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Ifs Ands And Butlers


GAME: Missus fun came down with something about a week ago – the flu, cholera, I’m not sure – and as I do whenever she brings disease into the house I exiled her to the servants quarters, donned a biohazard suit and locked myself away like they did from the plague in the Masque of the Red Death. They say that misery loves company but I don’t like misery and so other than shoving a bowl of soup under the door every couple of hours I left her to the fates and her immune system, because that I figure is her problem: we all die alone. The problem for me is that without her civilizing influence I tend to run amok, which is why I was sitting last night at midnight in my study, four windows open to the February air, wood stove blazing, with a freshly lit La Flor Dominicana and making bubbles in a bottle of Stoli: because there was no one there to shoot me disapproving looks intended to save me from myself. The problem for you is that my notes about the 110-86 beating St John’s took at the hands of the Butler Bulldogs Wednesday night in Indiana look like the lunatic ravings of an opium eater as transcribed by Michael J Fox. Most of it I literally can’t make out and what I can make out I wish I could not. The gist of it seems to be that St John’s did not play well and Butler did and that displeased me but that’s nothing I couldn’t have figured out by reading the box score.

To say that St John’s came out flat would be an understatement: Ahmed took a bad shot and then Lovett took one and in the meanwhile Butler scored on three straight possession off six rebounds. It was 7-0 when Mullin took a time out that didn’t help; it was 12-3 before St John’s made its first field goal five minutes in; it was 21-9 when Mullin was shown on camera asking his team to “maybe show up,” they having then shot two for nine from the floor and been outrebounded 13-3; it was 54-35 at half time; another 50 point half followed and 110 points is the most I can recall St John’s giving up in quite a while. Part of that was because Chris Holtmann left his starters in to the bitter end and it would have been poetic justice had one of them broken a fibula or something but it was just one of those nights where no good came of anything. Hopefully Mullin files it away and returns the beating at MSG in a couple of weeks … The numbers speak for themselves: Butler shot 55 percent from the floor and 50 percent from three versus 44 and 35 for St John’s; SJU got murdalized on the glass where Butler was plus 15; turnovers were even but St John’s had only two blocks – they average six … Another atrocious job by the referees, who called 55 fouls that resulted in 77 free throw attempts, which is about two a minute, which made the game two and a half hours long and as exciting as a colonoscopy … One thing my notes are clear about was welcome relief that I no longer had to suffer through another broadcast on CBS. Instead I tuned in Fox and heard Bill Rafferty calling the end of the Providence game and thought to myself self, this is how college basketball should be in February. And then to my delight the repulsive Steve Lavin was absent from the pregame – I guess like his contract at St John’s his contract at Fox does not require him to work weeknights. It turned out I was denied even that morsel of satisfaction, because instead of the B team – Spanarkle – or even the C team – Dickey Simpkins – the late game was called by someone called Jordan Cornette, whose Linked In page describes him as a “TV Personality.” It turns out the Jordan Cornette is the brother of the late Joel Cornette, a recent Butler grad who died of a coronary incident in the fall and whose casket was displayed at center court in Hinkle Field House. I mean what the hell? Last week Steve Lappas was slobbering over his successor during the Villanova game and now we get treated to impartial commentary by the dead guy’s brother. Maybe to even things out Malik Sealy’s orphaned children can call the next St John’s game. Of his brother Cornette said “I don’t want to personalize this broadcast” before personalizing the broadcast by dragging his brother’s corpse through the middle of it: he postulated that his brother would be pleased by Butler’s performance and noted that he found it “ironic” that he was calling the game from the court where his brother was memorialized. Whereas I find it “ironic” that a “TV personality” who graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in journalism doesn’t know the meaning of ironic, because there was nothing ironic about it. It was sad maybe, or melancholy, but only Alanis Morisette would find it ironic. Among Cornette’s other insightful observations were that Butler was “really running some clock” – with 12 minutes left in the first half; he said of Shamorie Ponds after his technical: “Shamorie Ponds, a six foot tall guy, I question his toughness … This is what I don’t like” – to which I appended in my notes, “Yeah well, he’s got more heart than your brother,” which in light of day seems a tad harsh but I found it hilarious at the time; and speaking of hilarious he said that Mussini was “called for a reach around,” not that there’s anything wrong with that … The loss dropped St John’s to eighth in the conference, tied with Providence at 6-8 with four games to go. Two and two is doable, meaning 8-10 in conference plus or minus. They’re a couple of winnable losses away from the NCAA bubble. Think about it: flip VCU, ODU, Delaware State, LIU, and Penn State – all games they probably win if they played them now instead of in the fall – and they’d be 17-10 with a better resume than Seton Hall, Marquette and Providence. Future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.


