Friday, March 30, 2007

This is Not Good

Purdue wide receiver Selwyn Lymon was stabbed at a West Lafayette club last evening and is currently listed as critical but stable. (UPDATE: Lymon is now in good condition but Joe Tiller is still pissed.) It's unknown whether or not Lymon was inside Nick's Night Club, but judging from some reports - and interior shots like these - he may have been among the 200 or so revelers indoors.

Lymon had a reasonably decent season last year catching 33 balls for 580 yards and 3 touchdowns. His speed is exceptionally impressive, and Lymon figured to make a potent threat along with Dorien Bryant in Purdue's pass heavy offense this coming season. There's no telling what an injury like this can do to a season let alone a career.

Lymon is no stranger to violent injuries having been shot in the eye during a late-night paintball game last year. However, it doesn't seem like he's a stranger to the Purdue bar scene either - an interesting point considering he won't be 21 until this September.

I'm not going to pass judgment on Lymon being in a bar when he's 20. There's enough nervous nellies around to be aghast that college kids are fond of parties and drinking despite their ages.

I'm more interested to see how this plays out with the fans' tenuous relationship with Boilermaker head coach Joe Tiller, especially after safety Torri Williams was picked up for DUI on the very same night.

Tiller didn't throw Lymon onto the knife, nor did he buy Williams a round, but there's been a scuttlebutt amongst fans about a negative climate that had emerged within the football program especially after a 5-6 season in 2005 that was punctuated by the early exits of quarterback Brandon Kirsch and Kansas City Chief, Bernard Pollard - who happens to be Lymon's cousin.

Last season's personnel changes, the 8-6 record along with 18 of 22 starters returning had done a lot to assuage any bitterness in Boiler fandom, but sitting three weeks from the spring game and now having to deal with incidents - one life threatening - surrounding two starters kind of puts Tiller back at square one. His official response is to wait for further information, but Tiller had better watch out. These things, as detached from his leadership and control as they are, are just the sort of nuggets disgruntled fans latch onto when they're renewing the rights to

My sincere hope is that Lymon's recovery is fast and his future not terribly altered. That would leave only Joe Tiller's football condition in a "critical" status.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

One Shining Moment

As Final Four week approaches, my thoughts always turn to the many memories of watching the games with friends and family. As a sophomore in high school, the Final Four fell on spring break, and was in Indianapolis. My friends and I took the Metro downtown, and were greeted by hummers filled with Mountain Dew (they were unveiling their wide-mouth can), the new Reebok DMX running shoe (you could take a pair for a trial run, literally), and our radio debut, giving shout-outs on Hoosier Hot 96! As high schoolers, there's nothing better than walking through the streets of downtown Indy, and yelling "Minnesotaaaaaaaa" or "UK sucks" just to hear the random reaction of cheers and boos from others walking around. I remember watching IU beat Oklahoma in 2002, and then listening to my friend Bill call Aaron McGhee's dorm room (Oklahoma has a ridiculously simple student directory on their website,or at least they did in 2002) precisely as the buzzer sounded to leave a rude comment or five. I also think about my annual phone call to Arizona, where my friend Ben is undoubtedly watching CBS' tear jerking montage set to "One Shining Moment." Ben's Final Four highlight came in 2000 when he sent conciliatory emails to Billy Donovan and Mike Miller. He got no response. He also sent Mateen Cleaves an email, suggesting that me might want to consider pressing charges for what Miller did to his ankle. He got no response.

My original intention was to research, collect, and comment on the montages from years past, but fortunately, someone else did all the work for me! And so I give you the last 10 years of "One Shining Moment," brought to you by The Morning After.

I'll give you one montage, to whet your whistle. It's from 2005, and the highlights include, but are not limited to:

- the Nevada Wolf Pack mascot getting rejected as he tries to console the Nevada player on the bench (when will people realize that mascots aren't simply clowns for our amusement. they can offer emotional support as well, if we just let them!).

