Tag Archives: bobby knight

Mass Marquette Fiction

I wrote yesterday an essay about St John’s 86-78 victory over the Marquette Floor Slapping Dopes 86-78 at Carnesecca Arena Saturday afternoon, noting that it was their third straight win and that the victory moved St John’s back to .500 for the year and vaulted them to within one game of 9th place DePaul in the Big East standings. It’s fortunate that I didn’t post it yesterday afternoon, because in light of morning it turns out that most of it was unreadable. I don’t mean it was garbled, like my notes sometimes are the morning after I’ve been making bubbles in a bottle of spirits, but garbage, like I hadn’t written it, like some untalented unclever hack had broken into my house and pounded out a couple thousand words on my office desktop. It was a half-assed fully-contrived hackneyed mess and I’m embarrassed to have written it.

I had an exchange with a Mullin hating fan a couple of months ago and his take was that Mullin was not prepared for his job because coaching is hard. At first I thought he meant hard as in difficult, which how difficult can it be if cretins like Bobby Knight and Jim Boeheim are good at it. I think it fair to say that coaching doesn’t require much brain power. But no he said, he meant hard as in hard work, that it was grueling and tedious and unrewarding. That seems to me wrong as well, although not quite as wrong. I mean, I can see the drawbacks – you have to be around children and children are disgusting selfish little disease vectors and even the brightest nine year old is dumber than a dumb dog – but coaching little league or CYO can’t compare to being a gravedigger or a roofer or any other type of donkeywork in terms of being grueling and tedious and unrewarding. You can do it sitting down on the scorer’s table while wearing sweats and a hoodie and you get paid whether your team wins or loses or whether your students learn or don’t and you get the summers off. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

You know what’s hard, I mean really hard? Staring at a blank piece of paper knowing that it you don’t fill it with words you don’t get paid and the rent’s due in a week. That’s hard. Which is why I learned a long time ago that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you write, it matters that you write: that starting to type is half the battle. I never suffered from writer’s block because I couldn’t afford to. Effete poseurs and housewife novelists can afford to be tortured artists waiting for their muse to come in but if you write for money you just have to write. And maybe that’s what I did yesterday. Maybe I felt obligated to churn out another one of these stupid essays and so phoned one in. Or maybe some days I’m just a hack, just like everyone else is most days. I don’t know. But anyway the point is that what I wrote was trash and it got dele-ed and I’m happier for it. To the extent that I made any points worth considering here’s the crib notes version:

* winning was good because after the last two it was important for them to protect their home court

* Shamorie Ponds is potentially the best basketball player St John’s has ever had but it’s unlikely he’ll be around long enough for us to see it; Simon is also very good but he need to practice his free throw shooting and he stinks is at in-bounding the ball, please let someone else do it; Clark can evidently rebound when he feels like and so can Ahmed

* hopefully Marcus Lovett is dying a little inside watching his team mates win without him

* the refs sucked, especially this guy

* Wojo is a shitty coach and sweats a lot and recruits an awful lot of white players, just saying

* Steve Lavin still sucks

There was only one vaguely interesting paragraph, which I append, unredacted, as a form of self flagellation

On February 10, 1964 Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan released his third record, The Times They Are a Changin’, which seemed apropos to mention, St John’s today having achieved their third straight win. Dylan has the distinction of being both the best and worst song writer of his generation: for every Positively Fourth Street and and Like a Rolling Stone he wrote he penned half a dozen Hey Mr Tambourine Mans and Lay Lady Lays and Shelters From The Storm and similar dogs, many of which are featured on The Times, which is pretty much an awful record. The title track, perfectly encapsulating as it does the puerile philosophy of Dylan and his insipid hippie cohort was not surprisingly covered by every half a fag hack with six minutes to fill in a live show. I plowed through inter alia looking for a suitable version to post – even as sadistic as I am I wouldn’t subject you to Dylan’s caterwauling – Billy Bragg, Tracy Chapman, Flogging Molly, The Searchers, Bryan Ferry, the appalling James Taylor, Peter Paul and Moron, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Eddie Vedder, Richie Havens, Chris Cornell (even he couldn’t save it), Joan Baez, Phil Collins, and pope-hater Sinead O’Connor, each of them worst than the last; even the great Richie Blackmore’s version is enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little. I finally gave up. Instead of that have a listen to this, which contemplates how quickly defeat can be plucked from the jaws of victory:

Hawaii 0-2


Saint John’s lost to #13 Indiana in the whatever – second, consolation, I have no idea – round of the Maui Classic Tuesday afternoon, 83-73. As losses go it was a pretty good one, somewhere between a moral victory and not a bad loss. After the beating they took Monday at the hands of Vanderbilt they could have come out and rolled over – and down 16 with one minute left in the first half it looked like they had. Instead they went on a 17-5 run over the next six minutes to pull within five about five minutes into the second half. That’s all halftime adjustments baby! Unfortunately at around that point they ran out of gas and IU extended the lead to around 10, which was about where it stayed for the rest of the game: every time it looked like IU was going to blow it open SJU made a play and every time SJU looked like they were going to get over the hump and make it a game they didn’t, but it’s hard to be disappointed with either the effort or the outcome …. As challenged as SJU looks on the offensive end – and let’s face it if Felix Balamou is your most dangerous offensive weapon, that’s a problem – the real problem is on defense. Some of them – Mussini, Ablavivocoth – can’t cover anybody, and the ones that can cover somebody aren’t too good at it. They’re a step slow, they turn their heads, they don’t rotate and ball-you-man is as foreign a concept to them as personal hygiene is to a French streetwalker. Where’s Al Lobalboa when you need him. It was that defensive prowess that allowed IU to shoot nearly 60 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three, the second game in two that an opponent shot the lights out. Saint John’s fared better from the floor Tuesday than they did against Vanderbilt – It’d have been hard not to – but 40 (FG) / 30 (3PT) isn’t going to beat too many teams let alone a ranked one and leaving 9 points at the free throw line didn’t help … After half a dozen games SJU is just about where rational fans would have expected: good enough to beat the cupcakes and hang with the bottom feeders in a major conference and bad enough to lose to everyone else, sometimes with extreme prejudice. They just don’t have the horses. Not yet anyway.

PLAYERS: Mvouika had 17 points (on 8 shots), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and even hit a couple of threes. He’s a nice player who’d look good coming off the bench on a good team. Unfortunately he starts on this one … Balamou once again looked like a Division One player, as opposed to what he looked like yesterday. What wonders what sort of player he might be today if Lavin had tried to develop his talent instead of trying to ruin his career. Oh well … Mussina weighs 155 pounds. Is that even possible? I have fat Italian relatives with carbuncles that weigh that much … Sima had 9 points and 7 rebounds. Even when he’s getting punked he puts up numbers … Evidently Durand Johnson will not be a first team all BE player, as I had been led to believe in the preseason … Christian Jones once again held his own more or less against a bigger stronger front line  but let’s face it he’s not the answer at power forward. Under different circumstances he might make a serviceable three, if he could dribble, which he can’t …I can’t even be arsed to think of something horrible to say about Ablivicovich, it’s not worth the effort. Covers no one, can’t rebound, can’t shoot and is capable of fouling out in the layup line. Just awful.

NOTES: Evidently between yesterday and today no one told Bill Walton to please be shutting the fuck up. Booth-mate John Sciambi (his nickname is Boog, based upon his resemblance to former Oriole first basemen John Wesley “Boog” Powell) deserves the tournament MVP for not strangling him with that stupid lei he was wearing. Before the game even started Walton picked up where he left off yesterday – who knows if he even stopped – jibber jabbering interminably about a wide variety of nonsense of interest to no one except himself, including a 5 minute dissertation about his fucking bicycle – which he gave in bicycle pants that left little to the imagination, if you get my drift. Yeah Bill, I had a bicycle too, when I was 11. I used to put baseball cards in the spokes and it had a light and a banana seat and a horn that went awoogah! The difference between me and you is that I know that no one gives a shit about my bicycle. Do another hit of acid, there’s a synapse that’s still firing properly … Indiana is coached by the wildly overrated Tom Crean, the only human being in recorded history to have both majored in “Parks and Recreation” at Central Michigan College and married the sister of current Michigan State coach Jim Harbaugh … I’m in these gambols trying to not hoe the same fields, and thinking back relative to Indiana I’ve already in a post called “Hoosier Daddy” investigated origin of the term Hoosier; discussed the long and shameful history of the state’s Klan activities; dissected Bobby Knight’s biography; explained the true history of Jimmy Chitwood; and written a bit of a monkeyshine about my all-time favorite serial killer Carl Panzram, whose writings in Killer: A Journal of Murder I cannot recommend highly enough; I reread it again for the third or fourth time recently and laughed and laughed. I mean, “I wish the entire human race had one neck and I had my hands around it,” how can you not love that. Which leaves not a lot, because let’s face it, Indiana sucks . Thank goodness notable alumni is always good for about a paragraph, which is all I need. So speaking of awful self- important douche bag play by play guys, the appalling Joe Buck is a proud Indiana grad, as is Dick Enberg, who doesn’t suck nearly as much; Kevin Kline and Lee Majors, who banged Phoebe Cates (for the record approximately 20% of my blog hits are from perverts googling the Rule 5 broads I now make sure adorn the entries) and Farrah Fawcett respectively, nice work; NY Times crossword impresario Will Shortz; the novelist Theodore Dreiser – to his credit he flunked out; Stardust composer Hoagy Carmichael; Michael Brecker, the greatest soprano, alto, baritone, tenor saxophonist of his generation; Steely Dan drummer Pete Erskine; and a starting basketball five who could give anyone a run for their money, even UCLA: Isiah Thomas, George McGinnis, Walt Bellamy, Larry Bird (enrolled but never played) and Steve Alford, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner, and I finally settled on Calbert Chaney, who in 1999 became after 27 years the first left handed player to ever play for Bobby Knight at IU … And speaking of Jack Lord, why not