PLAYERS: To the extent there was a game ball it goes to – wait for it Monte, wait for it – Federico Mussini. Twenty points, 7-13 from the floor, four of seven from three, three rebounds and three assists including a neat no look to Owens. That’s two out of three in double figures for the Italian Rapscallion and I’m not even going to mention that both of those were losses … Ponds and Lovett had 33 points between them but were only 8 of 22 from the floor; nearly half their points came on free throws … Owens had eight points and six rebounds but only one block … Ahmed had 15 points before fouling out … Yawke finished strongly on a couple of rolls to the basket but two rebounds in 23 minutes just will not cut it … Speaking of not cutting it, Malik Ellison as an energy guy off the bench is worse than Malik Ellison as a starter: twice as many fouls as points in 12 minutes and yet another lazy cross court pass leading to a breakaway. How many times can you make the same stupid play. Tune in versus Marquette next Tuesday to find out … Alibegowitch fouled out in 14 minutes. I predict that he will learn the meaning of the term “box out” next year while working as a stock boy in a Serbian market where part of his job will be helping the old ladies carry groceries to their cars. If in fact people in Serbia have cars … Williams did not play and Feudenburgh may as well not have

NOTES: February 15th is Jour du Drapeau National du Canada, aka National Flag Day in Canada, the worst country in the world, a worse country even than France and France has an excuse: it’s full of french people, whereas Canadians are more like Americans who don’t know any better. On this day Canuckleheads emerge from their igloos, don their ceremonial touques and celebrate their cultural heritage by ingesting enormous quantities of seal blubber washed down with copious amounts of the piss that passes for beer in the great white north. If you’ve ever celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day in NYC – and what red blooded American hasn’t – it’s like that, but transplanted to a third world hamster in a wheel socialist shit-hole.

We of course all know what Canada’s flag looks like: it’s essentially a shrubbery, red. However it has not always been thus. In fact, before 1965 Canada had a pretty bad ass looking flag, a variation of the British Union Jack.

Cool beans, right? Its red white and blue and has dragons and harps and mythical monsters. In 1965 though, inspired by a bout of sour grapes nationalism led by then Prime Minister Lester Pearson, today’s well known maple leaf was adopted, but not before six months of acrimonious debate that led the country nearly to the brink of a civil war. As flags go one that pays homage to pancake syrup doesn’t seem like much but if you consider that ten percent of the nearly 3500 designs considered back then depicted various incarnations of a beaver – and not Pam Anderson’s glorious Canadian beaver either or Jessica Lucas’s – I mean an actual rodent with fur and buck teeth

– see the difference? – a national celebration of flapjacks isn’t necessarily the worst outcome. It’s still pretty bad though. I can understand the appeal of the animal: a giant grizzly bear like they have in California; or a snake that sinks its venomous fangs into your ankle if you tread on it; or a mighty lion like the one that graces the flags of Bermuda and Montenegro – they all portray a message of strength, resolve and ferocity. The logic behind the beaver though eludes me: if threatened I will gnaw through a tree trunk so that it falls on your head and afterwards I’ll beat you to death with my big flat tail is more likely to inspire laughter than terror. It turns out though that the beaver is not the worst idea for a national symbol if you consider that the Cayman Islands’ flag features a turtle and Croatia’s a goat and Moldova’s a cow and Saint Maarten’s a pelican and Turks and Caicos Islands’ a whelk. (“The whelk is nothing but a homosexual of the worst kind. This gay boy of the gastropods, this queer crustacean, this mincing mollusk, this screaming, prancing, limp-wristed queen of the deep makes me sick.”) It’s not even hipster meta irony like UC Santa Cruz’s banana slug mascot. It’s just dumb.