- the Fairleigh player "flexing" his "bicep"

- the Lachey, Judd, Murray celebrity mini-montage

- the greatest jersey name pop in history (no one does it better than Bucknell, and everyone knows that 2005 was the year of the jersey pop)

See the other 9 years of moments here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On Second Thought

That's the justification former Purdue Boilermaker Nate Minnoy gave in September 2006 for his decision to withdraw from the basketball team and university. Little did we know Minnoy wasn't indicating career choices. When he said it was best to go in another direction he meant one specifically: UP.

Minnoy's departure was quite unexpected and announced mere weeks from the season tip-off. The Boilers went on to have one of the best turn-around seasons returning to the NCAA tournament and losing to defending champ Florida in the second round. Minnoy's photo was even on the promotional material mailed to the Boiler faithful and a banner - albeit misspelled - hung on Mackey Arena putting Minnoy on par with All Big Ten players David Teague and Carl Landry.

Needless to say, the puzzle of Minnoy's departure after a season shortened by a torn MCL began to unravel at the speed of conjecture. Turns out Nate wasn't too happy with new coach Matt Painter's demands that he shed pounds. Some reports say up to 20 lbs. needed to be dropped to stay in Painter's good graces. Minnoy, not feeling up to the rigors of being in shape for a division one team decided instead to feed the fans a line about "another direction."

His first new direction took him to Schoolcraft Junior College this season. Not too shocking enough, word's out today that Minnoy has committed to play for coach Ernie Zeigler and the Central Michigan Chippewas who went 13-18 this year in the MAC.

Don't think ole Nate was disingenuous when he talked about moving "in another direction." Sure he stuck with collegiate basketball, the midwest, and even eventually came back to D-I. But suddenly Nate's grown 2 inches yet remained the svelt 270 lbs.

Let's go on a little stat walk.

  • In 2004, Minnoy's senior year at Hales Franciscan High School he was listed as 6' 3" and 230 lbs.
  • Then during his season at Purdue he was still 6' 3" but ballooned up to 270 lbs.
  • Upon arrival at Schoolcraft he's still listed as 6' 3" and 270 lbs.
  • After three years of consistent height, the 20 year old Minnoy is touted as being 6' 5" and still 270 lbs. I think Nate's fibbing. Don't believe me? Take a look at this photo of Minnoy standing next to Mott Community College's Terrence Watson, also listed as 6' 5" but Watson seems to be about 2 inches taller.

Perhaps that bastion of journalism, the Morning Sun, simply made a mistake and gave Minnoy the extra inches. Either way, that would be the second largest mistake surrounding this story. Coach Zeigler - also a Schoolcraft alum - must have fallen for it or not mind having one of his guards outweigh his centers by 15, 20, and 40 pounds.

Transfer if you want out. Just don't lie about it.

Oh, here'a link to Nate's mySpace. At least he's still friends with his former Purdue teammates. It will take some work to get his former fans into his top 24 though.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Surf's Up

I'm not too sure what I've got planned this weekend. How about you? Oh yeah, I guess I will be watching the Final Four Saturday evening, but not much planned Sunday outside the usual Palm Sunday doings.

What's, that? The world is ending Sunday April 1, 2007. Huh, wonder if that will screw up the coverage of the national championship? At least we'll be done with Joakim Noah once and for all. Wait, big flood and a guy named Noah. Looks like we'll have him for a while...well another 40 days at least.

I'm not one for Biblical prophesy disseminated via free web press releases - especially after the scholarly work of Bart Ehrman - but I do love a good April Fool's joke.

Did you notice that? Coincidence maybe. Just remember this little zinger from Palm Sunday 1965.


Monday, March 19, 2007

We Were Dead Before Reaching the Top 12

First off, there are good reviews of The Hold Steady show in Indy written here and here. (UPDATE: There's also a killer photo of keyboard player Franz Nicolay's mustache here that is a must-see.) I made a last-minute decision to attend, and am very glad I did. When you take into account that the band dedicated "The Swish" to Tony Dungy (a proud Minnesota alum), went through the most alcohol I've seen a band drink on stage since Guided By Voices broke up, and waxed poetic about people on the coasts who think Minneapolis and Indianapolis are the same place, it was a killer show. They have secured a spot on my personal "I'll see this band anytime they play within 3 hours of me" list. But moving on.

