Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

Yeah, I said “retarded”, get over it. Anyway, how was your 4th of July? Did you blow your hand off like I said you would? I spent mine at Summerfest (big Milwaukee festival – food, drinks, mediocre music, yada yada). My wife, aware of my affinity for the ridiculous, pointed out one of the most asinine trends I have seen in a long time. My attention span was ruined for the rest of the day, I couldn’t believe what I was looking at.

So apparently this is a thing now – hiked up multi-colored NBA socks. Listen, I’m not “stylish”. I don’t “wear pants all of the time.” I never claim to “know what I look like when I leave the house.” Yes, my favorite shirt is one that reads “It’s not a beer belly, it’s a fuel tank for a sex machine”, but I would never be caught wearing some dumbass concoction of flamboyant eyesore shit like this.

This is coming from somebody who grew up in the city of Chicago, so I’ve seen my fair share of ridiculous trends but this one has me scratching my head. It honestly looks as if this guy asked his 3-year-old to put together his outfit for him. Even the 3-year-old probably giggled as he grabbed daddy’s yellow socks and black sneakers, thinking about how god damn stupid he was going to look. Much to my dismay, this cretinous collection of idiotic fashion statements were everywhere. Every direction I looked there were NBA socks: lime green, blaze orange, red, blue, most accompanied by shorts of the completely opposite color. I couldn’t prepare my camera phone quick enough to keep up with them all. I even snapped a picture while riding the sky deck.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, there they were:

Yep, socks and sandals, outdoors, in public.

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry – I’m an equal opportunity observational retorter.

If there is anything I have learned from this, it’s that there is no such thing as “fashion.” The term perception is reality couldn’t be more true here. They really believe, in their heart of hearts, that they look cool (the same way these assholes do). All of these trends are just an example of what happens when enough people are willing to look as stupid as one person does. Who is responsible for this crap anyway? If anybody knows the origin of this nonsense, please, comment away. If I ever become rich and famous enough to carry this kind of influential power, I’m going to start wearing pants on my arms and shirts on my legs just to see how far they’ll go. The thing that really chaps my ass is that they’re not even doing anything original here, this is just a new spin on an old classic.

Still stupid, 50 years later

Here are a few more, because inconspicuously taking all these pictures was not easy.

I spent the long weekend convincing myself that this wasn’t an actual thing, but I’m afraid I might be wrong. Is this happening everywhere, or have I just been unlucky enough to now live in a place where it looks like the Easter Bunny threw up all over everybody’s feet?

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It seems like there are always new rules popping up all over the country: seat belts must be worn, you can no longer piss on your neighbor’s cat, and worst of all – neighborhoods all over the country are advocating the abolishment of keeping score in organized youth sports! Are you kidding me? I keep running into stories wherein some upper-class, snobby, scared-of-everything suburb wants to protect Johnny Dearest’s feelings in order to keep him interested in whichever sport it is that he sucks at. I might be wrong, but I thought the idea of playing a team sport was to work together as a group to reach a common goal, not to run around like assholes for an hour then head home to watch Spongebob and forget what the hell just happened. It’s absolutely pathetic, and I’m pretty sure that even these penguins keep score.

I’ve read that some fear keeping score makes parents encourage competitiveness at a very young age, which they believe is unhealthy. I guess we’d hate to teach our children to have to earn something, right? We’re probably better off showing them that just so long as you try your hardest you’ll always be a winner, because that’s relative to real life. Give me a break, have them bring that mentality into grade school, and don’t be surprised when they cry over every scolding, bad grade, or negative comment from the kid who just kicked your son’s ass in basketball – and knows it because he kept score in his head. The pussification of todays youth has reached a new level of embarrassment. The other dumbass doctrine out there is that parents want their kids to be well socialized, and somehow believe that keeping score is antithetic. Right, because practice 3 days a week, games every weekend and tournaments every month just spawn isolation. But if they keep losing, we’d hate for the kids to get discouraged and give up on the sport they love so much. Listen, if your kid really likes playing a particular sport, chances are he or she will want to continue playing said sport regardless of whether or not they win or lose, so think about who is really the one getting discouraged here – it’s not Timmy’s fault you blew your knee out, dad. Fact of the matter is, some people will just never be good at certain things. Sometimes a kid just needs to realize that he or she sucks at a certain sport, and that it’s time to either improve or move on to something else so they don’t continue falling over their own uncoordinated feet playing sports their horrible at.

You can’t protect your kids from everything, and most times a good old fashioned ass whooping is just what they need to keep them humble and make sure their noses stay out of the air. Have you ever had to deal with an over-arrogant 10 year-old? Talk to that same kid after he gets his ass handed to him in an 8-1 blowout loss. Organized youth sports are one of the oldest “gimmes” in the book. You’re kids get a babysitter, exercise, a learned skill-set, socialization, team building experience and life lessons all rolled into one; don’t screw it up because you’re too damn lazy to explain to them why they’re awful, or god forbid, teach them how to get better. When little Timmy chokes a girl at school because she doesn’t want to go to homecoming with him, I bet you’ll wish he learned how to deal with failure a little earlier on.