Anyway, although a despicable communist apologist Pearson was far from the worst Canadian prime minister – one need only look to current PM Justin Zoolander to see that – and for his sympathies he was – like several horrible US presidents – awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Pearson earned his for his role in mitigating the so called Suez Canal Crisis – a crisis in the middle east is what the left calls it when Israel defends itself against its genocidal neighbors. In being so honored Pearson joined an illustrious conga line of eleemosynaries that includes virulent racist Woodrow Wilson, mass murderer Yassar Arafat, antisemitic buffoon Jimmy Carter, inventor of the internet Al Gore, and Barack “I’m really good at killing people” Obama. For his efforts in the Middle East Pearson became known as the “father of peacekeeping,” peacekeeping being the term the UN uses as a colloquialism for the rape, pedophilia, child prostitution, and ethnic cleansing that have for 50 years accompanied its humanitarian activities in socialist paradises like Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Haiti. Which is not to say that Canada is or all Canadians are bad. My boon companion Redmannorth is a Canuck and besides him they gave us Second City Television, Doug and the Slugs, Neil Young, Gil Evans, Mark Steyn, and Ted Cruz. But on the other hand they produced a long list of horrors that starts with Samantha Bee and Peter Jennings and runs through Nickleback and Justin Bieber and ends with John Kenneth Galbraith and Malcolm Gladwell. Which let’s face it, that’s a lot to overcome, even for the country that produced Shannon Tweed


DePaul is Dead


RECAP: Every once in a while I forget the random and regular tricks the universe plays, which is why I tuned in to CBS Sports last night at the appointed hour of 9PM, pH regulated, necessaries at hand, and mentally prepared to suffer through the agonies inflicted on the psyche by real time sports broadcasting. Had I been thinking I’d have realized there was an early game and that even under best case circumstances it’d run late, so I might as well continue drinking. So instead of seeing the beginning of a game I barely care about – SJU Depaul – I got to see the end of a game I didn’t give a shit about in the slightest, between two teams no one gives a shit about at all. And what an exciting affair it wasn’t. First, in the waning seconds of regulation some imbecile on the first shit team buried a three to tie the game and then some other shitbrain on the other shit team clanked one at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. In the overtime the two teams no one gives a shit about fouled each other every five seconds for the next five minutes except during those periods when their coaches were calling time outs, which they did with fair regularity. Then with like a minute left and the score tied some dope daintily twisted his ankle and laid on the ground rubbing it for several minutes while being ministered to by various physicians and attendants and then finally hobbled off to sit out the rest of the game on the bench, which sort of mental and physical toughness will serve him well in whatever career he attempts after his shitty college basketball career ends. (If I recall correctly waa I hurt my ankle figured prominently in Henry the Fifth’s rousing speech at Agincourt field and look how that turned out.) So then finally play resumes: the score is tied 62 all and team no one gives a shit about 1 (turns out it’s LaSalle) has the ball and they call a TO to set up the final game winning play, the design of which was evidently for shit team 1’s point guard to stand dribbling at half court until 8 seconds remained in the game and then to dribble directly into a double team at the sidelines 40 feet from the basket and call a TO with three seconds left after barely avoiding turning the ball over. (It’s comforting to know that there are elsewhere coaches as bad as Lavin and teams as poorly prepared as SJU: this bodes well as we come down the stretch into tournament time.) So then shitty team 1 tried to run an in bound play which failed so they ended up lobbing the ball to some lead footed yokel who barely got a shot off after a series of head fakes that fool absolutely no one, and especially not the defender who crammed the shot back down his throat, leading to double overtime. The second overtime was a near replay of the first: foul timeout foul clank timeout foul foul clank clank time out ankle sprain foul time out foul time out foul and the whole while scrolling mockingly along the bottom of the screen is “PROGRAM ALERT Coming up next Saint John’s DePaul, Saint John’s DePaul” over and over and over. Quote the Raven nevermore. In the second overtime shitty team 1 managed their way to a 5 point lead, but then with 17 seconds up three not only gave up a lay up to shitty team 2 but fouled the shitty shooter and if the shitty shooter hadn’t clanked the game tying free throw the game would probably still be going on. Which is why this recap is joined in progress at the 2 minute mark of Saint John’s 86-78 victory over DePaul at Carnesecca Arena …. So I have practically nothing to say about the first half, except that by the numbers SJU should have been ahead by more than three: they shot 51 percent from the floor and 50 from three compared to DePaul’s 40/30; they had twice as many rebounds; 4 blocks to none, turnovers and fouls were about even. I’ve heard through the grapevine that a bad call and a Balamou technical stifled Saint John’s first half momentum after they’d built a 9 point lead, and that might have been what Lavin referred to when interviewed briefly by Jon Rothstein – he called Lavin “Lavs,” what a douchebag – on the way to the locker room, when he said “it’s been a disjointed game on a number of fronts, I can’t get into that publicly.” I’d hope that Lavin has not been reduced to blaming the team’s performance on the referees – I mean, I expect it from crybaby Saint John’s fans, but not from the coach – and especially after a game like last night, where Saint John’s was awarded nearly twice as many free throws as its opponent: Saint John’s made a third more free throws (24) than DePaul attempted (17) and that in an 8 point win. Seems to me that if anyone had cause to cry like a little bitch it’d be Oliver Purnell … In the second half Saint John’s extended its 3 point lead to 13 early and could have put DePaul away but for a few bad possessions and bone headed plays that let DePaul back in it to the extent that it was tied at the 8 minute mark. Home court advantage and the experience of Saint John’s seniors – all of whom played well down the stretch, even Phil Greene – sealed the deal. Which is the good news. The bad news is that despite the victory and having won two of their last three Saint John’s remains in 7th place – although now only a game behind Seton Hall and DePaul, both of which are in free fall. Unfortunately the easy part of the schedule is over: of the next seven games four are on the road and five are against the top 5 teams in conference. An optimist would say that this represents an opportunity for the team to prove its mettle, but I’m not an optimist. Even if they win their remaining three home game (SH, Xavier and Georgetown) and steal one on the road (Marquette) that just gets them to 20 wins and 9 and 9 in conference … I did not see enough of the game to notice Lavin cock anything up spectacularly, although he did call an eccentric timeout after a 4 point mini run broke the late tie and with a TV TO looming. But I do need to mention a horrifying new development and it’s not even the return of the homeless guy sleeping on a steam grate red sweat suit couture: during the post-game handshakes it was clearly evident that Lavin was wearing make-up, and not a little make up either, more like full on pancake Norma Desmond I’m ready for my close up Mister Demille make up. His face was Oompah Loopah orange in contrast to his pale flabby white neck, which clearly has not seen the sun since I don’t know when. I’m trying to think of a charitable explanation – like maybe he’d earlier been auditioning to replace Rosie on the View or maybe he came straight to the game from filming a Crazy Eddie commercial or something – but frankly I was pretty traumatized. I’m just hoping this isn’t the beginning of a Bruce Jenner situation, because that would really put me off my feed.