Tomorrow brings the release of two anticipated albums. The first being the US release of the debut effort from 29-piece collective I'm From Barcelona. Back in December, I predicted that this would be one of the best albums of 2007, so don't say you weren't warned. These are killer pop songs at their finest, and at times it's refreshing when there's no underlying subtext to the lyrics. For example, the song "Oversleeping" is about oversleeping. "Treehouse" is about building a treehouse. "Collection of Stamps" is get the idea.

On the other end of the lyrical spectrum, new Modest Mouse comes out tomorrow as well, and is getting pretty solid reviews thus far. The band who I definitely would have voted "least likely to ever have a top 10 single" before 2004 now has Johnny Marr in tow, and while I don't expect Kidz Bop to be covering anything off the new album, you can never say for sure. Let's all hope at least that nothing from the new release makes it's way into any "zombies of random decades"-related American Idol advertisement.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rock Star myspace surveys: The Bob Dylan edition

1. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
I've got a hole
Where my stomach disappeared
Then you ask why I don't live here
Honey, I gotta think you're really weird.

2. What was your last alcoholic beverage?
Now the rainman gave me two cures,
Then he said, "Jump right in."
The one was Texas medicine,
The other was just railroad gin.

3. Who is/are the friend/s you can count on the most?
Now I gotta friend who spends his life
Stabbing my picture with a bowie-knife
Dreams of strangling me with a scarf
When my name comes up he pretends to barf.
I've got a million friends!

4. Where was your first kiss with your current significant other?
You kiss me, baby, in the coffee shop
You make me nervous, you gotta stop

5. What's your Favorite Band?
I hear the hot-blooded singer
On the bandstand croon
September Song, Memphis in June
While they're beating the devil out of a guy who's wearing a flaming red wig

6. What is something you've learned about yourself recently?
I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed the winding stream
I heard the deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they're not what they seem

7. Do you like anyone (more than as a friend)?
Maybe someday, you'll believe me when I say
That I wanted you, baby, in every kind of way.

8. Do you know anyone who is engaged?
You're a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds,
Manipulator of crowds, you're a dream twister.
You're going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care? Ain't nobody there would want to marry your sister.

9. What's your favorite number?
Ten thousand women all sweepin' my room,
Ten thousand women all sweepin' my room,
Spilling my buttermilk, sweeping it up with a broom.

10. Who was the last person to make you cry?
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun

11. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

12. How many things in your past do you regret?
Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.
I don't have any regrets, they can talk about me plenty when I'm gone.
You always said people don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent.

13. What is one thing you miss about your past?
if you're travelin' in the north country fair,
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline,
Remember me to one who lives there.
She once was a true love of mine.

14. What is one thing you've learned about life?
Some things last longer than you think they will
There are some kind of things you can never kill

15. Are you jealous of anyone?
Most of the time
My head is on straight,
Most of the time
I'm strong enough not to hate.

17. Has a friend ever used you?
I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right

18. Has anyone recently told you that they like you more than as a friend?
You got my attention,
Go ahead, speak.
What was it you wanted
When you were kissing my cheek?

19. Who was the last person you drove with?
Lenny Bruce is dead but he didn't commit any crime
He just had the insight to rip off the lid before its time.
I rode with him in a taxi once, only for a mile and a half,
Seemed like it took a couple of months.
Lenny Bruce moved on and like the ones that killed him, gone.

20. What are you looking forward to?
Stake my future on a hell of a past
Looks like tomorrow is coming on fast
Ain't complaining 'bout what I got
Seen better times, but who has not?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Life on the Bubble: The Wait

"The waiting is the hardest part." - Tom Petty

After today's 63-52 loss to Ohio State, the Purdue Boilermakers find themselves at the end of the greatest turnaround season in school history. They've moved from the abysmal 9-19 to 21-11 and are straddling the cusp of the NCAA tournament.

It could all be for naught if the late season surge doesn't land the Boilermakers in the field of 65 tomorrow evening. The team, the school and the fans will be roundly disappointed in anything beyond an 11-ish seed.