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Another classic from my buddy Gonzo…

I think it’s safe to say it’s the last time this kid asks his dad to put anything together for him.

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In the spirit of tonight’s games, I felt it necessary to get this post out before they start. The media has been flooded lately with plenty of garbage sob stories about the nature of this year’s NCAA tournament but there is a special brand out there that is beginning to make me sick. I have read article after article about how all of the upsets so far are a sort of rallying cry for the average Joe and how rooting for a team like Cornell over Kentucky is so inherently “American” because of their underdog status. It is nearly impossible to go through the sports section without reading some ridiculous story about this year’s Cinderella team and how it is so easy to get in the corner and root for the “little guy”. Listen to me for a second and stop your bleeding heart from pouring all over your ‘Big Red’ foam finger.

Call me crazy, but instead of saying things just to say them I like to think it out a bit first (even though my wife would vehemently disagree). Think about that statement or idea – that cheering for the underdog Cornell to defeat Kentucky is inherently American… Shut up, don’t say anything yet – just think. Ready? – The players at Cornell are almost assured a posh lifestyle when they graduate and for all intents and purposes probably had a silver spoon upbringing. Now I am not, in any way, diminishing the hard work of their parents to provide that lifestyle or the studious nature of the kids who play there currently. I only do this to point out the vast difference between these 2 teams, and the fact that the American underdog story doesn’t start at Starbucks, or the mean streets of Ithaca, NY. We are likely more able to identify with a group of Kentucky athletes who were recruited from blue-collar neighborhoods and had average lifestyles, not with those who had their birthdays celebrated at country clubs and got a Mercedes for their sweet 16. There is absolutely no reason why Kentucky shouldn’t absolutely pistol whip (take it however you want) Cornell, but that being said, I DO want Cornell to win. It’s not because I want to watch a bunch over privileged kids celebrate another victory over the middle class, but because I would love to see the look on the faces of Kentucky fans when a group of dopey, awkward white guys dance around while crying and soiling themselves at mid court. If you like upsets – then say that. There is nothing wrong with wanting a team to win simply because you want to see them win. Please don’t hide behind some stupid desire to see a group of already well-off kids ‘rise up’ or ‘overcome all odds’. If you want a real American tale – follow the kids from Kentucky who don’t make it to the NBA – because it is there that you’ll get what you’re looking for – struggle and mediocrity.

Agree? Disagree? Who cares – pass it on!
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One by one their cries could be heard howling from every living room in America. From every corner bar and sports book in the country they cursed the names of officials, coaches and players blaming anybody within eyesight. Millions wept with their head in their hands trying to figure out how they would make the rent now that their NCAA bracket had gone to complete shit before we’ve even reached the sweet 16. Before you pound the pills, inhale the exhaust or string up the noose remember one thing: Your bracket sucks just as much as Barack Obama’s. That’s right – you may be smarter than the President. Barack Obama’s bracket is about as awful as your average dumb-ass mouth breather, and that makes me feel pretty warm and fuzzy. After all the nonsense we had to watch as Mr. Basketball was interviewed and grilled on every selection, he left us just as uninspired as his presidential tenure has so far. What I hope this means is that he wasn’t able to put much thought into March Madness because he was a little busy worrying about American Madness. I know what you’re thinking – “Whatever Nick, this year’s tournament is crazy” – and you’re right, but I know jack shit about NCAA Basketball and my main teams are still alive so excuse me while I take a second to gloat…. IN YOUR FACE BARACK! (first name basis due to my bracketal dominance). Does Obama (and most of the general public) know more about Basketball? Definitely. Does it matter? Obviously not.

I understand if you’re a little bummed out. It’s tough trying to explain why you lost your son’s college fund because Kansas got knocked out too early, or finding ways to tell creditors that if Villanova hadn’t lost you would have their money. Keep your head up though, it’s rare to be on a level playing field with the President so take some pride in that, besides – I’m sure you can scrounge up the mortgage payment using all of that change Obama has been asking everybody for. He has practically asked every living American person for change, and that adds up fast. Hell, I found over $2 in my couch once. Multiply that by 304 million Americans and you might even be able to afford health insurance, but I forgot – he’s fixing that – my bad. The President has to be a little miffed about his poor showing this year, and I would be too. Spending all that time and money filling and framing a losing bracket just to have it serve as nothing more than an eternal reminder of mediocrity is pretty disheartening…

Pay it forward

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So sit your ass on the couch, ignore your family and pony up Junior’s college fund because it’s time to rock and roll.

I love the smell of plummeting productivity in the morning, the hum of computers draining internet bandwidth with streaming feeds of basketball bliss and the frenzied fanatical excitement of circling your team’s name as they move closer to the Championship game – DAMN IT – it’s too much to take in!