PLAYERS Harrison seems to be fully recovered from his injury. If he isn’t I’d like to see him when he is: 33 points and 10 rebounds. Got T’d up in the second half for what is for him a common place event: he made a play and screamed an expletive at God. This one looked to be motherfucker and I guess the ref thought it was directed at him as opposed to the heavens …. Towards the end of the game whatever moron was calling the game with the repulsive Doug Gottblieb said that “if you look at box score Pointer’s performance won’t impress you.” Which is weird, because when I looked at the box score I saw that Pointer had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks. Which is impressive … Phil Greene had 18 points on 12 shots – which is for him remarkable efficiency – and contributed in other ways as well, including a couple of huge rebounds in traffic under the basket after DePaul had mounted its comeback. I’d ask where this guy has been for the past four years but I know the answer: he’s been standing 20 feet from the basket with his foot on the three point line clanking long twos … Doug Gottlieb said that newly minted starter Felix Balamou “plays like a power forward or a center,” which no he doesn’t. What he plays like is a girl. After not playing at all for almost two years Balamou has now logged 80 minutes in the past three games. Although he’s been serviceable enough as a replacement in the short term eventually playing 4 on 5 will catch up with them. Blew a wide open dunk as the game wound down … Balamou played because Obekpa did not. Is he injured? Is he being punished? Is he refusing to play like he did in the NIT last year? Who knows. So much bullshit has gone on with Lavin that not only is it impossible to tell what’s going on but it’s impossible to believe what you’ve been told anyway … meanwhile Jamal Branch, who was the starting point guard less than a month ago is now buried deeper than Captain Kidd’s treasure: he played 8 minutes, fewer even than the Bosnian, who avoided at least a flagrant one when he got away with throwing a DePaul player to the ground after a rebounding scrum under the basket.

