Monday, December 21, 2009

The Weekend Awesomeness Scale, 12/21 Edition

This is a groundbreaking blogging invention concocted here at Seth Curry Saves Duke! Using a secret scientific formula which combines mathematical elements from such established sporting standards as Sabermetrics, BCS, Quarterback Rating, ERA, and the opinions of former NFL superstar Troy Aikman, I've ranked ten events from the weekend on a scale of awesomeness. We'll begin with the least awesome:

1 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Sending Me an E-Mail in 2002 Saying My Presence at His Concerts Brought Him Down, Spiritually

Wyoming defeats Fresno State in overtime, 35-28. Normally, of course, I wouldn't have known these two teams were playing, much less have watched the game and been emotionally traumatized by the result. But I'm in a college football pool, and without rehashing the whole thing, the basic premise is that you pick the winner of every bowl game and attach a priority score to the result (from 1-33, using each number once). If you pick the game right, you get the number of points you assigned to the game.

Well, Fresno State had a killer offense in the WAC, and Wyoming might have been the worst team to draw a bowl game, going 6-6 in something called the Mountain West Conference. The point spread was 11.5. You can see where this is going; I attached the highest priority, a 33, to this game, and picked Fresno. And really, they should have won. Their offense was superior, and they had Wyoming down to fourth down at least three times near the end as things got desperate. But of course they kept escaping, and the Fresno coach happened to be this befuddled-looking walrus creature that looked more incompetent as time wore on. It culimnated in overtime, where, with a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, the Fresno offense committed my ultimate pet peeve by running directly into the stacked line four times in a row, failing to score and all but giving the game away.


Wyoming then missed a field goal on their chance to win, but triumphed in the second overtime. And my chance to win 250 dollars took a near-fatal hit.

2 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Pulling Me Aside in 2002 to Tell Me that 'Cry Freedom' was a Song About How He Liked to Watch People Cry when he Deprived them of their Freedom

Dallas ends New Orleans' undefeated season. This happened Saturday night, and I didn't get to watch because it was on the NFL Network (see also: next entry), but this was miserable for two reasons:

1) Undefeated seasons are fun.

2) To make the playoffs, the Giants just have to finish with the same record as the Cowboys. As of now, we're one game behind, and this looked like the week when we had the best chance to make up the gap. Instead, the improbable Cowboys win reverses the momentum from what looked like another December collapse, and now the Giants have to get a big win on the road tonight just to stay a game behind. Dallas finishes with Washington-Philadelphia, not an easy road by any means, but their job just got a little easier.

3 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Writing a Song in 2002 with a Veiled Reference to Me as Someone he Would Never want his Daughters to Marry

Jets lose to the Falcons 10-7 after missing three field goals, ending their playoff hopes. Also, my girlfriend telling me at 6:30pm on Saturday evening that she just remembered we had to go to a holiday party that night at 9.

Let me set the scene: for the first time since summer, I played basketball at a gym in Williamsburg. My fitness was pretty decent, but it lasted two hours, so now I'm tired all over. Outside, the first real snow of the year has started to fall, and Fresno State is up by 10 on the tv. I've settled about a foot deep into my very nice couch, I've got the sleepy post-shower feeling going on, and it's shaping up to be a nice, relaxing evening.

Then a phone call, then the collapse of comfort's promise, then despair on my end, then Fresno's collapse, then struggling through a biting and suddenly less romantic snowy evening to a party where I did my valiant best and sort of half-socialized with a room full of strangers, then struggling home as it got really fucking cold and the subway turned out to be pretty far away, then being sort of angry, then feeling guilty for being angry because who am I to be the selfish dude who never does anything, then questioning my own value as a human, then Dallas beats New Orleans, and, at long last, sleep.

4 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Releasing the Album 'Stand Up' in 2005

Middle Tennessee State defeats Southern Miss, 42-32. Just like the album mentioned above, this kinda sucked (I picked Southern Miss with a priority score of 18), but I wasn't too emotionally involved and didn't expect much. Still vaguely disappointing, but life goes on.