The NCAA tournament is the grand stage for bandwagon basketball fans (like myself) to jump on and go unnoticed. The only team I’ve followed all year has been my Alma mater – Marquette (and even that is a bold statement) so how the hell can I possibly fill out a bracket and expect to even get close to winning back my mortgage payment? Enter: internet. With so many experts leading me in the right direction, revealing flawless algorithms and breaking down every region with details as far as the running dollar amount on Rick Pitino’s abortion tab – how can I go wrong? One expert says Kansas is a lock, another thinks Duke is the balls while a handful are liking Syracuse’s chances. I followed the rules of a few different experts and came up with a few separate brackets that looked completely unlike one another. I’m calling bullshit. You have a better chance of being sodomized and bitten by Marv Albert than completing any  kind of a successful bracket. So the best you can hope for is that somebody blows it or the refs are getting paid in your favor. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t buy in to some of this nonsense but this still holds true to any “expert” prediction – they’re almost always wrong. I get it though, they have to do this. In a world where people believe absolutely everything they hear, why would sports networks remove themselves from the brainwashing arena that is the dumb ass general public?

To the victor go the spoils

Regardless of which approach you take, it is imperative to bring home at least one nugget of information from all of the wild, nonsensical banter: Pick your teams, and leave it alone. There is nothing worse than staying up all night scratching out names, circling others, printing out bracket after bracket while crying yourself to sleep only to lose because some dickwad committed a ridiculous foul in the waning seconds of a game to drop them from the tournament. Besides, you should just pick the winners based on your favorite jersey colors – that’s what the receptionist is doing and you know damn well she’s going to win it, again.

I’ll leave you with a gem from one of the NIT (loser bracket) games this week. Hey – I’d punch somebody in the nuts if I were playing in the NIT too, I’m just not sure I’d do it twice…

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Tuesday night my wife and I went to the Marquette/Louisville basketball game to watch our Alma mater lay the wood to the Cardinals 69-48.  The game was well in hand for our Golden Eagles most of the time so I had the opportunity to observe my surroundings and really take in the public spectacle that is a sporting event. We always find ourselves talking, laughing or complaining about “that guy” on the way home. During this particular match up it seemed that every fool in Milwaukee made his way to the Bradley Center with the sole intention of fulfilling a precise stereotype. They all came out to flaunt their insanity so I took as many mental notes as possible. The “drunk guy” and “stats guy” have been a little over done, so I wanted to take this time to let you in on my own personal short-list.

“The clap out of sync guy(s)”: I watched an entire student section clap in unison while a group of 4 kids were apparently trying to let us know just how white they were. It looked as though they couldn’t even hear the music blaring through the arena speakers and were just happy to be present to watch the big black guys they normally only see on T.V. One by one they slowly fell into line, but by that time they were too late – the song was over and one of them was too busy fumbling through his program. You can usually point these guys out without trying too hard, they generally look like children at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch – dazzled, yet unsure and frightened.

“The overzealous screamer”: We were lucky enough to have one of these jack asses sitting right behind us, so I got a first hand look into the every thought of someone completely whacked out of her mind. She screamed at every call or non-call, good or bad play and most of the time belted out shit that just didn’t make any sense. Hurling comments like “T him up!” “move it around the perimeter!” and “Good boy!” when they didn’t apply and for apparently no reason at all. When I finally mustered up the courage to turn around and catch a glimpse of the boisterous bitch she was every bit as terrifying as I imagined.

“I’M OVER HERE!!!”: You know this asshole. He’s the guy standing up with a phone to his ear and one arm waving frantically in the air. It’s most likely that he is waving to the “out of sync clapping guys”, as I’m sure they go way back. He is another one of those ‘just happy to be here’ guys.

“Stand ‘n’ clap”: This person is almost always well over 300 pounds, and why not? It only makes sense that the one guy who can blot out the sun just loves to show his team spirit by eclipsing the stadium lights to clap for his team….through the entire god damn game. In our case he was decked in all yellow, which is funny all by itself.

“Jumbo tron sluts”: Some love ’em, some hate ’em but it’s tough to get through a game without seeing a pack of them. The usual M.O. for this group begins by them being caught on camera looking more apathetic than Paris Hilton trying to read a book. As soon as they detach their cheek from their boyfriend’s arm to find out theyve been spotted, LOOK OUT! it’s showtime! It’s almost automatic for them to gather in a Charlie’s Angles kind of pose or otherwise fighting over the 5 seconds of camera time. Another will undoubtedly be prepping her face for the patented lip pucker move. Another is definitely going to be seen in sunglasses even though we’re inside (because the sun never sets on cool, duh) and there is probably one girl encompassing the entire spectrum of douche bag in one fell swoop – and what neglected hussy would be complete without the famous ‘sideways peace sign’ to top it all off?

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