NOTES: DePaul is in Chicago, the name of which city derives from a Native American word meaning “stinky onion,” the area so called for a ubiquitous plant that grew in the “dismal nine mile swamp” upon which the city was built. Despite its aquiferous beginnings nearly the entire city burned to the ground less than 100 years after its founding when a cow owned by a Mrs. Catherine O’Leary allegedly kicked over a lantern in a barn adjacent to the O’Leary homestead. Although there was in fact a Mrs. O’Leary and she did in fact own a cow, the story is probably apocryphal and Missus O’Leary’s villainization the result of the rampant no-Irish-need-apply Hibernophobia that afflicted those potato eaters such as my father’s forebears who fled to the US seeking relief from the famine that afflicted the old country in the 18th century, that famine the fault of the British, perhaps history’s greatest collection of criminals. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Mrs. O’Leary’s alibi was that she was passed out dead drunk in her bed when the fire broke out in her barn and that that alibi was routinely accepted. Although it is commonly supposed that it was Chicago’s winds that fanned the flames that engulfed the city that story is similarly apocryphal. Rather the city burned merely because of poor urban planning: its wooden houses were built too close together. And anyway although Chicago is known as the windy city it’s far from the windiest in the US – Amarillo Texas is – and is in fact it is no more windy than anywhere else: except when gaseous democratic ward heelers like Barack Obama are flapping their gums the average wind speeds in Chicago are only slightly higher than they are in New York’s Central Park. Anyway the story goes that the windy city appellation arose as the result of a rivalry between Chicago and Cincinnati Ohio over the rights to the nickname “Porkopolis,” which at first belonged to Cincinnati as the country’s foremost meatpacking locale, which hegemony was subsequently usurped by Chicago. Cincinnati writers used the term Windy City to insinuate that the Chicagoans expropriating the name Porkopolis were mere braggarts and that Cincinnati still ruled as far as abattoirs were concerned. Nowadays this is a moot point as San Francisco is universally recognized as the nation’s foremost purveyor of meatpacking … Chicago was also known as the second city, and properly at least while it was the second largest city in the USA; although now LA is, the name remains. Where Chicago takes second place to no one however is in its succor of the criminal element: in raw numbers it has long been at or near the top of US cities in murders; last July 4th weekend for example an astounding 84 people suffered gunshot wounds – more than in Falluja during the same time period – from which 20 of the city’s nearly 500 total murder victims died. This is apace with Chicago’s long and illustrious criminal history: Al Capone ran the outfit there; Chicago is where gangsters John Dillinger, Sam Giancano and Bugsy Moran were executed; it spawned the thrill killers Leopold and Loeb, homicidal maniacs like Baby Face Nelson and Machine Gun Kelly, the Unabomber Ted Kacynski and assassin’s assassin Jack Ruby; and neither is Chicago a lightweight when it came to producing mass murderers, having given us the killer clown John Wayne Gacy, who managed 33 kills with his famous rope trick; HH Holmes, a transplanted English medical doctor who killed at least 25 and as many as 200 victims, many of whom were guests and employees at a hotel he ran during the Chicago World’s Fair in the 1890s; and Richard “Born to Raise Hell” Speck, who raped and murdered 8 nurses in a single night in July 1966 … Speaking of heinous criminals, the game was called by Doug Gottlieb, a former USBL point guard who was expelled from Notre Dame after it was discovered that he had fraudulently charged various items on credit cards belonging to other fighting Irish students. They say that crime doesn’t pay but it’s worked out alright for Gottlieb, although not so much for those of us who have to suffer through his game commentary … This week saw the passing of two college basketball giants: Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian. The proximity of their deaths is where the similarities end. Like his contemporary at DooK Mike Schrewshrekni Smith was offered up by the college basketball establishment as a paragon of virtue, proof that it was possible to run a clean and successful basketball program, whereas Tarkanian was a black hatted criminal mastermind who openly cheated and thumbed his nose at the authorities. Whether it is a coincidence that Smith was a respectable white man and Tarkanian a swarthy Armenian is an open question. The probable truth is that both of them cheated; ironically it’s likely that the only coach who ever won consistently and ran a clean program was Bobby Knight, the most hated man in college basketball. Between Smith and Tarkanian they won 1600 games, appeared in 15 Final Fours, and won 3 national championships. Tarkanian might have been even more successful, except he had the misfortune to be the contemporary of Steve Lavin’s best man John Wooden – talk about your criminal masterminds – who thwarted Tarkanian on more than one occasion. Allow me to quote me:

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.

