Thank you, Ohio State. You have had such a positive impact on my life over the past week. Somehow, I'm sure you're also responsible for the sinus infection that I'm currently dealing with and let me tell you, I'm digging it. Nothing beats sucking down Halls like a Lockbourne Avenue resident with their crack habit. Here are some other things I'd like to thank Thad Matta and his team for:
1. Completely busting my bracket - If you live in Ohio and enter bowl/bracket pools, you have to realize one thing...everyone here is a Homer and will pick OSU to go way too far regardless of their talent. That's why, if you want to win the cash money, you have to pick the upset. You have to want OSU to lose. Because when OSU loses, 3/4 of the people you're up against's brackets are reduced to toilet paper. Why do you think my dad won both bowl pools he was in and I finished 4th in the only one I was in...pick against OSU, financially it makes so much sense. Tennessee was my call. They were my bank shot. My pool winner. Needless to say, up 20 with 10 seconds left in the first half...I'm feeling pretty damn good about winning The Stube pool. But it was not meant to be. Apparently, the sports Gods believe that the Redhawks winning the MAC this season is the only good feeling I should ever feel again as a fan. So now I'm sitting here like Howard K. Stern. I know I'm not going to win the pool or in his case, the DNA test. But I sit here with hope, much like Howard...because if a few things go my way and everyone against me is a complete idiot, maybe, just maybe, I can cash in in the end. And that, my friends, is what you call a well-crafted analogy.
2. Bringing non-existent fans onto the bandwagon - Be honest, OSU is a football school. Ohio is a football state. Not really a hotbed for hoops. But now that The Thad 5 (awful moniker by the way) are winning in March, all these d-bags come out of the woodwork to tell you how great they are. But you don't fool me. I didn't mind OSU hoops before, I really didn't. The fan base wasn't nearly as obnoxious as the football diehards. But now those shitheads are on board, too, and life as a Buckeye hater is insufferable. I can handle them winning, not ugly like they are, but them winning, but I can't handle listening to a group of people talking near my cubicle about how Mr. Bath Robe, Greg Oden, was a beast last night...DID YOU EVEN WATCH THE GAME??? He was as bad last night (actually the last two games) as he possibly could be. Ugh.
3. Bringing back the theory that you don't have to play the full 40 minutes - Clearly, you don't. They are proving it. This is exactly how a team with Randy Moss, T.O., Vince Carter, Chris Webber, and Manny Ramirez would play. Coast for 20+ minutes and then flip a switch at the end of the game to come up with some crazy win. Due to this reason, I don't know how anyone can root for this team that isn't an alum/student. THEY DON'T PLAY 40 MINUTES OF BASKETBALL. They play down to the level of their competition (see the two close games they played with Penn St.). It drives me nuts. Each one of those players should look themselves in the mirror and it would be easy to see why none of them were on my All-Man Crush Team 2006-2007.
4. Knocking out Bruce Pearl and Chris Lofton - For some strange reason, my favorite non-Charlie Coles coach and non-Redhawk player ended up on the same squad this season which is why I was sad to see them go. I love Bruce Pearl's passion and his desire to paint his chest for a woman's hoops game for some reason. I love Chris Lofton for the proverbial big balls that he plays with. The guy is the Brett Favre of college hoops in the fact that he can and will gun it up from anywhere on the court. I love that. It is sad to see them go away in such a weird, shitty way.
5. Making me root for John Calipari - I don't know if I've ever done that before. He is just a very objectionable coach. I still wish Jon Chaney would've "kicked his ass" a decade ago. There is nothing to like about Calipari. He looks like someone that would be a numbers runner for Tony Soprano. A real small time, mafia-style criminal. But as much as I dislike him, he isn't affiliated with Ohio State and that's good enough for me. One good thing for Memphis is that they do have some karma on their side from last year's Elite 8 loss to UCLA (which won me money in my office pool by the way). OSU has to battle with way beyond negative karma so this could be a good thing.
Who gives a shit anyway, the tournament has been awful this year...no upsets = no one cares.
One more thing from the roadie last weekend. Down in Lexington, some kid was wearing a shirt that read, "My two favorite teams are Utah and whoever plays BYU." That's priceless. Who would buy that???
PBA World Championship this Sunday at 2...sure does bring back good memories of me getting my Walter Ray Williams, Jr. autograph...good times.