was once again on the short end of the free throw differential, and once again by just about the margin of victory. It’s getting harder and harder to believe that this is coincidence. Consider: Shamorie Ponds took 28 shots, most of them in traffic going to the basket. He took eight free throws. Albino boy (“the moors did so much fucking with Sicilian women … that they changed the bloodlines forever”) took 11 shots, 9 of them threes, and he took six free throws. Look:

Is that possible? Sure, if you’re skeptical enough almost everything’s possible. Is it probable? Let’s say it’s pretty unlikely. Now introduce the sort of bias that allowed Villanova to play an entire game earlier this year without committing a single foul. All of a sudden it seems inevitable …. Games against Villanova allow St John’s fans to wax eloquent about Jay Wright – or I like to think of him, Mike Schrewshrensky II – and what might have been, how classy he is and what a great dresser and so on. My own opinion is fuck Jay Wright, he’s a cunt. In the first place rest assured that if he had come to Jamaica, the Bermuda triangle of coaching, he’d have self destructed as spectacularly as all the other sure fire winners this school has chewed up and spit out. And as to the rest of it, he swears at the refs with impunity, dresses like a dance instructor at a Miami Beach Arthur Murray Studio, and if I were him I’d get that mole under my eye looked at, because if it gets any bigger its going to need its own zip code. Fuck Jay Wright, I hope he gets hit by a bus … No point in rehashing the box score. Ponds was spectacular, everyone else not so much. Yakwe had a couple three nice pick and rolls early – he managed to catch the ball and gathered himself and finished but wasn’t seen from much again. Trimble seems to have shaken off his mini shooting slump and is a sneaky good rebounder. The rest of them were somewhere between awful (Alibegowitz) and ineffectual (Simon) … … The game was shown for some reason on the Fox Business Network, and their coverage was about as good as would be the daily market round up if it was hosted by that bald dope Tony Kornheiser. I don’t know if any of you paid attention to the scroll at the bottom but if it was to be believed Saturday was a busy night in the NFL. The scroll reported these games as on going:

Arizona – Seattle
Carolina – Seattle
Minnesota – Seattle
Carolina – New Orleans
San Francisco – Carolina
San Francisco – Los Angeles
Minnesota – New Orleans

Each was tied zero zero in the first quarter except Minnesota – New Orleans. That one was a burn burner that the Saints led 6-2, the game featuring evidently four safetys .. And finally the elephant in the room. Conspicuously absent from the bench was Marcus Lovett, and good riddance. There’s a lot to complain about this year but if this is the aftermath of the Lovett situation, then this isn’t one of them: Sure Marcus, of course you can keep your scholarship and take advantage of the school’s facilities but don’t come around the team, because you’re not part of it, because you’re a quitter. Just the right balance of of christian charity and contempt. It’s too bad Marcus doesn’t have, say, Andre Stanley’s heart, he might actually have had a chance to play in the NBA. Speaking of the apple not falling far from the tree, Marcus’s father, also called Marcus, was a stand out basketball player at NAIA basketball dynasty Oklahoma City University before leaving the team in midseason, although in senior’s case he flunked out. Evidently he managed to meet the university’s rigid academic standards – the sports teams had at that time a 27 percent graduation rate – when taking electives such as Fishing and Angling, Beginning Volleyball, Beginning Golf, Intramural and Recreation Programs and Walking and Jogging (three As, a B and a C), but faltered with his core requirements. At which point he did what every red blooded American does when confronted with his own shortcomings: claiming that he was being discriminated against, he sued the university, during the course of which suit it was revealed that Marcus Sr. has an IQ of 91 (which is towards the low end of average) and suffers from attention deficit disorder. The latter perhaps explains why Marcus Jr has attended five different schools in seven academic years and the former why his father isn’t smart enough to realize how badly he’s mismanaged his son’s career.

One thought on “Master Baiting”

  1. With this entry, I am with you 100%. DiVicenzo is smug. Easy to get a career night playing against a depleted SJU team. I don’t know if we are ever destined to get any better, but if we do, if he hasn’t graduated, I would love to see SJU stuff it down Di’s throat. Yes, Ponds was brilliant. It was Villanova basketball vs. Ponds, and they only won by fewer than 10 points! I feel as you do, I have less aceto (agita) because of lowered expectations; and in a matter of weeks, catchers and pitchers report.

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