I’m far from a sentimentalist, but am not yet so cynical that I am unable to recognize that we are diminished when greatness passes from the scene. Even greatness at so trivial a thing as basketball. The likes of these two are few and far between and in the increasingly debased culture in which we live the chances that we see their like again reduces exponentially. In a rare departure from my normal glee at the misfortunes of others I wish them rest in peace.

The Triumph of the Will


Saint John’s squeaked by the LIU Blackbirds Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena 66-53. If they’d beaten them the way a good team beats their preseason opponents – DooK is averaging over 100 points per games while nearly doubling their opponents score – I wouldn’t have had to sit here for 10 minutes thinking up the worst opening line in the history of sports commentary, and that includes everything written by tortured dwarf Mike Lupica. I could have dashed off some nonsense about the 9 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie and we could have all gotten on with our days. But this is not a good basketball team. Sure there were some positives. The ball movement is encouraging, when they move the ball, which isn’t often: there are in a game fewer offensive sets with crisp passing than there are breaks where a SJ guard takes the ball to the hoop one on four. But it’s there all the same, sometimes. Also encouraging is the free throw shooting, which was once again exemplary. And at times the defense can be stifling, but I’m going to wait until Dom Pointer blocks seven shots by Rakim Christmas before I get too excited, rather than shutting down Sven Gunderson of the Reykjavik High School Lutefisk, Iceland’s player of the year. The bad news is that when the defense is not stifling – which it’s not when Obekpa’s not in the game – it’s pretty atrocious, a fact the Lavin press is designed to obscure. Ask yourself: how much of Chris Obekpa’s considerable defensive prowess is the result of the team’s poor exterior defense? If defenders weren’t continually blowing their assignments there wouldn’t be so many shots at the rim for Obekpa to block, would there. Pointer gets a pass because he lets his man go by intentionally because he wants to block the shot from behind and get on Sportscenter, but the rest of them are either gambling for steals or failing to rotate or blowing their assignments. Except Phil Greene obviously, he couldn’t guard himself …. The stat line was per usual. Saint John’s shot under 50 percent from the field, 10 percent from 3 – the second time this year when the 4-guard offense has shot under 15 percent from 3, gee, I wonder if anyone’s going to zone us – were outrebounded (46-40), and out assisted (13-7). If it were not for LIU’s poor shooting – which likely was more the result of first game jitters from nine underclassmen than any sort of shutting down by SJ’s nine upperclassmen – things might have been different. And of course SJU was once again the beneficiary of generous officiating: in all three games they’ve made 10 more FTs than their opponents and in two of those those 10 points were the margin of victory. One might wonder – if one were in the habit of calling oneself one – if that discrepancy will continue once they play real opponents. One suspects not … Something of a strange rotation by Lavin – resplendent in a Jim Rockford sportcoat over a sweatsuit top – although that’s not really news. Lavin has 4 serviceable guards, but seems intent on mixing two other guards into the rotation, at the expense of Christian Jones and Jasilionus II, both of which big men would seemingly be of value as the season progresses. It seems that Lavin, having examined his ill-constructed roster and determined that he will have no choice but to play small has decided that an even better idea would be to play smaller. The cynic in me whispers that Lavin is doing this so that the fact that he’s been reduced to fielding a team of midgets looks like a conscious decision, rather than the result of his incompetence as a recruiter and manager of personnel.