We were treated to a lopsided effort today where the Buckeyes grabbed 18 more rebounds, negated the play of Gordon Watt and Keaton Grant, and each of the 10 turnovers seemed to be compounded into mighty heaps of bad luck and misfortune.

It was tough to see Purdue beaten so soundly after yesterday's dismantling of Iowa, but the worst part was having to listen to the bat-shit crazy ramblings of Billy Packer. Some lowlights:
  • Early in the game OSU's Mike Conley comes streaking into the lane and collides mid-air with a stationary Chris Kramer. Charge or blocking foul. Call something. Packer chimes in with, "Good non-call."
  • In searching for an heir to George Mason, Packer notes the "excellent success" of Winthrop. As opposed to the soul-crushing success Winthrop endured when it won a conference game only by stabbing orphans in the throat at each timeout.
  • At one stretch Packer continually called Greg Oden, "Odom." Nit picky? Yes. But, Billy Packer can cram it with walnuts.
  • Purdue's Keaton Grant strips an OSU player of the ball with a little skin involved. Packer shits himself and cries, "If that's not a foul, I don't know what is." I thought Packer's confusion on the nature of fouls was settled last week.
  • Commenting on Purdue's lack of a free throw attempt in the first half, Packer noted that Purdue was "Zero for zero. 1,000%." For starters, all percentages are fractions and any fraction with zero in the denominator is by definition undefined. In essence, it doesn't exist. Secondly, I'm unaware of any rule that dictates a school's score be multiplied by ten if they've missed nary a free throw. While Wayne Larrivee is still working on that rule, welcome to 7th grade math, Billy.
  • The worst display and the one that hit closest to home was Packer's revisionist hack job recounting the origin of Purdue's nickname. He correctly cited Purdue President James Smart as the catalyst behind the Big Ten conference (nee Western Conference) in 1895. Packer then rambles on loosely hitting the apocryphal story of Purdue using boilermakers from the Monon Shops as ringers on their athletic teams. In truth, a Crawfordsville newspaperman coined the nickname as a slur after Purdue beat the crap out of Wabash in 1891 four years before the Monon Shops existed in Lafayette.

Let the experts have their say. I have half a nerve to drive down Capitol avenue and shout my pleas to the 15th floor of the Westin hotel where sits the all-knowing, all-powerful Selection Committee. I've done worse. Imagine Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire screaming, "10 Seed!"

In a few short hours the Boilermaker "ever faithful, ever true" will at last know the fate of our cagers. Our time astride the bubble will end, and we'll see if Neil Young was just singing about heroin.

"I've seen the needle and the damage done."

Friday, March 09, 2007

What Price Fashion?

That is a very airy view of Ohio State's Ivan Harris going to the hole in what must have been a quite breezy United Center. Actually, Harris is sporting OSU's brand, spakin' new uniforms.

The new duds sport jerseys that are extremely tighter than anything
DeShaun Wood is wearing, which I would assume is an advantage over anyone flapping in the wind. Greg Oden even said that when opponents grab these new snugger shirts he'll definitely get more calls. So the new tops are quite the step up.

It's these shorts that I can't get past.

Now, don't think I'm some stick-in-the-mud fuddy duddy rambling on about these here kids today. There is no way these pants offer anything to help your play, they could only potentially hinder it. I'm not thinking the Buckeyes will suffer a spate of their new shorts/ longs/ pantaloons getting snagged on the rim. No, I'm worried about their public persona when they continually show up to basketball games dressed like my wife heading to a wedding reception.

OSU, Florida, Syracuse and Arizona are all wearing
gaucho pants. Hell, throw some knee-high leather boots on the Buckeyes and they'll be confused for a Delta Zeta pledge class.

You know them. Your mom already has a pair, and I defy you to sneak into a baby shower and not find a young lass sipping mimosas while enjoying a less than fitting feeling about the thighs. They're ubiquity has now stretched to March Madness.

Supposedly Nike's athletic version of the gaucho allows the addition of padding for banging in the lane or if you're stuck with a gum-popping, handsy head coach.

