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: