We're about to enter the doldrums of the Duke schedule, that time between the fun early games and the start of ACC action when we play community colleges from Eastern Europe or somewhere. I need some amusement to keep me going. This is pretty short notice, but I'd like to start a little fantasy game. The rules will be pretty simple: before each Duke game, I pick one player on the roster. That player is the 'hot potato.' Everyone has to guess how many points the hot potato will score. The difference between your guess and the actual points is your score for the day.
Time to blow your mind: A lower score is better. Just like golf.
Important note: The Hot Potato might be a terrible name. I'm not even sure what it means, and I realize it bears no resemblance to the actual hot potato game of our youth. I'll be accepting alternative suggestions.
The Hot Potato for Duke vs. Bradley is:
If it works, we'll keep this going for the whole season, with scores carrying over and an eventual champ being crowned. There'll be standings and all kinds of fun throughout. I'll update today's picks in the blog post throughout the day. Leave your score and name in the comments section. You can use a fake name if you'd like.
Request for readers: please don't humiliate me by not doing this. If my name is the only one below at the end of the day, my self-esteem will be shattered and my next blog will be all the sad poems I write. The first poem is called "An Empty Heart." You get the idea; it's bad stuff. AND THIS IS SO EASY.
UPDATE: Reader Dylan has awesomely made a spread sheet that will keep things tabulated. Instead of posting everyone's guess here, I'll post the standings the day after a game.
Last night, Syracuse put the mollywhomp down on Michigan State, beating them on a neutral floor by a wider margin than Duke managed at home. Mighty Rick Jackson had more boards than a dude working the lumber section at Lowe's. Fewer divorces, too. After the game, Tom Izzo used some uber-masculine language to imply that his team was effeminate.
""It's gut check time for us," he said. "I'm as disappointed in that performance as I've been in any since I've been at Michigan State. Credit Syracuse or the one man who kicked our butt. We didn't come early inside and let them dominate on the boards. We turned into a pretty-boy jump-shooting team instead of the blue-collar, fist-fighting team we should be.
"The aggressive team usually gets the advantage," Izzo said, "but we were taking it like a sissy and they took it up like men."
A furious Izzo then went into his bag and took out twelve of these, demanding that his team wear them on the plane ride home:
When asked why he had the skirts in the first place, Izzo blushed and stammered for three minutes. When asked if he would be wearing one himself, Izzo was adamant. "Hey, we're a team."
So Syracuse is evidently quite good. They make other teams "take it like a sissy." Sounds awful. The Orange were my team growing up, along with Duke (liked the Devils ever since Laettner's shot, which cemented my love of sports), and I've always hoped for a dream final between the two schools. Something like that might actually be awful, since if Duke lost I'd have a twinge of guilt for wishing Syracuse to the title game, but on the other hand it'd be a pretty great match-up of awesome coaches. Also, my dad went to Syracuse, so if Duke won I'd have something to lord over him for the rest of time.
Let's take a quick Wednesday peek at the ranks of the undefeated. Here are the unblemished teams remaining, in order of rank:
San Diego State
Those are just the ones in the top 25 plus Northwestern, so there may be more. But if you're keeping score at home, that's six Big East teams of the 14 remaining. There will be some doozy throwdowns in that conference.
Moving on: my boy Saunders informed me the other day that the name Kyrie, in Greek, means "Lord." Wikipedia confirms: "It is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, also called Kýrie, eléison which is Greek for Lord, have mercy."
I've been tossing around ideas all year for the important question of Kyrie's nickname. This information really changes the debate, though. Clearly, his nickname has to incorporate the Greek Lord angle. Here are some ideas:
1. Lord Irving
2. Lord Nasty
3. Lord Slick
5. Kyrie Eleison (this is pronounced KEE-ree uh-LAY-zon)
I think I like the last one the best, particularly because it's also in the lyrics of a Mr. Mister #1 hit from 1985 called "Kyrie." The chorus is INSPIRING:
Down the road that I must travel!
Through the darkness of the night!
Where I'm going will you follow!
On a highway in the light!
(Exclamation points all mine.)
And yes, my friends, there is a YouTube. It's actually kind of an awesome tune, even though the first minute is slow. Also, lots of 80s haircuts. Also, an emotional shot of four dudes skipping stones at a beach.
I think we can all agree that this should be his theme song, but let me know how you feel about the nicknames.
Also, that shitty Lowe's joke above opened my brain to a couple nicknames for Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly: Sawdust & Splinters. Why? 'Cause they're always around the boards! I'm open to Singler taking Kelly's place in this one, but I'm 100% committed to 'Sawdust' for Mason.
This has been a super substantive blog post so far. First I introduced the world's most basic pick 'em game, speculated about a hypothetical match-up that's 4 months away, listed some undefeated teams, then talked nicknames for like 8 paragraphs. SCSD: serving nobody's needs.
So, how about Bradley? What do we know? One thing I realized a while ago is that there aren't many famous people named Bradley or Brad. Yeah, the one obvious exception is Brad Pitt. And he's fairly famous. I get it. But really, try to think of another famous person with that name. Do it.
Here's what my brain produced:
And the last one isn't even famous. Here's what Wikipedia came up with:
* Bradley Ayers (born 1935), CIA operative
* Brad Hogg (born 1970), Australian cricket player
* Bradley Hore (born 1981), Australian flyweight boxer
* Bradley James (born 1984), British actor
* Bradley Manning alleged whistleblower / leaker of video in Wikileaks' Collateral murder
* Bradley McGee (born 1976), former Australian professional cyclist (road and track)
* Bradley McIntosh (born 1981), member of S Club 7
* Bradley Nowell (1968 – 1996), American musician
* Bradley Quinn (born 1976), Northern Irish photographer
* Bradley Wiggins (born 1980), British professional cyclist (road and track)
I think we can all agree that we've never heard of these people. Except for Bradley Quinn, who takes absolutely stunning Northern Irish photos like this one:
Gorgeous. That's all the analysis I have on Bradley, except for this tidbit: they don't have anyone named Bradley on their roster. But they do have guys named "Dodie Dudson" and "Walt Lemon." Those are names we can all enjoy.. Don't forget the Hot Potato, and I will see you tomorrow.