The gauchos - backed with Phil Knight money, the same guy who brought you this assault on your eyes - are here to stay at least for the Madness before us. Just don't call this haute couture the "wave of the future," because it most certainly is not. Take a look at this school marm turned power forward.Seems like Nike dipped way back to the primordial basketball ooze in search of inspiration to further distract us from the court. Just don't come crying to me when Purdue's Carl Landry asks if you always let your mama dress you.

Who am I kidding? Greg Oden could get 20 & 12 wearing a pair of corduroys and a cape.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Locals Only

From the Watson's girl to Bob Rohrman, Indianapolis has a fine tradition of local commercial celebrities. But I think we can all agree that no one comes close to the perfect combination of costumer service, 2nd Ammendment patriotism, and good old fashioned crazy that is Don Davis.

He's even made it nationally, recently being featured on ifilm's series of great (and by great, they mean creepy) local commercials:

And even though ifilm is unaware that Don has retired from advertising guns on television, as he now "just looooves sellin' matresses," we're FINALLY getting some positive press for Indianapolis!

Musketeers are Gay

Another Dayton basketball season has come to a close today. A brave but injury-plagued Flyers squad fell to the evil incarnate that is Xavier University, a school I hate with my entire being. I hate Xavier so much, I wouldn't even wear Xanthus shoes (if they were still in business.) With the loss, UD appears to be on the outside looking in of the always tempestuous NIT bubble.

But do not fret, Flyer faithful. Next year looks promising, as UD only loses one senior (Monty Scott, who has been hurt the last month anyway.) Also, the Flyers are getting their best freshman recruit in decades with Chris Wright, who it seems according to my youtube-searching records is, uh, kinda nasty.

So hold your head up high, Flyers. We may have lost to Xavier three times this year, but at least our mascot doesn't sport some fruity mustache. Our mascot is so cutting edge, he's been wearing aviator shades before the came in the standard issue hipster uniform. In closing, please enjoy this aerial display of London Warren, giving Dion Dacons of Temple a little of the old "How's your father"a week ago.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Selection Committee On the Town

As noted in my previous post, I was on a mission Wednesday evening to dine at the same establishment as the NCAA Selection Committee who opened up their deliberations tonight. All I had to go on was a blurb from an Indianapolis Star article and my MidWestern intuition.

Here again was my rundown on the possible destinations:

There's really just four options for Italian that would give the committee decent food and keep them a stone's throw from the Downtown Westin, but only one option that would be tradition worthy.

  • We can throw out Buca di Beppo because I doubt these guys are chain restaurant material and Buca's non-conference schedule sucks no matter how many pictures of Sinatra you throw on the wall.
    NCAA equivalent: UCONN
  • The Milano Inn has pretty good fare, but it's head-to-head with the two remaining joints quickly relegate it to supplying take-out for the NIT folks.
    NCAA equivalent: Michigan
  • Amici's was my sentimental choice. Small, out of the way. A place most people drive past not even realizing what's there. But the great food can't overcome it's lack of seating (unless they committee gets the private room upstairs).
    NCAA equivalent: George Mason.
  • The odds-on favorite has got to be Iaria's. The history is rich in this place. Not only is the dining room primed for guests of this caliber, they also have bitchin' pizza, and a former owner who once pulled a gun on his own family in an attempt to sell the restaurant. Oh, and Rick Majerus loves this place, and if anyone is going to hold sway over NCAA basketball dining it has to be Majerus.
    NCAA equivalent: Kansas/UCLA.

My hunches were correct, and I made a spot-on call. The NCAA Selection Committee were dining - privately (note the above sign) - at Iaria's in downtown Indianapolis. The committee was in its glory and joined by NCAA president Myles Brand and a few administration/family members. They were largely unreachable, and nobody seemed to be making any attempts to approach them even though their presense was openly known in the dining room.

I did grab one quite meager photo. It was difficult to shoot from the dark hallway, through a glass door and around a large poster supporting Jerry's Kids. The guy with the arrow is last year's committee chair and Billy Packer nemesis Craig Littlepage, AD at Virginia.