5 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Just Going About his Business, Man (2002)

Olek Czyz decides to transfer out of Duke. Can't really drum up too many feelings about this one; Czyz was a 6'7" backup forward, originally from Poland, and a sophomore. He's not that good, and it became obvious early on this year that he wouldn't play a big role. It would have been nice to have him on the practice team, and maybe pick up some spot duty when the other bigs get in foul trouble, but if he's unhappy, maybe it's best he ships out. Of course, there's always a really good chance that he doesn't speak English very well, and he was lost and trying to tell school officials that he wanted to do a bus transfer, but there was a hilarious mix-up and then this announcement was released, but really he's not transferring at all and it will all be cleared up by tomorrow.

6 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Sending Me a Bootleg of the 3/10/93 Show with a Full Version of 'People, People' and 'Blue Water Baboon Farm'

Texas 103, UNC 90. The Longhorns proved something against the mysterious Tar Heels, improving to 10-0 with a balanced scoring attack and dominance on the boards. I didn't want to admit it, but I guess these guys are for real. Also, always nice to see Carolina come back to Earth. March 6th is already circled on my calendars; that's when we take them down in Durham.

7 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Diving Into the Crowd, Making his Way to My Seat, Handing me his Guitar, and Saying 'You Deserve This, Man. You Deserve This.' And I Realize He's Right. The Year is 2002

Pittsburgh defeats Green Bay on Roethlisberger's last second TD pass. I got to watch the end of this game on Fox's bonus coverage, and was amazed again at Big Ben's ability to throw a ridiculously perfect pass into a tight space when the game is on the line. The 19-yard TD to Mike Wallace at time expired pretty much defied the reality of angles and gravity and velocity and other such elements. This is a good result because Green Bay holds the other wild card spot, and now they're 9-5 and only one game ahead of the G-Men. I'm actually not sure who holds the tiebreaker between the two teams...crap I just looked it up, and since we never played Green Bay, it goes to best record within the conference, and they're up by two games. But anyway, they can still lose their last two and finish a game below us. I'll take it.

Also, this sets up a madcap scenario for the AFC wild card. As of now, two teams are at 8-6 (Denver and Baltimore) and control their own destiny. After that, there are a whopping 6 teams (!) at 7-7, knocking on the door. I'm pretty sure none are eliminated, either. Next week's Steelers-Ravens game will be hugely important, among others.

8 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Going Into Space, Discovering a New Planet Even Bigger than Jupiter, and Naming it 'Dave and Shane's Sweet-Ass Planetary Crib,' circa 2002.

It occurs to me now that I have nothing to write here. I blew my load kinda early. But seriously, imagine that: 2002, and me and Dave have our own friggin' planet!

9 - As Awesome as Dave Matthews Summoning Lightning at a Concert, Channeling it Through his Guitar into the Crowd, and Anyone who Gets Hit, Including Me, Has a Vision of the Future Where Nobody Suffers and Everyone is Named Dave Matthews, and the Year is Always 2002.

Duke owns Gonzaga. In Friday's post, I called an easy game and a 15-point victory. This turns out to have been too conservative. I also wrote this about Nolan Smith:

"Against Gonzaga, I'd very much like to see him take the reins early and often, and establish his presence without restraint."

24 points on 10-18 shooting, including 3-3 from behind the arc. Great stuff, and he brought exactly the kind of aggression the team needed.

Granted, Gonzaga is probably very overrated, and Duke dominates at MSG, but a win against a ranked opponent ain't nothing to sneeze at.

10 - A Post-Apocalyptic Landscape, and Just When Hope is Running Out and Things are Getting Really Ugly, Dave Matthews Emerges From an Underground Cavern and Summons the Survivors into a Subterranean Paradise Filled with Great Music and Food. Calendars Hang Everywhere, and they All Read: 2002.

After a rough start, the Giants hang tough and beat the Redskins 27-17 in Monday Night Football, keeping playoff hopes alive.

(For those curious: 15 DMB shows, 3 Dave & Tim Reynolds, 1 Dave & Friends, 2001-2004)

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