PLAYERS: Pointer had the same sort of impressive game he usually has against inferior competition, before disappearing against Division 1 teams. The next time he has a game like this against a good team will be the first time … Rysheed Jordan allegedly missed a defensive assignment on a three a couple of minutes into the game and sat for the next 10 minutes. Despite several subsequent LIU three pointers no one else sat. Then Jordan was benched to start the second half in favor of fun-fave Felix Balamou. Perhaps this was just some more there’s more important things than winning light a fire under his ass grandstanding from our resident Svengali, but the conspiracy theorist in me wonders what sort of shenanigans are up the great and powerful sleeve in regards to Lavin’s most talented player. Speaking of Jordan, he managed 15 points, 13 of those in the second half … Obekpa had 10 rebounds and 8 blocks but was 1 for 7 from the floor. (Is it my imagination or are shooters shying away from his body for fear of contacting his member, which is in danger of slipping out the bottom of his taped up shorts?) He yesterday at least reverted to the weird fall away sideways jump shot he regularly displayed last year … For anyone else 14 points and 7 rebounds sounds like a good night but it is less than half of what Harrison put up against Franklin Pierce … Phil Greene is not quite oh for November, but he’s in Avery Patterson territory. He will have to get his shooting percentage out of the teens for this team to have any chance for a successful run in the NIT … Our only true PG Jamal Branch had no assists in 25 minutes … “Good thing selfish cancer Jakarr Sampson is starting for the 76ers, that really opened up 2 minutes a game for Chris Addition By Subtraction Jones” Fun said. “Fun really nailed that analysis” Fun added … Miles Stewart scored his first collegiate bucket … Balamou looks to be shaking the rust off

NOTES: Regular readers (hi Mom!) (just kidding, she’s dead) (thank god) will notice changes to BEB. Essentially I got tired of maintaining the wonky dB to the standards expected by its host and so have taken it off line in favor of this format: it’s called a blog, which I’m led to believe is the next big thing. And which, let’s face it, makes a great deal of sense, as nobody posted here anymore and I don’t care much about the opinions of those who did anyway. The only loss is the archives, which contain a wealth of witticisms, mostly by me; I copied a lot of them off beforehand because that’s gold jerry, gold. The demise of the old BEB is a little ironic, because I had recently been considering making the entire archive publicly available – by public archive I mean the hidden forums where the moderators discussed misbehavior on the board, much of it mine. You’d not believe the caterwauling that went on. I didn’t have much use for moderators then and still don’t and if you don’t believe that 70 years ago small-minded petty clerks like Tom in Simsbury would be shoving you into cattle cars for a one way trip to Birkenau, well, you’re probably a democrat and wouldn’t recognize a fascist if the entire Wehrmacht goose-stepped up your ass to film a Leni Riefenstahl bioepic in your colon … Regular readers are also aware that I skipped the FP game and I appreciate your emails asking about the website’s well-being. I didn’t have anything of import to say about Franklin Pierce anyway, so you didn’t miss much. There was a bit of a drunken ramble about Franklin Pierce dying of cirrhosis and another paragraph about the year I spent clerking in Concord where I lived on the third floor of a haunted pink Victorian inhabited only by myself and a woman named Helen who’d just been released from 40 years confinement in a mental hospital and who had the unfortunate habit of running out into the hall late at night and banging on my door yelling “I bet he’s jerking off in there,” which was all the more confounding because usually I was. Those are down the rabbit hole but I would remiss if I did not mention that the Pierce game saw the reemergence from the primordial slime of Jim Burr, the worst referee in the history of college basketball, whose every court appearance cheapens amateur athletics … Franklin Pierce are the Ravens and LIU the blackbirds, which motif leaves me an excuse to recycle this, which I wrote many years ago as part of a misbegotten attempt to stage a musical version of the works of Edgar Allen Pork. I think you’ll agree it still hold up.


Once upon a midnight snacking
While I dawdled,
meat-stuffs lacking
Over a many times reheated
platter of forgotten yolks
While I buttered,
bushed from boinking
Suddenly there came an oinking
Yes, a none too gentle oinking
“Oinking,” said I, “’tis a hoax”
“‘Tis some visitor” I muttered
“Oinking — surely ’tis a hoax
People and their little jokes”

So I sat, engrossed in guessing
Till at last I made the blessing
And employed some salad dressing
Hoping to improve the yolks

Presently my soul grew stronger
Hesitating then no longer
“Sir,” I said, “or Madam truly
Truly I approve of jokes
But the truth is I was eating
And so forceful was your bleating
And I’m peace and quiet needing
Lest on my eggs I’ll surely choke”

By and by I spied the lurker
Steady now — here comes the corker
Inside stepped a stately porker
S’truth — I nearly had a stroke
Not the least obeisance made he
Not a minute stopped or stayed he
But with mien of lord or lady
Plopped down on my plate of yolks
Picture that — his porcine pooper
planted on my plate of yolks
Perched — I nearly had a stroke
Quote the Bacon, “Th-th-that’s all folks”