The place was jumping and it took us about 40 minutes to get a seat. The meal was delectable and the spumoni to die for. Somewhere between my salad and the lasagne, the Selection Committee slipped to their limo-bus, well-sated and ready to be locked in a hotel.

Life on the Bubble: Patience

The NCAA Tournament Selection committee gets their annual shebang underway tonight. The 10 member committee will begin the process of winnowing a field of 65 that will hopefully piss off Billy Packer so much that he'll choose self-immolation over broadcasting.

With each passing night, more and more teams lock themselves into one of the 31 automatic slots sometimes inadvertantly locking the teams they defeat into at-large berths. All the while the Purdue Boilermakers sit on the sidelines, push through daily practice, and deflect every question they can about their tournament possibilities. Coach Matt Painter has made it quite clear that," We're not going to talk ourselves into this. We have to play our way in."

The Boiler faithful may be wearing out their refresh buttons bouncing back and forth between, CBS Sportsline and, but it's purely academic at this point. There's no reason to think the selection committee will even begin to mention Purdue until their game with Iowa Friday afternoon. Until then we'll try to distract ourselves with the Big East tournament and stalking the committee...

As noted in the article, "Dinner tonight at an Italian restaruant, a place that's become a selection committee tradition (but one it would rather not divulge)."

So the wife and I are going to attempt to dine at the same establishment and hone our ears for light banter of RPI, road records, and whether or not Tyler Hansbrough's readjusted nose has any effect on UNC's seeding. The trouble of course is pin-pointing the non-divulgeable restaurant. So I've popped on my own selection hat and hereby give you


There's really only four options for Italian for the committee that would give them decent food and keep them a stone's throw from the Downtown Westin, but only one option that would be tradition worthy.
  • We can throw out Buca di Beppo because I doubt these guys are chain restaurant material and Buca's non-conference schedule sucks no matter how many pictures of Sinatra you throw on the wall.
    NCAA equivalent: UCONN
  • The Milano Inn has pretty good fare, but it's head-to-head with the two remaining joints quickly relegate it to supplying take-out for the NIT folks.
    NCAA equivalent: Michigan
  • Amici's was my sentimental choice. Small, out of the way. A place most people drive past not even realizing what's there. But the great food can't overcome it's lack of seating (unless they committee gets the private room upstairs).
    NCAA equivalent: George Mason.
  • The odds-on favorite has got to be Iaria's. The history is rich in this place. Not only is the dining room primed for guests of this caliber, they also have bitchin' pizza, and a former owner who once pulled a gun on his own family in an attempt to sell the restaurant. Oh, and Rick Majerus loves this place, and if anyone is going to hold sway over NCAA basketball dining it has to be Majerus.
    NCAA equivalent: Kansas/UCLA.

Dinner is between 7:00 and 7:30 and I'll have the digital camera in tow. If I'm lucky I'll get to ask Craig Littlepage about Purdue's victory over Virginia (his school) while sipping a nice chianti.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Where's the Crybabies?

Indiana high school athletics are a sight to behold, more often for the spectacle than the sports.

There’s a clear line of demarcation drawn through 1979 separating those who graduated with single-class basketball and those forced to endure the dehumanizing dilution of four state champion teams. Radio and print hacks still trot out that nugget when the phone lines go limp, but largely most folks have agreed to either keep watching or ignore it altogether.

That basketball debate has fizzled in recent years and been supplanted by an argument over the perceived inequities between public and non-public (read Catholic) high schools, especially concerning football championships. Certain public schools favor segregating all non-public/Catholic/undefined boundaries schools into a separate division that would not vie with public schools for championships. In short, some public school are tired of losing and feel their only avenue to the podium is a rule change.

Chief among the flippant arguments fans and administrations of these public schools toss out is the assertion that non-public/Catholic/undefined boundaries schools recruit their players. This claim holds no water, except for speculation surrounding a certain unnamed Indianapolis school. In earnest debates, I’ve asked many detractors to point beyond that one unnamed school only to hear concessions and backtracking.

Recruiting between schools is largely a non-issue, but I’ll in no way say it’s non-existent. However, the venom of the debate is solely focused on non-public/Catholic/undefined boundries schools.

Riddle me this then…where’s the damn outcry over comments in today’s Indianapolis Star from a player at Thomas Carr Howe Academy, a public high school? Terry Hill, a senior at Howe had this to say about teammates Keyon Milliner and Greg Foster who were integral in Howe’s upset over Roncalli, a Catholic high school, in the sectional final.

"I'm glad we got my two friends, Keyon and Greg, to come play with us. Now we're just a great complete team, and I don't think nobody can stop us."

Milliner and Foster sat out the requisite 365 days of competition after transferring from Arsenal Tech. This means Milliner and Foster left Tech in March of 2006, not at semester end but in the middle of the year…to play basketball for Howe...with guys from their traveling team.

There's nothing wrong with it, and there's precedent. But, where’s the outcry? Howe won that game thanks to contributions from two players talked into switching schools. It’s right there. Milliner and Foster followed the rules and good for them. They’re on a championship team. But, the Sunday call in shows aren't overwhelmed with vitriol. Had the situation been flipped and Roncalli won with two formerly non-eligible players, most of Indianapolis would be in flames.

I guess it’s not so bad when it’s the public schools doing nothing wrong.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's Gotta Be the Hair

David Teague dropped in 23 & 8 today in Purdue's victory over Northwestern to take the Boilermakers to 20-10 overall and 9-7 in the Big Ten. This wasn't a career game for Teague, but Senior Day did bring out a very well-rounded game and another well-rounded item.

Teague entered the contest sporting a new do, and I for one say run with it.

Distinguished with braids.

Afro picks forever.

Life on the Bubble: Potential

Purdue enters today 19-10 and 8-7 in the Big Ten, a game away from the second best home record ever. A 20 win season lies in the offing, a feat unrealized in seven seasons. Yet, these numbers add up to one more week on the bubble.

Despite the Boilers' recent heroics - winning 5 of the last 7 including a dismantling of Michigan St. and win over rival Indiana - Purdue rests squarely on the surface of the bubble but now they're on the outside peering inward.

Lucky enough, Purdue knows exactly what the they must accomplish. Win one more game at home over underwhelming Northwestern and punch a ticket to the five seed in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday. From there it's not much more than hope and potentially a matchup with Illinois or Iowa. The Big Ten tournament game is purely academic at this point: do what you've done for 30 games. The rest is a stomach churning exercise of numbers and opinions.

While Purdue is tipping in West Lafayette this afternoon, 27-4 Winthrop will hopefully be throttling 14-18 VMI. If Winthrop takes the Big South tourney they also take up one of the 31 automatic bids and leave open one of the precious 34 at-large bids that Purdue desperately needs. A Winthrop victory may move Purdue uncomfortably inside the bubble, but pitfalls abound nonetheless. Leagues like the Horizon, Conference USA and the A-10 can still have some upstart win their tournaments and push the odds on favorites - Butler, Memphis, Xavier - into one of the valuable at-large positions.

Long story short, Purdue will need a win in Chicago to remove some doubt, but what's new? That will only solidify their potential while most of the determining factors remain out of reach on distant courts. That's the problem with potential: it isn't tangible, nor can you point to it in the RPI, road wins, or records versus the top 65.

Purdue is full of potential, but potential isn't worth too much these days.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Live From New York, It's Peyton Manning

During a release party for the Colts Super Bowl DVD, Peyton Manning spoke to the media about the influx of appearance offers that he has turned down since the Super Bowl. However, one offer was apparently too good to pass up - the chance to host Saturday Night Live, which he will do on March 24th (his 31st birthday.)

It will be interesting to see how Manning performs on SNL. Tango aficianodos will be the first to note that Manning has been more than comfortable on the stage in the past. Still, it would be hard to imagine that anything Manning does could surpass Joe Montana, who put on the career-defining performance of SNL-athlete hosts 20 years ago when he played the part of Sincere Guy Stu and uttered one of the most brilliant deadpan lines in the history of the show:

(All apologies for only having the audio, but I scoured all over for video and came up empty. Damn you NBC and your constant smiting of online video.)